A dish with many names: Chunthi Vanghun, Tschunt Wangun, Bom Chount Wangan – exotic sounding names for this easy and very tasty Kashmiri Green Apple Brinjal Curry. Gets made in no time at all, and the flavours of the tart green apple taken with the mild brinjal makes for a curry different from anything I have made before with brinjal.
The theme at the Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge FB Group for Food Bloggers for June 2018, was the cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir. Not having visited this beautiful Indian State, I knew very little about its cuisine. I got myself two lovely cookbooks, which are now the pearls in my cookbook collection: Kashmiri Cuisine – Saffron Plate, A historic perspective, by Nancy Khosa and Kashmiri Cuisine, Koshur Saal – Traditional Quick and Easy Recipes by Chandramukhi Ganju. It was enjoyable to browse these books as well as read online on Kashmir and Jammu, each region with its variety of food and interesting use of ingredients. I now had to decide which of these delectable items to make.
As you would have seen from my earlier posts, the group works like this:
I’m one of the food-blogger members of the Facebook group, Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge and recently we have been making food from the regional cuisine ie of each Indian State. Each of us members is partnered with another and we exchange the names of 2 ingredients to fit in with the theme for the month. We each prepare the dish of our choice and post a picture on the group. The other members try to guess which 2 ingredients were the ‘secret’ ones used in the recipe.
My partner for June, the vivacious Renu Agrawal Dongre suggested Lotus stem as one of the ingredients to be used. I was happy with this and planned to make Kamal Kakdi Yakhni Curry. Searching high and low in Bangalore’s markets, however, including Jayanagar’s 4th Block market which usually has every vegetable under the Sun, I could not lay my hands on Lotus stems as the monsoons had set in and these veggies were not available in this season. Back I went to Renuji, and we rethought the ingredients: this time it was apple and fennel. The choice of recipe then became easy as both my cookbooks had a recipe for the Kashmiri Green Apple Brinjal Curry!
For Renuji I suggested turmeric and yogurt as her secret ingredients. She has made Kashmiri Dum Aloo, an authentic version of the dish which is spicy and looks delicious, do check it out!. Renuji blogs at Cook with Renu. I enjoy browsing her site with its many recipes – from Indian snacks and traditional desserts such as Dudhi Halwa and Namkeens of various types, Puris and Pakodas to Parathas, Pancakes and Soups. You will find many interesting recipes such as for Zucchini, Brinjal Pancakes and a delicious sounding Hazelnut Chocolate Butter.
Tart bright green apples from the nearest fruit stall, and lovely slender purple eggplant from First Agro Farms went into this Kashmiri Green Apple Brinjal Curry. A few condiments, chillies, a little frying, a little sautéing, and my curry was ready!
I found Jammu and Kashmir’s food very interesting, perhaps more than any of the Indian States I have been reading about and experimenting with so far. The plan is now to hunt down ingredients and make more of these recipes with the two cookbooks as my guides.
So when you want to perk up your brinjal curry a little, try this easy recipe for Kashmiri Green Apple Brinjal Curry. I have had it with rice and a simple dal tadka, as well as rolled up in a roti smeared with a little butter (after ferreting out the chillies of course) and both ways, it tasted so good! Theres something about fried brinjal that I just can’t keep away from though I do try nowadays to reduce fried food..
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