brinjal pickle hummus

Brinjal Pickle HummusBrinjal Pickle Hummus

things i don’t like right now:
the cold
my hair length, it’s that in-between thing
doing dishes
bad internet connection
coffee creamer saying it’s non-dairy
but closer look at the ingredients list lists milk.
the ravens not making the superbowl

things i like right now:
not having cable
watching mpt/pbs/bbc
burt’s bee’s skincare line
blooming cyclamens
this taytay mashup
smothering my superbowl disappointment with dip two dips
one dip is usually fine,
but two makes it all the more bearable

Brinjal Pickle Hummus

brinjal pickle hummus – vegan & gluten free
brinjal pickle adapted from the Splendid Table
basic hummus adapted from Ottenlenghi’s Jerusalem
, click on link for full ingredients or purchase the book for instructions. Or, use your own fave hummus recipe, but for the love of gawd, don’t add olive oil!

note about the brinjal: original recipe calls to store in jars in dark corner and ignore for a month before consuming. that’s not happening, we’ll likely finish this batch in a week. it also says can be ignored, unopened for MONTHS and once opened can be kept in fridge for at least 2-3 months. we might test that. in the meantime, we’ll add it to our hummus or eat as a side along with rice.

brinjal pickle:
2 lbs indian eggplants, trimmed & cubed
2 TBL salt
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2″ knob of fresh ginger, minced
2 red peppers, seeded and diced
1 generous TBL tamarind paste
1 cup vinegar
5 generous TBL light brown sugar

place cubed eggplant into colander in sink and sprinkle with salt. ignore for an hour as the eggplants supposedly releases its bitter juices.

toast cumin, coriander, fenugreek, and fennel seeds in dry frying pan. when warmed through and fragrant, grind in mortar & pestle (or as dw would’ve preferred, in a spice grinder). when finely ground, add in the cinnamon stick, ground tumeric and mustard seed, ignore until needed.

rinse eggplant and pat dry. or like me, ignore for awhile until sufficiently dry.

in batches (i did it in two) fry up eggplant cubes in oil, add more oil as needed. brown and soften.

when done, remove eggplant and set aside. heat remaining oil and saute onion, garlic, ginger and red pepper over medium high heat, until soft. add in ground spices, mix through, then add in the tamarind paste and brown sugar. finally put the eggplant back into pan and mix it thoroughly. last, pour the vinegar over the mixture and simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until very tender. some pieces will be mush, don’t be alarmed.

taste for seasoning. cool completely before storing in clean jars.

to assemble the dip, take the hummus out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes, to soften.

in a food processor ladle two generous scoops of the brinjal pickle and pulse. i like a chunky texture but i wanted to break down the brinjal a little.

the point is to add these two dips together. dw likes it all mixed together, i like some division, it’s up to you. serve with pita chips, veg sticks, or as a spread.


Brinjal Pickle Hummus

other dippy dips and appetizers:
za’atar socca + middle eastern smashed avocado – vegan & gluten free
mango pomegranate guacamole – vegan & gluten free
homemade lactose free ricotta cheese
green tomato & mint chutney – vegan and gluten free
roasted bone marrow

chicken masala

Chicken Masala

it’s not yet autumn
but i suppose it’s unofficially fall,
what with school already started,
the daily commute with the added 10 minutes
due to kids ambling with textbook laden backpacks
and yellow school buses dotting the neighborhoods
the ac has been turned off at night
as the temperatures dip into the delicious 60s,
our windows flung open to cool the abode
only to be shut the moment i open my eyes from slumber
as i haul ass to shower in the morning,
shivering and silently lamenting the passing of summer
already the trees are shedding their leaves
the morning is darker still when i rise

these are dw’s months
autumn is his favorite season
you can tell a lot about a person
by what their favorite season is
i like the summer months
hot and heady and sweaty and messy
golden days with humidity to exhaust even the staunchest
and healthiest of beasts
(i’ll leave it to you to figure out what kind of person
i am with that description!)
but man, when september hits,
leading into october
the air has a crunch of apples
and cinnamon breezes,
cool to the skin but warming to the core
fall makes me feel drowsy
but frantic all the same
i am holding out for an indian summer
desperate for july & august
whilst trying to bask in what the coming days could bring

and what is coming in these days
are stews and soups
and hearty one pot dishes
that require ingredients thrown into a pot
set on low
and simmered all the long day

if you can’t tell
i’ve been on an indian kick lately
(truth be told, i’d make afghani food if i could
find a reputable cookbook or blogger,
that cuisine is so underrated)

for this dish,
amrita says you must have this recipe in your life
i completely and wholeheartedly agree
i started the process saturday night
cooked it on sunday
and as i’m typing this, wednesday,
i have one portion left for lunch

Chicken Masala

chicken masala
adapted from the subjectivist

*note: we (i mean, dw) chopped an entire bird. we get our poultry from a local farm every two weeks and i will tell you, this past summer with this csa has been an exercise in coming up with interesting chicken recipes. i wanted to make use of every part of the chicken, with bones. i can’t imagine not having bone-in. i’m just saying.
**note: i completely and utterly forgot to add chili. i know. so there was no heat but it was still incredibly good. also, i like my chicken to fall off the bone tender so i cooked it on low for longer than amrita’s version.

1 whole, organic grass fed chicken, about 3-4lbs, chopped with bone in

for the marinade:
1 black cardamom pod
half cinnamon stick
1 tsp nutmeg (i don’t have whole pieces of the stuff)
2 tsp of fennel seeds
3-4 cloves
3 TBL of white vinegar
1 tsp of ground turmeric

2 large tomatoes
2 TBL vegetable oil
2 large cloves of garlic
1 large red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup of coconut creamer (i use So Delicious)

in a frying pan, dry toast the black cardamom pod, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, fennel seeds, and cloves. don’t get crazy and burn it. add mixture to a spice grinder, again don’t get crazy, you’re not going for a powder, just a slighlty coarse-fine mix is good (i know, it’s confusing, go for in btwn the two textures.) add to big bowl with vinegar and turmeric. then add in the chicken pieces, you want to coat the pieces well. cover with plastic wrap and leave in fridge overnight.

next day: take the chicken out of the fridge an hour before starting the whole cooking thing. you want the chill to be off the meat/bones prior to adding it to the hot pan.

on the stove bring a pot of water to boiling. criss cross cut the butt ends of the two tomatoes, add to the water and cook for about 5 minutes. you want the tomatoes to be just submerged in the water. remove the tomatoes and put into blender/vitamix. reserve 1/2 cup of the water, discarding the rest. blitz the tomatoes, skin included, into a puree.

meanwhile, in the same pot, add a bit of oil and saute the garlic and onion slices. season with salt & pepper, and cook until nice & brown. remove from heat and grab the mixture of onions & garlic to add to the blender/vitamix. blitz with the tomato puree.

using the same pot, that will have residual oil (add more if you need) brown the chicken pieces. you may have to do it in batches. don’t crowd the pot. when done, lower the heat, throw all the browned chicken pieces back into the pot, add the tomato/onion/garlic puree, along with the reserved 1/2 cup of water. simmer on low heat. add in the coconut creamer, mix, ignore for anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour. season to taste. per the original recipe, this is a slightly dryer dish. i will admit to missing the gravy.

serve with naan.
it’s great the day of, but even better the ensuing days.

serves 6 – calories: 62 | total fat: 5g | saturdate fat: 0.5g | sodium: 90.1mg | total carbs” 3.9g | dietary fiber: 1.1g | sugars: 1.7g | protein: 0.7g

Chicken Masala

other indian inspired dishes:
morestomach blog – coconut egg curry
morestomach blog – vegan indian feast
bon appetit hon – butter chicken
manger – butter chicken + peshawari naan

vegan indian feast

Vegan Indian Feast

last week dw & i went on a Road Trip
to upstate New York,
to Rochester,
for his high school reunion
the thing about seeing where
the love of my life went to school,
the streets he ambled on,
(just kidding, the man doesn’t amble)
the little pizza store he used to
order from that got robbed,
is that i got to meet the him Before,
the him before we met,
and my opinion of him was re-enforced,
the man i’m officially (and legally)
binding my heart to is a good guy
he is sincere
he is the salt of the earth
he is so funny
and he can be so g h e t t o sometimes,
dropping old-school rap lyrics
at a moment’s notice,
which just tickles me so much

during our 4 day stay up there
we dined on indian twice
i will admit to
being in absolute AWE
that these small ethnic establishments
meticulously indicated what ingredients they used,
if it was merely vegetarian,
or specifically vegan
they scored major points with
me in that regard, and
it made me so incredibly annoyed
with the places we have here further south
that do not pay that kind of attention

anyway, despite having had indian
so recently
i was inspired to try my hand
at making a few of the dishes i tried
i will admit that the flavorings
were not as bold,
i had a light hand on spices
and spiciness levels
and my naan making skills could
use some practice
but dw, being the good guy that he is
devoured everything
the daal, or lentil stew,
will probably be a staple for us
as the weather cools
eggplants are in season now,
as are tomatoes, although i suppose
canned tomatoes could work in a
the flavorings
were all the better the next day
as leftovers

Vegan Indian Feast

peshawari naan
adapted from manger

2 cups sifted spelt plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp active yeast
1 tsp sugar
½ cup coconut milk, lukewarm (the drinking variety, not the canned stuff)
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp olive oil, for brushing over the naan before serving

Filling: 2/3 cups mixture of dried coconut, chopped raisins and handful of sunflower seeds

in a small bowl, mix milk, active yeast and oil together, leave for a few minutes while the yeast is activated

sift flour into a large bowl. add salt, sugar, baking powder and mix well.add the liquid ingredients and start mixing the dough with a fork or a dough whisk. dump mixture on the counter and knead for about 10 minutes, or until you get a soft dough. shape into a ball, lightly oil and put back into the bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.

when ready, preheat oven to 450F.

divide the dough into 6 balls, cover, leave to rise in a warm place for a another 15 minutes.

on a lightly floured surface, roll the balls to a small palm-sized circle, add a tbsp of nut mixture in the center, wetting the edges with some water. fold the circles in half. roll again to an oval shape, so all the nut mixture gets spread out in the naan. place the naans on a hot pre-heated baking tray, and bake for about 5 minutes, until they puff and have a few brown patches.

when ready, brush naans with olive oil. serve immediately.

yields: 6 medium naans, serves 6, or 3 per person… – calories: 165 | total fat: 0.5g | saturated fat: 0.2g | sodium: 248g | total carbs: 34.6g | dietary fiber: 1.7g | sugars: 2g | protein: 4.8g

red lentil curry
adapted from Real Simple

splash of canola oil
2 TBL chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
half red onion chopped
1 TBL curry powder
4 medium carrots, chopped
1 large potato, cubed
1 cup red lentils (soaked overnight)
4 cups water
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

in a pot heat up the oil and add in the ginger, garlic & onions. saute until fragrant and softened. stir in the curry powder, coating the mixture well. next, throw in the carrots, potato cubes and lentils, stirring the pot to warm all the ingredients through. at this point, season with salt & pepper. pour in the water, bring to a boil and then a low simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the veggies are soft.

serve with naan

serves 6 – calories: 374 | fat: 11g | saturated fat: 1g | cholesterol: 5mg | sodium: 549mg | protein: 19g | total carbs: 50g | sugar: 7g | fiber: 6g | iron: 3mg | calcium: 78mg

Vegan Indian Feast

baingan bharta
adapted from sinfully spicy, recipe found here

1 large eggplant
some oil to rub over the eggplant
3 TBL olive oil
1 cup chopped red onions
1″ fresh ginger root, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh tomatoes, rough chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 whole dried red chilies
1/2 tsp garam masala
Salt, to taste p

reheat oven to 325F wash and dry eggplant, cut in half length-wise. rub with oil. when oven is warm, put eggplant cut side down onto cookie sheet. roast for about 30 minutes. the goal is to soften the flesh and have it pull from the skin.

meanwhile, in a mortar & pestle, grind the coriander seeds and dried red chilis. set aside. remove the eggplant from oven, allow to cool. when easy to handle, peel off the skin. you can remove seeds if you’d like. using a fork, mash or tear the flesh. set aside.

in a pan heat up the olive oil. add the chopped onions, sauteing until translucent. add in the chopped ginger and minced garlic, until super fragrant. add in the coriander & red chili mixture, mix well. finally, add in the tomatoes, until mixture has softened. at this point, i season with salt & pepper to taste. add in the mashed eggplant and mix thoroughly, again season to taste. remove from heat, add in the garam masala. bam.

serves 4 – calories: 124 | total fat: 11.2g | saturated fat: 1.8g | cholesterol: 1.3mg | sodium: 278mg | total carbs: 5.7g | dietary fiber: 1.2g | sugars: 2.8g | protein: 1.3g

Vegan Indian Feast

coconut egg curry

Coconut Egg Curry

incidentally when i think of Indian food
i think of Ethiopia.
when we lived in addis ababa
there were only two restaurants
we frequented:
an italian cafe that boasted
the most impeccable service
and an Indian place
where i had my first ever taste of

Indian food also makes me think
of a Bangladeshi boy who used to leave
me love poems in my locker.
we always ran into him and his family
when we dined at the Indian joint.

since africa
(a place i still dream of)
my experience with Indian food
has been a love/hate battle.
the harmony between spices
and ingredients
perfectly balanced with
rice or
but is just havoc on my system,
particularly if butter or cheese
plays heavily in the dish.

Coconut Egg Curry

this dish, for me,
is a godsend
i love eggs,
in any form
and while it does play a
minor role against the heavy
punches of cardamon and even cinnamon
i am appeased
because hello
Indian food at home is the best

just a note,
i have attempted two different
one from the beautiful Journey Kitchen
that was lovely
but the one i feature today is from playful cooking
which really satiated my cravings

Coconut Egg Curry

also, the recipe calls for
unsweetened coconut flakes
yeah, i couldn’t find the unsweetened
stuff in my pantry
so sweetened went in
it wasn’t cloyingly saccharine
but i would imagine the
dish could do without the
added sugar

just so you know,
again, we lived in Africa for just under
two years, i was only in
8th & 9th grade,
and always heavily chaperoned
on the rare occasions i would
venture out of the compound
i barely remember my time there,
i can only recall the
loveliness of the landscape
the cold climate living in Mt. Entoto‘s shadows
the quiet dignity of ethiopians

Coconut Egg Curry