Mediterranean Platter I Kashk O Badmejan - Eggplant Dip

I was introduced to Mediterranean food only after I came to the US. A plateful of piping hot crisp falafel, soft pitas, delicious garlicky hummus, refreshing salad and an amazing eggplant dip.. now that’s one delicious platter. Not to forget a delectable dessert to finish the meal yummy Basbousa or the glorious Baklava, more on the Basbousa in another post.

Kashk O Badmejan (recipe below)
Tomato Cucumber Onion Salad

I’ve made this platter many a time in these past few years. We’ve had Arabic Night themed parties just so we can indulge in these dishes. But one dish I hadn’t made before is the Kashk o Bademjan, Kashk o Badmajoon or Kashk e Bademjan. One of our favorites at a local Falafel place, we never fail to order it when we dine in. Kashk is the main ingredient in Kashk O, it adds a certain creaminess to it which is irresistible. Kashk is made from drained yoghurt or drained sour milk, by forming it and letting it dry. To use it, it must be diluted to make a paste. The closest substitute to this would be Sour cream.

If you see this on the menu when you visit a middle eastern, Persian or Iranian restaurant, be sure to give the Kashko Badmejan a try.

Kashk O Badmejan:

You will need:

1 large Japanese eggplant (You can use Chinese eggplants too)
2 tbsp Dried mint (substitute fresh mint)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tbsp Oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
½ tsp Sugar
2 tbsp Kashk (substitute with sour cream)
Salt to taste

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wide pan. Peel the eggplant and cut into small cubes. Add to the pan and sauté. Add minced garlic and dried mint. I used fresh mint since that’s something I have on hand at most times. Finely chop the fresh mint and add it to the eggplant. 

Cook the eggplant on medium heat for 8-10 minutes until it is soft and slightly brown. While the eggplant is cooking, in another pan, heat the remaining oil. Add the sliced onions and cook on medium heat. Add little salt and sugar, this helps the onions sweat a little and carmelize into this sweet smoky goodness. Watch the onions and turn off heat when done.

Once the eggplants are done, most recipes call for it to be mashed in the pan but I like a slightly smoother texture so I blended it with half of the carmelized onions and the kashk. Transfer it to a plate and spread it, top with a little olive oil and garnish with the remaining carmelized onions. Drizzle more kashk on the top. Serve warm with pita bread or pita chips. 


This marks the end of the Blogging Marathon #74 of this month for me. BM #75 in April is going to be one awesome adventure. Stay tuned! 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#74

Joladha Rotti Oota I Jowar Rotti Thali

If you have ever dined at the Kamath group of hotels in Bangalore, a chain of restaurants famous for their Joladha Rotti oota, this post should bring back memories of their lavish meal. It's been a while since I ate there and have been craving some Joladha rotti. Since the theme for BM#74 is Thalis & Spreads I decided to make a mini Joladha rotti oota thali. In the restaurant the varieties of sides are abundant and served on a banana leaf. I made only 2 of the main side dishes and 2 of the smaller accompaniments. 

Joladha Rotti is a staple of Northern Karnataka. Making it is an art learnt over time. I for one, have not learnt how to make it yet. Jowar flour is gluten free , so there is absolutely no binding in the prepared dough, which makes rolling the rottis near impossible. I stuck to the safe side and cheated a little by adding a little wheat flour to keep the dough together and my sanity intact! 

You will need: 

1.5 cups Jowar flour
1/2 cup Wheat flour
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
Water as required 

Combine ingredients in a bowl and add water little at a time to form a soft cohesive dough. Jowar flour makes a very soft dough. Cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes. 

Break off a small piece of dough and roll into a disc. Preheat a griddle on medium heat. Place rolled Rotti on the hot pan. Dampen a piece of cloth or a paper towel, squeeze out excess water and gently press all over the Rotti. This will help the Rotti puff up a little and cook evenly. Cook for a minute and flip to cook on the other side. If you use only Jowar flour, the Rotti remains almost a pale off white with a few light brown spots. Since I used wheat flour too, it browned further. 

Once done, remove from the pan and apply a generous dollop of butter. Serve while still warm. 

Badnekayi Ennegayi:

This is the most important accompaniment for the Rotti. Baby eggplants are cooked in a flavorful gravy. Ive made this one plenty of times before, follow this link for the recipe. 

Hesarakalu Husli: (Green Gram stir fry)

Husli is a type of stir fry. This one is made with Green Gram and is a very typical side dish in a Joladha Rotti oota. There are many versions to this dish, this is our favorite. You can sprout the gram and use it too. 

You will need:

1 cup Green gram(whole moong)
1 tbsp oil 
1 tsp Mustard seeds 
1/4 tsp Asafoetida ( Hing) 
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1 Tomato, finely chopped
2 Green Chillies, slit
½ tsp Ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
½ tsp Coriander Powder
½ tsp Jeera Powder
½ tsp Red Chilli Powder
1-2 tbsp Cilantro, finely chopped

Wash and soak moong for a hour. Pressure cook for 2 whistles until done. The gram should hold shape. 

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, when it splutters add curry leaves. Add the green chilies. Sauté for a few seconds and then add the chopped onions and ginger. Cook until onions are soft, then add the tomato and the spices and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes until tomato has softened a little. Meanwhile drain the moong. Add this and combine well. Season with salt. Cook for a minute or two and turn off heat. Add chopped cilantro. 

Red Garlic Chutney: 

8 Byadige Red chilies (Kashmir red chilies) 
12 Guntur red chilies 
6 pods Garlic 
Salt to taste 

Soak red chilies overnight in hot water or for atleast 6-8 hours. Drain them and blend with the garlic, salt and little water to a smooth paste. Store in an air-tight container and use as needed. Refrigerate leftover chutney. 

Shenga Pudi: Peanut Garlic powder 

2 cups Peanuts
1/2 cup Dalia (Hurgadale) 
15 cloves of Garlic *
12 Guntur dry red chilies 
8 Byadige dry red chilies 
A few curry leaves
Marble size piece of Tamarind 
Salt to taste 
2 tsp Oil 

Dry roast the peanuts in a pan until the skins begin to peel and have brown spots on them. Set aside. Dry roast the Dalia too. 

In the another pan, heat the oil. Add the curry leaves and fry until crisp. Add the dry red chillies and Tamarind. Cook until they are crisp. Then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes. The garlic will remain soft. Add the peanuts and Dalia and give it a quick toss. Cool the mix and then pulse to a coarse powder in a blender. Store in an air tight container and this will last for months. Spicy and garlicky, it's the perfect accompaniment for dosas and idlis too. 


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