Have you ever wondered, how does the same dish, cooked by two different people, taste so different? In India, we say, there is “magic” in the hands of the cook who cooks well. It is all about the right quantity of each ingredient added and the proper timing to add the same into the dish in process! The secret behind a successful dish lies in the cook’s decision-making abilities about the ingredients he is playing with, along with factors like freshness of the ingredients, whether the food is being cooked on a low or a high flame, standing time, the way the veggies or the fish/meat are cut, etc.
So, when my kids say, mummy, you cook, I smile. I know, the “magic” is working! Squids always score a high in their food wishlist! So in dinner tonight, I made up my mind to cook this wonderful squid (calamari in Italian) dish, with aubergines and carrots. I think, squids cut into rings added extra excitement and pattern. Not to mention the delicate taste this mollusc is endowed with!
Below is the recipe of gravied squid rings with aubergines and carrots: tried, tested and perfected the Indian way… just for you!
Make sure that you clean the squid well, externally and internally, and discard the non-edible stuff. Now, slowly remove the blackish/reddish skin. Then, cut the squid into rings. Marinate this with salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, vinegar and chilli-garlic sauce.
Gravied Squid Rings with Aubergines and Carrots
- Squids, cut into rings: 500 g
- Vinegar: 1 tbsp
- Turmeric: ½ tsp
- Salt: ½ tsp for marination and 1 tsp for cooking
- Chilli-garlic sauce: 1 tbsp
- Red chilli powder: ½ tsp
- Onion, cut lengthwise: ¾, if big.
- Garlic pods, chopped finely: 5
- Tomato, cut lengthwise: 1
- Oil: 3 tbsp
- Ginger: 1 inch piece (paste)
- Carrots, cut lengthwise into medium-sized pieces: ½ cup
- Aubergines, cut lengthwise into medium-sized pieces: ½ cup
- Coriander powder: 1 tsp
- Cumin powder: 1 tsp
- Water: 1 cup
Method of Preparation:
Let the pan be warm. Now add the oil; when it smokes, add the onion, cook till they are brown. Add the garlic and the tomatoes and keep on stirring till the tomatoes are soft.
Now add the carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the aubergines now, cook on medium flame for 10 minutes. It is time to add the marinated squids now.
Make sure that you don’t cook the squid rings on high heat, otherwise these become very hard. Keep the flame medium, cook for 10 minutes.
Now add the coriander and cumin powders and mix the contents of the pan well. Sprinkle some water at this stage. This is important as it prevents the powders to stick to the bottom of the pan, which makes the food taste bitter. After sometime, add the water and cover. Simmer and bring it to a boil: the pan should be covered while the slow boiling continues for 15 more minutes.
The dish is ready to be served. This gravy tastes best with steamed, fragrant rice.
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