Delectable Punjabi-style roasted eggplant bharta

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On the hunt for an aromatic, delicious & exotic dish to make your tastebuds smile ?  Not only is Delectable Punjabi-style eggplant bharta so surprisingly easy to make, the flavour you get from the roasted eggplant coupled with the other ingredients are sure to be individual & crowd pleasers.  Out of the many curried dishes we like, it has to be one of our fave’s.

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Ingredients :

1 head of garlic ( or about 5-6 cloves )

1 chunk of ginger ( about the size of your baby finger )

1 chunk of fresh turmeric ( about the size of your baby finger.  Fresh turmeric can be found in the fresh produce section of your grocery store right where you find your ginger and it makes a noticeable delicious difference in your recipes.  We highly suggest you try it! )

1 whole medium – large white onion

2 medium sized eggplant

5 medium tomatoes

1 whole bunch of cilantro ( we love cilantro )

4 red chili peppers ( more or less to liking )

1 heaping tbsp cumin seeds

1 heaping tbsp garam masala

1 heaping tbsp coriander

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup veggie broth or water

Suggested Base: Brown basmati rice, wild rice or whatever kind of rice you like ( make as much as you will need for as many servings as you like.  The eggplant bharta makes enough for about 2-3 servings ).  Or serve with roti.

Protip option : If you want to be a bit more adventurous with the spice levels, make a little extra rice or roti on the side to give you some insurance to balance the spices with.   That way, you can vary the levels of spices with each bite, and adjust to taste.

 

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Step 1 :

Get your rice started because by the time it’s done your curry will be done!

Step 2 : Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and put your eggplants on a bake sheet.  Bake at for 25-30 minutes or until the skin looks shrivelled and eggplant is collapsed.

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Step 3 :

Add your cumin seeds to your frying pan with a few table spoons of water or veggie broth.  Let them simmer for a few mins.

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Step 3:

Chop your whole onion and add to the frying pan.  Add a few more table spoons of water and let the onion cook until see through & soft.

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Step 4:

Chop your garlic, ginger, red chilis & turmeric and place in the frying pan.  Add about a quarter cup of veggie broth and cook on medium heat for at least 10 minutes.

Step 5 :

Chop all of your tomatoes finely and add them to the frying pan.  Stir them in the mixture on medium heat and let them simmer for at least 20- 25 minutes.  Next, add your garam masala and coriander.  The mixture of all of these ingredients needs to become like a paste so the liquid of the tomatoes will slowly cook off and they will disappear into the mix.  This is how you know its done, this procedure cannot be rushed.  It’s truly labour of love – it will be worth it!

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Step 6 :

Take your eggplant out of the oven, remove the skins and chop it very finely so there are no chunks whatsoever.  Then add the eggplant to the frying pan.

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Step 7 :

Let the eggplant really mix into the rest of the paste so that the flavours all blend together beautifully.

Step 8 : Chop your entire bunch of cilantro ( leave a little for the garnish on top ) and add the rest into the frying pan.  Stir in for a few minutes and serve on or with rice or with roti and voila!

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Eggplants are known to improve digestion and aid in weight management so no need to hold back with portion sizes on this dish.  They also help with sleeping better so eat better, feel better, sleep better.  Like all whole food, plant based, oil free recipes you are healing your body with every bite – so splurge & enjoy.

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A special thank you to Simer for the making of this recipe.

Namaste,  my muse and I.

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zesty, sweet & spicy peanut butter tofu salad.

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The name really says it all.  Being the kind of salad you just can’t put down, this flavourful, delicious & satisfying salad is a mega personal and crowd pleaser.  It will keep everyone coming back for more and leave them seriously thinking, is she a closet chef?

Convinced you to make it yet?  Ya we thought so, so without further adieu – let’s get cooking.

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You’ll need :

DRESSING :

  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1-2 red chilli peppers finely chopped ( or extra if you like more heat, we do )
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, or more to taste
  • 4 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice ( or 2 squeezed limes )
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar

TIP for the dressing : we use this dressing so much day-to-day in other recipes as well;  so we make a large container of it to have on hand all the time.  Over time the garlic marinates in it and it becomes even more flavourful as time passes.  So if you’re like us and want to make extra, just 8 – 10x the recipe or more to save time for your future meals by having this delicious dressing on hand.  Also note, add more of certain ingredients to taste as some like it more tangy and some like it more sweet!

SALAD :

  • 100g – 150g thin rice noodles ( we like the Thai kitchen brand the best, but other brands  of noodles can work too )
  • 2 carrots thinly sliced or ribboned
  • 1 medium cucumber sliced on an angle and chopped in half
  • 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow or orange or both peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro

TOFU :

  • 200g extra firm tofu
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp tamari
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice ( or 2 squeezed limes )
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 red chilli pepper
  • 4 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil

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INSTRUCTIONS :

First, take your brick of extra firm tofu and cut it into little squares.  Pour your corn starch over your pre -cut tofu and mix well, so that each piece of tofu is evenly covered in the starch.  Then head over to your frying pan, add your sesame oil into a medium to high heated pan and then throw your tofu in.  We like to get this started first as we like the tofu to get nice and browned on the outside which just takes a little extra love.  Cook the tofu for 10-15 minutes flipping frequently to prevent burning.

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In between flipping, chop the veggies that you have chosen for this dish.  You can really use whatever veggies you like – doesn’t specifically have to be the ones we have suggested.  While chopping your veggies don’t forget to add the garlic and chilli peppers too.   Set veggies aside, but separate from the and the garlic and chilli peppers.

Next, make your dressing.  Add your tamari, lime juice, chilli peppers, maple syrup, garlic and white rice vinegar in a mixing bowl – or a dressing container if you are making extra for future delicious meals.  Have this ready on the side.

Then in a boiling pot, boil enough water for the rice noodles you have put aside.  Boil your water, turn the heat off, and let your noodles cook for about 3-5 minutes.  Once clear –  rinse them with cold water and put them in the base of your serving bowl.

Finally it’s time to get your peanut butter mixture ready to go as your tofu will be just about ready.  Combine your peanut butter, maple syrup, tamari, chilli peppers, garlic and lime juice in a bowl and mix until totally smooth.  It will be like a thick paste, not liquidy.  Add any extra ingredients to your liking as we like it a little more sweet and spicy but some may like it more tangy etc.  Once you’ve mixed until smooth, add the mixture to the cooked tofu and stir / flip repeatedly as the peanut butter mix will really combine everything into a lump but over time with appropriate mixing time, they will separate and get a little crispy / chewy on the outside.  You might even want to lick your bowl!

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Keep on mixing until all of the edges of the tofu are lightly browned.  WARNING:!!!! This is where self-control really comes into play because if you don’t hold yourself back – you will eat all of the tofu before it ever has a chance to meet the salad…Take a few bites if you are about to go crazy – but set the aside the rest for the recipe.  It will be worth it!

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Now for the final steps of your salad :  take the noodles you previously set aside in a serving bowl.  Add your veggies, your tofu ( we like more tofu than veggies, so you may be tempted to short change your friends on the tofu – it’s that good!) & then your delicious dressing!  Top with a lot of cilantro and voila!  One of the most mind-blowing salads we have ever had and we honestly eat it at least once a week. … and that’s only because we are trying to exercise some slight self-control ( or we would really be eating it almost every night. )

TIP : if you do happen to have any tofu left, which is unlikely, its great cold in the middle of the night too for a late night snack! Or the next day…

BONUS TIP :  If you want extra, extra tofu for the week, make the entire package and double your peanut butter mix.

Remember….Tofu never screams.  so enjoy and happy tofuing!

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Namaste. My muse and I.

 

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