BAINGAN (Badanekaayi/Eggplant) BHARTHA

Beauty of an accompaniment embraced equally well by rotis or rice. A delightful dish made with Brinjal, cooked or roasted, peeled and mashed making it awesomely aromatic; cooked tomatoes making it tangy; ginger, garlic making it gently pungent; spice powders making it spicier and onions marking a broad baseline of sweet and earthy flavour. The term “Bhartha” is used when ingredients are mashed roughly either before or after the dish is done. Baingan (also known as Badanekaayi, Brinjal, Eggplant, Aubergine, Guinea Squash, Melanzane, Melongene, Garden Egg) is a low calorie vegetable. Antioxidants present in the vegetable keeps the arteries healthy and prevents heart attack. Being rich in fibre, it helps clear toxins from the digestive tract, prevents colon cancer and prevents overeating since even a small serving makes one feel full. Its high water content also flushes the toxins away….making your skin glow the fairy way!

Dish Type:  Indian Vegetarian Curry BB 3 copy

Preparation Time:  10 min

Cooking time:  20 min

Serves:  2 persons


Brinjal                         1 no. (purple coloured, big size, round variety)

Oil                               1 tbsp

Cumin seeds                ½ tsp

Onions                         4 nos.

Tomato                        2 nos.

Ginger Garlic paste     1 tsp

Coriander powder       1 tsp

Cumin powder            1 tsp

Chilli powder               1 tsp

Masala powder           A pinch

Turmeric powder        A pinch

Salt to taste                 2 tbsps. approx.

Coriander leaves         1 tbsp (fine chopped)


Cook brinjal in tandoor style for that distinct smoky flavour….greased in oil (with a few pricks all over for fast and uniform cooking) and roasted over an open flame on low setting till it is cooked well. Keep turning and cooking till the entire skin is charred, the inner flesh looks really soft, the skin starts curling and is in a ready to peel state. (helloeasyroutefinders”, cook brinjal in pressure cooker with water like you cook potatoes. Let it cool.) Peel the skin of onions and chop them fine. Pour oil (2 tbsps.) in a kadai. Heat the oil and put cumin seeds. When they splutter, add ginger garlic paste. Fry it and then put chopped onions. Add salt and turmeric powder. Stir well. Fry in low flame slowly. When onions have fried well, they would have reduced in quantity. Now put coriander (dhania) powder, cumin (jeera) powder, chilli powder and masala powder. Mix well and continue frying in low flame. Fried onions appear further reduced in quantity. Now add finely chopped tomatoes and continue frying. Meanwhile, try piercing the cooked brinjal with the back of a spoon. Did the spoon make its way in, just as it would into soft butter? Yes…now peel the skin of cooked brinjal. Open the brinjal into half. Make sure brinjal is not spoilt inside. Sure fire check systems in place…right? Now mash it and add to the onion tomato mix that is being fried. Mix well. Let it simmer for few more minutes. Switch off the flame. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Baigan Bhartha is now ready. Serve hot with rotis, chapathis, phulkas, plain rice, jeera rice, crunchy toast…hmmm can’t resist!


Brinjals that are big in size, with smooth and shiny surface are more likely to have lesser number of seeds. Pick the ones that look firm, shiny, healthy, heavy and solid.

Check to see if the stalk is green, firm and stout. The whole vegetable including its skin and small, fine seeds are edible.

It is preferable to use a stainless steel knife to cut brinjals since it prevents the chemical reaction between phytochemicals present in brinjal and the metal.

If you have itching problems et al, don’t go dying for brinjal.

Sweet Corn Song


(penned by Mangala Madhuchand)

Grand Old Corn

Bright when born

Shows up when husk is torn

So so sweet to taste

Yes, can be cooked in haste

Wow… so great! Please don’t waste

This beautiful, dear corn

Lest it feels forlorn.

Spice them up with corns of pepper

How about grated mozzarella

For a scatter?

Sprout them, grind them

To a superfine flour

Mix it to a dough, roll it flat though

To make a tempting tortilla.

Oh I see…you still have

Some kernels leftover?

Oh so sweet….use them up

As filling for quesadilla

Hey, did I hear you say

“Idella namage gothe iralilla!!” *

* This  sentence  is written using kannada language. In English, it means “We didn’t know all of these”


Cooked as curry, served as snack but called by the name of “kosambari”!

Sweet Corn, which has created a niche for itself as a splendid summertime food, is a genetic variant of the maize family and is also known as Sugar Corn. It contains healthy levels of vitamin B complex and minerals, especially iron and is a rich source of fibre. Fibre helps to alleviate digestive problems and stabilize blood sugar levels.  Well known for contributing to overall nourishment, especially when combined with legumes like peas, beans, nuts etc. it is a must add to everyone’s diet.

Sweet Corn, true to its name, is sweet for the tooth and especially when cooked al dente, its tender outside and crispier inside makes one crave for more and more.

Dish Type:  Indian Vegetarian Curry Sweet Corn Kosambari

Preparation Time:  5 min

Cooking time:  15 min

Serves:  4 persons


For boiling:

Sweet corn kernels     200 gms

Water                          (200 ml approx.)

For sautéing:

Oil                               2 tsps

Cumin seeds                1 tsp

Onion                          1 no. (medium size, fine chopped)

Turmeric pwd             A pinch

Salt to taste                 1 tsp approx.

Carrot                          1 no. (medium size, grated)

Sweet corn                  (steam boiled kernels)

Chilli pwd                    1 tsp

Jeera pwd                    ½ tsp

Coriander pwd            ½ tsp

For garnishing:

Coriander leaves         1 tbsp (fine chopped)

Lime juice                   1 tsp approx.

Pomegranate seeds    2 tbsps


Wash carrot, coriander leaves and sweet corn kernels thoroughly in water. Drain out the water and keep aside.

To cook sweet corn kernels, bring water to rapid boil in a vessel. Quantity of water must be just enough for the kernels to be covered. To this rapid boiling water, add sweet corn and a pinch of sugar. Let it cook for about 5 min. Switch off the burner. To retain its sweet taste, do not overcook the kernels. Remove the steamed kernels from water and keep aside.

While water is boiling (i.e., before putting sweet corn)….

Heat oil in a pan. To this add cumin seeds. When it splutters, add chopped onion, turmeric and a pinch of salt. Sauté till onions turn transparent. Now put grated carrot and resume sautéing till carrot gratings are partially cooked. Add boiled kernels, salt, chilli powder, jeera powder, coriander powder and mix them well. Switch off the flame.

Garnish with fine chopped fresh coriander leaves, lime juice and a tiny blob of butter (optional).

Sweet corn kosambari is ready. Serve it warm or cool.

A bit of thought for a bite of food:

To pick fresh corn, just prick a kernel. It should squirt whitish juice. Husks should appear as fresh, tender and green like grass. Size of kernels need to be on the plumper side and spaced snug fit in the cob. Colour of corn is not a determinant of quality.

Cooking corn by steaming for just the optimum time required is considered to be a healthy way of cooking since loss of nutrients is minimized to the maximum extent while still retaining its color and enhancing its taste and texture.

Please do read “Sweet Corn Song” in this blog where you also get to know few other ways of using corn.


This “Made in Karnataka” speciality is a favourite side dish for pongal, rotis, dosas and hot rice.  Gojju can be of different varieties, variation created either by using different ingredients for making the spice powder itself or by using a host of different vegetables and fruits.  Generally, just a single vegetable or fruit is used. There are a few rare recipes however where gojju has a mix of vegetables too. This recipe however is created without using any vegetable or fruit.

The 3 salient tastes of Gojju are sweet, sour and spicy. In this recipe, they are derived by using jaggery, tamarind and a combination of rasam powder with few other spices respectively. Easy n tasty gojju for you to try n taste!


Dish Type: South Indian Side DishTamarind Gojju

Preparation Time: 10 min

Cooking time: 10 min

Serves: 5 persons


Tamarind                    1 big lime size

Jaggery                        50 gms

Urad dhal                    2 tsps

Methi seeds                1 tsp

Jeera                           2 tsps

Rasam powder            2 tbsps

Procedure for preparation

Soak tamarind in 50 ml water for half an hour

Dry roast urad dhal, methi seeds and jeera. Let it cool and then powder it.

Add little water to this powder, make it to a thin paste and keep aside.

Squeeze soaked tamarind to remove any seeds or fibre to make tamarind juice. (Alternatively, a tbsp. of tamarind paste can be used and diluted with few spoonfuls of water to make tamarind juice.)

 To this juice, add salt, rasam powder and jaggery.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a kadai.

Put asafoetida and mustard seeds for seasoning. To this add tamarind juice mix. Let it boil for a few minutes.

Add urad dhal paste to the boiling tamarind juice. Mix well and continue boiling till you get a uniform slightly thick and even consistency.

Tamraind Gojju is now ready.

Also view other Gojju recipes at Sarapaaka “Lime Juice Gojju” “Onion Tomato Gojju” “Raisins Gojju” “Cucumber Onion Hasi Gojju”.     


Tamarind, the most sought after ingredient in Indian households, is most commonly used in rasams, curries, chutneys, gojjus, hot and sour soups, lentil, vegetable and chaat preparations, etc.

Tamarind juice (i.e., the juice extracted from tamarind pulp) combined with jaggery or sugar, honey, dates, cardamom, clove and coriander seeds makes for a healthy and refreshing drink. Or tamarind juice with jaggery or honey, jeera and pepper (in fresh powdered form) and a pinch of salt. This juice is believed to be extremely good for controlling skin itching and irritation and can easily be a part of haircare and skincare regimen.



This ultra-simple dish is a signature recipe of the western ghats of Karnataka, South India. Being the gravy kind, it sits in style by the side of rotis but you can easily shift sides and team it with steaming hot white rice. Using vegetables for making saasve is optional but ground raw mustard is mandatory. In this recipe, we have used Lady’s Finger, selecting the tender ones, a humble vegetable that is low in calories, high on fibre and dense with nutrients.

Dish Type:  Side DishLady's Finger Saasve

Preparation Time:  10 min

Cooking time:  15 min

Serves:  4 persons


For seasoning:

Oil                   2 tsp

Black gram      1 tsp

Mustard seeds            ½ tsp

Curry leaves    3 sprigs

For sautéing:

Lady’s finger   500 gms

Salt to taste     ½ tsp (approx..)

For grinding:

Raw coconut grated    ¼ of a coconut (240 ml cup)

Green chillies              4 nos.

Mustard seeds                        ¼ tsp

Jeera                           Little less than ¼ tsp


Wash lady’s finger. Drain the water, let the vegetables dry.

Chop them into fine round slits and keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadai. When hot, start putting ingredients listed under seasoning, one after another at few seconds intervals (in that order). Now put the chopped vegetable, saute it at intervals. Cover it partly with a lid retaining the ladle for sauting in the kadai itself. Remove the lid only when you have to saute. Cook till the bhindi (lady’s finger) turns soft. When done, allow it to cool.

(If bhindi is cooked by keeping the kadai open, vegetable will be crisp, but doesn’t suit for making saasve)

While the vegetable is getting cooked:

Finish grinding using ingredients listed under “For grinding”. Transfer the ground mixture to a bowl. To this ground mixture, add ½ litre curds and 1 tsp salt.

Now add the cooked and cooled bhindi to the above and mix well.

Lady’s finger saasve is now ready.

Note: Lady’s finger is also known as Bhindi, Bhendi, Okra, Bamia, Ochro or Gumbo


This rare spicy, tangy, lip smacking “Gojju” is the signature side dish of South India and served specially during auspicious occasions and festivals. Don’t miss trying this uber easy recipe!


Dish type: Side DishRaisins Gojju

Preparation time: 5 min

Cooking time: 30 min

Serves:  4 persons


For dry frying

Til seeds                      25 gms (white coloured)

Dry grated coconut     50 gms (3 tbsps heapful approx..)

For cooking

Raisins                         ¼ kg

Tamarind paste           2 tsps

Jaggery                        100 gms

Salt to taste                 1 tsp approx.

Turmeric powder        A pinch

Gojju powder              50 gms

Water                          ½ litre

For seasoning

Oil                               1 tsp

Mustard seeds                        ½ tsp

Curry leaves                few leaves

Red chillies                  2 nos.

Asafoetida                   A pinch


Preparation before cooking…

Wash raisins and curry leaves thoroughly in water. Drain and keep aside.

Now the cooking….

Keep 500 ml. of water, raisins, tamarind paste, turmeric, jaggery and salt in a vessel. Let it boil in low flame for about 20 min.

While raisins are getting cooked

Grate dry coconut and keep aside.

Dry fry til seeds and grated dry coconut separately in a kadai. Powder til seeds and keep aside.

Prepare gojju powder. (Refer “Gojju Powder” recipe that is posted separately)

Grind dry fried grated dry coconut with required quantity of gojju powder and keep aside.

Mix the above ground gojju powder with 250 ml water in a bowl and add this to the raisins cooking in the vessel.

Continue boiling. When the consistency becomes thick, add til powder. Continue boiling for another 5 min. Now take the vessel off the stove and prepare seasoning.

For seasoning, heat a small skillet. Put oil. When it is heated, add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add red chillies and curry leaves. Switch off the burner. Now add asafoetida and immediately pour on to the gojju.


If tamarind paste is not available, soak a marble size of tamarind in water for about 10 to 15 min. Squeeze and extract the juice by removing fibre and seeds if any. Use this tamarind juice.


Onion Tomato Gojju

Onion Tomato Gojju is a Side Dish that can be used along with Starters as well as Main Course.

 Dish type: Side Dish

Preparation time: 15 min

Cooking time: 15 min

Serves: 4 persons


Onion                          ½ kg (5 nos. medium size)

Tomato                        ½ kg (5 nos. medium size)

Tamarind paste           ½ tsp

Jaggery                        50 gms

Salt to taste                 ½  tsp approx.

Turmeric                     ½  tsp

For frying (with just a drop of ghee)

Methi seeds                25 gms

Bengal gram dhal       50 gms

Jeera seeds                 25 gms

Coriander seeds          25 gms

Red chillies                  10 nos.

Til seeds                      10 gms (white coloured)

For grinding (with the above fried ingredients)

Raw grated coconut    2 tbsp (i.e., 1/4th of a coconut)

For seasoning

Oil                               1 tsp

Mustard seeds            ½ tsp

Bengal gram dhal       1 tsp

Black gram dhal          1 tsp

Curry leaves                1 sprig

For garnishing

Coriander leaves           1 tbsp


Peel the skin of onions and chop them finely.

Wash tomatoes and chop them into small pieces.

Wash curry leaves, drain the water, separate the leaves from the sprig and keep aside.

Wash coriander leaves, drain the water, chop them finely, keep aside

Heat a medium sized pan or kadai on a gas stove. When hot, put oil followed by Bengal gram dhal, black gram dhal, mustard seeds and curry leaves (in that order).

Now put chopped onions and immediately add turmeric and salt. By doing so, onions get cooked faster. Keep stirring occasionally.

When onions turn transparent, add chopped tomatoes, tamarind paste and jaggery powder. Stir now and then.

At this stage or in the previous stage while onions are getting cooked, heat a small skillet on another burner. Dry fry methi seeds, Bengal gram dhal, Jeera seeds, Coriander seeds, Red chillies and Til seeds (in that order).Whie frying, add a drop of ghee. Let it cool.

Grind the above fried ingredients to a coarse powder. Now add raw coconut and continue grinding till they blend well. No need to add water.

Transfer this powder slowly by spreading all around over the onion tomato mix that is boiling on the kadai. Mix them gently only on the surface so that the powder doesn’t form lumps. Let the powder blend evenly with the vegetables.

After it blends well with the vegetables, stir only occasionally. When you notice the gojju separating from the sides of the kadai, switch off the stove.

Transfer it to a serving bowl. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

Onion Tomato Chutney is now ready.


Dry grated coconut can also be used instead of raw grated coconut. But it has to be dry fried and mixed with other fried ingredients mentioned above to make powder.

If tamarind paste is not available, soak a marble size of tamarind in water for about 10 to 15 min. Squeeze and extract the juice by removing fibre and seeds if any. Use this tamarind juice.