Thursday, November 18, 2010

Seared Baby Brinjal (Vaangi Talaasana)

Vaangi or Vaingana is Brinjal/ Eggplant in Marathi and Konkani respectivey. Growing up, we preferred soupy parboiled rice few days in a week for dinner, it is also called as Paej or Ganji Utaa. I love to combine Paej with Vegetable side dish of different sorts.

When I was a yuppy fussy teeny bopper, Mom delegated the task of preparing and planning dinner side dish to me. I discovered cooking wasn't that difficult if one had the relentless pursuit pepped with creativity to keep trying. It was much of a training period for me in disguise. As much as I vehemently protested, spending time in the kitchen discovering the otherwise alien sort of spices and vegetables certainly pleased my senses!

I also began to respect the effort which every individual puts in the meal preparation process be it for family dinners, lunches or large gatherings for that matter. I learned to perfect this recipe and over a period of time everybody used to relish this preparation, especially my Daddy. For best results, use tender Brinjal. I used Kokum, the tangy sour konkan fruit to neutralize and balance the spicy flavour.

~ Vaangi Talaasana ~

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

Brinjal/ Eggplant (diced into 1/4" pieces) - 2 cups
Garlic (crushed) - 2-3 jumbo pods
Red Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/3 teaspoon
Green Chilli (optional) - 1
Kokum (wet) - 2 shells

Wash the Brinjal and dice them into thin 1/4" slices. In a deep dish pan, heat few spons of oil, temper with crushed garlic and green chillies. Saute till they are seared. Add the diced Brinjal pieces now. Add the spice powders, salt and stir for couple of minutes. All the Brinjal pieces should get an even coating of spice powder. Add the Kokum shell now and stir. Sprikle handful of water and cover with a lid and simmer on low flame. Brinjal steam cooks in it own juices. Cook till completely done. The pieces wilt and reduce in size upon cooking. Remove Kokum shells while servings if required. Serve warm as a side dish.

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