It has been raining all day today. I have been sitting in my appartment trying to finish some long overdue readings, intermittently sipping from a cup of once steaming tea and looking out the misty window. It is rather usual for these parts to be raining all day. While all my American friends have been cursing the gloomy, monotonous, and depressing weather on Facebook, I have been rather joyed. It reminds me of monsoons in my city, Calcutta. Those of you who are from Calcutta can empathize with me. But those of you who are from other regions of the world and think that monsoon is really a glorified name for a rainy summer– you have no idea! There is totally such a thing as monsoon! During monsoon, it rains continually, everyday, for 3 months. It can be pretty, misty, romantic, melodious, and calming, but it can also be disturbingly humid, grey, gloomy, and annoying. How you approach/welcome a rainy day depends entirely on your schedule for the day, your mood, and your preference in music.
To me, Texas seemed like a happy, spirited, melodious Kolkata today. As a child, on a day like today, I would play out in the rain, getting drenched, jumping on puddles of water, floating paper boats in the tiny streams of rainwater. I would smell the raindrops that collected on the unripe mango skins that my aunt put out in the sun to dry, but inevitably forgot to remove in time. I miss that rain. I miss the smell of moist air, laden with the woody-floral and sweet odor of kadam blossoms from an invisible tree behind my house that filled my room with a mystique atmosphere. I miss the sound of rain lashing against the tiled roof over our balcony. Texas, of course, does not offer me too many chances to relive those nostalgic monsoon moments, but whenever I get a chance, I make the most of it.
On scanning my fridge, I found four lovely little eggplants and immediately set out to make beguni or eggplant fritters, a quintessential Bengali rainy day must have. I, however, altered the recipe a little, because the eggplants had been sitting in my fridge for over a week and, therefore, needed some enhancements. I used fresh garlic and green chili salt to marinate the eggplants before dipping them in the gram flour batter.
Eggplant fritters recipe
Level: easy Prep time: 25 mins Cook time: 15 mins Total time: 40 mins Serves: 2
4 small eggplants, thinly sliced (I use small eggplants because I usually cook for 2. A large eggplant will yield fritters for an army!)
3 cloves of garlic
2 green chilies
1 tsp salt
a pinch on onions seeds (optional)
Red chili powder to taste
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
Grind the garlic cloves, chilies and salt together. Evenly sprinkle on the sliced eggplants and let marinate for 15 minutes.
In a bowl mix the gram flour and water so there are no lumps. Season with salt, add red chili powder and the onion seeds.
Heat sufficient oil in a pan to deep fry the fritters. When the oil is hot, dip a slice of marinated eggplant into the gram flour batter and immediately transfer to the frying pan. Fry over medium heat until crispy and golden brown.
Serve immediately with salt and mustard sauce.
The rain is slowing, the fritters are gone, I am happy, content, and suddenly feeling productive! See you in another post. 🙂