Llayland’s Food, Oracle, and Haskell

August 8, 2008

Indian style vegetarian “tamales”

Filed under: Food — llayland @ 4:59 am

I haven’t made anything terribly exciting lately, so I thought I go back a few months to a dish I made that was a big hit at the office. I had been reading a couple of food blogs and two items stuck in my mind:

  • Cholkya vayli bhakri – A roti made on banana leaf
  • vaygana bajji – Smoked eggplant

The eggplants paticularly caught my eye because I had promissed some of my vegetarian coworkers that I would try to find something I could make them on my smoker. The roti appealled to me as it finally gave me a use for my apparently sterile banana trees. Unfortunately, I was extremely busy at the time and didn’t have any time to spare in the kitchen. Finally, I decided that I needed to give it a rest a do something I enjoy.  In spite of the fact that I was extremely tired, or maybe because of it, I came up with a great idea, “Why not combine the two recipes?” This saved my the effort of frying all the rotis while allowing much more flavor from the banana leaves and smoke into the dish.

I’ve rambled on enough; here is the recipe:

2 cups (less 4 tbps) all purpose flour (Maida)
4 tbsp corn starch
1 13.5oz can of cream of coconut
——————–
mix into a loose batter

good amount of black mustard seed
good amount of dried red pepper
1 black cardomon pod
1 clove garlic
2 tsp tomato curry
salt
———————————
mash into a paste

2 large eggplants
——————————
smoke low and slow (225 degrees) until softened, then blacken over direct flame
remove skin and some seeds
smoke cleaned eggplant to remove excess moisture
mash lightly with above paste, should be very chunky

cut squares of fresh banana leaf 4-5 inches
scoop batter onto each leaf. just scoop it in the middle and spread lightly- should be about 2/3 covered (round). place a dollop of eggplant mixture in the batter round, about 2/3 of the way across. pick up the near edge of the leaf and fold it over so near end of the round covers the eggplant mixture and overshoots the other other end a little
press down lightly and pull towards you to create a tube of filling.
fold that tube forward over the two edges (should be roughly together)
smoke low and slow for a couple of hours until the batter sets
increase temperature to 400 degrees for about 20 minutes to finish them off
A note on smoking:

If you don’t have a smoker, you can use a  grill  just make sure to keep the coals to one side and the food to the other so you get indirect heat. I’d recommend using larger chunks of wood, but chips will work as well. I believe I used  hickory, pecan, and cherry which gives a nice blended flavor.  That would have been overkill just for the tamales, so I had the other half of the smoker filled with mojo marinated chicken quarters.  Plain old oak and most other woods would have been fine as well.  I’d recommend against mesquite as it could be overpowering
2 cups (less 4 tbps) all purpose flour (Maida)
4 tbsp corn starch
1 13.5oz can of cream of coconut
——————–
mix into a loose batter

good amount of black mustard seed
good amount of dried red pepper
1 black cardomon pod
1 clove garlic
2 tsp tomato curry
salt
———————————
mash into a paste

2 large eggplants
——————————
smoke low and slow (225 degrees) until softened, then blacken over direct flame
remove skin and some seeds
smoke cleaned eggplant to remove excess moisture
mash lightly with above paste, should be very chunky

cut squares of fresh banana leaf 4-5 inches
scoop batter onto each leaf. just scoop it in the middle and spread lightly- should be about 2/3 covered (round). place a dollop of eggplant mixture in the batter round, about 2/3 of the way across. pick up the near edge of the leaf and fold it over so near end of the round covers the eggplant mixture and overshoots the other other end a little
press down lightly and pull towards you to create a tube of filling.
fold that tube forward over the two edges (should be roughly together)
smoke low and slow for a couple of hours until the batter sets
increase temperature to 400 degrees for about 20 minutes to finish them off

2 Comments »

  1. Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Alex — August 15, 2008 @ 5:20 pm

  2. Thanks Alex, I appreciate the encouragement. It is hard to find the time, but I am enjoying it

    Comment by llayland — August 15, 2008 @ 10:42 pm


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