For the first time since I started blogging, I decide to take part in a blog event: JFI, which is Indira's brainchild and being hosted by Sangeeta for July. It is a great idea that intends to celebrate a particular ingredient and the different recipes that come out of it. So, first, a big thank you to both.
Sangeeta chose "Eggplant" as the ingredient for the month of July. "Interesting" was the first word I said after reading the announcement post. For years, I have been eating eggplant cooked the traditional Indian way, where it is really the spices that are mixed in, dominate the final flavor of the product. One reason for that is that it doesn't have any pronounced taste of its own, say like peppers or carrots. So, I never either liked or hated this vegetable. For me, it were the spices that mattered.
Another reason why coming up with a good eggplant recipe seemed a bit challenging was that once cooked, this vegetable turns extremely mushy. One thing I wanted to try was to make the final product crunchy and also retain the non-dominant taste of the eggplant itself. After all, the Jivha is for Eggplant and not for the spices that go with it :) And yeah, this blog is about adventures in cooking. So I was going to have some fun!
Wanna take a guess as to what added the crispness, but didn't damage the taste of the eggplant??.........You got it! Water chestnuts!! Despite cooking, water chestnuts hold onto their crunchiness and tend to be very neutral in taste. Not only that, but water chestnuts are extremely healthy as they contain fiber and vitamins, but very little sodium or fat. So hey, I experimented with my ideas and played with the ingredients. I had to stick to the punch line for my blog!
I hope you enjoy this recipe for Egg Plant Crunch Rolls.
1 large egg plant (makes approximately 10 rolls)
1 3/4 cups water chestnuts, finely diced (2 cans of 50 oz dry weight each)
1 tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp Sriracha (hot chilli sauce)
1 tbs fine paste of ginger, garlic and green chillies
1 tbs chopped fresh fenugreek leaves (methi leaves)
1/4 cup white onion
1 tbs oil
1. Heat some oil in a skillet. Add the ginger, garlic and green chilli paste, fenugreek leaves and onions and fry for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the diced water chestnuts. Keep stirring.
3. Add the soy sauce and hot chilli sauce. Stir well and let it cook for a 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
4. Make thin slices of the eggplant lengthwise.
5. Grill the egg plant slices on both the sides until they start turning brown.
6. Stuff the mixture of water chestnuts in the center of the grilled egg plant slice and roll them up. Insert a tooth pick in the center to keep the roll together.
Serve the egg plant rolls hot. Sprinkle some chopped fenugreek leaves on the top. Sprinkle some red chilli powder on top to make it extra spicy.
Enjoy the CRUNCH of an eggplant!!