Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Eggplant Parmesan

I tried making eggplant parmesan last week on Friday, and it was pretty simple, just a bit tedious. It turned out great and was delicious, comparable to what you get outside! Hubby made chicken parmesan the same way, and he loved it as well. Cant wait to make it again! :)

TIP: Put less salt for drenching the eggplant. It may become too salty.


1 medium eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds
salt to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
3/4 cup panko* (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 lb chilled fresh mozzarella (not unsalted), thinly sliced
basil leaves finely chopped for garnish
3 cups of marinara sauce(previous recipe)


Toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt in a colander set over a bowl, then let drain 30 minutes.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

Stir together flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow bowl. Lightly beat eggs in a second shallow bowl, then stir together panko and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a third shallow bowl.

Working with 1 slice at a time, dredge eggplant in flour, shaking off excess, then dip in egg, letting excess drip off, and dredge in panko until evenly coated. Transfer eggplant to sheets of wax paper, arranging slices in 1 layer.

Heat the olive oil in a deep 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then fry eggplant 4 slices at a time, turning over once, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer with tongs to paper towels to drain.

Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in bottom of a rectangular 3 1/2-quart (13- by 11- by 2-inch) baking dish. Arrange about one third of eggplant slices in 1 layer over sauce, overlapping slightly if necessary. Cover eggplant with about one third of remaining sauce and one third of mozzarella. Continue layering with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted and golden and sauce is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Garnish with chopped basil.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Marinara Sauce

I plan to make chicken parmesan for hubby and eggplant parmesan for myself, on this coming Friday, using the below marinara sauce recipe. This is the first time I am going to try making the eggplant parmesan, and the key is to make a good marinara sauce! This is Mario Batali's recipe, and it CANNOT go wrong ;) I made the marinara sauce yesterday and it has turned out pretty good !! Very Happy with the result ! :) Look out for the eggplant parmesan recipe next!


1 28 ounce can of whole and peeled tomatoes
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 cup chopped onions
11/2 carrots peeled and coarsely grated
11/2 tablepoons of thyme leaves chopped
3 tablespoons chopped basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


In a deep saucepan, at medium heat, add in the oil. After a minute, add in the garlic and the onions and saute till its translucent, about 7 minutes. Add in the thyme and the grated carrots and saute for about 5 minutes till the carrots are soft.

Now add in the whole can of tomatoes, and break the tomatoes with a fork or a masher till coarse. Add in the chopped basil, salt and pepper. Now let the mixture boil once, and then at low heat let it simmer for about 40 minutes till it reduces. Now with a hand blender, blend the sauce until it is coarse but not really smooth.

Let it cool on the side, and then you can store it in a container for about 2-3 days. OR freeze it upto a month.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bateta nu Shaak(potato veggie)

This is the first vegetable that I learnt to make as a kid when I was 9 years old from my mom:) I had my winter vacation from school, and I had the cooking kicks, and decided to make something new every day of the 2 week vacation! First recipe that I tried was bateta nu shaak. Didn't turn out good, ofcourse ;) But it does NOW :P Its every Gujarati's comfort vegetable, and it goes great with theplas. We used to have methi theplas with this vegetable, and Raj loves it too! How can one NOT like this vegetable, with the thepla combination!? YUM!!


4 medium potatoes peeled and diced into cubes
3 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon cumin
5-6 curry leaves
a pinch of asafoetida
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 green chilly finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon chilly powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 tomato finely chopped
salt to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
cilantro to garnish


In a deep pan, at medium heat, put in the vegetable oil, wait for a minute for it to heat up, and then add in the cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves. Let the seeds splatter, and then add in the garlic, and green chilly. Add in the potatoes and saute it for a minute. Then add in the water, and all the masalas like chilly powder, turmeric powder, coridander powder, garam masala, and salt and tomato, and let it cook until the water reduces to the level of the potatoes. The water helps the potatoes to cook and soften, and get the flavor from the masalas.

Insert a fork through a potato piece and it should be really soft and break easily, that is the consistency you are looking for.

Garnish this dish with chopped cilantro. And its ready to eat with rotis or theplas! :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mag nu Shaak(moong daal vegetable)

This was my family's favorite vegetable/daal( as we Gujaratis call it! ) with meetha dhebra( sweet rotis made with jaggery(gur) ) and some fried papad! Yum! It is very hearty and so comforting and filling. My kinda favorite comfort food. My mom used to make it the best(ofcourse!) and I still need to work on getting the meetha dhebra right, similar to my mom. Once I do get it right, I will upload the recipe! :)


3/4 cup small moong daal
2 cups water + 1 1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons vegetable oil OR ghee(clarified butter)
pinch of asafoetida
6-7 curry leaves
1 tomato finely chopped
2 big cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 green chilly, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon chilly powder(depending on how spicy you like it)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste


Soak the small moong daal in about 2 cups water and let it sit for about an hour. The daal should increase in size. Pressure cook the soaked moong, along with the remaining water from soaking + an additional cup of water. Give it about 6 whistles.

In a pan, at medium heat, put in the vegetable oil, put in the cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, garlic and green chilly. Let the seeds splatter. Now add in all the spices, including chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder. Now add in the pressure cooked moong, tomatoes, sugar, lemon juice, salt to taste and let it cook for about 10 minutes till it boils.

You could eat it this with rice and yogurt, or with rotis. For eating with rotis, let the consistency be a little thick. You dont want too much water remaining in the daal. Enjoy!! :)