Here is another Sikkimese vegetable called Beeh in local language and actually a species of Brinjal family. The size is like Cherry tomatoes, few of them bigger but generally a miniature Brinjal. Inside it looks exactly like a brinjal with seeds and the taste is a little bitter, as I was told by the vegetables vendors. I was skeptical how a bitter Brinjal would taste but bought a bagful of this vegetable too as I wanted to taste it. Stir fry it with some onion and tomatoes, I was instructed and I followed instructions for the first recipe that I tried with it. Will talk about the second one later. It was a Thai style curry very predictably :-)
Here is the Beeh on sale along with another species of Brinjal with a decorative purple green crown. I am yet to know a vernacular name of this vegetable. Please share if you know.
The cooked stir fry had just a hint of bitterness as the sweetness of onions and tartness of tomatoes balanced the flavors, but it didn't taste like Brinjal. It is altogether a different vegetable in taste. I liked the taste and would buy it whenever I spot it anywhere.
ingredients of the stir fry as instructed by the vegetable seller..
Beeh halved and sliced thinly 200 gm
slice baby onions 50 gm
sliced tomatoes 100 gm
dallae khorsani (round sikkimese chilly) finely chopped 1 (it's hot)
mustard oil 1 tbsp
salt to taste
Heat oil in a pan and tip in the sliced onion and chopped chilly. Add salt to taste and fry till the onions are translucent.
Add the sliced Beeh and keep stirring and cooking uncovered till they wilt and get lightly caramelised. They would reduce in quantity and the color would change.
Add the sliced tomatoes , mix well and cover and cook for about 5 minutes on low flame. Uncover, mix well and let it cook till dryish.
Serve hot with chapatis or as a side dish for a spread.
I would like it as a pasta sauce as well, would use Olive oil when cooking it for pasta. It's not very creamy but soft and flavorful to envelope glutenous pasta, especially any firm tube pasta like macaroni or penne.
Tasting new vegetables always interests me and I am surprised by the bounty nature provides us with. As I always say, there is no dearth of taste on earth, we need to look beyond the combination of flour butter and sugar. Nature surprises us with all it's shades.
Stay tuned for more taste of Sikkim.