Thursday, September 3, 2009

How Dry I am

Yesterday I posted a recipe that is considered a "wet" Vegetarian dish. So if the cauliflower is considered wet than what might you ask is "dry"? Dry is anything that has less of a liquid sauce, more of a thick sauce that clings to the vegetables, or many times spices and seasonings that roast onto them.
I still had eggplants in the fridge from the Farmers Market and also some of those cunning little potatoes that are so tiny they can't possibly have any calories. So I decided to whip up a nice eggplant and potato dish in a yogurt coconut cream. At first blush this doesn't sound very dry, but the sauce thickens and clings to the vegetables forming a "dry " dish. Either way when it was finally on the plate we found we didn't even want or need the chicken I'd also prepared. One or two of these vegetable dishes and a chapatti or two, a bowl of rice or dal and that's all she wrote.
I'll give you my adaptation of this traditional temple dish from Yamuna Devi.

Start with:
1.) 1 small eggplant chop it into 1 inch cubes

2.) Steam the eggplant about 15 minutes
While it is steaming
In a food processor or blender mix together
3.) 2 long serrano chilies seeded and cut in pieces
4.) 1/3 cup of plain yogurt
5.) a 1 inch piece of peeled chopped fresh ginger
6.) 1/4 cup of dried unsweetened coconut
Grind it all up.

Cut 3 or 4 little unpeeled fingerling potatoes into thin rounds.

In a skillet or karhai heat 2 Tbs of unsalted butter or ghee and 2 Tbs of vegetable oil.
When the oil is hot toss in
6.) 1 tsp of brown mustard seeds
7.) 1/2 Tbs of cumin seeds
8.) 8 or 10 fresh curry leaves if you don't have any

When the seeds start to sizzle and pop add in your potato rounds, stir fry them for about 4 minutes.

8.) add in your yogurt mixture
9.) 1 Tbs of ground coriander
10.) 1 tsp of turmeric
11.) 1 1/4 tsp. of salt.
12.) 2 Tbs of finely chopped fresh cilantro
13.) and the steamed eggplant

Stir it all up, the sauce will thicken and cling to the potatoes and eggplant, cook it for about another 5 to 10 minutes, till the potatoes are soft.
14.) add in 2 Tbs of lemon juice and another 2 Tbs of fresh chopped cilantro and serve.
When done it almost resembles a thick warm Indian style eggplant potato salad.

As I said earlier this dish is amazing and quite the scene stealer all on it's own. Sitting in the dining tent on our deck with the warm wind coming in off the vineyard my husband said it really reminded him of eating similar dishes traveling in India years ago. What better compliment for a hot Indian summer afternoon in Wine Country.


  1. This seems to be really a great way to celebrate the warm summer :). You can also try it without using the potatoes and grinding the mustard seeds along with the other ingredients in the blender.

  2. thanks for the tip! it's been so hot out here.I just made paneer cheese for the first time today.



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