Aubergine with herbs

This is Ottolenghi’s recipe as it was published in the Guardian.


  • Aubergines (about 1.2 kgs)
  • Salt (1 teaspoon)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (1 pinch)
  • Sunflower Oil (120 ml)
  • Olive Oil (100 ml)
  • Medium-hot Green Chillies (2, thinly sliced)
  • Garlic (10 cloves, thinly sliced)
  • White-wine Vinegar (1½ tablespoon)
  • Basil (20 gm, shredded)
  • Coriander (20 gm)
  • Mint (20 gm)
  • Dill (20 gm)

Steps to cook the aubergines:

  1. Heat the oven to 210C/410F/gas mark 6½.
  2. Cut the aubergines into roughly 3cm squarish chunks.
  3. Put in a large mixing bowl and add the salt, some black pepper, sunflower oil and most of the olive oil (save about 3 tbsp for frying the chilli and garlic).
  4. Toss and spread over two large baking sheets lined with non-stick baking parchment.
  5. Roast for about 30 minutes – it’s important that the aubergines turn a good golden-brown colour.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down.

While the aubergines are cooking:

  1. Heat the reserved olive oil in a small saucepan and fry the chilli and garlic for about a minute, until the garlic turns a pale golden – watch out that you don’t cook it further, or it may burn and go bitter.
  2. Transfer the chilli, garlic and oil to a large mixing bowl and add the cooked aubergine.
  3. Add the vinegar and herbs, mix, taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pan-Fried Asparagus

Yes I am a foodie (quite surprising, a lot of people find that surprising). 😎

Anyways, this is what I intend to cook tonight among other things. I cannot claim credit for this, I found it online some time back and now its stored on my Wiki at home and I don’t know who to give credit for it anymore.


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed


  1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir in the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cook garlic in butter for a minute, but do not brown.
  4. Add asparagus, and cook for 10 minutes, turning asparagus to ensure even cooking.

Spiced Red Dal

A Dal (Lentil) is quite a staple food at home – not only is it nutritious and health and full of protein, both I and Meenakshi love it. Now the way we usually make it at home is a little different that the version I came across from Yotam Ottolenghi. I tried it and was excellent – different from what I am use to cooking.

The ingredients you need are:

  • 200g split red lentils (Dhuli Masoor dal in Hindi)
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 40g ginger, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 mild green chilli
  • 1½ tsp black mustard seeds (which is called either Rai or Sarsu in Hindi)
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander (Dhania in Hindi)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (Jeera in Hindi)
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric (Haldi in Hindi)
  • ½ tsp paprika (Lal Mirch in Hindi)
  • 10 curry leaves (Kadi Patta in Hindi)
  • 300g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp fenugreek (optional) (Methi seeds in Hindi)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (optional) (Hing in Hindi)
  • Salt
  • 150g Greek yogurt
  • 75g finely diced cucumber
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 70g unsalted butter (I skipped this)
  • 1½ tbsp lime juice


  1. Wash the lentils in plenty of water, drain and soak in 350ml of fresh water for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the coriander bunch somewhere around its centre to get a leafy top half and a stem/root bottom half. Roughly chop the leaves.
  3. Put the stem half in the bowl of a food processor, add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli – all roughly broken – and pulse a few times to chop up without turning into a paste.
  4. Put the mustard seeds in a heavy-based pot and place over medium heat. When they begin to pop, add the onion mix and sunflower oil, stir and cook on low heat for 7 minutes.
  5. Add the spices and curry leaves, and continue cooking and stirring for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Now add the lentils and their soaking water, the tomatoes, sugar, fenugreek, asafoetida and a pinch of salt.
  7. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are fully cooked.
  8. Before serving, whisk together the yogurt, cucumber, oil and some salt.
  9. Stir into the lentils the butter, lime juice and chopped coriander leaves, taste and season generously with salt. I skipped the butter as there was enough oil originally put.
  10. Divide into bowls, spoon yogurt on top and garnish with coriander.

Here are the results (Yum):

IMG_2911 IMG_2912

Best restaurants in London?

Since, I am new to London, I would like to get your perspective on which are the good restaurants in the London area? What gems do you hold dear to your heart and wish to share so some poppers like me can also enjoy them? Sure, I have checked out the usual suspects, in addition to the ones I know from USA.

Lucky Dad's 8000 miles away!

Karan pointed me to this one on Yahoo and the boy am I glad that my dad is 8000 miles away in India! :o) Though I am a vegetarian, this could easily enough be “Paneer”. :o)

BLUEWELL, West Virgina – A family meal erupted into a gun battle after a father and son clashed over how to cook chicken. The two men argued Sunday over the best way to prepare skinless chicken for dinner. “It started out as a physical confrontation, but it escalated until both of them were shooting at each other,” Detective Sgt. A.D. Beasley of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department said Monday.

Beasley said each man fired a .22-caliber handgun at the other. Harley Shrader was struck by a bullet that went through the upper part of his right ear and lodged in the back of his head. He was treated at a hospital and released. The elder Shrader was not injured.

Jackie Lee Shrader, 49, was charged with malicious wounding and wanton endangerment. Harley Lee Shrader, 24, was charged with wanton endangerment.