May 27, 2010

Eggplant-- adding color to your life :)

Nothing veggies posted in several days. That is so not me! Did I ever tell you about my favorite vegetable? It is eggplant with a capital E. I also love the varaities they come in. Italian, Chinese, the jumbo ones. And all of them have such a different tastes. Earlier I would use all of them without giving each type its due respect. Imbecile me :) But now of course, when I have the time and money, I try to utilise the flavors of each of these varaities. 

For example the chinese ones are great for my veggie potpouries. Their usually mushy interiors help me with quick cooking. The Jumbo ones, I would usually peel the skin off and do some mashed dish. My recent favorite are the cute looking Italian eggplants. They are so good when oven roasted or grilled.

But I often go with the veggie potpouri, cos that just lasts longer and also features a few more veggies.  Before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you what I mean by potpouri. Back when I was little, I always used to get confused by the several names attached to mixed veggies. Each would feature kind of the same or rather similar veggie combination, but with different spice combinations. I can't think of the names. So when I make food, I use varaity of spice combinations, kind of using things I like and know will go great together. So if I started coming up with names for each of these combinations....boy I need to spend time wrting up a dicktionary :) So its potpouri for me.

Today's dish is just one of such many combinations of spices-- with eggplant. You can do this combination or any other using the same technique and you can give your veggie dish a name. Kind of your signature dish. 

I will just go with potpouri :)

So here is how


1 Big chinese eggplant. Or feel free to use any. If you are using the Italian or the Jumbo one, I would suggest feeling off some or all of that skin. Cut into bite size chunks.
1 cup of fresh green beans chopped up.

2 cloves of garlic. Crushed or grated
1/2 tsp of whole allspice.
A pinch of turmeric. Optional. This is simply for some color in your life..I mean dish :)

The combination of garlic and allspice is lethally good.Allspice is a common spice in Indian, especially bengali food. I just happen to add garlic to that. So another flavor, that I adore :)

2-3 tbsf good quality olive oil
1/2 cup of veggie stock, brought to room temperature. YOu can simply use hot water too
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Its really simple.

For the eggplants you can do either of the two things. I tend to do the former.
a) Marinate the eggplants in 1 tbsf olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and you can bake the eggplants on high (500F or as high as the oven goes) for 10 mins
b) You can heat 2 tbsf oil in a skillet and saute the eggplants. Remember to cover it and give it a shimmy shake. The covering helps the eggplants cook quickly with little oil. 

Either one is fine. I do the foremer. Less of work for me. In a skillet, heat the remaining oil. Once oil is hot, pop the allspice. Wait for the aroma to hit you :) Add the eggplants and saute till they are coated with the allspice Add the beans and turmeric. Saute till everything is well mixed. Add water/stock. Cover and cook through. Medium heat is best. Make sure that bottom is not getting charred. Add extra water if you need. Season with salt and pepper. 

Serve warm. A delish veggies dish and one for the keeps too :)

Happy eating and healthy living!


The Japanese Redneck said...

I only eat eggplant one way. Dipped in egg, then in cornmeal and fried till golden brown. Sprinkle with soy sauce.

That's the way I like em.

Jhonny walker said...

Hey Ramona, I love that too...:).

3 hungry tummies said...

Very healthy and love the contrasting texture with the beans. Bought some allspice for Lebanese cooking, now I know it is used in Bengali cooking too!

Erica said...

This sounds so yummy! different way to make eggplant.

buffalodick said...

So much moisture in this product..must be handled as such! I enjoy it fried or grilled...

Jhonny walker said...

Hi all

@ Sonia: Its an intergral part of Bengali..and here is more news...even of Italian cooking. I love allspice. Just so fragrant :)

@ Erica: Its diefrent..but in India this is so very common way of making eggplants :)

@ Buffalodick: does not require that much handling..but its healthier and flavorful..I love grilled eggplants a lot too :) not so much with the fried stuff

theUngourmet said...

I'm crazy for veggies but I have to admit I've only tried eggplant a handful of times. I'm still learning to like it. Your recipe looks like one I'd like to try. :)

Jhonny walker said...

Eggplants to me are te best of veggies...I love them whichever way they are made :) And you are right, it feels so good to have veggies !