When it comes to reviewing restaurants, my husband doesn’t seem to agree with my reviews.
For instance, when we recently traveled to Montreal, I loved the food and desserts at the famed Olive et Gourmando, however in my husband’s opinion everything we tried at the adorable bakery was just average.
And when we traveled to Miami, I thought his Filete de Pollo Saltedo at Puerto Sagua was delicious, whereas he seem to think it was just good.
Each time we end a meal at any restaurant, I proceed to ask him, “how would you rate the food?” And most of the time he’s extremely critical which often leads to a public debate.
Suffice it to say my husband doesn't agree with most of my restaurant reviews, and generally speaking I don’t listen to his advice. Why?
Because my taste palette is more worldly than his. Hey, it really is.
Because anything that doesn't taste like Indian food to him is not perfection.
Because anything that isn't loaded with a ton of ethnic spices is not delicious.
Our most recent altercation went like this...
My response: “This is my blog, I can do whatever I want.”
His: “Yeah, but I pay for our meals out, so my opinion counts too.”
Me: “No, it doesn't. This is my blog. People care what I think. You should start your own blog if you feel so strongly.”
His: “I should! And I’ll call it www.honeywhatsNOTcooking.com, and tell people this sucked and this sucked and don’t go here.”
Well, the domain – honeywhatsNOTcooking - is still available, I should probably look into purchasing it just in case someone wants to turn against me. :-(
Neways, this past weekend I made Brinjal Coconut Pulao where I used a combination of Indian spices from both North India and South India, more specifically, my inspiration comes from the southern state of Kerela. The end result is aromatic, earthy, and delicious. Just a tip ~ slice the brinjals thin so they wilt easily.
NUTRITION: Brinjals are a very good source of Fiber and Vitamin B1. Coconut is low in cholesterol and sodium, and it is a good source of fiber. Although coconut contains high amounts of saturated fats, not all saturated fats pose as a health problem, especially those linked with coconut. Coconut Oil contains Lauric Acid which helps in increasing good HDL cholesterol. Coconut Oil is also beneficial in weight loss by controlling the blood sugar levels. The saturated fats in coconut oil are not as harmful as the saturated fats seen in vegetable oil. With that said, coconut is a saturated fat and should be eaten in moderation. Cilantro is a good source of Vitamin C and contains small amounts of Vitamin E.
- Organic Virgin Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
- Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
- Cinnamon Stick – 1/2 a stick
- Bay Leaf - 1
- Cloves – 4
- Peppercorns – 10
- Black Cardamom - 1
- Curry Leaves – 10 leaves
- Dry Red Chilies – 2 (halved)
- Red Onion – 1 large (thinly sliced)
- Brinjals – 10 (thinly sliced)
- Ginger – 1 inch piece
- Garlic – 4 cloves
- Green Chilies – 3
- Fresh Cilantro – 1 handful
- Basmati Rice – 2 cups uncooked (washed)
- Cold Water – 4 cups
- Coriander Powder – 1 TBSP
- Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam Masala – 1 tsp
- salt to taste
- Shredded Coconut – 2 to 3 tbsp (toasted)
1. Start by setting aside all the initial ingredients… cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, and curry leaves. Additionally, you’ll need 2 dry red chilies (not shown).
2. Slice an onion.
3. Heat a pot on medium heat, then add coconut oil.
4. Add all the ingredients from step 1, except the curry leaves and dry red chilies. Once you smell the aroma of the cumin seeds…
5. Add the curry leaves and dry red chilies. Cook for about 15 seconds.
6. Add the sliced red onion. Season with salt.
7. Now mix well until the onion breaks up. Saute for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
8. In the meantime, slice the brinjals. Slice them thin.
9. I have a few thicker pieces, the thinner the better.
10. Back to the onions, this is what you should have.
11. Now add the sliced brinjals along with salt.
12. Mix well. Allow the brinjals to cook for 10 minutes. Keep stirring in between.
13. Now make a paste with green chilies, garilc, and ginger.
14. Add cilantro along with the green chilies, garlic, and ginger to a Magic Bullet / Food Processor. You may need a little water to loosen it up. Blend.
15. Check on the brinjals. This is what you should have.
16. Add the cilantro paste and cook for about 5 minutes. Keep stirring in between.
17. While the brinjals cook, wash 2 cups of rice. Set aside.
18. This is what the brinjals-cilantro paste should look like after 5 minutes.
19. Add the rice to the onion brinjal mixture.
20. Stir. Let the rice toast up for about 2 minutes – this will enhance the flavor of the pulao.
21. Add 4 cups of water.
22. Add 3/4 teaspoon of salt at this point. Red Chili Powder, Coriander Powder, and Garam Masala. Stir well.
23. Cover with a lid and let the mixture cook on low-medium heat – dial #4 for about 20 to 25 minutes.
24. In the meantime, heat a pan on medium heat and add a few tablespoons of shredded coconut to toast. Stay close, else the coconut will burn. Once toasted, turn off the stove and set aside.
25. Check on the rice, once all the water dissolves, the rice and brinjals should be cooked to perfection.
26. Top with a little toasted coconut and serve with raita (raita is Indian yogurt with spices, make this recipe).
TELL ME: Have you tried Brinjal/Eggplant Pulao? What’s your favorite kind of Pulao or Rice Pilaf?