Thought I could add some spice to your life...

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Bean Varuosy

Here is my first formal attempt to make something completely phirang. Ingredients are rather simple – olive oil, green beans (preferably not frozen), thyme leaves (this is kind of important), almond flakes, butter and garlic paste. What you do with them is even simpler. Heat up the oil and let the garlic paste sputter in it. Before it starts turning brown, add the beans. Fry them with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Lemon pepper will do wonders here. When it is about half done, add the almond flakes, and then once the flakes become crisp, add butter. Be very generous here. Finally, spread some crushed thyme leaves on it.

It's quite good, as long as you do not make the mistake of trying it together with rice or roti.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Promises made to oneself are interesting. They are easiest of all to break - no one's going to cry or fight or haul you up - but you somehow end up carrying the burden of disloyalty a lot more if you break one - because now there is no one you can make excuses to. So, I am deprived of the opportunity of making excuses why I have not been regular in blogging, although I draw some comfort from the fact that this is a malaise that afflicts almost every blogger with a real life to live out there.

Anyway, here's one recipe that I got from Susmita Sengupta, my friend in Ann Arbor. Another one that has never failed to produce magic.

Begun Bahar:

You need - one large brinjal (I can see why the tomato may be called vilaiti baingan, but I fail to see why the brinjal should be referred to as egg-plant), a bunch of coriander leaves (cilantro - this I can live with), sour cream (my mother used curd instead and got decent results), cumin seeds, green chillies (3), salt, sugar and turmeric as usual.

First, cut the brinjal into discs, about half an inch thick. Wash them, lightly spread salt and turmeric over each side of the discs and fry them in oil. Fry till they turn yellowish or even reddish - but they should not turn brown. Keep them aside. Next, beat the sour cream well with very finely chopped green chillies, salt and sugar. Chop the cilantro very fine. Now, heat some oil in the pan, and add the cumin seeds. Next, add the cilantro - give it a quick stir for about 15 seconds (not more than that - else the cilantro will turn brittle), and add the beaten sour cream. Turn the flame down, let it simmer for a minute, and then add the brinjal. This is a version of Begun bhaja that not too many Bengalees know of.

A note to Susmitadi:
Susd, I did not have the time to take your permission before publishing this, since I wrote it on an impulse. I hope you will treat it as a misdemeanor and not a violation.