Tuesday, December 29, 2009

banana heart for an oil starved pakoda...

Banana blossoms are so beautiful to look at...deep pink fleshy petals enveloping the miniature fruits inside....layer after layer ...see this picture at wiki.. and you'd know what i am talking about....somehow i could not click pictures of the whole blossom and got to clean it as soon as i settled with it.......

 The tiny bananas inside are the ones who were not meant for ripening....yes , the whole huge bunch of bananas is cut off from the plant ( not a tree) with the blossom on top ( actually placed downward as the banana bunch is pendulous) still attached to it......don't you feel it is meant for a few savory delicacies.....it is called mocha in bengali n it is due to influence of some bong friends that i started cooking with it..............so when i saw these beautiful banana blossoms here in Delhi , i just grabbed one to make a few favorites with it........it turned out the other way though as i ended up making something else.....have to go find some more of these.........

As wiki says they are somewhat similar to the artichoke hearts and that was a good news for me............i have been so charmed by those artichokes as i see numerous recipes in different blogs......... this information was valuable for me as now i can replace them with our very own banana hearts...the inner part of the banana blossom is used as it is ...without cleaning ....that is without removing the fleshy petal and then the hard stalk from the floret inside...there are many blog posts showing how to clean banana flowers so i did not click those pictures for here............the inner 3 inch cone is called banana heart and that is the part i have used here for this pakoda....the taste and texture is quite meaty and can be a good meat alternative for kebabs too........that's what i intended to make but a sudden demand of pakode with our evening masala chai prompted me to make this recipe.........i am glad i did.........

Making the pakoda was a quick exercise as i made the masala tea on the other side of my gas stove ...just chopped the banana heart in fine shreds , about a cup....a cup of chopped green coriander, a very small red onion chopped , a few chopped green chillies and some grated ginger root , half a tsp of cumin powder and half a tsp of my special garam masala powder , salt n pepper and about a tbsp of besan or chickpea flour......all of these were mixed together without using water and in the mean time my cast iron kadai was heating and waiting for the pakoda to be spread.........if it looks too dry wait for  a minute after mixing , it will bind loosely to be made into a pakoda.........you may want to deep fry it but shallow frying works better in my case.........

Heat a tsp of oil in a kadai and flatten the pakoda mix onto it...let it brown and flip to brow on the other side too adding another tsp of oil...........2 tsp of oil will be enough for a flat pakoda for two............

The flavors of this pakoda were just awesome.......while onion lends a sweet crunch , the green coriander makes it truly aromatic along with strong notes of cumin and garam masala........the banana heart tastes very meaty as i told earlier and we wanted more of it....even the fibrous feel was there making it meatier........so if you are making it for more people you may need to use 3-4 banana hearts.......this oil starved pakoda is a term given by another dear foodie friend and i used this name as my title this time........well justified i think........what do you think??

For western foodie friends it is more like a flapjack or a hash brown.........only healthier ...tell me if it is !!

A yummy banana flower curry with peas is on it's way...stay tuned !!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

pasta with mushrooms and spinach

Think about your comfort food and you see many images .....and all images of food are almost white in color
( apart from chocolates off course ) ...all high carb food ...are you thinking of pasta often when you are in distress...

hmm...tricky situation as it does not go with your resolution to eat less carbs ( for me less simple carbs .....complex carbs are okay )....choosing whole wheat pasta is good and combining it with seasonal vegetable is so sensible ....has to be tasty too.....

A simple pasta , especially spaghetti tossed with some hot chilly oil is my favorite and when i make it healthier i add a few veggies of my choice to it........this time i was missing the sun dried tomatoes as they taste so yummy with combination of veggies.....( i use homemade n it has been ages since i made some , i am not buying a bottle of it this thinking i'll make it soon , 2 kilos of thick flesh tomatoes are waiting for their luck )....
the cheery tomatoes were good too but the chewy rich taste was missed terribly.......anyway it was a quick unplanned Sunday lunch ...a feelgood lunch.....


pasta of any shape , preferably tubular 1.5 cup unboiled

button mushrooms 200 gm, chopped in quarters ( any fresh mushrooms of your choice will be great )
spinach leaves ..i used 15 large leaves torn into pieces , baby spinach will be great 1-2 cups loosely packed
cherry tomatoes 10 , halved or quartered
shallots 3-4 chopped lengthwise 
garlic chopped 1 tbsp ( to taste )
red chilly flakes 1 tbsp ( to taste )
salt to taste
butter 1 tsp
extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp
sundried tomatoes 2-3 tbsp ( optional)


Boil the pasta as per instructions ...till al dante'......

Heat butter in a pan n add the chopped garlic even before the butter melts ( otherwise the butter may burn ) ....do not brown the garlic n just let it become soft ..

Add the olive oil ( i add olive oil later as heating the EVOO should be avoided as much as possible ) and quickly throw in the red chilly flakes too...stir to mix..

Just when the chilly flakes are aromatic (and not causing sneezing ), put in the chopped shallots and chopped mushrooms too...salt is added at this point too.....stir fry till the mushrooms and shallots get a bit translucent , n coated well with the chilly oil ...see them smoking in my kadai....

Now add the spinach leaves and toss to mix...throw in the cherry tomatoes and toss to let the cook ....do not let them disintegrate , just wrinkled and juicy cherry tomatoes is what we are aiming for....

This is the time to add the boiled pasta ....give everything a good toss and it's ready....if you are using sun dried tomatoes chop the and add them before the spinach n cherry tomatoes....they will soak up all the liquid released by spinach n cherry tomatoes...yummy..... 

The end result gets some saucy liquid due to EVOO and liquids oozing out from tomatoes n mushrooms both......the coating sauce which is obviously colorless , is so yummy that i could not resist myself from licking the kadai after emptying it...:)

Do not chop the spinach leaves finely as the whole leaves or torn in large pieces looks great for this n it's taste does not mask the individual taste of mushrooms n tomatoes.....and the tomatoes are like a burst of juiciness whenever you take a morsel with them ....if you like this in your pasta you can use more of them...or the sundried tomatoes are so good with their chewy rich taste which i missed so much.......do use them n see the comfort food getting a healthy face lift......no cheese , did you notice ??

The recipe is not low fat , but you are eating good quality fats , overall this dish is high on antioxidants.......I don't mind spending some extra money on EVVO just for this recipe and my favorite hummus......

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

chickpeas and cauliflowers in a hot gravy..

We North Indians love our chhole in any form and considering their health benefits it should be used on a regular basis . Being vegetarians mostly ( we eat our meats but it is very occasional ,  not for health reasons though , we really like our veggies and lentils ) i cook black chickpeas or these white chickpeas many a times and being an absolute chatori ( closest English word for chatori i think is ...finger licking foodie ) i need my daals and chhole n rajma different every time......want to add a vegetable almost every time as i am saved from making another vegetable side dish ....:)

What exact word do you think will fit in for chatori??

This chhole with gobi is one such dish which will please your senses with the looks ( don't go by my awful photography ) , the aroma and the taste and this is not a punjabi chhole for your information .......... a southern makeover actually........chickpeas


chickpeas soaked overnight 2 cups
cauliflower florets 2 cups
ginger julienne 2 tbsp
coriander greens chopped 4-5 tbs
oil 1 tsp
tamarind extract 2 tbsp or to taste 

to be ground into a powder..
sesame seeds 1 tbsp
peanuts 1 tbsp
red chillies whole 4-5
coriander seeds 1 tbsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
cinnamon stick 1 inch piece
grated fresh coconut 2 tbsp
( i used 3 tbsp of coconut fiber , byproduct of making coconut oil)

roast everything separately and grind together to make a powder , or paste if you find it difficult..


Boil the chickpeas in a pressure cooker till really soft....they should get cracked after boiling ...

Heat oil in a pan and throw in the cauliflower florets and half of the ginger julienne  ... stir fry on low heat as the oil is less.....add salt and cook covered till done but crunchy .

Add the powder and stir to mix ...no need to fry further as the powder is previously roasted , mix the boiled chickpeas , rest of the ginger julienne, chopped coriander leaves and the tamarind extract ...adjust water if you want a gravy and let it come to boil.....it's ready just after a minute of boiling ...cover for a while before serving to get the flavors develop........

Serve hot with roti or paratha or rice...........multigrain roti for us...

Take a look at the garlic plants growing happily.........

Friday, December 18, 2009

bathua ka saag / a green dip with chenopodium leaves

Continuing the saga of saag (leafy greens),  I am here with another green leafy veggie, Bathua in Hindi and Bathu in Punjabi, Lamb's Quarter (Chenopodium album), this green has a very distinctive taste and becomes very creamy in texture when made into a paste.

We make bathua paratha, bathua raita and bathua kadhi with it but this simple recipe provides the most accentuated flavor of this green. Moreover, the leftovers can go for for a makeover the next day....read on...

bathua ka saag

Updating this post with pictures of bathua ka saag (Chenopodium greens) as there have been requests for a picture of bathua saag.

Bathua is very rich in minerals, Vitamin A and B complex and very good source of essential amino acids, most importantly in tryptophan see here  and here .

Healthy fats high fiber food is great but you need all you nutrients right?

Choose your ingredients wisely and you will never regret missing out on taste or nutrition. This has been my way of getting my everyday nourishment.

bathua ka saag

Bathua is rich in iron and calcium and if you get a recipe that is low on fat and tasty too, you know you can use it to your benefit till this green is in season. Most of my recipes on this blog are more ideas than recipes in fact as I convert some traditional ones into low fat ones or sometimes combine n cook some healthy vegetable in such a manner that they confirm to the low calories high fiber diet plans, without being limited to those salads and grasshopper smoothies. 

Having said that, this recipe may be compared to a grasshopper dip, if not a smoothie. But for your information it is a proper traditional recipe, belonging to the eastern part of UP. Much liked in my family and most of the times there is a bowl of this lying in the fridge as it keeps well like most green chutneys.

But it's not a chutny, though it is made like one. Boiled (microwaved here to avoid any juices being wasted ) bathua leaves are ground with garlic pods and green chilies and salt keeping their quantities as per your taste....

In the last a generous dash of mustard oil is added for a piquant twist, the MO can be replaced with EVVO but I recommend mustard oil strongly. Isn't it simple ??

bathua ka saag

We enjoy eating this with hot rice and radish slices most, but it can be enjoyed smeared on chapatis and rolled with some onion or radish slices. Let your imagination go wild with this chutney or dip or bathue ka saag as we call it.

As a dip it is so very good for khakhras. You can have it with nachos, mix it with boiled chickpeas or cubed fresh paneer and you low fat subzi is ready. Must have in the fridge I say.

In my last post I forgot to update the garlic greens ...sorry for that but here are the pictures...including the one intended for the last post....these are taken after an interval of tow days ....

Saying a big Hellooo to you all...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

alu sem matar ki subzi recipe | soya wali dal recipe or red lentil soup with dill leaves | making low fat high fiber meals

Winter greens and variety of vegetables are a boon to vegetarians.  There is so much to choose from a variety of beans, variety of greens, herbs are so fresh and in season, the root vegetables and the crucifers all tempting with new flavours of the season. 

alu sem matar ki subzi

Sem or flat beans are one such variety of beans that I love. When they are in season they are packed with maximum flavor and they are tender too. I like all kinds of beans and keep using them whichever is in season, even guar and bakla which many people hate with full vigour are favorites of mine. Having said that I am thinking if there is a veggie I do not like. I don't remember any.

The only thing is, each vegetable needs a different treatment and seasoning. Once you master that you never hate any vegetable on earth. Cooking is a life skill.

This post intends to suggest how the dal roti subzi meal can be low on fat and high on fiber even when you want to satiate your hunger to the fullest, making the dal a bit thinner than usual is a trick and adding some greens improves the fiber content. We like multigrain roti and a glass of thin buttermilk. 

I must add here that everyday I make a large bowl of salad, mostly without any dressing and keep that on the dining table, about half of that is consumed with lunch and the rest is munched away during the day afterward. It can be just anything. Like it was just radish n some iceberg lettuce yesterday and some radish, sprouted black gram and grapefruit segments today. It works for me as it keeps me away from mindless snacking. These radish slices dipped into Akhrot ki chutny is something you will love to snack on.

radish, sprouts and grapefruit salad

ingredients for alu sem matar ki subzi ...
(2-3 servings, eating a lot of this subzi is good)

flat beans or sem chopped 2 cups
potatoes chopped in small cubes 1/2 cup
shelled tender peas 1/2 cup
ginger chopped 1 tbsp
garlic chopped 1/2 tbsp
green chillies chopped finely 1 tbsp
green coriander leaves chopped 1 cup (optional)
cumin n black pepper powder 1 tsp each
turmeric powder 1 tsp
salt to taste
mustard oil 2 tsp

procedure for the subzi...

Heat oil in a kadai and throw in the ginger garlic n green chillies, let them fry for a few seconds and not to change the color, dunk in all the chopped vegetables and peas together, salt n pepper, cumin and turmeric powders in that order while stirring to mix, cover and cook on low heat till done.

The vegetables have to be cooked for about 4-5 minutes and they should be just cooked and not mushed up...

Throw in the chopped coriander leaves if using, mix well and put off the heat, keep covered for a minute and serve hot with dal roti or dal chawal or as a side dish for any meal combination.

The garlic in this dish is not fried much and remains soft and mushy till the end, this lends a very delicate flavor along with the tender peas (if you do not get tender green peas avoid using them for this recipe).

The generous amount of chopped coriander takes this subzi to another level and even if the subzi looks so simple it has a lot of flavors infused into it. With other types of beans it will taste very different and this recipe is a traditional eastern UP specialty and many families find it as an absolute winter favorite.

alu sem matar ki subzi

Sometimes a few brinjal cubes are added and that is a nice variation for this subzi. Adding more green coriander is the only tweak I have done and I find it really very good.

This soya or dill and red lentil preparation makes a very light n flavorful combination, almost like a soup. This is a traditional recipe too but I do not add a generous ghee tadka to it as I like the fresh dill flavor a lot so don't feel the need to add anymore flavors (or ghee) to it.

ingredients for the soya dal or red lentil and dill soup
red lentils or masoor dal 2 tbsp
soya or dill leaves chopped 1.5 cup
garlic chopped 1 tsp
green chillies chopped 2 tsp
lemon juice 1/2 tsp or whipped curd 2 tbsp
turmeric powder 1 tsp
salt to taste..
water 1.5 cup

soya wali dal / red lentil soup with dill

procedure for the dal..

Dunk everything together in a pressure cooker (except the lemon juice) and pressure cook for 5 minutes after the first whistle blows.

Let the pressure release on it's own, open the cooker and add lemon juice to finish. The dal is ready without any trace of oil or ghee and it's so fresh and flavorful with dill leaves that I like it as a standalone soup sometimes.

Any greens can be added to the dals and it can be made tasty by addition of spices or herbs, just think about your favorite flavors of the season and you will get a yummy dal to go with your lunch or as a standalone dinner soup.

Never compromise on the flavours and drop the 'cooking' fat a few times, add a little dab of butter or ghee on top for flavour and to balance the meal too. It works wonders.

I know for sure a few people will be happy to see this...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

poached eggs in spinach blanket ....n how i planted the garlic pods..

This simple recipe is for someone whose daughter wants a perfectly undisturbed egg yolk in a poached egg , many of us treat a double fry of eggs as poach too , just because the yolk is kept intact n not beaten like in an omelet ( my wild guess ....actually, poaching is done in water but fried ones are also called poach by a few people in this part of the world ) ...any way , what's in a name and this poached egg is actually a blanketed egg n hence no confusion of a name .:-)

It is mostly a quick snack for someone who refuses to grow up , so this recipe is fit for children , they can make it themselves ....and not get the yolk broken and eat 6-7 big leaves of spinach along with it....isn't it a healthy option.........

it's not much of a recipe actually , an idea of making it easily n quickly............

Just take a microwave safe bowl which can accommodate 2 eggs ( or as many as you intend to poach ) line the bowl with 6-7 big fresh spinach leaves and break the eggs in the center , sprinkle salt n pepper and a dash of EVVO ( or butter or it can be made absolutely fat free too ) , fold the spinach leaves to cover the eggs and then cover the bowl with a lid or a small glass or ceramic plate ....

microwave for 2 minutes , check if you wish to have runny center yolks .....adjust the cooking time according to how firm you want the yolks....we like it firm n 2 minutes is enough .......take out  , transfer to a plate if you have to take a picture :-)

Or enjoy in the same bowl.......herbs or cheese can be added as per choice .......

If it is for children , sprinkle cheese on the top and see how they smile and eat a healthy snack...it can be a meal too.....someone here is completely that type.......anything apart from daal - roti - subzi is a great meal for him....:-)

Owing to the queries about the garlic greens used in my last post , i planted a few garlic pods in a chipped bowl to keep on my window sill ......keep some garlic pods in a paper bag for a week n you will find them growing sprouts , now they will grow faster if planted but any garlic pods can be planted for this purpose......see how i just pushed them into loose soil and then watered a little to keep it moist ...i shall keep updating the growth to show how easy it is to grow them at home . Even if you do not get any direct sunlight , you can get small 3-4 inch babies out of them to be used in soups etc.

i love this bowl of mine as it has made my daughter smile for a long time n now it is going to bring a smile on many faces i am sure....a tiny sprout of one of the garlic pods is peeping through........to say hi..

Saturday, December 12, 2009

using green garlic for curry ... a mishmash of beans with the greens...

The star of this recipe is the green garlic...or the hara lasun , this is the young plant of garlic before it sets to become a bulb and the leaves are still green and edible...the bulb is less than the size of your thumb and the whole plant can be used for cooking  , a very flavorful chutny is made with the whole green garlic n green chillies and it is used in cooking some winter delicacies too...especially in the state of UP ....

This is different from garlic chives but can be a good substitute for them....though i am afraid , garlic chives cannot substitute garlic greens in this recipe ( a mix of garlic pods and garlic chives will be better if you don't get any garlic greens in your part of the world ) ...........green garlic is a seasonal green and i keep looking for it throughout the winters ... i make a yummy pickle with it which is lying in my drafts since last year n i promise to post that soon....that achar is so yummy n versatile , it can be used to make chutnys , salads n even curries apart from being a delicious green pickle looking like a coarse chutny...see the picture of achar...the pickled green garlic with ginger and dill.........isn't it delectable ???

The left one is made using dill leaves , garlic greens , ginger , green chillies and lemon , while the right one is made using dill, garlic greens , amla and green chillies...both of them are oil free and taste very fresh though these are the pictures of one year old pickle......still as yummy as fresh with any thing n everything...

The recipe today is a mix of seasonal winter veggies ...green peas , broad beans or sem , plantain and egg plants , it's very lowfat ..though it can be made fat free too but a mild flavor of mustard oil is pleasant and it is just a teaspoon for three large servings.........EVOO can be used as a substitute if you like....


green peas fresh or frozen 1 cup
sem or broad beans 300 gm ( cut in 1.5 inch pieces )
plantain or kaccha kela 1 no. ( cut in 2 cm thick slices)
small eggplants 2-3 nos. ( quartered )
garlic greens 3 nos.( bulbs and leaves )
coriander greens 100 gm 
green chillies 4-5 nos.
ginger 1.5 inch piece 
salt to taste
mustard oil 1 tsp


 Make a coarse paste of ginger , garlic greens , green chillies and green coriander and keep aside.

Tip in the green peas in the kadai first with half a cup of water n a pinch of salt , cover and cook for 3-4 minutes , till half done ...the time may vary according to how tender or mature the peas are...i used mature ones....

Add the cut beans , sliced plantain and eggplants  salt to taste , turmeric powder and cook covered for another couple of minutes...

Add the coarse paste of the greens mix well , add half a cup of water and mustard oil and cook covered on high heat ...stirring after every couple of minutes......after stirring it twice or so you will notice that the paste sticks to the base of the kadai ...this is the time to take the kadai off the flame.........mix well and keep covered for a while before serving .......

I made it in my cast iron kadai ( regular readers know my obsession with this kadai ) so i emptied the kadai just after cooking to avoid the curry from becoming further dark in color.....in the same kadai i added another teaspoon of mustard oil and roasted some quartered baby potatoes with salt to taste ( potatoes were microwaved previously to half cook them...parboiled potato fingers will be as good ) the paste sticking to the kadai was a good roasting flavor for the potatoes.........this was for someone who can't do without potatoes for long and was potato starved for a week .......he loved it...

All the vegetables used are so well coated with the paste and it's flavors that you get citrusy , earthy , garlicky flavors all at the same time, and yet the original taste of the veggies is not overpowered , each one retains it's identity , needless to say this is my favorite seasonal subzi which doubles up as a warm salad too .

 We liked it with multigrain rotis but it can be as good with dal chawal or as a side dish for a bigger spread........

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

glazed carrot salad with walnuts , sesame n lemon : desi style

I eat a lot of salads but it is mostly without any dressing ............ i chop some carrots , radishes, cucumbers , lettuce etc. in a big bowl every morning and keep it on the dining table ...the target is to finish it during the day....... it works for me this way , no extra oil , fat or salt is taken and you eat lots of greens and mindless snacking is curbed as i pick up a handful now n then and keep munching on them..........

But sometimes i make a proper dressed salad ( fat free mostly) or a warm salad , a honey glazed orange carrot is an oft repeated salad , the recipe will come here in future .... this time i made it with lemon as i am getting a lot of lemons from my garden and to make it truly desi i used jaggery for a caramelized glaze....it was yummy and i have repeated the recipe several times this season.....perfect for lunch....

ingredients ...

carrots sliced 3 cups
curly leaf lettuce 2-3 leaves torn
lemon juice 2 tbsp
jaggery crushed 1.5 tbsp ( can be replaced with molasses or brown sugar or honey )
sesame toasted 1 tbsp
walnuts a handful
freshly crushed pepper 1 tsp or a bit more
salt to taste
oil 1 tsp ( i used EVOO )


Toast sesame seeds till aromatic n popped up , i did it in microwave . Break walnuts into small pieces and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and tip the carrots in it , add salt and stirfry on medium heat till they change color but not cooked ( takes about 2 minutes), sprinkle the crushed jaggery , lemon juice and pepper powder and stir well on high heat now........the jaggery will get watery first and then it will coat the carrot pieces like caramel , glazing them ( takes another 2 minutes).........remove from heat.

To assemble , place torn lettuce leaves in the base of a plate or bowl , and place the glazed carrots in the center , sprinkle sesame seeds and walnuts ...mix them a bit ...some extra sesame seeds in each of the luttuce leaves will taste awesome.........

serve immediately .... wrap some carrot slices in the lettuce , folding in some of the nuts and see how it fills your senses with crunchy, nutty , lemony n caramel flavors.........i love it.....can have it for all meals of the day , seven days a week............that good... 

enjoy........all the omega 3's , the vitamin A and C.........don't forget the fiber........tasty way to stay fit..........

Friday, December 4, 2009

stuffed brinjals stir fried with fenugreek greens n ginger

I have always liked the hot n spicy rich gravies and hyderabadi waghara baingan is one of them , the dish is a rich and creamy gravy with stuffed brinjals , the flavors of this curry have been tempting me and i keep trying to bring those flavors into a light n healthy curry ....i make a low oil version without fenugreek leaves sometimes but the version with fresh fenugreek leaves does a complete makeover of the curry....you get those flavors in every morsel and yet feel that it's so different ....actually so much better than the waghara baingan in more ways than one.....especially if you are a methi lover....even if you don't like methi leaves you can make it without the greens n enjoy like a stuffed shallow fried dish.....

Flavors of the traditional cooking can be recreated in a healthier manner and if the recipe is simple , you can think of making it often.....as the traditional recipes are time consuming most of the times....purists may not agree with me but when the recipe cooked in a purist traditional way is something you cannot eat on a daily basis , it needs a makeover ..........i did this with hyderabadi waghara baingan n made it healthier and simpler.......low fat and high on fiber , the fat in the sesame seeds , coconut n peanuts is good fat and is negligible in amounts , more so , if you are adding fenugreek into it you know you are getting only the benefits..........


small eggplants or brinjals 6 nos.
fenugreek leaves 1 cup tightly packed
peanuts 1/2 tbsp
sesame seeds 1/2 tbsp
grated dry coconut 1/2 tbsp ( i used coconut fiber leftover after extracting oil from it )
whole red chillies 3-4 nos.
coriander seeds 1/2 tbsp
fresh thick extract of tamarind 1 tbsp or a bit more if you wish
thin julienne of fresh ginger root 1.5 tbsp ...it gives the curry a very sharp edge
salt to taste
oil 1 tsp


dry roast the sesame , peanuts , coriander seeds and red chillies till fragrant , i microwaved them all and made a bigger quantity .......powder them when cool ....it's a very fragrant powder n makes the base of the curry flavor here.....

 mix the tamarind extract n salt to this powder and stuff into the slit egg plants....reserve the remaining paste..

Heat oil in a kadai and place all the brinjals in a layer and cook till the lower side gets cooked n shiny...

now sprinkle all the ginger julienne and flip all the brinjals to cook them on the other side .......pour the remaining paste and cover with the fenugreek leaves and then put on lid ...open the lid after 2 minutes n you will see the fenugreek leaves have wilted.........

  turn over the mixture and let the fenugreek leaves go to the base of the kadai , let it cook on low heat all the while and stir after every minute (not very frequently , you will need to turn n toss only about three times) let it stick to the base of the kadai as it will make the curry more flavorful....scrape when needed ...it gets cooked very fast and the stir frying done after opening the lid is just to make the spice mix more aromatic...it's irresistible when you are cooking this.......

 Take out of the kadai and serve immediately ...we had it with multigrain chapatis but it can be a great side dish for get together too as it is easy to assemble and fast to cook....in that case , just layer everything in the kadai n cook at the time of serving ...total cooking time is about 5 minutes for this quantity ....

You wouldn't miss the flavors of the rich version of waghra baingan ( unless you want a gravy , in that case you can double the amount of the spice mix and add it with some water during cooking ) and i think it gets enhanced with the fenugreek leaves....many recipes require additional cashew nuts and many other spices but i think this simple mix works best to bring the flavor best.....you will know when you make this.......