September Recipe

Eggplant Pulao

Fry, sauté, boil, stew, bake, stuff it, grill, roast or cook it, the ever versatile Eggplant, tastes so delicious, in whichever form you may consume it. It is known by many names - Eggplant, Brinjal, Aubergine, Garden Egg, Guinea Squash, Melongene, Bhaigan (Hindi), and Katrikai (Tamil). It comes in many shapes and sizes from round, small to large oval to long and thin. It's most traditional color is a rich purple, but is also available in lighter shades of purple, in green and light greenish-white.

Eggplant is rich in Iron, calcium other minerals and phytonutrients and is low in calories. One cup of raw Brinjals contains just 35 calories. It has a myriad range of health benefits. The Phyto Nutrients help improve blood circulation in the body and nourishes the brain. These nutrients are concentrated in the skin of the eggplant, so do not discard the skin when preparing a dish with eggplants in it. The fiber in the vegetable protects the digestive tract and protects against colon cancer. Traditionally, Brinjals were used to help control and manage diabetes, thanks to its high fiber content and low soluble carbohydrates. It also plays a great role in heart care, as it helps lower bad cholesterol and its bioflavonoids help reduce high blood pressure and relieve stress. It also helps prevent blood clots and the Vitamin K and bioflavonoids help strengthen the capillaries.

There are many different types of Brinjal Pulao but this is a quick and easy, yet delicious preparation.

Preparation Time: 25 minutes; cooking time 15 minutes; serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • Basmati Rice or any long grained rice or raw rice - 200 grams (1 cup)
  • Brinjals (either the small round variety or the small, long variety) - ¼ kg
  • Onion - I medium size
  • Tomato - 1 medium size
  • Ginger - 1 inch piece
  • Garlic - 7-8 cloves
  • Green chillies - 2
  • Coriander Powder - 1 tablespoon
  • Red Chilli Powder - ¼ tsp or depending on spice level required
  • Pepper corns - 5 (optional)
  • Grated coconut - ¼ cup (optional)
  • Bay leaf - 1
  • Turmeric Powder - ¼ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil or Ghee - 2 tbsps
  • Tamarind paste (or small bit of tamarind) - ¼ tsp
  • Fresh green coriander leaves (diced finely) - a handful for garnishing
  • Water - 2 cups

Method:

1. Wash and soak the rice (if using Basmati) for 15 minutes).

2. Slice the onions finely.

3. Dice the tomatoes.

4. Split the green chillies.

5. Wash the Brinjals, remove the stalk and slice into two or four pieces (depending on the size of the brinjal). Soak the sliced Brinjals in tamarind water (made out of the tamarind paste or tamarind)

6. In a blender / mixer grinder, grind the ginger and garlic to a paste (alternatively you can use ginger garlic readymade paste).

7. Place a pressure cooker pan on the stove on low medium heat.

8. Add the ghee or oil to the pan.

9. Toss in the bay leaf, pepper corns, sauté for 2-3 minutes.

10. Add in the thinly sliced onions and sauté until translucent.

11. Add in the tomatoes and sauté till the tomatoes melt.

12. Add in the ginger garlic paste and sauté for 2 minutes.

13. Add the split green chillies and stir for a minute or two.

14. Next add in the coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Sauté for 4 minutes or till the oil bubbles out and the masala leaves the sides of the pan.

15. Next add the Brinjals and blend in the masala, sauté for 5 minutes.

16. Add in the grated coconut (optional) and mix well.

17. Drain and add the soaked rice and mix well.

18. Pout in the 2 cups of water and pressure cook for exactly 4 minutes.

19. Turn off the heat and let the pressure die down.

20. Open the pressure cooker, ladle the Brinjal Pulao into a serving dish and garnish with fresh, green coriander leaves.

Serve hot with cucumber + onion + coconut raita and potato chips.

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