Friday, January 21, 2011

Weaving magic around the table......

Growing up in small town India was a lot of fun. You walked to school, your school friends were also your neighbors, you cycled on high streets(read main roads) without a care in the World, you created your own games, your dolls had names other than Barbie and the doll's wardrobe was courtesy your Mom. You also had lots and lots of unexpected guests. This was the pre- mobile phone era where even the penetration of landlines/STD booths was abysmally low. Guests would many a times drop in out of the blue and close to meal times. But Mom had a way of tackling these situations. She stayed calm and before we knew almost like a magician she would have added several more dishes to the daal- chawal menu. Her invisible wand produced the most delicious papads, pickles, chutneys, salads and raitas. Some/all of this on the table made it appear a lot more elaborate than it was initially intended to be.

When it came to raitas, the cucumber with tomato and onion was most common. However if there was less time or Mom decided to use the cucumber- tomato combo for the salad, then it would be dahi boondi as raita.

Accompaniments do play a big part in Indian cuisine. They help spice up the food, break the monotony of everyday menus and add immensely in terms of taste/flavor. All of this without too much additional time/effort.

Dahi Baigan(Brinjal in yoghurt) is a traditional Odiya dish, classified as raita/relish. It is a regular meal accompaniment in most Odiya households especially in the hot summer months. The brinjal and yoghurt combination gives it a really unusual taste and flavor.

Dahi Baigan

Brinjal: 2 medium sized brinjal( choose the bharta baigans as these do not have too many seeds)
Curd: 400 grams
Curry leaves: 10
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Corriander leaves: 1 tbsp
Sugar:1/4 tsp
Salt: To taste
Oil: 2 tsps


Cut the brinjal into length wise quarters (2 inch long pieces). Leave the skin on. Smear some salt and turmeric over it. Leave for a few minutes.

Heat the oil and shallow fry the brinjals till done. Keep them aside and allow them to cool.

Next, whip the curd with sugar and salt. Add the fried brinjal pieces to it.

Heat the kadai( use the same one on which you have fried the brinjals), fry curry leaves, mustard seeds and green chillies. Season the curd with the same.

Garnish with chopper corriander.

Note: It is important to keep the proportion of Brinjal to less than half of the quantity of curd.

You can make an easy dip with the leftover dahi baigan. Remove the baigan pieces, mash it in a blender/mixie. Add it back to the whipped curd. Sprinkle some chat masala. Use this to top plain crackers or serve it along with some potato chips.

Bon Apetit and Happy Cooking!

1 comment:

  1. I am not a baingan fan but good to get an insight into dahi baingan recipe....can win hubbys heart i think ;) and yes the magic of the old times weaves so beautifully on todays tables as well :)