Some recipes are not found in any recipe books or cooked in hotels and restaurant and are usually made in peoples homes, handed down over generations.
What makes them alluring is their age old timelessness.
Considered to be too simple to be noted down at times, there is the possibility of them being lost over time, considering the multifarious choices available to us today.
There are recipes that makes a family come together, sit around and chat. Or recipes that give you the comfort of home when you are far away from home. Today, we are talking about one such recipe.
During one visit to Bangalore, my mother-in-law made this dish that has been made in my father-in-laws family for generations and I was overcome by its simplicity and the exciting flavours of the unusual combination.
Dont be fooled by either, the plainness of the dish or the unexpected marraige of flavours!
This rustic village food from the northern parts of Karnataka (a south Indian state) scores on all fronts. The cooling creamy yogurt with the zingy spicing and the soft mellow flesh of the eggplant combined with the hearty texture and taste of the flattened rice create a taste that cannot be easily forgotten.
The downside of this preparation is that you won’t find it in any hotel or restaurant even if you go to where it originates, the northern parts of Karnataka. And that means you have to make the efforts to cook this up if you ever want to taste it. The plus side being you wont ever regret it.
Flattened Rice With Seasoned Creamy Yogurt And Roasted Eggplant Recipe
This is a very flexible recipe. Adjust the consistency of the yogurt and seasoning to your choice depending on how liquidy or spicy you want it to be. The flattened rice goes on absorbing the yogurt at a rapid pace, making it soggy very quickly. So this is best assembled just before eating and does not store well even for a brief period.
1 whole eggplant (about 300 to 350 gm), roasted and peeled
2 cups medium thickness flattened or beaten rice (poha)
1 to 1 1/2 cups thick and creamy yogurt
water (adjust to the desired consistency)
1 to 1 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 or 2 green chilies, slit
4 to 5 curry leaves
1/2 tsp asafetida
cilantro or coriander leaves for garnishing
red chili or dry chutney powder (homemade or store bought)
Smear a little oil over the eggplant and keep it over a flame, turning it around all the time using a pair of tongs, until the skin starts to peel, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool. You could cover the eggplant in foil if you want to prevent a mess around the gas area.
You could also roast the eggplant in an oven. Cut the eggplant in two halves and place the, flesh side down on a greased baking sheet. Roast for about 15 to 20 minutes at about 200 C.
Once cooled, remove the charred skin and cut into segments, reserving the residual juice.
In a bowl place the yogurt and add about 1/2 cup of water. Blend to a smooth paste using a wire whisk.
In a small wok or seasoning pot, put in the oil over medium heat. Before it starts to smoke, lower the flame, stir in the cumin seeds and when they turn golden, put in the ginger and green chilies and stir for a few seconds. Mix in the curry leaves and the asafetida and turn off the heat.
Pour the seasoning into the yogurt and mix well.
Add the flattened rice, the prepared eggplant and adjust the salt according to choice.
Add more or less yogurt and adjust consistency as desired.
Garnish with coriander leaves and red chili powder and serve immediately.
Serves 2 to 3