31 May 2020

Kshemakutuhalam chapter 8, part 2 – good food, healthy life…

In the previous article, we had been reading about the general, ideal methods of vegetable cooking… Moving further, author switches to describing the methods of cooking specific vegetables which are commonly used. Let us have a look..

1. Brinjal – popularly called as vruntaka in Ayurveda terms, it was and is one of the widely used vegetables till date… Along with the cooking methods, author also describes the various types of brinjals available and their different qualities. The explanation starts with the quote, which tells, among all the types/species of vegetables, brinjal is the leader/king… Hence it is described first. The next verse is interesting. He says, “pity on a meal which doesn’t have brinjal in it, pity on a brinjal which doesn’t have stalk, pity on a brinjal which has a stalk, but is not cooked in oil, pity on a brinjal which has been cooked in oil but without asafoetida”…. This verse is simply amazing.. Author here sarcastically/wittily says that, *brinjal is the best vegetable, * among brinjals, the ones with stalk is thr best, * brinjals with stalk must be fried in oil, * brinjal must be fried in oil with asafoetida… These are some simple take away tips of cooking it, told in the most fantastic manner…

2. The range of recipes told for only brinjal will blow your mind… He says, brinjal which is cut into small pieces must initially be steamed in a sour liquid like tamarind juice. To this we can add the seasoning made of ghee, coriander, fresh ginger and turmeric and again boiled. After sometime, he again advises the addition of seasoning with oil, salt and black pepper powder… This suprised me, as rarely any recipe would have two seasonings, specially with two different types of fat – oil and ghee… Author praises this recipe and says that this dish is so fragrant, that it can induce appetite even in a man made of wood… (Now that creativity is wow). This says that, we can use this recipe either as an appetizer or as a side dish for any meal.

3. Another method would be – brinjal must be properly cleaned, cut into pieces and dipped in oil. When fried a little, we must add water which is mixed with asafoetida and boiled well. This must be dressed with black pepper powder and ofcourse not to forget, salt… Author says, only fortunate people get to taste this dish.

4. Green and unripe brinjal also can be used. But it must be fried with mustard oil containing asafoetida and black pepper. This can be a little hot in potency, it must be used carefully. But it stimulates appetite very well in people who have less hunger.

5. Another signature dish told for brinjal – here, pieces of brinjal that are smeared with ginger powder, coriander powder, cumin powder are fried ghee containing black pepper and asafoetida.

The one common thing what we observe in cooking of brinjal is lots of fat (either oil or ghee) and asafoetida. Still lots and lots of brinjal recipes coming ahead…

Stay tuned !!!! Happy time!!!!

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