Baingan Bharta

I’ve been on an Indian food making deal lately. I’m not sure if my attempt is to start eating more healthy, or if it is to get rid of an array, and large quantity of Indian spices. Who knows, but I’m leaning more on the side of trying to eat more healthy, and I think Indian food, for the most part, is a good example of using great spices that are good for you, as well as getting more vegetables incorporated into the meat. This is a perfect example of this type of dish, baingan bharta.

Baingan bharta is roasted eggplant dip, similar in some ways to baba ghanoush. This one however uses different spices, and really makes it an awesome eggplant curry that is perfectly paired with naan, or other Indian style bread, or better yet served with a small bit of rice.

Baingan Bartha Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole eggplant, medium to large in size
  • 2 whole vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 whole red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 2 whole green Indian chili, stem removed, or 1 for less spiciness
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro

The beauty of this is the roasting of the eggplant. Much like baba ghanoush, you can get your charcoal grill going, and place the eggplant directly onto the coals so you get that awesome smoky flavor into the dip.

If you do not have a charcoal grill, you could roast on high heat in the oven until the flesh is nice and charred all the way around the eggplant.

Once the eggplant cools, and trust me you want it to cool, remove the skin, and reserve the rest of the eggplant.

Chop the eggplant into medium sized cubes and set to the side as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

To a food processor, add the tomatoes, green chili, and ginger and pulse until you have a salsa like consistency.

How to make baingan bartha

 

To a large skillet, on medium-high heat, add in the canola oil, letting it come to temperature. Add in the cumin seeds and let them begin to pop, only a few seconds, then add in the bell pepper, and tomato mixture. Give this a good stir and let it come to a simmer.

Next add in the remaining spices, and continue to stir. Once all of the spices are incorporated, add in the chopped eggplant. Let this cook on medium heat, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Everything should begin to thicken, just a bit. Remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.

Now you are ready to serve. Add some of the eggplant dip to a serving dish, top with some cilantro, and serve alongside warm naan or cooked rice.

This stuff is highly addicting. It has all of those great Indian flavors that you would expect, along with some spice from the chilies. Let’s just say my daughter loved this, and I did as well. If you are looking for another great eggplant dip, give this one a try. I hope you enjoy!

Baingan Bharta
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks, Dips, Sides
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole eggplant, medium to large in size
  • 2 whole vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ whole red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 2 whole green Indian chili, stem removed, or 1 for less spiciness
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. The beauty of this is the roasting of the eggplant. Much like baba ghanoush, you can get your charcoal grill going, and place the eggplant directly onto the coals so you get that awesome smoky flavor into the dip.
  2. If you do not have a charcoal grill, you could roast on high heat in the oven until the flesh is nice and charred all the way around the eggplant.
  3. Once the eggplant cools, and trust me you want it to cool, remove the skin, and reserve the rest of the eggplant.
  4. Chop the eggplant into medium sized cubes and set to the side as you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  5. To a food processor, add the tomatoes, green chili, and ginger and pulse until you have a salsa like consistency.
  6. o a large skillet, on medium-high heat, add in the canola oil, letting it come to temperature. Add in the cumin seeds and let them begin to pop, only a few seconds, then add in the bell pepper, and tomato mixture. Give this a good stir and let it come to a simmer.
  7. Next add in the remaining spices, and continue to stir. Once all of the spices are incorporated, add in the chopped eggplant. Let this cook on medium heat, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Everything should begin to thicken, just a bit. Remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.
  8. Now you are ready to serve. Add some of the eggplant dip to a serving dish, top with some cilantro, and serve alongside warm naan or cooked rice.

 

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Roasted Fennel

Where do I begin with fennel? It’s something that I look at all the time, whether that be at the grocery store, or at a farmer’s market. Look, I said, not purchase. So I had to break that routine, and buy a fennel bulb. When I brought it home, I thought I might slice it and eat it raw, and then I took a look at the fennel fronds and thought I might use it as a garnish of some sorts, or place it in a salad. You can tell I was all over the place, and then I decided to simply roast the fennel and serve it as a side dish alongside some roasted chicken.

Roasted Fennel Recipe

If you have never had fennel before, it is pretty diverse and can be eaten raw, or cooked, and it has a mild licorice like flavor. With that said, you are probably either going to love it, or hate it. My family is on the neutral front.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste

That’s it. Super simple, and a great side dish, especially with fish.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Take the fennel bulb, removing the fennel fronds (the green stuff that looks like dill), and slice off the base of the fennel.

With the remaining bulb, thinly slice the fennel and add it to a small mixing bowl.

How to make roasted fennel

Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and give it a good mix.

Once the oven is heated, place the fennel on a baking sheet, and spread it out.

Roast the fennel in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the fennel gets nice and roasted and caramelized. Remove and serve.

The end result is a nice and tender piece of fennel that is somewhat sweet, with a mild licorice flavor. Also note, fennel is really, really good for you, so if you are like me and look and fennel but never purchase it, go ahead and pick one up and serve it raw or roasted. You only live once, so go ahead and give it a try. Hope you enjoy!

 

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Loaded Fajita French Fries

For whatever reason, I have been thinking of loaded fries lately. Not sure if I had nachos on my mind, or maybe it was those darn kimchi fries I made not too long ago, but it was time for me to take some action and get down to it and make a batch of fries. I had set out a rump roast the previous evening and not knowing what to do with it, I decided to turn it into some Mexican fajita meat, and beat down my craving for fries. This is when the whole idea of fajita french fries came into play.

Loaded Fajita French Fries

Think of this as everything you love about fajitas, but stacked on top of crispy cheese fries. Addicting, delicious, and something perfect for snacking on with some friends. Typically flank or skirt steak are used for fajitas, but the rump roast turned out just fine, especially in a great marinade.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb rump roast, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 whole yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of your favorite french fries, cooked
  • sour cream, optional
  • salsa, optional
  • 3 tbsp canola oil

Start by marinading your meat. Mix the brown sugar, half of the lime juice, garlic, and soy sauce in a baking dish, and mix until the sugar dissolves.

Add in your rump roast, and gently toss to combine the marinade. Cover and let this marinate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

To another bowl, add the peppers and onion, and toss in the other half of the lime juice, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and cumin powder. Give a good stir, and cover and place in the refrigerator.

How to make loaded fajita french fries

When you are about ready to make these fries, heat a large cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the oil and give it a nice swirl.

Lay in your meat, being careful not to crowd it, and cook on both sides until it is nice and caramelized. You may have to wash out and scrape your skillet and repeat as the sugar from the marinade may stick to the skillet. Repeat with any remaining beef.

During this time, cook your french fries until they are nice and crispy.

Once the meat is cooked, cut into thinner strips.

To another skillet, add in about a half tablespoon of oil, and on medium-high heat, add in the bell peppers and onions. Cook until they are just slightly softened.

Remove the fries when they are crisp and top with the shredded cheese. Return back to the oven until the cheese is nice and melted.

Remove the cheesy fries, and top with the sliced beef and bell peppers and onions. Drizzle on your salsa and give a little dollop of sour cream.

Now get in there and dig in.

Talk about comfort food! The crispy cheesy fries paired with the peppers and beef. Whoa. Don’t even get me started on the beef. My kids saw the beef right away and wanted me to make them some Mexican street tacos (which I did) and I thought they were going to eat it all, preventing me from making my fries! Hands down a fun dish to serve up. Fajitas in french fry style. What’s not to love. Hope you enjoy!

 

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Roasted Whole Edamame

We recently got back from vacationing in California, visiting my sister-in-law and nieces. It was nice, to say the least, and as we did some hiking, beach time, etc, we decided to have the kids hang out the last night, while we went out for sushi. Finally, yes, finally that time has come where the kids can hang out and fend for themselves. My sister-in-law ordered an array of sushi, and it was pretty darn awesome, and one of the things we ordered was edamame.

I love edamame, and as I have eaten in the past with just the bean, the really great thing is to roast them whole, in the pod, and get in there with your fingers and pop them into your mouth, only to suck the beans out. Sexy to say the least.

Whole Roasted Edamame Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of frozen whole edamame
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp course salt

That’s it. So simple, but yet so flipping delicious.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

How to make roasted edamame

To a mixing bowl, add the edamame, olive oil, and salt. Give a good toss, then add to a sheet tray.

Add the sheet tray to the preheated oven, and cook for about 20 minute. The whole edamame should be nicely roasted.

Pour into a serving bowl, and let cool for a few minutes before digging in.

Eat these by picking one up, and sliding the beans out with your mouth. Something about these are so addicting. Maybe it’s that hit of salt, or the subtle texture of the bean itself.

If you are looking for a nutritious snack, give these at try. Hope you enjoy!

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