Burnt Aubergine Dip #cookfromacookbook series

Much before I became a food blogger, I have been a cookbook lover. I remember spending hours pouring over the many cookbooks that Maa possessed, even Sananda, a Bengali monthly which was a treasure trove of recipes, going through the ingredients, trying to imagine the dish in my head and then sometimes experimenting them in the kitchen. My favourite was a Bengali recipe book,more a bible, that had every possible recipe gifted by our Bangladeshi neighbour. The books is in tatters now, still very special. I am hoping Maa will pass it down to me one day! Thankfully this love for cookbook has remained and now I am myself a very proud owner of a worthy collection. Thanks to the many online portals, you can now own your favourite book with just a click! And I am a compulsive buyer when it comes to books – especially food memoirs. With a steady growing stash , I thought it only made sense that I share what I read and cook from it with my readers. So, hereby I start a #cookfromcookbook series that will have me sharing my favourite authors and their creations that I recreate in my kitchen.

Yotam Ottolenghi – a name resonant in the British culinary scene , a chef and cookbook writer with strong Mediterranean roots that reflects deeply in his recipes. I have been following him on the social media for a while now and only very recently got hold of his book ‘Plenty’ a collection of vegetarian recipes or “new vegetarianism” as he calls it. With every new test recipe that he Instagrams,I would go gushing over the use of everyday ingredients and how it is so doable in your very own kitchens. His book Plenty has plenty recipes that can be made a part of your everyday meals. He picks up one favourite ingredient and builds a recipe around it. Much like what we do too. I have been eyeing the Burnt Aubergine Dip with Tahini and finally ended up making it too. A very flavorful condiment that can be served with cut vegetables or even as a refreshing salad in summers.

aubergine salad 1I keep going back to the book looking for inspirations in my everyday cooking and I am sure I will cooking a lot more from this one. The recipe I am sharing today is broadly inspired from the original as I have replaced a few ingredients based on availabitiy. Instead of parsley I used fresh coriander and added some red chillies for the zing.

auergine salad

Ottolenghi and his Burnt Aubergine Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: Dips and Salads
Cuisine: Mediterranean
 
A summery dip made with roasted brinjals.
Ingredients
  • Aubergine/Brinjal - 1 large
  • Tahini paste - 2 tbsp.
  • Water - 1 tbsp.
  • Lemon juice - 1 tbsp.
  • Garlic cloves - 1 - crushed
  • Fresh coriander - a handful - chopped
  • Green chilies/ red chilies - 1 -2 finely chopped
  • Tomato - 1 large - chopped
  • Pomegranate seeds - 1 tbsp.
  • Oilve oil - for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. First, roast the brinjal, with the skin on the gas stove, like we do for Indian bhartas. This can be done in the oven too. But make sure to make deep gashes on the brinjal and smear with some oil, or else it will burst.
  2. Remove the charred skin from the brinjal, scoop out the flesh.
  3. Chop the flesh roughly and transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Add the tahini paste, water,lemon juice,garlic, coriander , salt and pepper.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  6. Mix in the chopped tomatoes and chilies.
  7. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.
  8. Serve with pita or crackers.
 

Couscous Salad with Grilled Cottage Cheese

With the festival season coming to an end for the time being, now with Diwali over and before the Christmas cheer starts again, its time to give your palette some rest! How about trying this Couscous Salad with Grilled Cottage Cheese. Couscous is a versatile grain and packs a punch when served along with a variety of vegetables. With winters approaching, there is an array of green vegetables in the market, so its best to use them regularly in our meals. If your everyday Dal – sabzi doesn’t seem palatable enough, you should try this dish.

salad main

Couscous Salad with Grilled Cottage Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Salads
Cuisine: Fusion
 
Vegetable packed tasty salad
Ingredients
  • Couscous - 1 cup - soaked in boiling water. Refer to packaging for cooking instruction.
  • Cucumber - 1 - chopped
  • Tomato - 1 - chopped
  • Mushrooms - a handful - chopped
  • Carrots - 1 - chopped
  • Raisins - a handful
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp.
  • Black pepper - freshly crushed
  • Oregano - 1 tbsp or use any other fresh/dried herb of your choice
  • Hung curd / yogurt - 1 tbsp
  • Chilli flakes - as per taste
  • Salt - to taste
  • Black pepper - freshly crushed - as per taste
  • Cottage cheese/ Paneer - cut into fingers
  • Lemon juice - a few drops
Instructions
  1. In a pan heat some olive oil and sauté the chopped vegetables along with the raisins. Season with oregano,chili flakes, salt and pepper.
  2. Add the cooked couscous, mix everything well and keep aside.
  3. In another pan , lightly grill the cottage cheese fingers. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Now just the assemble everything together.
  5. In a serving dish, lay the cous cous vegetable mix. Place the grilled cottage cheese on top.
  6. Garnish with some hung curd and serve warm.