Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Meditterrean Grilled Aubergine with Cottage cheese filling

About the food:

This is a Spanish style grilled aubergine with cottage cheese (paneer) and peas filling. I saw a Spanish recipe of grilled aubergine in a TV show sometime back: this dish is an impoverished version of that. The method of cooking is the same, only the filling has been modified upon. It is an easy to make dish, makes an delightful presentation, and could be served as a starter, or in a cocktail party.The filling is to be scooped out with a spoon and eaten just like that: taste it, and it is delicious!

Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins

Ingredients: (serves 4)

4 medium sized aubergine.
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
1/2 inch root ginger, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium sized capsicum (bell pepper) finely chopped
200 gm cottage cheese (paneer) finely grated or handcrushed
2/3 green chillies, de-seeded and chopped
1 bunch of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely grated cheese
1 cup green peas, boiled lightly and hand crushed
black pepper powder to taste
salt to taste
olive oil / vegetable oil


1. Cut off the steam of the aubergines. Cut the aubergines longitudinally in halves, so that each has a boat shape. Make incisions through the aubergine flesh, with a knife, both longitudinal and horizontal, as many as you can, taking care not to pierce the skin. Retention of the skin is very important as the dish would be served in it. Sprinkle salt and little bit of sugar on the aubergines and set it aside.

2.After 30 mins., drain the water off the aubergines, which has come out, and brush them generously with oil. Pre-heat oven for 15 mins. Set them on a lightly oiled baking tray, and grill them at 180 deg C, for about 15mins. Check from time to time, as the time might vary. Brush them with oil again once in between. The aubergines would be soft, a little charred and golden in colour when done. Scoop out the flesh of the aubergines when it has cooled down. Retain the skins as best as you can.

5. Add oil in the pan. Put the aubergine flesh and stir fry for about 5-8mins. Sprinkle some salt to taste. Take it out in bowl and keep it aside.

6.Heat oil in a pan. Add the garlic and the ginger and saute a little. Add the tomatoes, followed by onions, spring onions, capsicum, mashed peas and green chillies. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Continue cooking on a low flame for about 10 mins or until the oil separates out. Add the cottage cheese and cook for a further 5 mins. The cottage cheese should turn a little golden in colour.The filling is done.

7. Now arrange the aubergine skins in a baking tray. Fill them up generously with the filling, and top it with grated cheese.

8. Grill them at 180 deg C for about 5-6 mins, or until the cheese melts and turns slightly golden.

9. Take the tray out, and garnish them with coriander leaves. The dish is now ready to serve.

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