Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Something new something fresh–part 3

Dear friends,I am stoked at your comments and words of encouragement on this series. It has galvanized me and I hope to feature more and more of my friends every Wednesday. It was such a bummer that I missed last week’s entry but you all know why that was:) I am just very glad to be back and posting again. Check out part 1 here.and part 2 here from the Something new something fresh series.

So without further ado, let’s just jump right in and I’ll introduce you to today’s Chef. She is..... Aparna.Will you believe me if I tell you, that we have never met...even once.Yet, I feel like we have known each other for many years!!She lives thousands of miles across the world and we are connected only through the world wide web and yet we’ve been friends for 4 yrs now.I look at that as an achievement in itself. Wouldn't you:)?

We met on a social networking site,decided to take a chance on each other and look how that chance paid off ..because today I consider her a really good friend (we have talked about all things under the sun). She recently got married to the love of her life V,who’s a great guy and also a very good cook.Needless to say, Iam very happy for this creative and artistic woman. All the very best on the exciting new chapter in your life, my friend :))

Aparna on her engagement day, Feb 09

Aparna's recipe has a fabulous name.It's called Ali Nazik and is a Turkish dish. (Aparna had this dish at a friend's place and loved the taste so decided to make it herself. She customized it’s a bit to suit her taste buds and it turned out well despite apprehensions). The dish is served in 2 layers on a serving dish. First comes the vegetarian part of it, and the beef part is layered on top of that. This sounds so yummy that I have to try it soon.Let’s get cooking

You need:
For the beef preparation:
260gm ground beef (you could use ground lamb if you don't have beef).
1 medium onion, chopped.
2 medium tomatoes, diced.

For the vegetarian preparation:
3 medium sized egg plants.
5 green capsicums.
6 cloves of garlic, chopped.
200gm yogurt (you could reduce or increase this as per your liking).

Spices and garnish:
(The measurements for garnish and spices vary according to personal liking.)
A bunch of parsley, chopped.
5 to 6 green chillies - sliced.
1 teaspoon of black pepper.
2 teaspoons of chilli powder.
1 teaspoon of coriander powder (a spice that i added on my own).
Salt (as per taste).
Around 4 tablespoons of olive oil.

This is how you make it

The Vegetables

Broil the eggplants and capsicums in the oven. (If you like her, don't have an oven, you could roast them over open flame, something that's done for making baingan-bharta, but without the oil).
After the vegetables have cooled down, peel off the burnt layers. Rinse in water.
Dice the capsicums and the egg plant pulp and mix them up together.

(Note: Usually, the capsicum-eggplant mix is not cooked over flame. Rather, olive oil, chopped garlic, chilli powder is mixed into the mix. She wasn't sure, how well she would have taken to the 'raw' taste of the mixture, hence this variant.)

In a deep pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium flame.
Add the chopped garlic and saute (don't let the garlic bits burn).
Add in the eggplant capsicum mix into this, stir will. Add in salt as per your taste and chilli powder. Stir and mix everything well.
Take the mixture off the flame. Add in yogurt (as mentioned before, you can reduce or increase the amount of yogurt; depends on your personal liking). Make sure that the yogurt is not watery. The mix that you get by adding the yogurt should be of a nice and thick consistency.
Transfer this mix to the serving dish.

The Beef
Saute the chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep pan over medium heat.
Add in the diced tomatoes.
Add salt (as per taste), coriander powder, black pepper powder.
Keep stirring for a while so that the spices mix well with the onion and tomatoes.
Add in the ground beef and keep stirring until cooked.(Note: Its okay to add in some water in between, just make sure that the beef preparation is not 'watery' in the end).
After the beef is done, layer this beef mixture over the eggplant-capsicum mixture that you had put into the serving dish.
Garnish with chopped parsley and sliced green chillies.ENJOY



Priya Sriram said...

I'm really impressed with the fact that you got a great friend whom you have never met! :) Really a blessing!
Getting to the turkish dish, you have really done a great job.. its so elaborate and appreciate the effort you've taken! Great job Meenal! :)

Superchef said...

i soo love these series!! great recipe too. Good to see you alive n kicking!!

Aparna said...

luv you babe!!! muaaaaahhhhh >>:D<< and you have put it so beautifully... yes indeed we have never met and are such close friends!

thanks a ton hon for the blog... love you lots and glad to see that you are back in action =)

Varsha Vipins said...

Cheers to many more years of your friendship Meenal..That dish is sure unique one n I loved it..Beef n veggies layered..mmmm..sounds fab..!!

aquadaze said...

I really do love this series! And more importantly, I love the way you introduce your friends.Really nice :)

Asha said...

You have a such great circle of friends, lucky you! :)

Jaya said...

Racipe is very intriguening , but I guess will skip beef part and will love to add mutton keema instead of ...good one..
Friends are real blessings ..
hugs and smiles

Sandeepa said...

Love that name. i could eat anything if it had that name

Cham said...

Cheers and thumbs up for ur friendship! Best wishes to ur friend Aparna :) Very different recipe!

joyeeta said...

Great recipe, i can't wait to try it, love one-meal dishes!
Good job as always Minu, awesome post and kudos to you and Aparna!

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

oh she looks pretty. yummy dishes!!

Anu said...


Am impressed yaar. I guess u gather friends like flowers :) So nice to hear abt ur friendship!!

Wishing Aparna, very happy married life :)

Vandana Verdia said...

A nouveau recipe and great post, yet again! Hope you guys can meet sometime soon!!!

Madhumathi said...

You have a so many lovely friends..Nice to see you are blogging their recipes :)

Srivalli said...

Thats a lovely concept..and wonderful that you have great friends like that to share your interest!..

Cynthia said...

Another wonderful dish and another delightful person to be introduced to!

Keep them coming!

Sayantani said...

Hi Meenal!first time to your blog. you have got a real good collection of recipes and a rare circle of frends. also loved this idea of 'cooking with friends'.

Kay said...

Wow! I love these friends series. :) So good to see you posting again with a bang.

Priya Sriram said...

Hi Meenal, I have shared an award with you in my blog.. Pls accept it :)

Meenal Mehta said...

Thanks Everyone:)

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