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. 


Punjabi Thali I Punjabi Thali Recipes

This is the second leg of the Blogging Marathon #74 and I picked Thalis & Spreads. My first thali is the Punjabi Thali. Punjab is known for its rich cuisine and various dishes local to Punjab are popular throughout India too. I picked a few of my favorites to showcase in this Thali.

Tandoori Roti
Pindi Channa
Aloo Gobi (Potato Cauliflower fry)
Kadai Paneer
Jeera Peas Pulao
Gulab Jamoon

Tandoori Roti:

Tandoori Dishes are an integral part of Punjabi cuisine. The Tandoori Roti is traditionally made in a Tandoor, a large clay oven with coal as the main source of heat. Though its not possible to have a Tandoor at home, it is possible to make this at home using your regular oven.

You will need:
Makes 10-12 rotis

2 cups Whole wheat Flour
¼ tsp Baking soda
½ tsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
½ cup yoghurt
Water as needed
Butter for brushing

Combine all the ingredients, except butter, in a medium bowl. Use water as needed to make a dough. Knead for a minute or two until dough is soft and smooth. Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat oven to 500F. Place a cast iron plate or griddle in the oven to heat up. Break off a small piece of dough and roll into an 8-inch round. Brush the dough with water on both sides. Wet your palms and then lift the dough to place on the hot griddle. The dough will begin to puff up, bake for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown spots appear. Apply butter while still hot and serve immediately.

Repeat with the remaining dough. Left over dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days. Bring dough to room temperature before making the rotis.

Aloo Gobi:

This is a flavorful combination of Potatoes & Cauliflower, sautéed with spices.

You will need:
Adapted from Tarla Dallal

1.5 cups Cauliflower cut into small florets
1 Potato, cut into chunks
2 tbsp Oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
2 Dry red chillies
2 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
½ tsp Green chili paste
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
½ tsp Chili powder
½ tsp Garam masala
½ tsp Amchur powder (Dried mango powder)
Chopped cilantro

Heat oil in pan. Add cumin seeds and asafetida. When it begins to splutter, add the dry red chilies. Add the chopped ginger and green chili paste. Saute for a few seconds and then add the potatoes. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the cauliflower. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and combine. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes more. The potato and cauliflower must be tender not mushy. Add turmeric powder, chili powder, garam masala and amchur powder. Combine well, add salt. Cook for a few minutes, and turn off heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Chaas: (Buttermilk)

A tangy flavored buttermilk, downed in the end of the meal to cool off your palette. This is serving in super tall glasses and a must with every thali. I made a smaller portion to go with this thali.

You will need:

¼ cup thick yoghurt
Salt to taste
¼ tsp Crushed ginger
Chopped cilantro

Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl or a tall glass. Add water as need to fill up the glass and to thin it out to make buttermilk. 

Will share the remaining recipes in upcoming posts.


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

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