Friday, April 07, 2006

Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry)

I have actually never eaten Indian food in my life. After discovering a little local Indian store here in town last week, I have become VERY interested in trying all kinds of Indian food. I have heard that the food that you get in Indian restaurants can sometimes be extremely greasy, so I would really prefer to cook the stuff at home. I didn't want to make a big pot of something I might not like, and I needed to go to the Indian store last night to grab a couple of things, so I hit the freezer section and after MUCH searching (seems like everything had milk or cream in it) I finally found something called Baingan Bharta. After getting home and finding recipes, it seems like it has yogurt or some other dairy product in it alot, but this particular brand that I got did not for some reason, so I got it. I guess you are supposed to eat this over rice or on Pita bread, but since I am really trying to cut back on the carbs right now, I decided to just eat it by itself. I heated it up and ate a little bit of it last night (what I didn't need for the lunchbox) and I really liked it. I am glad that I liked my first taste of Indian food because I was worried that I might have picked something that nobody likes and it would have tainted my whole opinion of that style of food. This Eggplant Curry, as it is also called, is very good. I will be making some using this recipe (without the yogurt of course, I will either leave it out completely or substitute with soy yogurt or sour cream) in the very near future.

The green container holds some seasoned yellow squash, onions and red bell peppers. Then I threw in a couple of different things into the small containers that could serve as lunch or snack items. I will sometimes raid the lunchbox around 9:30AM and eat some fruit or something out of there for a snack. Either one of the small containers today could serve that purpose. One has some peeled baby carrots and the other holds some unsalted cashews that I purchased in a BIG bag at the Indian store. They were much cheaper there than at the grocery store. I don't know if they have had anything done to them or not. They are not dry-roasted or cooked in anyway, and there's no salt on them. I assume they are just raw. They are a lot lighter in appearance than what you see at the grocery store, which made me think that they might be really dried up, but they are not. They are delicious, some of the best cashews I have ever eaten. They're also supposed to be good for helping to straighten out your cholesterol level, so that's why I thought they might make a good snack for the lunchbox.

Well, that does it for the week. I really relied on prepackaged food this week more than I would have liked. I am going to try and get back to cooking the majority of stuff myself next week. I'll probably have my head buried in the laptop this weekend reading recipes and reading up about cholesterol since it's supposed to rain here. Thanks for checking in this week and I'll see everybody back here on Monday. Have a GREAT weekend!

20 comments:

Kristie said...

I buy a lot of stuff at Indian markets -- nuts, spices, tea, etc. It's often better and cheaper than the mainstream grocery store. BTW, I've really been enjoying your blog.

kennyboy said...

Thanks.

I just discovered the Indian market and I can't believe how much cheaper the spices are there, for HUGE BAGS!

Coodence said...

I think there are a lot of vegan indian dishes. For example, Okra is a staple of indian cooking and so good!! Just saute Okra with some cumin seeds and onions and put it over rice, in a pita, or by itself. Deeeeelicious!!

Anonymous said...

love your blog! it's a "grown-up" vegan lunch box!!!
thanks!

Bawaawaaa said...

I hope those cashews aren't raw!

Cashew

1. Kidney-shaped nut edible only when roasted

I looove cashews, I'm eating some unsalted roasted ones right now!

Anonymous said...

I love Indian food and cook it at home regularly. My husband thinks some of my stuff is as good as what you can get in an Indian restaurant. Some things I make are red lentil dal (great recipe on Epicurious that I modify slightly), channa masala, and curried mixed vegetables (I got this recipe from Vegetarian Times, but have modified it quite a bit). Madhur Jaffrey's 'World Vegetarian' cookbook also has a lot of cook recipes - many that are vegan or can be modified.

I've been a vegan for 15 years (veg for over 20) and find that Indian food works really well for me.

I'm loving your blog and am also a huge VwaV fan so enjoy your comments there as well. Good luck!

Suzanne said...

Actually, cashews can be eaten raw. Packaging for raw foods must be labled though, so if it doesn't say raw on the bag- it isn't. I buy raw cashews at http://www.eatraw.com/. They are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Havent tried Indian food? Tell us how you got away without trying Indian for so long? No samosa? No chai? No nan?

Since India is primarily a country of vegeterians, many vegan, I think you will find a lot of dishes that are easy to cook vegan (may need some modifications, of course). I like Indian cuisine because I can find healthy proteins cooked with low-fat methods.

kennyboy said...

That Indian market and the nearest Indian restaurant, the only one I know of, only opened within the last few years.

Growing up here, there was nothing.

We only got our first Thai place about 6 months ago.

I've never had it either.

:o(

scs said...

Oooh, you're in for a treat! Thai food is fabulous, and, like many Asian cuisines, has the potential for many vegan options. Although it might be hard to find a lot of vegan dishes at the restaurant, the dishes would be relatively easy to modify at home. Thai food is my favorite: a whole new world of flavor and spices.

I concur with comment above: not only are raw cashews edible and delicious, I have actually heard that they are preferable to the roasted variety in terms of health.

Marieke van Vugt said...

A very good site with Indian recipes is www.bawarchi.com. I have used that site a lot since I like it to cook Indian food. Many of these recipes are vegan or can be easily veganized.

kennyboy said...

EXCELLENT. I have been searching for good Indian recipes all afternoon.

THANKS!

Anonymous said...

I am curious whether you think the LLB is enoughf ro an adult. I have seen this question asked a lot. My opinion is, it is plenty for LUNCH itself. But if I am snacking on it too, it is not enough unless I pack really carefully (e.g. high density foods). I prefer to pack fruit and veggie side dishes, so I have found it is better for me to take along a small second container with a snack and leave the lunchbox for just lunch.

kennyboy said...

I think it is enough, especially if it is just for lunch, like you said.

On the days when I get into it and snack, I kinda' end up eating 3 or 4 small meals by just spreading the whole lunch out over the day. That's not often though, but sometimes I do. I did today.

Normally I just eat the whole thing at lunch, and I think it's plenty. I appreciate its portion control though because left to my own devices I would eat and eat and eat...

If I've cleaned out the lunchbox and STILL want a snack later, I've always got a drawer that's got some Larabars in it at work. I am addicted to those things.

Tofu cutie said...

Oh, that looks yummy. Up until about a year ago I had never had Indian food. I was an omni at the time, and I fell in love (addicted). We have a killer Indian restaurant very close to us, and since going vegan I haven't been because of the yogurt in everything. The other night I found this Indain Dal at www. vegweb.com/index.php?topic=4984.0 and it was awesome. It tasted like I bought it at the restaurant. I made some Chapati bread out of How It All Vegan, and we were some happy cats here. Have fun discovering all the goodies in an Indain Market.

Ed Bremson said...

I am grateful that much Indian food is either vegetarian or vegan, and it's good too. It makes it easier to stick to my diet, and a lot of it is very healthy (turmeric, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Can you please make an open id forum on livejournal?

http://www.livejournal.com/openid/

:)

kennyboy said...

I don't know what that is. I just read all of the info there and tried to set it up with my blog but all I got were errors saying that my host does not support it.

Am I doing something wrong?

Anonymous said...

I have no clue :(.(Grr why is livejournal so lame?) Thankyou for trying :)

Randi said...

Have you tried dreamfields low carb pasta? its really great, but Im not sure if its vegan.