Monday, October 22, 2018

Eggplant Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Begun-er Raita
Raita is an Indian side dish or salad of yogurt containing chopped cucumber or other vegetables and spices. It is usually served alongside rich dishes like biryani, pulao or with kababs. The yogurt dressing helps to tone down spicy dishes, soothing the palate with its creaminess. Greek yogurt is a good option, as opposed to regular unflavoured yogurt, because it is already drained of its whey, making it thick and creamy.

Cutting the eggplants into thick rondelles and lightly frying them preserves the integrity and texture of the vegetable, otherwise eggplants tend to break down easily and turn mushy. Marinating the rondelles of eggplant with salt and powdered spices like turmeric, fennel and Kashmiri mirch (paprika) serves to saturate the eggplants with flavor from the inside out.

To keep the yogurt dressing from curdling or separating, it is added and stirred into the eggplants after removing the skillet from the heat source. This salad tastes best if it is chilled in the refrigerator prior to serving.

Fish with Garlic, Tomatoes and Green Onions

Rosun r Pyaj Koli Diye Maacher Jhol
My previous post detailed my memories attached to this dish. After consulting with my big sister, I was able to reproduce my Mamima, or aunt's recipe more accurately. The coarsely ground mustard seeds in my prior post were replaced with garlic which gives this gravy a lighter, fresher appearance and taste .

Any white fish, such as snapper, tilapia or carp, will work for this recipe and it goes without saying that fish cut in steaks with the bones intact, always taste much better than filleted fish. I used both sliced onions and onion paste and also added potatoes to this fish curry.