Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Besan Fried Aubergine with Lentil Pilaf

Right, so the kitchen is unpacked, and the living room is clear of boxes. I've no idea where anything is, but at least have managed to find my bed every night, which is always a good thing! Saying that, my bedroom looks like it has been hit by a girl bomb*, but let's just ignore that for now. All in all, I'm getting settled - and hopefully normal blogging services will be resumed shortly!

The dish I'm serving up to you today is a feat of kitchen clearing. I prepared it in my last week at the flat, and was chuffed about using up lots of bits and pieces to actually make a fairly cohesive whole. Not only that - it was quick to make, ridiculously cheap, and damned tasty with it! My quantities are pretty rough - the end of a pack of basmati, finish off a couple packs of lentils, some bits of veg from the back of the fridge, a couple of almost empty jars of sambal...

Besan Fried Aubergine with Lentil Pilaf

Serves 4
  • 1 cup red lentils, washed
  • 1.5 cup basmati rice
  • 0.5 cup broad beans (from the freezer!)
  • Half a broccoli, florets
  • 400g tin tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • good pinch saffron
  • Vegetable bouillon
  • Salt to taste
  • ghee to fry
Heat ghee in a heavy-based saucepan and add mustard and fennel seeds. When mustard seeds start to pop, add the garlic and ginger, then the fenugreek, lentils and basmati rice. Stir for 3/4 minutes, then add the rest of the spices, and salt as required.

Add the tin of tomatoes, and top up with hot bouillon to about an inch over the level. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 or 6 minutes.

Chuck in the broccoli florets and broad beans and add more bouillon if required. Continue cooking until rice and lentils are done, checking to make sure it doesn't get too dry, adding more bouillon as necessary.

Besan-Fried Aubergine
  • 1 cup gram flour
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • water to mix
  • 1 aubergine (eggplant!)
  • ghee to fry
Mix together the first six ingredients, then mix in just enough water to make a thick batter.

Cut the aubergine into slices about 1cm thick, and coat them in the batter.

Heat the ghee in a frying pan to a medium to hot heat. Cook the aubergine for a minute or two on each side, until golden and crispy - but don't overcook!

Serve the lentil pilaf with slices of fried aubergine on top, and a couple dabs of sambal if you're in the mood for a bit more heat!

* clothes, shoes**, make up, more boxes and some random utterly unnecessary objects... A small stuffed bagpuss mouse that sings "We will fix it". Except the battery is all but dead, so all it actually does is an aphonic "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.......". Then snuffles a little before returning to its glass-eyed voiceless state.

** did I mention I halved my shoe collection before I moved? I threw out 42 pairs... :-S

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Bellini Valli said...

Tasty way to use up all that you have in your cupboards Kittie. "Ridiculously cheap" I like that too:D

Sarah said...

i love 'clear-up' cooking, it's amazing what tasty things you can throw together with a little imagination :) great recipes :)

Núria said...

Mmmmmm I love the frying mixture! Have to try your way :D. Eggplants are always welcome to my kitchen!
Aren't we all looking for cheap ingredients right now? ;D

Su-Lin said...

Oooh, I've been looking for more ways to cook aubergine - thanks!

Anonymous said...

How did you ever throw out 42 pair! Looks delicious!

Ivy said...

Wow, it seems you were competing Imelda Marcos ;-)

Lovely way to clean your cupboards and refrigerator.

Ben said...

What would it be like if a girl bomb and a guy bomb are dropped in your living room? I don't even wanna think about that, LOL. Great recipe. I am loving it :)

glamah16 said...

Good for you clearing out the fridge and closet. I need to work on mine. Thats a tsty concoction you came up with.

Dee said...

You threw out shoes?? I'm feeling faint - it's an unheard of concept here ;) Love your cooking style, Kittie. If you make it down here, I'll take you out for a banana leaf rice meal. You'll love it!

FoodJunkie said...

Hello! i have an award for you in my blog!!!

Anonymous said...

The aubergine looks lovely and that looks like a great way of using up leftovers. The poor shoes though :(

Helen said...

Isn't it great when you use up leftovers and it actually comes out good?!! More importantly though, 42 pairs!!!! What did you do with them?! And I thought I was bad...

Adam said...

I love dishes that just kind of come together during a "clean out". They are just so fun, and the results are tasty. I love how you used eggplant and surrounded it with beans, lentils and spices. Did it give you more energy for moving boxes?

Oh, it gave you energy to throw out shoes :) That is ALOT of shoes. You could be a centipede with that many pairs.

Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks delicious! I like how you've made something edible out of stuff you had to use up anyway.

Sangeeth said...

oh I too have a lot of shoes with me. the recipe looks great...more like an indian recipe...

FoodJunkie said...

You are very brave to fry stuff after moving in!

mikky said...

great looking dish... :)

PG said...

that looks delicious, fo the fact that you were just trying to clear up your kitchen. But, I know that too !
And these meals can really be tasty, tastier than all the other regular meals.
Take your time to settle down. I remember how long we took before everythig was at its place when we moved.

kittie said...

Yikes, I'm way behind on my comment responses, sorry guys...

Val - I like ridiculously cheap too!

Sarah - I've been doing 'clear-up' dressing too - thanks to bags of clothes that have somehow vanished in transit :-S

Nuria, if you have it handy, I think deep frying would have worked even better :)

No problem su-lin!

Candy, I know, it was a wrench...

Ivy - I dream of competing with Imelda ;)

Ha ha ha Ben, I think that's a recipe for trouble!

Thanks coco!

Sorry Dee. I like to think of it as making room for more ;) Oh, and yes please!!!

Thank you FoodJunkie, I'm honoured :)

Cheers Ginger... They've gone to a better place... ;)

Hey Helen! Depending on their state, either bin, charity shop or for 2 pairs still in the box - ebay!

Adam, I needed a LOT of energy. I had an unreasonable amount of sh... stuff! ;)

Thanks Fearless!

Hey Sangeeth - I love Indian food, and it influences my cooking a lot :)

Lol, it wasn't too bad - but it took some time to air ;)

Thanks mikky!

I like clear outs PJ - it's like being in my own private episode of Ready Steady Cook!