Monthly Archives: February 2010

favourite thing

I love eggplant very much. I also love Indian food very much. Baingan bharta combines these two loves and is one of my favourite things to eat.

– 2 med eggplants

– 1 diced onion, 2-3 minced  garlic cloves and 1 tsp of minced ginger

– diced fresh red chiles (optional)

– 1 tsp each of red chili powder, tumeric, ground/crushed cumin seeds

– 2 tsp garam masala

– equivalent of 2 med tomatoes (I used canned but you could use fresh)

– approx 1/2 cup plain yogurt

– fresh coriander leaves and lime wedges for garnish

Preheat oven to 450F. Cut eggplants in half, rub with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place eggplant in oven and bake until skin is browned and flesh is totally softened. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet on medium high heat. Add onion and fry until beginning to soften, add garlic and all spices except for the garam masala. Lower heat to medium and fry stirring frequently, until onion is well softened and translucent but not browned (5-10 mins).

Meanwhile, scrape pulp from the eggplant and into a bowl. Mash it up a bit with a fork and set aside (I include some skin in here because I like it but it is optional).

Add chiles and either crushed or chopped tomatoes, fry and stir for a couple mins. Add yogurt and stir thoroughly.

Add eggplant and garam masala. Allow to cook for a while. You can cook it covered or uncovered if you’d like a thicker texture.

When serving stir in and/or garnish with fresh cilantro to your liking. I served the eggplant with a chickpea pulao, raita and mango pickle.



I made lamb tartare. It was crazy good and a lovely protein-y dinner. Just wing it re: amounts of stuff and taste as you go. Be confident. Don’t be scared. It will turn out great. Promise.

You will need:

– lamb loin (a good cut for tartares and/or carpaccios because it is lean and clean)

– fresh mint and chilies

– cornichons

– mustard of some kind (I used Grey Poupon)

– orange and lemon

– a great olive oil

– some nice sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

Chop lamb finely and put aside. Chop a little handful of mint leaves and cornichons and some de-seeded red chilies. Mince them all together. Add a reasonable amount to the lamb. Stir in a tablespoon or so of mustard. Squeeze in juice from the orange and lemon (I used 1/2 a blood orange and 1/2 a lemon). Season with salt and pepper and stir in some glugs of olive oil.

Taste it! Add more of whatever you feel is lacking. I used a lot of chilies but I like stuff hot.

We ate the tartare with some pickles from my canning experiment, a spinach and red onion salad and bright bottle of Sassella. Total success.