Sunday, March 31, 2013

Glimpses of the Zurich local market and A Photography challenge

Zurich market cheese

Surprisingly, so far, I have never spoken about photography, which currently happens to be my number 1 interest area. Prior to starting this blog a few months ago I was completely unaware of any aspects of food photography. Although I ve owned a DSLR for  a long time, never really experimented with it ..till now. As I started to discover it(Hello Manual mode!), I have fallen in love with it. At times I find myself cooking just so that I can take photos! But I believe I am not alone, most bloggers would agree too. Having just started with it, I consider myself a `baby` when it comes to food photography. There is so much to learn and explore.

Zurich Market asparagus

I find myself reading countless articles and books on food photography. And anyone who is interested on this topic, would follow Simone`s  `JungleFrog Cooking`. I love  the photography challenges on her site.I read through the posts and the participants posts. But never dreamt of participating considering how amateur( I am using that word loosely) I am. Then came this post from Simone this month which has motivated me to push away all my hesitations and simply participate. And what an amazing experience it has been. No amount of reading can come close to actually going through the exercise.

 Zurich Market onions
Zurich Market apples

The challenge this month is On location and there were plenty of reasons( may be excuses) not to participate that came to my mind. I just had 10 days left because the challenge ends on 31 Mar…its snowing….little miss P`s (my 5 month old) naps are way off any schedule restricting the time I can spend on photography. I decided to give a shot at it anyways.
So this weekend, myself and little miss P head out to the local market saturday early morning with our camera and a diaper bag. late decision about participating meant that I had to take little miss P along with me. I decided to go to the main market of Burkliplatz, Zurich as it offers more variety and thus more opportunities for interesting photos.

Zurich Market oranges Zurich Market carrots Zurich Market bananas
 Zurich Paradeplatz Zurich Bahnhoffstrasse 2

Zurich Market 7

On reaching `the location`, to my horror I realised that it wasnt the day of the local market at all. The dummy that I am, had mistakenly assumed it was on saturday, where as in fact the market day is friday. By then it had started to rain and my hopes of participating where starting to look frail.
But luckily, I knew of another local market which occured on saturdays and in a split second I made the decision to head over there. So another 45 mins later we finally arrived at `the new location`. The colourful stalls were beaming with fresh produce. Tulips, asparagus indicating that spring is hopefully around the corner in spite of all the snow we are still witnessing. Cheese, Olives, pasta, breads, pumpkins too..all in one place. I was giddy with excitement and not knowing where to start. I visit the market quite often, but the photography part made it all different.

Zurich Market 4

Zurich Market 3

As I started to click photos, the challenges started to unfold.
- I was so used to shooting in the controlled atomsphere of my home. But now, I had no control over the set up.
- I had to be fast and the settings I shoot with didnt work anymore. I had to bring down the ISO. Luciky, it was a cloudy day and I didnt have to worry about any harsh light.
- I am not used to shooting with people meaning strangers, so that was new as well. I was hesitant so subconsciously, I was sticking to my comfort zone and going for still shots.
- As it was raining, some of the stalls were partly covered. So I struggled with the white balance and exposure.
- Little miss P was getting cranky in her pram. But well ..thats just me and nothing to do with photography :)
When I got back home and studied my photos, I wanted to change everything and could find a million things that were wrong with the photos. And yet they never occurred to me while shooting. That I guess can only be overcome with practice practice practice. I couldnt think of posting any of them. But again I was reminded of Simone`s post and stuck with the decision to participate.
This exercise was such a great way to learn and I really look forward to taking my camera out with me more often.

Spaghetti alla Napoletana

Pasta al Nepolitana 1 

My earlier posts are evidence of my affinity towards pasta. It is my answer to several situations. Lazy days/busy days, dont-feel-like-ordering-a-take-away days, kids-dont-sleep days. This is a simple sauce. When I make this I dont have to think. I can just go in auto-pilot mode. I dont have to worry if my little boy would like it or not. He is a pasta lover.

Pasta al Nepolitana Tomatoes Pasta al Nepolitana Tomatoes basil n olive oil

Especially this one here which is uses a simple homemade tomato sauce. When I make it for the kids, I go easy on the chilli flakes. But use them as a garnish alone for myself.

Pasta al Nepolitana Tomatoes basil n olive oil backlit
 Pasta al Nepolitana side light with bokeh

Spaghetti alla Napoletana

Yeild – 3 to 4 portions

Things you need -

250 gms Spaghetti or any pasta of your choice
3 tbsp olive oil
200gms cherry tomatoes, halved or 3 medium ordinary tomatoes, chopped
handful basil leaves
1 medium onion, chopped fine
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
half a tsp crushed pepper
half – 3/4 cup water
2-3 tsp salt for cooking pasta + 1 tsp for the sauce. Adjust as per taste
1 tsp dried chilli flakes or minced red chillies, optional. Adjust as per your liking
1 tsp sugar. Adjust as per liking
For Garnish
grated parmesan cheese, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, chillies or chilli flakes, pepper and few basil leaves, optional

How I made it

1. Cook the pasta al dente in salted water as per manufacturers instructions. Drain the water and keep aside.
2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add onion and crushed garlic and cook on medium heat until the onions turn tender. Ensure they don't turn brown.
3. Add tomatoes, pepper, chillies, basil, sugar, salt. Remember the pasta is cooked with salt. So add the salt to the sauce accordingly. You don't want to end up with an overly salty dish.
4. Once the tomatoes start to turn mushy,add half to 3/4 cup water and allow the sauce to simmer for 10-15 minutes. You may add more water to achieve the desired consistency of the sauce.
5. Now switch off heat and add the pasta to the sauce and toss carefully.
6. Garnish with parmesan, basil, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, chillies, chilli flakes and serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vegan Chocolate cake bars with vegan ganache frosting – Eggless chocolate cake bars with ganache frosting

The other day during a casual round of kitchen cleaning, I noticed a few bars of dark cooking chocolate at the back of the cabinet. The last time I used it was for the cake pops. I was immediately tempted to use them up. Although there was no occasion what so ever and off late I have been reminding myself to limit my indulgences. But it was more the urge to bake rather than a craving for sweet tooth. I gave in. Egg and dairy free chocolate cake.

Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_stacked with cloth

Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting

In the past I have tried a vegan chocolate cake using vinegar which was quite good. But every time I see a new recipe for an eggfree chocolate cake, I am curious to try it out and compare it to my previous attempts. This time I have used coconut milk. I was initially skeptical that the cake would taste and smelly `coconutty`. But it didnt. I guess even if it did, it would have been fine. This cake has an intense chocolate flavour with a dense texture. I found it best to be enjoyed with a glass of milk or slightly warmed and with a scoop of vanilla icecream. The recipe can also be altered to use milk instead of water. I could also imagine that the cake would taste wonderful with a coconut based frosting or just dust with desiccated coconut and you have vegan lamingtons.

Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_with bowl

Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_coco sift
Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_whisk
Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_layer
Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_overflowing bowl
Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_backlit piece-2


Vegan chocolate cake bars with vegan ganache frosting – Eggless chocolate cake with ganache frosting

Cake Recipe adapted from Good housekeeping magazine May 2011 UK edition. Vegan ganache recipe adapted from here.
Yield - Makes about 8 cake bars of 2 inch x 4 inch

Things you need -

For the cake -

350 gms All purpose flour
50 gms unsweetened cocoa powder
30 gms semisweet cooking chocolate. I used 60% dark chocolate. Use dairy free for vegan version.
300 ml coconut milk
125 ml warm water
200 gms castor sugar
150 ml oil + 1 tsp for greasing the cake tin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt

For the ganache

250 ml water
1 tbsp cornstarch
200 gms cooking chocolate, chopped. Use dairy free for vegan version.

For garnish

icing sugar or cocoa powder or desiccated coconut, optional

How I made it -

To make the cake -

1. Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius.
2. Whisk the coconut milk and warm water together and allow the mixture to cool down.
3. Melt the chocolate over a double boil or by placing a bowl of with chopped chocolate over boiling water ensuring that no water enters the chocolate. Keep stirring until the chocolate has melted. Switch off heat and allow chocolate to slightly cool down.
4. Grease an 8 inch cake tin with oil and line with parchment paper.
5. Sift together, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder in a bowl and keep aside.
6. Whisk the coconut milk-water mixture with sugar, vanilla extract, melted chocolate, oil until a smooth mixture is formed.
7. Add the sifted mixture to the liquid mixture until a smooth batter is formed. The batter is slightly thick and just about of pourable consistency.
8. Pour the cake batter into the cake tin and bake it at 180 deg Celsius for 30 mins or till a toothpick or skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
9. Take out the tin from the oven and allow to cool completely.

To Make the frosting

1. Whisk cornstarch with 2-3 tbsp water to form a paste and add it to the rest of the water. Heat the water and keep stirring frequently until the mixture starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. This should happen pretty quick. It took me about 3-5 minutes.
2. Now add the chopped chocolate, switch off heat and stir continuously until all the chocolate has melted. You should now have a smooth ganache ready. Allow to cool down slightly.

To Assemble the cake bars

1. Invert the cake tin carefully to unmold the cake. Using a large knife or cake serrate, cut the cake in half horizontally. This might be slightly tricky. It helps to get the cake on a cake stand or at a height close to the eye level to do this. Use edible marker or a few tooth picks to get an even cut.
2. Take 3-4 tbsp of ganache and slightly spread it on one of the cake layers. Place the second layer on top of the ganache layer, such that the ganache is sandwiched between the cake.
3. Now pour the remaining ganache on the top and slightly spread it to distribute it evenly. Leave it for a few minutes and cut the cake into bars. Dust with powdered sugar or cocoa powder.

Notes -

You could also use any cake tin if you wish. A round one etc.
For best results
- do not skip the sifting of the flours.
- always bake in the centre tray of the oven and make sure the tin is in the middle of the tray.
- Do not open the oven while the cake is baking for the first 15-20 mins. Then just rotate the tin to ensure that the cake is evenly baked with a even surface.
If you are not particular about being dairy free, use 200 ml full fat or single cream for the ganache instead of cornstarch and water.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cabbage and Carrot Salad with Coconut Milk and chilli dressing

Carrot and Cabbage salad with coconut milk dressing

A few days ago I came across a salad recipe from Donna Hay`s Simple Dinners book which used coconut milk as a dressing in an Asian inspired salad. I had never heard of it before and wanted to try it immediately. Of course it is a known fact that one of main ingredients that distinguishes South Indian cuisine from the rest of India is perhaps the use of coconut. It is used everywhere. Gravies, sides, sweets, chutneys and salads too.  A generous garnish of grated fresh coconut over salads is common, but coconut milk was something new to me.

Carrot and Cabbage salad with coconut milk dressing Cabbage sunshine view

Carrot and Cabbage salad with coconut milk dressing peanuts

Thankfully I did have coconut milk in my pantry and it only took me a few minutes to put this salad together. The spicy, sweet, creamy and tangy flavours and the crunchy texture of the cabbage and carrot go together very well. The addition of peanuts was my favourite part.

Carrot and Cabbage salad with coconut milk dressing window view

Cabbage and Carrot Salad with coconut milk and chilli dressing

Yield – About 3-4 servings

Things you need -

half of a medium cabbage
2-3 medium carrots

For the dressing

50 ml coconut milk , approx half a cup
2-3 tbsp of lime juice. Use more if you like it tangy
2 tsp of cane sugar or light brown sugar. Use ordinary white sugar if you don't have brown.
2 thai red chillies, deseeded and minced fine
salt, half a tsp or as per taste

For garnish

handful roasted peanuts, with skin removed. Cashew nuts, walnuts, almonds should also work fine.
a few coriander leaves
handful cherry tomatoes, optional
fresh lime or lemon wedges, optional

How I made it -

1. Whisk together coconut milk, lime juice, sugar, salt, chillies in a bowl to form a uniform mixture. Keep aside.
2. Cut the the cabbage and the carrot julienne. Alternatively coarsely grate them. Toss them together.
3. Spoon 3-4 tbsp of the dressing onto the salad and mix slightly. Check on the taste and add more dressing if required.
4. Garnish with coriander leaves, peanuts. Serve with cherry tomatoes and lime or lemon wedges.

Notes -


Prepare the dressing first and then cut/slice/grate the vegetables to prevent them from turning brown.
Else if you would like to prep them ahead, sprinkle some lime juice over the cut/sliced/grated vegetables to keep their freshness and colour intact.

Feel free to alter the quantities of the sugar, chillies and lime juice to suit your tastes. 

Linking this entry to No Croutons required event hosted by Lisas Kitchen and Tinned Tomatoes where the theme this month is Raw Salads and soups.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Dal Palak – the south indian way | Spinach and Lentils Curry in freshly ground coconut and spices

Its amazing how experiences from childhood remain so intact in your memory. This is true especially for me and needless to say many of them are woven around food. At times my family members especially my husband is surprised by the things I remember back from childhood. He says that I have a `memory like that of an elephant`. But I believe it is quite natural and everyone has their set of memories.
Ever since I started this food blog, I find myself digging deep into such memories and I am pretty thrilled that I could recreate my moms spinach curry just by remembering how it tastes. I didn't even have to ask her for the recipe! The flavours were so fresh in my memory.

DSC_1633 dal palak

DSC_1524 dal palak

My mother mostly used the home-grown Malabar spinach (basale in Kannada, pasali in tamil ) for this curry. Back in childhod, my sister and I played with the lovely little red( rather dark pink) colored fruits. We crushed the fruits, used them for coloring drawings or pretended it was blood while we played `doctor`! Like most kids, we weren't so keen on the greens.

Its a different story now. Times have changed and I find myself looking for spinach when I go shopping. But I hardly find any Malabar spinach in the local supermarkets, all I have now is the usual spinach at hand and this curry tastes pretty darn good, Malabar or not.. home-grown or not.
If you do happen to have access to Malabar spinach, do use it.

DSC_1608 dal palak

Dal Palak – the south Indian way | Spinach and Lentils curry in freshly ground coconut and spices


Ingredients -


100 gms or about 3 cups Spinach or Malabar Spinach leaves and tender stems, cleaned
2 cups Toor or moong dal, pressure cooked with 4-6 cups of water
2 medium tomatoes, chopped and pressure cooked along with the dal *
1 tbsp oil
salt as per taste

To be ground into a paste -
4 tbsp shredded coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
half tsp pepper corns
3-4 dry red chillies
2-3 cloves of garlic
a few spoons of water

For the tempering -
1 tsp oil
a few, less than a handful curry leaves
half tsp mustard
half tsp urad dal

Method - 


1. Blanch the spinach by pouring boiling water on the spinach and keep it covered for about 2 minutes. Then drain water and run the spinach under cold water. Drain again, chop coarsely and keep aside.
2. Dry roast all the ingredients except for the coconut in a pan on medium-low heat until you begin to smell the aroma of the spices. Grind them using a mixer or blender with the coconut into a smooth paste adding as lilltle water as possible and keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a vessel. Add the ground paste and cook for a minute or two on medium heat.
4. Now add the spinach, salt and stir for a minute.
5. Add the cooked dal and bring to boil. Switch off heat.
6. Prepare the tempering by heating the oil in a small pan. When the oil is hot enough, add mustard seeds. Once they start to splutter, reduce the heat and add the curry leaves and urad dal. Once the urad dal has turned brown, switch off heat and add the tempering to the spinach dal.
7. Serve hot with rice.


* Alternatively use a small ball of tamarind, soak it in water for 10-15 mins, extract the pulp and use it just after step 3.

DSC_1632 dal palak

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stuffed Okra (Bhindi, Bendekai)

I know several friends who cannot stand this vegetable. I guess most often it has to do with the slimy texture that okra comes with. I am definitely not one of them and am very glad that none of my family members are too. In fact okra is the vegetable that brings us together :)
 DSC_1461 (2)
Although is not readily available in the local supermarkets where I currently live, I have to travel quite a bit to an Indian store to procure them. But I dont mind going that extra mile at all. They are definitely worth it. Canned ones, frozen ones..I tried them all..but nothing can come close to the fresh variety of okra. This recipe works best with tender small sized okra.
I serve them with chapatis, but I could imagine them to make excellent appetisers as well.
Stuffed Okra

Yeild – for about 2

Ingredients -
250 gms okra, washed, thoroughly dried and stem cut off
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil *
For the stuffing -
half cup grated coconut, optional
1 tsp chilli powder
half tsp turmeric
1 tbsp lemon juice ( half tbsp if not using coconut)**
half tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp salt or as per taste

Method -

1.Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing in a bowl and keep aside.
2.  Gently slit the okras length wise making a ‘cross’ or ‘T’, leaving about 1 cm from the tail end ensuring not to cut the okra in half.
3. Stuff the mixture into each of the okras. Its best to use your hands to do this.
4. Heat oil in a wide non stick pan on medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to fume, place the stuffed okra into the pan. After a minute lower the heat to medium-low. *
5. After about 3-5 mins once the bottom of the okra turns brown, turn them to the other side using a spoon or pair of tongs. Continue to do this until the okra is cooked on all sides. It took me about 10-15 mins.
6. Sprinkle/adjust salt if required.

Notes -
The heat needs to be watched and regulated to avoid burning the spices and the coconut, so watch it like a hawk!
*You might need to more oil mid way through cooking the okra if you find them sticking to the pan.
**Another variation could be to use desiccated coconut instead of fresh coconut or leave coconut out completely.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chickpeas and spinach salad with olives and feta cheese with a lemon-olive oil dressing

Chickpeas spinach salad 1200

I find salads so versatile. Served with soup or bread or any sides, they make a complete meal. Even in an elaborate cuisine as such as Indian, salads are an integral part in form of pachadi, kosimbir or raitas.
Salads have come to my rescue on hectic days at work when there was just no time to sit down for a meal yet you dont want to compromise on nutrition. Now a days , honestly its more a matter of convenience more than anything else.

chickpeas and spinach salad ingredients DSC_1154

Growing up, we had salads every other day. Of course, like most of the kids, I wasnt very keen on them. But I am happy that my little boy loves his veggies..raw or cooked! Especially when they have cheese in them.
I really like the fact that this particular salad has everything, vegetables, cheese and legumes. I tossed this salad one afternoon, for a quick, but refreshing lunch.

Chickpeas spinach salad 1175

Wishing all the lovely ladies a very Happy Women's day!

Chickpeas and spinach salad with olives and feta cheese with a lemon-olive oil dressing

Yield – Serves 2

Ingredients -

For the salad-
200 gms chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled or used canned ones
half cup spinach leaves, preferably baby spinach, cut coarsely
handful olives, pitted and chopped coarsely
100 gms feta cheese, crumbled
handful cherry tomatoes, cut into four
half tsp crushed pepper

For the dressing-
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt as per taste, just remember the saltiness of the feta
a few coriander leaves

Method -

1. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing, whisk well and keep aside.3
2. Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl and add the dressing and toss well.
3. Garnish with coriander leaves

This is my entry for MLLA no 57 hosted at Seduce your tastebuds. Susan of The Well Seasoned cook started this event and had been running it for years and now Lisa of Lisas Kitchen has taken over from Susan. Do check out the archives for some fresh ideas for legume recipes.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thai Coconut Milk and noodle soup – a bowl of comfort


I woke up to a mild headache and a cloudy, snowy morning the other day. One of those days where you just want to curl up on the couch with a nice book and a hot beverage. But that would have been me, 3 years ago. Now motherhood calls for some ‘superpower‘ on such days and I looked for it in my kitchen. I lazily scanned the fridge wondering what I could churn up for lunch that could boost my energy levels. The lemon grass stalks in my fridge reminded me of their fragrant and soothing flavour . So I made this Thai coconut milk soup inspired by the Thai green curry. I also had some noodles remaining which weren't even enough to serve a single person and had been wondering how I could use them. It just struck me .. Noodle soup! This soup turned out to be just the soothing comfort I needed to get me through that day.


Thai Coconut Milk and Noodle Soup

Serves 2

Ingredients -

250 ml coconut milk
Handful of noodles boiled as per manufacturers instructions. Use rice or wheat noodles.
2 stalks of lemon grass, cleaned and cut coarsely
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped, adjust quantity as per liking
1 inch of ginger, chopped coarsely
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp sesame oil or vegetable oil
250 ml vegetable stock or water
1 tsp sugar, preferably brown.
1 tsp pepper powder
salt, as per taste
1 tbsp cornstarch, optional
1 tbsp water if using cornstarch
1 bunch of bok choi, leaves and stems separated and cut coarsely, optional
half a bunch or a 2 handfuls of coriander leaves

Method -

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add onion, garlic, lemongrass, chilli and ginger and stir for a minute. Take care not to burn these ingredients.
2. Add the vegetable stock, lime juice and sugar, salt and boil for 10 mins. Add the coconut milk, bring to boil and switch off the heat.
3. Puree the mixture with a hand blender or mixer. Keep aside.
4. If using cornstarch, add the cornstarch with 1 tbsp water into a smooth mixture. Add this mixture to the pureed mixture and return to heat for a minute stirring continuously.
5. In a separate pan, heat a tbsp of oil and stir the bok choi stems for a minute or two until slightly soft. Add the leaves and take off from the heat and add the cooked bok choi to the soup. Check the salt and adjust if required.
6. Add the noodles and garnish with coriander and pepper and serve immediately.

Notes - 

Bok choi is optional. You can alternatively add sugar snap peas or leave it off completely.

Cornstarch just gives the soup a bit of thickness. It does not affect the taste. Can be left out.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Baingan Bharta – Roasted Eggplant/Aubergine salad served with yoghurt

Eggplant or Aubergine or Brinjal as it is known in India is my favourite vegetable. Has always been. I like it in any form, shape, colour. Be it the roasted, boiled, stuffed or just plain sautéed. Growing up, eggplants were always on the menu at my home, once a week at least. Having said that, the irony now is that my husband H hates eggplant. To the extent that he has never tasted them in his life! When I first found out, I couldn't believe it. What's not to like?

But I don't push him to trying it. I am hoping that one day he would taste it and see what he has been missing so far. My little boy is happy to follow his daddy's tastes. Lil miss P is too young to develop such tastes. I will just have to wait and see how that turns out. That leaves me alone in favour of this vegetable and I just don't feel like cooking it for just 1 person. But when I see fresh, bright coloured eggplants stacked in the vegetable aisles, I give in at times and end up making this Baingan Bharta( Baingan in hindi means Eggplant and Bharta means minced) at times. Unlike sabzi or curry or vaangi bhaath(mixed rice with eggplant and spices), this bharta can be prepared with just 1 eggplant if you like and in no time.
This dish tastes best when roasted on flame burner. But as I have an electric burner, I roast it in the oven and though nothing can beat the char grilled or smoky flavour achieved using the flame, I am quite happy with the oven roasting method too.
This is how my mom makes it..served with yoghurt. This was baingan bharta for me while growing up. It was only after I moved out of my parents home that I learnt of the punjabi or north indian way of making baingan bharta which involves cooking the roasted eggplant with spices. But that one is for another day.
DSC_1300 DSC_1385 copy


Baingan Bharta – Roasted Eggplant/Aubergine/Brinjal salad served with Yoghurt

Yeild - Serves 2

1 medium eggplant
1 small red onion, chopped fine
1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped fine or half tsp paprika or red chilli powder
1 tsp vegetable oil
salt as per taste
2-3 tbsp plain thick yoghurt
a few coriander leaves for garnish

Method -

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees cel.
2. Smear the eggplant with oil and prick it with a fork in a few places. (Please do not skip this step. Else the pressure or steam builds up in the eggplant while in the oven and might burst when you try to cut it after roasting. Trust me.)
3. Roast the eggplant in the oven for 20-25 mins until you see the skin is completely wilted and can easily be peeled off.
4. Take out the roasted eggplant and allow it to cool. Peel off the skin separating it from the flesh. Slightly mash it with a spoon or knife. Add chopped  onion, chilli and salt and mix well.
5. Garnish with coriander leaves and Serve with yoghurt. Goes well with rotis/chapatis.

Notes -

The time required to roast the eggplant may vary with the oven. So keep an eye after 15 mins.