Friday, March 07, 2008

Vegetable of the Week - Brinjal - starter

Almost a year ago I posted the following dish - spicy chickpeas in eggplant purse. I really love this recipe and always look for another chance to use it. So lucky Pooja at My Creative Ideas, the founder of Vegetable of the Week, announced that brinjal is the vegetable for the March VoW, great stuff worths an encore! And thank you Asha for her fabulous chickpea recipe! And you, what are you waiting for? Please come and join us for VoW celebration!

These chickpeas are cooked in Pakistan style, the original recipe is called Lahori Choley shared by our great cook Asha at her blog Foodie Hope. Asha's recipes never fail to impress me, one more bonus to this recipe - really simple to make!
Since I aimed at making a salad dish, I skipped very few spices and cut down the heat (less hot chili) in the chickpeas filling, but it's still choke-full 'o spice with a bit of tomato-y and fruity flavor kicking in. About getting that creamy texture without adding cream, the trick is to mash some chickpeas and add them into the sauce. Thanks Asha to take good care of our waistline :D

Recipe: (yield: 10 "purses", or 2 servings as light lunch)
  • 1 big glossy eggplant, slice 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinse and drained
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbp tomato paste
  • spoonfuls tomato sauce
  • 1 big pod of tamarind* (original recipe calls for dry mango powder)
  • 1/4 turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seed powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seed, crushed
  • 1 tsp garam marsala
  • paprika to taste
  • some scallions
  • some cherry tomatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper


Preparation work:

  • If you use tamarind, crack the pod and soak the pulp in 1/2 cup of hot-warm water for 30 minute. Throw away the seed but save the pulp and liquid
  • Soak the sliced eggplant in a big pot of tap water, add in 1 tablespoon of salt, for 30 minutes... in order to release the brown (bitter) juice from the eggplant.

Cooking the chickpeas:

*adapted from Asha's Lahori Choley *

  • Take out about 30% of the chickpeas, mash them and set aside.
  • Pre-heat a medium-size skillet, dry roast cumin and coriander powder over very low heat for a minute. And put them aside.
  • Use the same pan, heat some oil, saute the onion for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, fry over low heat for 1 minute, then add tomato paste fry for another minute. Add whole chickpeas, cumin, coriander powder, garam marsala, turmeric and paprika, saute anther 3 minutes over medium heat. Add mashed peas, tamarind pulp plus its juice, and tomato sauce as needed, bring the whole thing to boil, then lower the heat let it simmer for 2 - 3 minutes. Taste and season. Scoop the chickpeas in a big bowl and let them cool off.

Grill eggplant & assemble the "purses"

  • Pre-heat the grill, brush oil, grill eggplant over medium to medium-high heat, take about 2 minutes on each side.
  • In a small pot bring some water to boil, blanch the scallion for 5 seconds or so, drain immediately. Set them aside.
  • On a slice of eggplant spoon in some chickpea mixture, curl up the sides of eggplant and tight it with scallion.
  • Place halved cherry tomatoes on a serving plate, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the eggplant "purses" on top to serve.



MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

That would be worth waiting a very long time and worth writing home about! Gorgeous!

Mandy said...

gorgeous pictures, as always! :) Thanks for the heads up, Gattina. I love brinjal/eggplant and already know what I am going to make for the event!

Vineela said...

Hi Gattina,
Love your vegetable platter.
Excellent photos.
Lahori choley tastes really great right?

Ginny said...

Beautiful pictures! I love this idea and the presentation! Thanks!

Unknown said...

These sound pretty tasty! Great photos and presentation!

Anonymous said...

Wow....delicious looking recipe!!! Lovely pics .... the dish looks very tempting.

chriesi said...

Oh that is great. Thanks to your post I also participate. :)

Pooja said...

It is really nice of you Gattina to repost this lovely dish for VoW. Pictures are so beautiful , i just kept it starring for a while, I showed it to hubby too . you are a highly creative lady with great sense for food presentation , and I am more than happy to get this lovley entry from you .
Hugs to you.

Chris said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely! Eggplant, chickpeas, tomato sauce. Woohoo! And, I just bought coriander seeds...too many for just me. Glad to have this recipe to try!

Unknown said...

hi Gattina!!lovely presentation of the your blog:)

toro said...

Hi,I am Japanese, but the translation read.
Just read the hungry.
I also mainly sweets recipes written blog.
I would like to exchange information with each other.
Because of the link to your blog.
If you would like, my blog also links please.