Potato and aubergine Sabzi

13 Apr

This is yet another beautiful recipe shared by my friend Monica. It is one of her mother’s recipes and one of Monica’s favourites and I can see why, it is absolutely delicious.

Before I share the recipe I would like to share a very interesting article Monica wrote on basmati rice.

“The Story of Basmati Rice – The crown Jewel of Indian Cuisine, In Foreign land people try to achieve the biryani that they ate in a indian restaurant or rice dishes that they ate during their trip to India. They try to get all the possible spices to put in a biryani and yet they buy a regular Basmati Rice available in Regular Non Indian Supermarkets and fail to get the same result of each rice grain fragrant and apart in a Biryani. Also in today’s time where Brand is all what people talk about, they buy a particular branded Rice and yet fail to achieve the result.
By reading this article you will know how to choose best Basmati Rice for your home. People who like to stick to points can directly go to the bottom of article and people who like stories and culture around a food can continue to read on.
When I was a child, I accompanied my mother to grocery stores and at that time we didn’t get branded rice, dal or flours but yet we ate the best quality food. My mother would touch the grain, smell it, see the size and colour of it and would choose the best one. I am sharing the same with you all today.
A Good Basmati Rice is at minimum aged 2 years, So does it mean the older the basmati rice, the better it is. “Oh Yes” As the years pass the long grain basmati rice changes it’s colour from white to off white and the fragrance of rice increases. It also means that Basmati Rice doesn’t have any expiry date if it is well stored.
My Mom would buy a quintal of Rice, Wheat, Dals and Whole Spices and would store it well in Big Metal Drums, she used dried Neem Leaves(Its a medicinal tree with bitter leaves and stems) to prevent grains from getting any pests. Before making rice she would spread grains on a plate to check for any stones and wash it 2-3 times and then cook. It is important to wash it 2-3 times until the water is clear so when you cook the rice the grains don’t stick due to presence of starch.
Off Topic – It was also a tradition in India when a girl got married the parents gifted her metal drums and utensils to make her own kitchen in the new home, though now since big companies have started packing things in plastic and in small bags, and also we do not live in joint families anymore plus we often eat outside (when I was child until 12, we only ate out when travelling) we do not need these big drums to store our Rice and Grains, But still my mom followed the tradition (knowing I am getting married to an NRI and I can never take those drums and utensils with me to Spain) she bought me those drums, filled it with homemade sweets and papad for my Husband’s entire family and also for distribution. (Well In India you can’t stop your parents or family to do anything in your wedding, they like to fulfill all their dreams in their daughter’s wedding)
Back to Rice – To retain the fragrance and taste we do not drain water (except in some dishes), we have ratio of water and rice (depends on the kind of basmati rice you have got, since my mother bought in bulk she would understand the ratio and apply it for the rest of the Rice) plus we add some oil or ghee and salt. I do remember from my childhood and even now when we cook a good basmati rice I can eat it just plain.
Also I find how previous generation cared for optimum use of energy sources, they were better at planning important things like meal (Not like us who would want every thing ready to use like pastes, frozen food etc) which not only fed their family better quality food but also saved expenses on cheap meals and medical bills due to malnourishment(well this is an entirely different topic, coming back to Basmati Rice) They did soak it for 30 mins before putting it to cook which saved Gas, time and also make the rice fluff up and evenly cooked. And they did the same for lentils, beans, chickpea etc.
Here are the Pointers for making a perfect Basmati Rice”

Thank you Monica!

Here is the recipe. We had it as a side dish but it would be great as a main and perfect with other small dishes to have with puri. I hope you enjoy it.

Potato and aubergine Sabzi – serves 2 as a main or 4 with other small dishes

  • 1 large, firm aubergine
  • 2 medium waxy potatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Red chilli powder to taste

1. Cut the aubergine and potatoes into small cubes, about 1/2 inch

2. Put some vegetable oil, about 2 tbsp, into a pan and add 1/2 tbsp of fennel and 1 tsp turmeric. Make sure the seeds don’t burn. When it start to smell fragrant add the vegetables and mix well to cover with the spices.

3. Cover and on the lowest heat cook gently until the potatoes are tender and the aubergine is soft and creamy. Check on it occasionally to make sure it’s not catching. It can take anything from 15 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the size and type of potatoes etc.

4. When cooked add some red chilli powder to taste 🤣🤣

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