Tag

savoury

Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip“As while other passions in your life may, at some point, begin to bank their fires, the shared happiness of good homemade food can last as long as we do.”
Jenni Ferrari-Adler

Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip is perhaps the yummiest dip I have made in a while. From an out and out eggplant hater, to one who got sold over a smokey roasted eggplant {or brinjal or ‘baingan’ as referred to here locally} one fine day, the journey was uneventful. There are some things I just will not touch with a barge-pole. Eggplant was one of those. For a long time. Until 3 years ago.

Persian Roasted Eggplant  Walnut DipThen one day I tasted a Baingan ka Bharta made by a lady who used to cook at my mothers. The flavours had me captivated, and her style of cooking this quintessential Indian vegetarian dish had me smitten. Garlicky, smokey, earthy, firey was what she presented on the table that memorable day. One bite down, and I chased her for the recipe. Simple as ever, it was a game changer for me. Then came a dip I tasted at Ruchira’s place more recently. Sold again!Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut DipThis Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip is inspired by both the recipes. The twice used garlic from the bharta, and the creaminess from the dip. Can there ever be too much garlic? For me, no. I love it with a vengeance, and here the roasted garlic pods with eggplant bit gives the dip subtle undertones. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. I love adding walnuts to dip so in they went, while the Greek yogurt adds the right creaminess that the dip demands. All in all it has a lot to offer. Go ahead and add some roasted paprika to it if you like, maybe some pomegranate pearls to give it a juicy pop of flavour and colour. Persian Roasted Eggplant & Walnut DipIn the blender and smooth, this barely takes time and is a great make ahead party option. It also doubles up as a useful ‘sauce‘ for wraps, or a sandwich spread if you like. I served the Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip with these equally earthy Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers I made recently. The more garlicky, the better! And of course, since the dip was ready and sitting there, I decided to experiment with it for a few pictures.Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut DipJust different backgrounds, angles, light, what have you! Some work, some don’t, but the important thing is to keep experimenting. Darter & yours truly have announced our next Food Styling & Photography Workshop  in Delhi this September, our 5th one here, so it’s always fun to experiment and share ideas. Food Styling and Photography Workshop Sep 2016I tell the participants to try and shoot everyday, to constantly experiment with different backgrounds, angles, light and moods. I do just the same.

Food props, Food styling, Food Photography

Food props, Food styling, Food Photography, Flatlay, World Photography DayEveryday. With whatever I have on hand. If I haven’t baked or cooked something ‘image worthy’, then I just grab raw produce, knick-knacks or props from an earlier shoot, things lying on my desk, stuff I like, then shoot them in frame. It’s a huge learning process, and therapeutic too. The important thing is to experiment, to keep your mind open. I can never say that enough!

And that’s how I got to this delicious Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip too, with an open mind!

Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip ... earthy, smokey, moorish, delicious!
Print Recipe
This Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip has a lot to offer. The twice used garlic, the walnuts, then the creaminess from Greek yogurt make it endearing. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. Play around with ingredients to suit your palette. That's the beauty of dips.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip ... earthy, smokey, moorish, delicious!
Print Recipe
This Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip has a lot to offer. The twice used garlic, the walnuts, then the creaminess from Greek yogurt make it endearing. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. Play around with ingredients to suit your palette. That's the beauty of dips.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Roasted eggplant walnut dip
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Cut 1/2" slits into sides of eggplant and push in 4 cloves of unpeeled garlic. Roast over low flame {or under broiler} until charred {like for baingan ka bharta.} Leave covered in a bowl to cool.
  2. Remove garlic and press out roasted pods. Discard skin. peel off charred skin of eggplant. Chop roughly. {Can be done a day or so in advance}
  3. While the eggplant is cooling, heat ghee in heavy bottom pan and caramelise onions and garlic.
  4. Place in cooled eggplant with with caramelised onions & garlic and remaining ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in chopped chives. Taste and adjust seasoning. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and keep for a couple of hours/overnight for flavours to mature. Top with chopped walnuts and chives.
Share this Recipe

Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle “There is a lot of food culture that goes on in the home and in the community in non-traditional ways. Food is a lot more than restaurants.”
Eddie Huang

Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird’s Eye Sweet Chili Pickle. These turned out to be crackers with a bite. Paired with the sweet chili pickle, they got just the right kick as well, some smoked Gouda on the side to balance the heat from the pickle. Both the crackers and the the pickle have much in common, other than the long name of course! Both earthy and rustic, both from local produce, they have a combination of flavours that compliment each other. The taste undertones are complex but subtle, individual ingredients in each that compliment the preparation. The good thing is that they pair together beautifully too!

Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili PickleSay millets to me and a part of me shudders with fear, while the other part of thinks happily this might be the time for me to ‘step out’ and be millet confident. I’ve had a LONG unsteady relationship with millets, more hate than love. In the past I have found them uninspiring, sandy, gritty and rather unrewarding to work with. Yet a recent contest on Commeat which focused on millets made me sit up and take notice. Couldn’t figure out why it had everyone so excited.MilletsThus began a small journey. Though only a few weeks old, I am fast covering ground. Picked Madhuli’s brains as she does a load of creative food with millet. I pestered her SO MUCH that she just mailed me many bags of different varieties.Then I shifted gears and pestered Ruchira, my other millet inspiration. She put me onto making the yummiest millet khichadi ever. So I bravely ventured further on my own, and here is my first experiment, millet crackers. Flavoured with my fave ingredients, garlic and rosemary, I threw in some sesame seeds too!Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili PickleMuch reading online tells me that roasting the flour before using it reduces a characteristic mustiness the flour has. Did just that. Looked and felt like sand, or rather EARTH! Which gave me an idea. I decided to pair these earthy rustic millet crackers with this Lovilovi and Bird’s Eye Sweet Chili Pickle from Place of Origin.On the onset, might I warn you that the flavours just explode in your mouth. Not for the faint-hearted, this intriguing pickle tempts you to dig in. The heart wants more yet the mouth is on fire! Smoked or herb cheese on the side balances it off!Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili PickleMade from the Lovolovi plums and the bird’s eye chilies that grow wild in the coffee estates of Coorg, The Earth Reserve’s Sweet pickle is a must-have for all who love combination between sweet and spicy. One of the most piquant chilies and tartness of the berries combine to bring you a flavor that has a spicy kick but not mouth burning and you can still taste all the individual flavours. This pickle looks good, tastes good and provides you a versatile usage. Liven up a burger, serve with a cheese board or cold meats, spice up sausages, mix in to mayo…

Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle
Based in Scotland of India – Coorg, The Earth Reserve brings to you homemade products with a passion for bringing wholesome food to the table without any added colours, flavours, synthetic preservatives, taste enhancers or pectin. Free from harmful pesticides or any other chemical sprays, the ingredients are instead sprayed with the nourishing rains and mists that the hills of Coorg are blessed with. Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle With its natural heritage and colourful history, India is the birthplace and home of a number of cuisines. The environment, soil, climate and history contribute to unique recipes made with locally sourced produce. Accordingly, every town in India is famous for select foods or food producers. As human beings, it is natural for us to have a strong emotional connect with the food we eat. Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle There will always be some food products which trigger fond memories of familiar hometown flavours and gastronomical experiences – it could be the sweetshop from across the street from where you grew up or a confectionery in that hill station that you went to one summer. Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle This pickle hits ‘thta’ spot and more! So if you make crackers like these, to set your world on fire with this fabulous pickle, PlaceofOrigin.in is the answer!!
Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers
Print Recipe
Crisp, earthy, flavourful and gentle, these Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers are a great wholegrain savoury bake. They are good on their own, and really good when paired with a dip , maybe cheese as well. Paired with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle, they got just the right kick, with some smoked Gouda on the side.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers
Print Recipe
Crisp, earthy, flavourful and gentle, these Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers are a great wholegrain savoury bake. They are good on their own, and really good when paired with a dip , maybe cheese as well. Paired with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle, they got just the right kick, with some smoked Gouda on the side.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Gently roast the ragi with sesame seeds over low heat until lightly coloured. Cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C.
  3. Place all ingredients except water in bowl of stand mixer.
  4. Mix on low speed, then add 50 ml water to make a soft firm dough. Add a little more water as required. Knead the dough until smooth for 2 minutes.
  5. Roll out as thin as possible between two sheets of baking parchment, cut into desired shapes, then transfer to baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they turn brown on the edges and feel firm.
  7. Cool completely, then transfer t an airtight container.
Share this Recipe

Dhungaar e keema, Smoked Indian lamb mince “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
Ruth Reichl

Dhungaar-e-Keema  or Smoked Indian Lamb Mince is a quintessential recipe from the Indian subcontinent, one that is as simple as it is flavourful. The recipe is quite basic, the underlining key words characteristically ‘andaaz‘ and ‘bhuno‘, terms very familiar to how we cook in this region. Andaaz referring to eyeballing ingredients, and bhuno, ‘the quintessential stirring and roasting’ that gives Indian cuisine its essential character. Kebab spice mix Be it kebabs, kormas, bhuna gosht or then keema like this, the spice mixes are generally region specific. This Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Lamb Mince is minimally adapted from an old one from @ My Tamarind Kitchen, a blog written by Scotland based Sumayya.It’s an old familiar recipe, one that has roots across this region, North India and Pakistan. It’s strange how similar the culinary vocabulary and cooking methods are. Dhungaar e keema, Smoked Indian lamb mince My mother and her friends, who I owe a lot of my initial recipe repertoire to, always had the same two favourite words, ‘andaaz’ and ‘bhuno’. The  story was the same with my aunts who I used to pursue relentlessly in an attempt hone my abysmal cooking skills. These words were firmly rooted in the North Indian cooking lingo of the past, a reflection of how recipes have evolved down the ages. We’re down to measures now – teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, grams, ounces in cookbooks, yet ‘andaaz ‘or eyeballing in Indian cooking still rules the kitchen!Spices for a smoked Indian lamb minceFor recipes other than baking I still pretty much eyeball what goes in, merrily tasting and tossing as I stir. Andaaz is my way to go too. No better way to cook I’d say, though maybe not the ideal ‘cookbook’ for newcomers on the scene, or for people alien to a particular cuisine. The good thing is that I am an obsessive ‘picture taker’ for steps of cooking, and especially when cooking with spices as they keep me fascinated. As a result of that, I usually know how the recipe has progressed and what went it.

Spices for a smoked Indian lamb mince

Dhungaar e keema, Smoked Indian lamb mince 1000 2This time was of course no different even though I followed Sumayyas recipe pretty much. The steps were familiar since most of our curries follow the same pattern. The only thing different about her recipe was that no powdered spices were included, something that I found quite interesting. I don’t think I’ve cooked often with only a smattering of whole spices and not even a single teaspoon of coriander powder or turmeric.

The Masala Dabba / Indian Spice Box

The Masala Dabba / Indian Spice BoxI did add a few whole spices of my own though. Star anise for one. A new found love for a spice I barely cared for. Shooting for our Masala Dabba series I fell in love with it because of the way it looked. So I included it in a sangria, then in a panna cotta. Then one trip into the heart of South India to Karaikudi,and I was sold on it. It’s quite an integral part of Chettinad cuisine, often thrown in in wild abandon, the aromas filling the air the minute star anise hits hot oil.

Sunset, Chidambaram Vilas, Karaikudi, Chettinad, South India

Karaikudi, Chettinad, South India

Chilies from KaraikudiAlso in went bay leaves, a gift from the garden of my mother’s friend who lives in the UK, but grew up here in India. She carried a bag for us, for me especially, since she knows how fond we are of her recipes, a lot of them inspired from Pakistan. Bay leavesShe influenced a lot of my recipe and cooking processes when I had just got married, gingerly stepping into the kitchen for the first time. The rest of course is history …  the recipe follows!Dhungaar e keema, Smoked Indian lamb mince

Cooking | Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Lamb Mince
Print Recipe
Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Indian Lamb Mince is a quintessential recipe from the Indian subcontinent, one that is as simple as it is flavourful. The recipe is quite basic, the underlining key words characteristically ‘andaaz‘ and ‘bhuno‘, terms very familiar to how we cook in this region. Andaaz referring to eyeballing ingredients, and bhuno, the quintessential 'stirring and roasting’ that gives Indian cuisine its essential character.
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Cooking | Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Lamb Mince
Print Recipe
Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Indian Lamb Mince is a quintessential recipe from the Indian subcontinent, one that is as simple as it is flavourful. The recipe is quite basic, the underlining key words characteristically ‘andaaz‘ and ‘bhuno‘, terms very familiar to how we cook in this region. Andaaz referring to eyeballing ingredients, and bhuno, the quintessential 'stirring and roasting’ that gives Indian cuisine its essential character.
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Ingredients
Keema
Whole garam masala
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat some ghee/clarified butter in a heavy bottom and add the khara masala/whole spices and saute until fragrant. Throw in the chopped onions and stir fry until light golden brown on the edges. Add the ginger garlic and saute for a further 2-3 minutes, until the raw smell has disappeared.
  2. Now add all the chopped tomatoes and roast well until almost dry, then add the mince. Stir in well to mix, then roast over high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Season with salt.
  3. Then add the yogurt, stirring constantly to roast/bhuno until the yogurt has been absorbed and is no longer white. Cover the wok/pan with a tight fitting lid, reduce heat to lowest, allowing the mince to slow cook in it's own juices.
  4. Check once in a while to make sure it isn't catching the bottom, giving it a quick stir. A heavy bottom good quality pan really works well here. cook until the liquid has evaporated and the colour is nice and reddish brown. As Sumayya says, 'bhuno-ing the keema is key!'
  5. Add loads of fresh chopped coriander and green chilies. Cover and allow to dam for a about 5 minutes, then turn off heat and let it stand. I f you wish to smoke the mince, please see instructions below.
  6. Smoking the Keema: Light up a piece of coal over the gas fire. Make a tiny bowl with an aluminium foil. Place the hot burning coal in it and quickly drizzle a few drops of melted ghee/clarified butter over it. The coal will begin smoking immediately. Tightly shut the lid and leave for about 15-30 minutes.
Share this Recipe
%d bloggers like this: