Stuffed Brinjals

Brinjals are Indian eggplants. They are much smaller than the regular eggplant or the baby eggplant that you find in the regular grocery stores. Brinjals are also known as aubergines. They look like this and this and are quite delicious. Kids hate them. As I once did.

Stuffed Brinjals
An original recipe

6 small Indian brinjals
2 large red potatoes, sliced like french fries
1 large clove garlic
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/8 cup roasted sesame seeds (or subsitute with tahini)
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
pinch asafoetida
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 blobs of tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder**optional
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (any will do)**optional
1 teaspoon tamarind extract
salt to taste
1/2 cup oil

Who said this was low cal? Not me!!

Make a paste from the peanuts, sesame seeds and garlic in a blender, adding about 1 cup water.
Add the tamarind extract, coriander powder, cumin powder, some turmeric powder and salt to this paste.
Slice the brinjals as if you were going to quarter them but don't cut through to the end, so that each brinjal just kind of opens up.
Stuff the brinjals with this paste. Leave some aside for the sauce.
Heat the oil and toss in the mustard seeds.
When they start spluttering, add the asafoetida, cumin seeds and turmeric powder
Add the sliced potatoes and fry till they are cooked.
Remove the potatoes and attempt to drain the oil on a paper towel. Season with salt.
Drop the stuffed brinjals into the oil.
Add the rest of the paste and the tomato paste.
Add the chilli powder and garam masala.
Cover and cook over low flame until the brinjals are tender, stirring from time to time.
Add water if the sauce starts thickening and drying up.
Just before serving, stir in the fried potatoes and garnish with some fresh chopped cilantro, if you have any.

Apparently brinjals are stocked with vitamin B and its relatives. As well as potassium, iron and zinc. They are also an excellent source of fibre. But they are like the potato: they absorb oil. Since there is a fair amount of oil in this recipe and then you have peanuts as well as sesame seeds, the fat content in this recipe is quite high. One trick to eat less is to up the heat. Yes, add more chilli powder. Try this with hot rotis or pitas or nan.

Indian Food in Orlando, Florida

We went to Mickeyland for the second time in 2 years. I got my fill of the rides in the aircraft itself. We were bumped around for more than an hour. The last visit was just as bad. I remember the last time: we made our descent towards Orlando in a thunderstorm, the lights in the aircraft went off and the plane rocked from side to side. All the adults were screaming for their loved one or their Mom. I screamed for both. All the kids, however, were laughing. Well, they were headed for the parks!

I found a wonderful Indian restaurant on Rt 192 in Kissimmee called New Punjab Indian Restaurant. We ordered masala lamb and methi chicken. Both dishes were excellent and I would seek out that restaurant again, should we ever head back to Orlando. I've had more than my fill of both Orlando and Disney, though.

Another restaurant worth mentioning is Thai Thani which is right across from Sea World. It has terrific ambience and the food is excellent, too.