Indian Khana, Made Easy

The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including Gluten Free dishes.

February 15, 2017

Quinoa Medley on Eggplant Boats


We all need a break from the usual every once in a while. Today is one of those days. We spotted this beautiful Sicilian eggplant at our local grocer and couldn't go home without it. So purple and succulent! 

My mother picked it up and knew just what to do with it. Instead of chopping it up and making our usual curries, she decided to use it as a vessel or boat and stuff it with quinoa and vegetables. 

Don't you just love how her mind works? 

Check out this huge Sicilian Eggplant!

Ingredients
  • 1 Sicilian eggplant, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa cooked 
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen cut spinach
  • 3 to 4 oz firm tofu (optional), cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 tsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp crushed chilies
  • 1 tsp dhanjeera powder (cumin and coriander powder)
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella (we used Cabot pepper jack cheese for lil kick)
  •  salt for taste
  • 1 Tbsp veg oil for seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

Procedure
Preheat oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit and start your prep work for the Sicilian Eggplant boats:

1) Cut the top flesh off each quarter of eggplant, leaving behind a 3/4" of it at the bottom. 

Sprinkle salt and rub into each eggplant quarter. Also brush it with oil, inside and outside. Cut the top flesh into small cubes and set aside.

2) Heat oil in a skillet and add cumin seeds. When it sizzles, add dhanjeera powder and a pinch of turmeric. Stir and add onions, ginger/garlic paste, and crushed chilies.

Stir fry until the onions are transparent. Add tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Allow them to cook under closed lid. After tomatoes are cooked, add eggplant and continue to cook under closed lid.

3) After the eggplant is soft, add frozen spinach and stir for a one to two minute and add salt and cooked quinoa. Mix well and continue to cook for two to three minutes until all are mixed well.


4) Spoon the cooked mixture into the eggplant quarters evenly. Then sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of all the stuffed quarters. Place the stuffed quarters in a small aluminum tray and add half a cup of water.
Cover the aluminum tray with foil, Then take a knife and pierce a couple of holes in the foil for the steam to escape. When it is ready, place the tray in the oven for 30 minutes. Add more water if needed.

5) Make sure the eggplant is soft and cooked, remove the foil and broil until the cheese turns golden brown. Remove from tray and serve hot.

This dish had everything a foodie like me would enjoy; eggplant, cheese and lots of flavor. The fact that it was healthy didn't even cross my mind. :)

I hope someday, I can hold a vegetable in my hand and know it's future...all the endless possibilities of dishes I can make with it.  OH, THE JOY!! 

Until then, I will learn all that I can from my foodie mentor and guru, my mother, and share with you all. 

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If you liked this eggplant dish, then you are sure to love our Eggplant Raita (yogurt dip), Gourmet Grilled Cheese with Eggplant Bharta and/or Stuffed Eggplant dishes.