Category Archives: Rainy Day Recipes

Eggplant Bhurta – simple and quick


I got this recipe from my cousin Amna in Chicago. Amna was one of the world’s best cooks until she was confined to bed. Now she’s the best teacher anyone could have. I’m either in Chicago in her kitchen or on the phone with her from my kitchen in Florida.

Eggplant Bhurta, or Baingan (Eggplant in Hindi) Bhurta, or Bangin’ Baingans (as the hubby calls it), this is a very flavorful and easy dish to make in a very short time. The picture above is not very flattering. I forgot to take a photo until after we’d eaten most of it so this is a closeup of the leftovers 🙂 with my trusty phone.


  1. Eggplant – 1 large
  2. Cooking oil – 2 tbsp (I sometimes use more if I serve this with steamed rice)
  3. Onion – 1 medium
  4. Tomato – 1 large
  5. Tomato paste – 2 tbsp (optional – I like the tartness)
  6. Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  7. Cilantro – 1 cup chopped
  8. Salt and cayenne pepper to taste



Pierce the eggplant all over with a fork and bake in the microwave oven for 7 minutes (standard microwave).

While the eggplant is baking, chop the onion and tomato.

Fry the onions in the oil until soft and glassy looking, add cumin powder and fry until the cumin gives off a roasted smell then add tomato, and tomato paste. Continue frying until tomatoes are just tender.

Cut the eggplant lengthwise into four. Strip the skin off (allow to cool first) and discard. Chop the eggplant and add to the onion and tomato mixture and stir fry for about two or three minutes. Add the salt and cayenne powder and cilantro. Cover and let simmer on the lowest setting for about five minutes to infuse the eggplant with all the flavors.

I served this with Biryani yesterday but it’s good with steamed rice or any of the Indian or Pakistani breads.

Sooji (Semolina) with Berries

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This is a no-sugar-added recipe. We use it for breakfast or dessert. It keeps well in the fridge for four or five days.

As a child I loved the Sooji Halwa my grandmother made and I’ve always loved the German breakfast version. Two totally different ways of cooking this very versatile and nutritious food. Semolina is not safe for people who cannot digest gluten or have celiac disease. If you are able to include this in your diet you will benefit from its amazing properties. And it is a great comfort food at the same time.

Semolina is rich in protein, B-complex vitamins, selenium, and iron. It gets its calories from carbohydrates a great source of fuel for your tissues.

Most Sooji Halwa is rich and has a lot of nuts and sometimes dried fruit. Pistachio, raisins, and slivered almonds to name a few are often sprinkled over the top and sometimes added during the cooking. It is absolutely delicious. We used to have it for special occasions and generally for breakfast. The German versions I’ve had included breakfast dishes and desserts.

My version of this recipe combines my grandmother’s recipe with a German one and to pack more nutrition into it I add more fruit.

Makes six larger breakfast servings or eight smaller servings


  1. One cup of Sooji or Semolina
  2. Quarter cup of cooking oil
  3. Two cups of hot water
  4. Half a cup of evaporated milk
  5. Five or six green cardamom crushed
  6. Two  cups of frozen blueberries and strawberries or fresh (chop the strawberries) – save half a cup for garnish.
  7. A sprig of mint for garnish
  8. Sweetener to taste


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Add the cooking oil to a saucepan over medium heat (you can also use butter or margarine instead)

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Add the sooji and stir into the oil

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Stirring frequently cook until the sooji is a light brown in color

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Take the sooji off the stove and allow to cool a little then add the hot water and stir in so it’s all mixed in well without lumps

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Return to the stove, then add the milk and continue to stir

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Add the crushed cardamom. Once the sooji starts to pull away from the sides, remove from the stove and add sweetener. I used Stevia for this one. Stir in well before you add the fruit.

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Add the frozen berries (I defrost them first, a minute in the microwave). Do not return to the stove.

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I use extra blueberries to garnish.  Make a well in the center with a spoon and add defrosted blueberries and pour the juice over the sooji.  A sprig of mint from my garden or yours.

If you try out this recipe please let me know how it turned out. Leave a comment. Thanks and happy cooking!