Celebrity Chef Ritu Dalmia does not need any introduction, she is the diva of fusion cooking, I still remember when I first watched her show Traveling Diva aired on NDTV Good Times, I was so impressed with her take on Italian cuisine but that time I never even imagined in my wildest dreams that one day I will have autographed copy of her cookbook. For that, I must thank Archana for hosting Cooking In A Hurry Contest at her website (Archana’s Kitchen) and taddaaa!!! I won Ritu Dalmia’s latest cookbook – Diva Green.
Diva Green is the Pandora Box of vegetarian recipes, simple and humble vegetables turned into gourmet dishes just with the Midas touch by Ritu. The book has a whole range of starters, soups, entrees, and deserts create out of routine vegetables like eggplant, potato, carrot, beetroot, greens, and mushroom. Each recipe has a small story or incident narrated by Ritu, which makes each recipe more interesting and worth trying out.
In my cooking so far I have not experimented much with eggplants and with Diva Green sharing so many fabulous recipes created using eggplant like Chilled Eggplant Gazpacho, Marinated Eggplant Sandwich, Melanzane Sotto’olio or Mrs. M’s Baby Eggplants. Mrs. M is a Kannada married to a Sindhi, and her food has slight influences of both the cultures. This fact is quite close to my cooking skills too as I am also married into a different community and after marriage, my cooking is very much influenced by best of both the cultures.
Baby Eggplant Recipe
- 55 g small round eggplants slit lengthwise
- 50 g chana daal
- ½ Tbsp urad daal
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp dry mango powder
- 4 dry red chillies
- Salt as per taste
- Oil for deep frying
Ingredients for Garnish
- A handful of curry leaves deep fried
- Chopped coriander leaves
- Deep fry the eggplants in small batches. Transfer them onto a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Season with salt and keep aside.
- In a wok, add both type of lentils, cumin seeds, mango powder, salt and dry red chillies. Dry roast the mixture over medium heat for a few minutes till it becomes a nice brown colour.
- Whiz the mixture in the grinder for a few seconds till it becomes a coarse powder.
- In the same wok, arrange fried eggplants, flesh side down, and add the spice powder till all the pieces are nicely coated on the skin side.
- Cover the wok, reduce the heat and cook the eggplant for few minutes.
- Remove the cover, sprinkle it with little water, mix it well and cover again.
- Repeat this one more time. The total cooking time of eggplant and spices should be around 10 minutes.
- Serve with fried curry leaves and a generous sprinkling of chopped coriander leaves.