Wednesday, March 17, 2010


As we drive along the highway,the roads seem smooth and the bumps bare....
From afar i spot a little basket....covered in greens....and thats enough to excite an already over excited me....

Add to that a absolutely friendly sweetest farmer (and there are a few others on that stretch too ) and his daughter and u have a combination u cant help but love.....and add to that a basket of freshest produce and boy thats a HI5 all the way....

Raddishes and sweet potatoes n red veggies to begin with.....and after ages somebody who has grown the portuguese peri peri which is so delightful for goan portuguese cuisine we love....AND EVEN SHELL FISH...

And now the Okra/lady fingers are all ready and set flourishing in their fields too....


AND RIGHT FROM THE FIELDS ........................



 Thats  awhile back stori,as we were on a drive on sunday...also a day we visit a local farmer,with fields on either side of the highway and grows veggies on a small scale at this time of the year(when not ploughing away for paddy et all) and sells off a little basket right on the  highway where the passing traffic picks up his stuff....and loads of 'em do......

 Aubergine, eggplants...brinjals......what a beauty thats seasonal and nutures in our fields....dont we love 'em brinjals.....

Whats purple and smooth and a jewel.........
A jewel of the fields........

And i love to watch those AUBERGINES pile'd small or big in a little r biggie heap.....they are shiny and jewel colored and delicious....

And all the really sweet local viallgers ,also the owners and farmers of these fields who grow veggies till around May and then begin preparing the lush fields for the rain crops....

and the way their pile 'em all in a little basket or on a rugged mat on the muddy stony ground ,is jus so rustic and appeals...its a pleasure to buy from 'em and honestly by midmorning or around 10 ish when we land there ,loads of their fresher than fresh vegiies are almost done...

ANd with so muc of aubergine around ,what we do is put on a few on a foil lined baking tray and grill 'em good till charred ,turning once in between-we love this better than baked and love a smoky delightfull flavour too...and we toss a few salads with the same and yeah now a few more recipes come up my mind...delightful as ever...


ANd here's an absolutely delightful recipe to begin with which was actually at last months R2R and chosen by TEMPERANCE...hop by to her blog and u'll have all the fab recipes lined in a row jus for u....

•2 pounds (about 2 medium-sized) eggplant
•4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
•1 cup fresh bread crumbs, seasoned with 1/4 chopped fresh basil leaves and 1/4 cup pecorino
•2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
•1 pound ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
•1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano(i used kraft and hand made parmesano)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash and towel dry the eggplant.
Slice the eggplant horizontally about 1/4-inch thick.
 Place the slices in a large colander, sprinkle with salt and set aside to rest about 30 minutes.
 Drain and rinse the eggplant and dry on towels.

In a sauté pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil until just smoking. Press the drained eggplant pieces into the seasoned bread crumb mixture and sauté until light golden brown on both sides.
 Repeat with all of the pieces.

On a cookie sheet lay out the 4 largest pieces of eggplant.

Place 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce over each piece and place a thin slice of mozzarella on top of each.


Sprinkle with Parmigiano and top each with the next smallest piece of eggplant, then sauce then mozzarella.

Repeat the layering process until all the ingredients have been used, finishing again with the Parmigiano.

Place the pan in the oven and bake until the top of each little stack is golden brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.



*****I LOVE CHUNKY N textured and so had a chunky tomato sauce here.

*****i increased the amount of garlic to almost 2 whole of 'em and loved the garlicky flav.

*****Tinned toms arent very common here but what i did was use fresh really ripe red tomatos and they worked super.

*****All i do in blanch 'em in boiling water,peel e'm and chop em..
No i dont really mind the seeds.:-))))

Basic Tomato Sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

 Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft.
Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often.

Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve.

This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Now with this sauce and some grilled and meat scooped aubergine ,me tossed in a delicious pasta

Fresh bread crumbs are required for the coating to stick without an egg wash.
The oil must be HOT HOT HOT or the eggplant will not cook fast enough and will be a greasy soggy mess.
The Mozzarella must be very thinly sliced or the eggplant tower will slide (it will still taste great)


***** You can begin with the sauce as soon as u cut the aubergine and stand it aside for half an hour and u should be able to finish the prep n simmering while then...then u go back to the aubergine and leave the suce simmering

*****i did grill a batch too and it was jus as good....

****i used panko instead of breadcrumbs,seasoned as the recipe.



The origin of mole poblano, the thick, rich, chocolate-tinged sauce made so famous in the colonial mountain city of Puebla, Mexico, is still disputed, and generally involves these two versions of the legend:

The first says that 16th Century nuns from the Convent of Santa Rosa in Puebla de los Angeles, upon learning that the Archbishop was coming for a visit, went into a panic because they had nothing to serve him. The nuns started praying desperately and an angel came to inspire them. They began chopping and grinding and roasting, mixing different types of chiles together with spices, day-old bread, nuts, a little chocolate and approximately 20 other ingredients..

This concoction boiled for hours and was reduced to the thick, sweet, rich and fragrant mole sauce we know today. To serve in the mole, they killed the only meat they had, an old turkey, and the strange sauce was poured over it. The archbishop was more than happy with his banquet and the nuns saved face. Little did they know they were creating the Mexican National dish for holidays and feasts, and that today, millions of people worldwide have at least heard of mole poblano.

The other legend states that mole came from pre-hispanic times and that Aztec king, Moctezuma, thinking the conquistadors were gods, served mole to Cortez at a banquet to receive them. This story probably gained credibility because the word mole comes from the Nahuatl word “milli” which means sauce or “concoction”. Another connection could be that chocolate was widely used in pre-columbian mexico, so people jumped to that conclusion.


  Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence via recipes to rival

Mole sauce:
2 dried ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded

2 dried anaheim chilies, stemmed and seeded

2 dried chipotle chilies, stemmed and seeded

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup whole almonds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns(i cut down to 1/2 tbh)

1 cinnamon stick, preferably Mexican, broken in pieces

1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican

4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 small onions, sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 serrano peppers, stemmed and seeded

6 plum tomatoes, chopped

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably Mexican, chopped

1 capon or large chicken, cut into 10 pieces
1 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chicken stock

Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Cooked white rice, for serving


~~~No mexican chocolate here so what i did was subbed with chocolate powder and cinnamon powder added to it.

~~~for the 3 types of chillies ,i used 3 types of the local chillies available here.

~~~for the serrano ,i used green pepper cut into cubes.

~~~i doubled the onion tom saucy mix,which i later simmered with a cinnamon stick, stock, brown sugar ,dash of vinegar and thyme added to it-a lovely chunky sauce.

~~~i seasoned the chicken ,washed with salt and lemon water ,with garlic, lime and salt...



For the mole:

Tear the ancho, anaheim, and chipotle chiles into large pieces and toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat until they change color a bit, about 2 minutes.
 Put them into a bowl with the raisins and cover them with hot water.
Soak unti softened, about 30 minutes.

In the same skillet over medium heat, add the almonds, sesame seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, oregano, and thyme.

 Toast for 2 minutes, grind in a spice grinder, and add the powder to a blender.

In the same skillet over medium-high heat add the olive oil, onions, garlic, and serrano.

Cook until lightly browned, then add the tomatoes. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 10 to 15 minutes, then add to the blender.

Add the chocolate and the soaked chiles and raisins to the blender along with some of the chile soaking liquid.
Puree, adding more soaking liquid as needed, to make a smooth sauce.

THEN i did simmer it for awhile before addng to the chicken.

(This makes about 4 cups sauce, the recipe uses 2 cups, the extra can be frozen).


Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and season it well with salt and pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet and brown the chicken on all sides; remove the browned chicken to a plate leaving the oil in the pan.

Pour 2 cups of the mole sauce into the hot skillet and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and return the chicken pieces to the pan. Simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes.(i simmered on low fire for a longer time)

Serve over cooked white rice.I served with loads of steamed/fried potatoes and mushrooms. Garnish everything with cilantro leaves.

I realize that all palates and shopping centers are not created equal, so feel free to mix and match your peppers to suite.
You can look up how hot diffrent peppers are here (Scoville scale).
I skipped the serrrano on mine and while the sauce was good it was definitly missing something, so keep in mind it is important for your sauce to have a bit of bite.

The sauce is perfectly edible before the final step of adding the chicken broth (or veggie) so give it a taste and change it up as needed for your taste buds.

This sauce is suppose to be smooth, and barring comercial equipment, we are just not going to achive that perfectly smooth texture, so don't be afraid to blend  everything.

For those not familar with Mexican chocolate, like Ibarra, it is grainy with cocoa nibs, sugar and cinnamon. While delicious it is not the same as your regular baking chocolate.

Don't forget when working with peppers use care, wash your hands well and frequently and wear gloves, pepper juice in your eye or up your nose is not fun.


~~~~THIS sauce gave me enough for 5 chicken fillets(boneless breast) and yeah tossed 2 steamed potatoes and some peas too  coz makes alot of sauce....
U sure will love having leftovers.

~~~Oh yeah ,found it very spicy at first but then it did tone down and was absolutely delicious....

~~~Almost all our cooking has pinches of sugar added ,coz we have a sweeter palate but yeah we use natural brown sugar or organic sugar for the the sweetness that heightens the flavours.

~~~Oh this gives loads of sauce ,so i steamed some potatoes n mushrooms and fried some too (healthy version n fried version) and tossed 'em in all the extra sauce-no leftovers here :-(((((




  1. Oh my friend, these pictures are EXQUISITE! :-) I love them so much. :-) I love that you cut your mozzarella into hearts. :-)

  2. Thnx a ton Krista and HAPPY ST.PAddys day to ya.....

  3. Happy St. Paddy's Day to you too! Your food looks wonderful -- I can really see how much love you put into your cooking and your pictures -- and everything looks perfect! I love this time of year...I get so excited too when I start to see the fresh fruit vegetables for sale. Eggplant is a favorite of mine, and your pretty eggplant towers look so delicious!

  4. I love your new home!! It's very cozy yet bright and cheery like you :) That chicken mole poblano looks exquisite and the photos are simply mouth watering! Happy St. Paddy's Day to you!

  5. You have posted two of my favorite dishes here! I have been drooling all over the computer. I love the heart-shaped very you and therefore so adorable.

  6. Unbelieveable! I'm printing out the recipes and I'm sooooo going to try my hand at some!

    Thank you for stopping by my friend. Happy St. Patty's Day.


  7. You do have beautiful pictures! And fabulous looking food. Thanks for the great posts.

  8. I love your new home...its so bright and lovely, just like you dear:) Happy St. Patty's Day to you.

  9. love the decor of your new home and such refreshing farm pictures! i have never seen okra that fresh and aubergines that flawless! love the mole sauce too.. i have had it only once before but love your rendition.

  10. Great new site! The chicken mole poblano sounds so tempting!

  11. I love your new home and I loved today's post. The photos are simply gorgeous. I couldn't pick a favorite from among the dishes you featured today. It all looked so good! Have a great day.

  12. Oh my...your veggie photos had me drooling. Okra so fresh and those eggplants! I adore eggplant. (I'm having it tonight!) My mother used to make it and my mother-in-law had a scalloped eggplant that was sheer heaven. For a quickie veg (like tonight) I just dice it, toss it with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast it in the oven. Sheer heaven!!
    Lovely post, filled with good recipes, fun photos and delicious ideas!!

  13. I so loved that little bear at the beginning of your cute!....just want to give him a hug and you too!....sweet Mia!

    Your food and photo's always look SO good!


    P.S. Hope you had a very lovely St. Patrick's Day too!

  14. Oh My..Don't know how I missed this..Maybe I moved the sidebar a lil the dishes look awesome..And great clicks as always..Keep rocking !!

  15. KRISTA-oh am so thrilled u think so and yeah i loved those hearts too.....
    thanx a ton

    Oh FAITH,i love ur thoughts on my blog and food and u have me grinning Joyfully always ....I love tis time of the year too ,only i say it all year round :-))))
    and love the love u feel....its real....

    LISA,am so thrilled u think so ,coz i do want to ,too.....
    And thanx a ton,u sure did encourage me here;-)))and ur thoughts sure make me feel cozy bright and cheery too...

    JAONNE,i would have loved to pack some for u ,now that am quite a pro at packing food and cookies, alongwith heart shaped cheese's ;-)))
    And yeah gurl-u have me swell, as always..thanx buddy...

  16. Oh REBECCA, u dont kow how flattered i am-in a happy +tive way :-))).thanx and am sure it'll be fantastic from ur gorgeous kitchen to ur table...

    Thanx MINDY,loved that u stopped by and love ur blog too...

    RaCHANA,am so tickled and excited that u think so and am loving my new home too...

    thanx PJ, thrilled about ur reaction-u make me joyfully happy so.....i loved to see the Okras too,thanx to my moms farm tutorials and farm visits :-))))
    Oh this mole sauce rocks!!!!u could try it with tofu or Cottage cheese or mushrooms n potatoes.

    NATASHA,thanx a ton,i love that u love this site!!!

    MARY, thanx dear am so so thrilled to ahve u with ur kind heart and love wht u think about this blog too,oh i loved ur pics of the chicken mole too!!!

    BARABARA,i love how ur going to have ur eggplant tonight ,delicious....
    we do grill em too and scoop out the flesh for gorgeous delights,i ahve a few pics i must post yeah:-)))
    ur recipe is truly sheer heaven:-))))u have me all hungry and i jus had dinner a bit ago.

  17. Dear sweety PAM,now i wanna hug u too .....sending u warm warm bear hugs ur way:-)))
    thanx dear,ur thoughts make me jump for joy ,that lasts...yeah i had a wonderful day and am sure u did too......

    GUL ,its perfectly fine but am happy u hooped by here :-))))
    thanx sweety and will rock as so will u....

  18. All those beautiful vegetables. I have not appreciated the beauty of them until recent months. Thanks for showing them,

    It is hard to read over the polka dots.

    I love this blog. I can't wait to see how it develops with all you happiness and enthusiasm. You are one special gal.

  19. Dear,
    The baked eggplants are a joy to look at. Love the chicken mole's presentation. Looks like the new blog is up and running.
    Hey, I am sorry the contest is only limited to people living US or Canada. The sponsor's rules, dear. :(. But the next time I do a personal giveaway, I am including every follower no matter where they live. :). BTW, where do you live dear? U mentioned you ain't in the US. So just curious.

  20. Hi, your blog looks so bright and so beautiful...loved both the dishes,pics are awesome and very very tempting too...

  21. Hi, you have a lovely blog, can't believe my eyes those pictures you posted look like real thing, chicken mole and the sauce look so delicious..

  22. Querida Mia :)
    Que luxo de blog!! As fotos estão belas belas belas!! ADOREI amiga!! Parabéns: és uma excelente cozinheira, uma excelente fotógrafa e uma excelente Amiga!
    beijinho grande.

  23. oh dear CHAYA, thanx a ton ...i am love with the veggies of the farms too,the polka dots aint supposed to show,they dissaper in a bit except for the border but will check the html code:-))))
    thanx sweety and ur so so very special too...

    CooL LASSIE dear ,i so wanna win these for a blogging buddy in the US ,who's bday is jus around the corner...hope i do:-)))))
    emailing ya:-))))

    Thanx a ton loads SUSH,am so thrilled about ur thoughts on this space.

    TREAT n TRICKS ,u have a lovely blog and have jus added u to my reader coz cant miss out on ur delicious recipes...than for stopping by and ur words have me grining with joy....

  24. Hola minha Isabelinha queridinha,muitossmo obrigado e adora a amor e falavres que toca minha coracao...bejinhas grandes e muita amor para minha anjinha...

  25. Oh yum! How delicious! I'm coming to your place for dinner! Have a wonderful weekend :-)

  26. All your recipes are beautifully photographed and presented. I want to gorge myself on your gorgeous food!

  27. Wow I am jealous of your farm fresh produce, it is lovley! Your pictures however are even better, great job. I think I am goingto try the mole with potatoes it sounded wonderful.

  28. I love aubergine! I would love a veggie version without the chicken, yummy :D

  29. Wow, your photos are absolutely beautiful. Looks like you all had a nice time. Oh, and the eggplant looks great. I have one more little organic eggplant in the fridge, so I'm going to go ahead and do this!

  30. Awesome pictures as always!!

  31. Your new blog is very pretty! I am drooling over your pictures... Those dishes are fantastic!



  32. Thanks for submitting this to my Color Carnival. Any of your awesome foodie shots could have been submitted, all so colorful and beautiful! :-)

  33. MARTHA, would love to have u over and am so glad to be a part of COLOR CARNIVAL ,thanx to CHAYA ,our darling buddy,when i do a friday post ,will post about it sure:-))))
    And would have loved to send all my pics for the color festival but then these are on the same post aremt they?

    KATY,i would love to join u in gorging the food ...hi5 to us....

    TEMPERANCE...ha ha ,are u?
    well i thik i'd have loved to be there:-))))
    Am so thrilled about what u think and glad to be a part of R2R ,u have a fantastic pick of recipes...
    yeah the MOle with potatoes and mushrooms is fantastic...

    RACHEL,oh sweety, yeahi hai right choice baby,would love to try this with tofu/cottage cheese and best parts u can grill everything w/o a drop of oil.

    STELLA,thanx a ton loads for stopping by and am truly flattered,am sure it'll be fantastic with ur organic eggplant.

  34. THAnx a ton loads SAHANA

    Oh ROSA,am so thrilled u think so :-))),thanx a ton sweety...

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Hello Vanillastrawberryspingfields
    thank you so much for your sweet comment. You are welcome any time to ask me for any recipe.
    I love all your fresh produce from the farmer's market, I cannot wait for our to open mid of May. DO I see green olives in one of the photos beside the seashells??? this is great.. I love that, I do pickle my own green olives as well.
    I love your blog i will come back to visit.

  37. Mole is a family favorite of ours!! What a wonderful surprise to have you as, drumroll please........The first official entry to Supper Club Saturdays!!! I call that serendipity!!! Please email me with your mailing address, I want to send you a special surprise gift for being FIRST!! Thank you so much for participating and getting us started off right and thank you for the mention on your blog! Happy Sunday~LeslieMichele

  38. How wonderful it is to cook with all the fresh vegetables! I'm quite lucky cause my friends will send me fresh fruits & veggies once a while. They owned some orchards and farms nearby.

  39. Hey Miss Bright Morning Star, thanks for linking up those two delicious recipes at Meatless Mondays.

    You can link up the second one on Wednesday with Chocolate Obsession. That is my favorite. All that chocolate......

    Chocolate needs sprinkle fairies........

  40. The eggplant dish looks amazing! A vegetarian's delight.. I will tuck the recipe away for eggplant season.. great pictures too..

  41. Aww, so sweet, am glad u found this recipe!
    Its really fantastic!!
    Have a wonderful day Judee!


and thanx a ton loads for hopping by....
Do leave ur blog link so i can visit u too....
And have a cheerfully rocking happy day♥Sparkling with the joys of SPRINGTIME and warmth of SUMMER..