Eggplant Coconut Curry [Video]

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Vegan Eggplant Curry made by simmering sauteed eggplant in a spicy coconut gravy.

Vegan curry made with eggplant and coconut milk


It was today, 12 years ago that I stepped foot into the Corporate jungle. My first day at my first job. A job I had waited 1.5 years to join, a long wait. A special day in the life of a young Engineer. 

It was also special for another reason. It was the day I met Raj. We've known each other for 12 years, starting from that day. 12 years is a long time to know someone. You tend to learn every annoying little detail there is, every story has been told, there are no skeletons left in the cupboard. When I predict he will do something to the "T", he thinks I'm guessing, but I know him so well that I don't need to guess anymore. There is comfort in knowing someone so well, there is warmth in trusting a person so much.

These two feelings of comfort and warmth are echoed in today's curry. A good curry is like a warm hug from inside. It is supposed to make you feel at home, it is supposed to make you smile for no reason at all. It is supposed to make you feel like you are in your pajamas even when you are dressed to impress.  It is supposed to be something you cannot resist taking another helping of. This Eggplant Coconut Curry is all that, and more!

Vegan curry made with eggplant and coconut milk

This Eggplant Coconut Curry is made by first sauteing roughly diced eggplant in coconut oil until they are brown and soft. Then a gravy is made by adding coconut milk to sauteed onion and tomato puree. Spices, a lot of them are added to flavor the curry. The curry is finished off in true Indian style with a tempering or "tadka" of mustard seeds and curry leaves. Garnish with sliced almonds and the quintessential coriander leaves. You can use pine nuts or cashew nuts too. This is just an indulgent step and skipping it will not affect the flavor of your dish.

This curry is simple if you know your way around in the kitchen. If not, I have a quick video to help you out. This Eggplant Curry is vegan. It can be made gluten free by skipping the asafoetida. It can also be easily doubled or tripled and is perfect for a large family gathering. It requires barely any prep too.

The Eggplant Curry uses a mix of different spices like fennel powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala. If you don't have all of them, just use what you have, or use your favorite Indian spice blend or curry powder.

Serve the curry with roti, naan or jeera rice like I did.

Vegan curry made with eggplant and coconut milk

If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook, tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo #oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com. I'd love to see what you are upto. 

If you like this recipe, do not forget to share it with your friends and family! 

You can follow One Teaspoon Of Life on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and Google+ or you can subscribe to One Teaspoon Of Life and receive all the latest updated via Email





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Eggplant Coconut Curry


Vegan curry made with eggplant and coconut milkFlavorful curry made by simmering sauteed eggplant in a vegan gravy made with coconut milk and flavored with a mix of spices.

Recipe Type:  Main
Cuisine:            Indian
Prep Time:     10 minutes
Cook time:     30 minutes
Total time:     40 minutes
Yield:                Serves 2

Ingredients:


1 large Eggplant (bharta baingan)
1 cup Coconut Milk
1 large Onion
2 medium Tomato
1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 tbsp Fennel Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
0.5 tsp Turmeric Powder
0.5 tsp Garam Masala
A pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
0.5 tsp Mustard seeds
8-10 Curry leaves
Salt to taste
0.5 cup Water
Sliced almonds to garnish (Optional)
Handful of Coriander leaves

Method:


1. Dice the eggplant into small pieces.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil in a pan and add the diced eggplant.
3. Add salt to taste and saute the eggplant until it is cooked. Remove and keep aside.
4. Puree the onion and tomato separately.
5. Heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil in a pan and add the pureed onion.
6. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute until the onion browns slightly.
7. Add the pureed tomato and cook until the liquid evaporates.
8. Add all the spice powders and mix well.
9. Add 0.5 cup of water and simmer on low heat until for 4-5 minutes.
10. Add the coconut milk, salt to taste and the sauteed eggplant. Mix well and simmer on low heat for 4-5 minutes.
11. Heat the remaining oil in a different pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter.
12. Once the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves and remove from heat.
13. Add this tempering to the curry.
14. Garnish the curry with sliced almonds and chopped coriander leaves.
15. Serve hot with roti or rice.


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Achari Bhindi Dahiwali | Spicy Okra Curry with Yogurt [Video]

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Pan fried okra cooked in a curry made with pickle spices and yogurt.

Pan fried okra cooked in a curry made with pickle spices and yogurt.

There are 2 kinds of people in the world, one who love Okra or Bhindi and one that wouldn't be caught dead eating it. I was a latter, I hated bhindi all through my childhood - I mean which kid really enjoys the slime? Until about 5 years ago, when I had run out of veggies to cook for the day, I picked up some fresh bhindi and decided I could try to convert the hate to at least a tolerable feeling. Frankly, all I needed to do that was learn how to cook the okra correctly. See my tips below.

I have the following tips to cook the okra, just right:

  • The first tip for cooking okra, if you don't like slime, is to never cover it while cooking. Cook the okra in an open pan, always.
  • Preferably use a flat pan and do not crowd it. A wok or a kadhai, ends up steaming a few pieces of okra at least, and when steamed, okra tends to get slimy.
  • Be liberal with the oil. If cooking on a stove, use sufficient oil. The oil helps make the okra crispy and stops it from steaming. If you want to use less oil, grill the okra in a pan in the oven. This recipe tastes equally delicious with grilled okra.
  • Cook okra on medium to high heat stirring regularly. Okra cooked in low heat, again, tends to get slimy.
  • Avoid adding water to the okra while cooking. Okra loves oil, let it cook in oil alone. Don't add any water or any ingredients that may leave their juices (like tomatoes) until the okra is almost cooked.
Once I had mastered the art of cooking okra, there was no turning back. I've made okra innumerable times since then, and loved it.

Pan fried okra cooked in a curry made with pickle spices and yogurt.

This Achari Bhindi Dahiwali translates simply into Pickled Okra in Yogurt. This curry uses the pickling spices used in North Indian pickles. While the okra is not pickled, it is cooked with a spice blend made inspired by the pickles. Pickle spices usually include - fennel seeds (saunf), carom seeds (ajwain), mustard seeds (rai), fenugreek seeds (methi dana), asafoetida (hing) and dried mango powder (amchur). I have reduced the quantity of fenugreek seeds as they are bitter in taste. 

To make this recipe vegan, use vegan yogurt like cashew yogurt or coconut yogurt.

To make Achari Bhindi Dahiwali, we first slice the okra lengthwise. You can chop it how you please, lengthwise just made it visually appealing to me. The okra is pan fried with oil. I've made it before by grilling the okra in the oven, the curry tastes the same and uses a lot less oil.

Then the gravy is made by cooking onions and tomatoes with the pickling spices and blending it. Whisked yogurt is added to the gravy to finish it off. Toss in the cooked okra and serve it hot with rotis.


Pan fried okra cooked in a curry made with pickle spices and yogurt.


If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook, tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo #oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com. I'd love to see what you are upto. 

If you like this recipe, do not forget to share it with your friends and family! 

You can follow One Teaspoon Of Life on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and Google+ or you can subscribe to One Teaspoon Of Life and receive all the latest updated via Email





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Achari Bhindi Dahiwali



Pan fried okra cooked in a curry made with pickle spices and yogurt.Okra cooked with Indian pickle spices and whisked yogurt. Bhindi curry made with North Indian achaar masala and dahi.


Recipe Type:  Main
Cuisine:          North Indian
Prep Time:     10 minutes
Cook time:     45 minutes
Yield:              2-3 Servings

Ingredients:


25 small Okra (bhindi)
1 Onion
1 Tomato
1 cup Yogurt (dahi)
4 Tbsp Oil
1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
0.5 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
0.5 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Carom seeds (Ajwain)
4-5 Fenugreek Seeds (Methi dana)
1 tsp Dry Mango Powder (Amchur)
Pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)
Handful of Coriander leaves
Salt to taste

Method:


1. Dry roast the fennel seeds, mustard seeds, carom seeds and fenugreek seeds.
2. Grind them to a fine powder along with the asafoetida and the dry mango powder. Keep aside.
3. Heat 2 Tbsp Oil in a flat pan and add the chopped bhindi to it. Saute until the bhindi are soft and cooked. Never cover the bhindi while cooking, it will tend to get slimy. Remove and keep aside.
4. Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in the same pan and add the ginger garlic paste.
5. Once the ginger-garlic is fragrant, add finely chopped onions and fry until translucent.
6. Add in chopped tomato and stir well.
7. Mix in the achari spice blend we made earlier along with salt and turmeric powder and cook until the tomatoes are soft.
8. Blend into a fine paste with little water once cooled slightly.
9. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds.
10. Once they brown slightly, add the blended paste and cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes.
11. Stir in whisked yogurt and red chilli powder. Adjust seasoning if required. Cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat.
12. Add the pan fried bhindi and mix well. Simmer for 4-5 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis.



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Blueberry Litchi Coconut Mocktail

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Summer is not yet over! Enjoy this mocktail made with sweet blueberries, fragrant litchis and healthy coconut water before it is too late.


Happy July to you!!

Can you believe we are already six months down in 2018? Time surely flies fast. 

While it is already monsoons in this part of the world, I know Summer is just starting for a few folks out there.

This mocktail was waiting to be made for a long time now. I watched a similar cocktail on TV and I was bowled. I had to make it. The only thing that was really stopping me was the unavailability of blueberries. And I finally got some plump sweet blueberries at Namdhari's over the weekend, that too at slashed prices. This was my first time eating sweet blueberries. Somehow, until date, I've only managed to get slightly sour ones and I had come to expect that blueberries never got sweeter as they ripened. But hey, they do get sweet. I'm yet to find sweet strawberries, but I now have some little hope that I may find it some day. 

I also chanced upon these extremely fragrant and flavorful litchis while I was out there. They grew at their own farm. I would never have picked up a bag of green litchis, but they let us try a few and they were so sweet, we could hardly believe it. I've only ever had red litchis. These litchis are so fragrant, I love opening my fridge just to catch a whiff!

Anyway, after the blueberries and the litchi, comes the coconut. This mocktail uses the tender coconut water - the best summer drink there is. I'm very lucky to have access to fresh tender coconuts, but if you don't, you can replace it with packaged tender coconut or young coconut water or just some Sprite or plain Soda or Sparkling water.

If the fruit you have aren't sweet enough, stir in some raw honey or sugar. I had really sweet fruits and tender coconut water, so I did not need to sweeten it any other way. Also, if you plan to make it in advance and serve it after a while, add a little lime juice or lemon juice so that it does not discolor. I had a brighter purple before I took the pics, but since I missed adding any citrus the color changed slightly. 

If you'd rather have this as a cocktail, you can add vodka or tequila. The original recipe from TV had vodka and lavender but no litchis. 

These paired really well with the Bread Pizza Cups that I shared on Friday. 


If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook, tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo #oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com. I'd love to see what you are upto. 

If you like this recipe, do not forget to share it with your friends and family! 

You can follow One Teaspoon Of Life on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ or you can subscribe to One Teaspoon Of Life and receive all the latest updated via Email

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Blueberry Litchi Coconut Mocktail


A non-alcoholic drink made with fresh blueberries, fragrant litchis and young tender coconut water.

Recipe Type:  Beverage
Cuisine:            International
Prep Time:     15 minutes
Cook time:     0 minutes
Total time:     15 minutes
Yield:                Serves 4

Ingredients:


1.5 cups Blueberries
10 Litchis
2 Tender Coconuts
0.5 Lime
Ice as required
Sweetner if required

Method:


1. Peel the litchis and deseed them.
2. Blend together 1 cup of blueberries, litchis and lime juice until smooth.
3. Strain if you desire.
4. Add coconut water and mix.
5. If the drink is not sweet enough for you, you can add raw honey or sugar.
6. Fill the glasses with ice and pour the drink over them. Add the remaining blueberries in each glass.
7. Serve chilled.





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Bread Pizza Cups [Video]

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Pizza in a cup - cups made with bread, filled with your favorite pizza toppings and sauce, topped with cheese and baked until the bread is crisp and cheese is oozy.

cups made with bread, filled with pizza toppings,sauce and cheese and baked

Tell me, do you love Pizza? Did you just say yes??? Then you will LOVE this recipe.

So, since you asked for more snacks, I've been sharing recipes for snacks here. Just early this week, I shared the recipe for Masala Bread Toast - a popular bakery item in Bangalore. And today, I bring to you Pizza in a cup. Cute, right?

These Pizza cups are straight out easy to make and they are highly customizable. All you need are fresh bread slices, your favorite pizza sauce, toppings - again just use what you love or you have leftover in the fridge, and cheese. Yes, lots of cheese. I say the cheese is never enough. 

Okay, so there is a reason I mentioned fresh bread slices up there. The fresher the bread, the softer and easier to work with. The bread won't crumble when you try to shape them. I had a few slices that just crumbled on touch, so bad for the pizza cups. Use wholewheat bread to make it healthier.

cups made with bread, filled with pizza toppings,sauce and cheese and baked

Next, the Pizza Sauce. I made my own sauce following an older recipe of Eggplant Pizza, and I think this Basil Almond Pesto will also go famously. You can get creative and use this Manchurian Sauce instead or you can just buy the Pizza Sauce. If you don't want to go through all the fuss, just use Ketchup and add some Italian seasoning or Oregano to it.

The best part of any Pizza is the toppings. I kept mine super simple - chopped tomatoes, capsicum and sweet corn. It tasted delicious. But this is where you want to get creative and add what you love or as I suggested before, just use up leftovers. Also, a brilliant way to sneak in those healthy veggies your family won't eat.

I topped my Pizza Cups with Mozzarella cause I love the way the cheese melts and gets all stringy. Use any cheese you love, but remember, for cheese, less is never more!! Add more cheese, always!

So where all can you show these Pizza Cups off, let see:

  • High Tea - These Pizza cups will perfectly complement those cute little pastries you have for high tea
  • Kid's birthday parties - What's more fun is you can make the kid's add their own toppings. 
  • Cocktail Parties - let's just agree, these are perfect for any party, really!
  • Snack boxes?? I wouldn't highly recommend this, cause the bread may get soggy, but if you have non-fussy family, I say go ahead. I actually kept aside a few for 2-3 hours and ate them later and they still held and were just as tasty.

cups made with bread, filled with pizza toppings,sauce and cheese and baked

If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook, tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo #oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com. I'd love to see what you are upto. 

If you like this recipe, do not forget to share it with your friends and family! 

You can follow One Teaspoon Of Life on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and Google+ or you can subscribe to One Teaspoon Of Life and receive all the latest updated via Email





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Bread Pizza Cups



cups made with bread, filled with pizza toppings,sauce and cheese and bakedCups made with bread, filled with your favorite pizza toppings and sauce, topped with cheese and baked until the bread is crisp and cheese is oozy.


Recipe Type:  Snack
Cuisine:            International
Prep Time:     15 minutes
Cook time:     15 minutes
Total time:     30 minutes
Yield:                Makes 6 Pizza cups

Ingredients:


6 slices Bread
6 tsp Pizza Sauce
2 Tbsp diced Tomato
2 Tbsp diced Capsicum
2 Tbsp Sweet Corn, boiled
6 Tbsp shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 tsp Olive Oil
1-2 tsp Italian seasoning / Oregano (Optional)
1-2 fresh Basil leaves(Optional)
Water as required

Method:


1. Lightly sprinkle the bread slices with water and tap to wet the bread slightly.
2. Flatten the bread using a rolling pin.
3. Cut the bread into a circle using a bowl or a box cover.
4. Grease the muffin tray generously with olive oil.
5. Carefully place the bread into the muffin tray in the shape of a cup. See video above for reference.
6. Spoon in the pizza sauce.
7. Add the chopped tomatoes, capsicum and boiled sweet corn.
8. Sprinkle Italian seasoning or oregano if using.
9. Top each cup with 1 Tbsp of shredded cheese.
10. Top with a little bit of sauce and chopped basil leaves.
11. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 200 degree Celsius.
12. Serve hot/warm.



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Iyengar Bakery Style Masala Bread Toast [Video]

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Simple delicious masala bread toast made by topping bread with fried onions, carrots and spices in Bangalore Iyengar Bakery style!

Bangalore Iyengar Bakery Style bread toast topped with an onion-carrot masala

You asked for snacks, so here goes - Masala Bread Toast made in full Banglore's Iyengar Bakery style!!

So I recently posted a poll on my Facebook Page. Have you liked it yet? Go on, like it so you never miss out on what's cooking on One Teaspoon Of Life!! Anyway, so while not many of you voted, the choice was waaay too clear. All you ever want to eat is snacks. There is no satisfying you folks out there, is there? But you are my kinda people. I would have voted snacks too! To say I love snacks would be an understatement. I am forever hungry for snacks, just like you.

Today I'm sharing an extremely simple recipe. This Masala Bread Toast is an extremely popular product in Banglore's famous Iyengar Bakeries. And something I buy regularly. Every evening as I travel home from work, I have just one thought on my mind - "What do I eat for evening snacks today?". Sometimes, it is just leftover breakfast (I always make extra), or a dosa or pakoras, but a lot of times, it is this Masala Bread Toast from the bakery right behind my apartment complex. 

So when you guys asked for snack, I thought this recipe was perfect. It is quick, it is filling, it is healthy if you use the right bread, and it is vegan too. But above all, it is delicious and your family will love it. It is also an excellent way to add veggies to your snacks. Although I have used some spice mixes like garam masala and chaat masala, you can skip them if making for kids or if you don't have access to them. The masala tasted perfectly tasty without any spices too. 

Bangalore Iyengar Bakery Style bread toast topped with an onion-carrot masala

Bangalore Iyengar Bakery Style bread toast topped with an onion-carrot masala


If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook, tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo #oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com. I'd love to see what you are upto. 

If you like this recipe, do not forget to share it with your friends and family! 

You can follow One Teaspoon Of Life on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and Google+ or you can subscribe to One Teaspoon Of Life and receive all the latest updated via Email





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Iyengar Bakery Style Masala Bread Toast

Bangalore Iyengar Bakery Style bread toast topped with an onion-carrot masala

Simple delicious masala bread toast made by topping bread with fried onions, carrots and spices in Bangalore Iyengar Bakery style.


Recipe Type:  Snack
Cuisine:            South Indian
Prep Time:     10 minutes
Cook time:     15 minutes
Total time:     30 minutes
Yield:                Makes 5 toasts

Ingredients:


5 slices Bread
1 large Onion, roughly sliced
1 medium Carrot, grated
1 small Tomato, diced
2 Tbsp chopped Coriander
8-10 Curry leaves
1 Green Chilli, finely chopped
0.5 tsp Sugar
0.5 tsp Mustard Seeds
0.5 tsp Cumin seeds
0.25 tsp Garam Masala
0.25 tsp Chaat Masala
2 Tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

Method:


1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds
2. Once the mustard splutters, add in the cumin seeds.
3. Once the cumin browns slightly, add the curry leaves and allow them to crisp up.
4. Now add the onions and saute them until they are lightly browned.
5. Toss in the grated carrot and mix well.
6. Add the diced tomatoes and mix.
7. Add the salt, chaat masala, garam masala and sugar. Mix well. Adjust the seasoning to suit your taste.
8. Cook for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.
9. Add the chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
10. Dry toast the bread. You can add butter or oil while toasting if you like.
11. Spread the masala on the toast and serve it immediately like an open sandwich.
12. You can make the masala before and store it in the fridge, just heat it up before serving and top on the freshly toasted bread. 



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