Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Potato and aubergine gratin with greens

Don't we all feel the temptation to recreate a dish that you much enjoyed eating in a restaurant, at home? No matter how delusive the list of ingredients and the procedure is, we try hard to match the taste and texture, don't we?
I opt to try something new on the menu when we dine out while my husband would tread safe grounds with familiar dishes. Once I have tried eating, the obvious next attempt is making the dish at home. I have a list of dishes that I would love to cook restaurant style at home.
I found that my fellow free spirit bloggers share such a passion too.  Siri suggested this theme for August. The response was immediate and each of us were hoping to recreate many dishes. Then we narrowed the choices to 'main course' and decided that any dish falling in other categories will have to be tried sometime later.

During my visit to Bangalore, this time, I had tasted this "greens, aubergine and potato gratin" at the Gateway All Day restaurant. I requested the chef for the recipe and he, Mr. Dilbar, printed the recipe out for me. The recipe is vegetarian but the list shows egg yolks in it. When I asked them about that, I was told that they cook without eggs for vegetarians and that eggs were just a binding ingredient. And the original recipe calls for different cheese while in the menu they had listed parmesan and cheddar cheese. The recipe is a great chunk portion of vegetables baked with cheese toppings and is served as a main course along with a small portion of garlic bread.

Now that I am back home and falling into routine, I included the necessary vegetables and the cheese in the list of groceries. Having a printed recipe on hand helps. I will not be making wild guesses though I will most certainly stray from the procedure here and there. I have done just that; made shortcuts where I could and skipped frying, opted to steam and such. Nonetheless, the dish turned out closest to the one I had eaten.

Ingredients: (for 3 servings)
300 grams small potatoes
100 grams broccoli
100 grams eggplant
100 grams tomatoes
100 grams spinach
30 grams - 1 medium onion chopped
5 garlic cloves crushed
1 small stalk celery chopped
30 ml olive oil
150 ml low fat milk
1 teaspoon corn flour
50 grams of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

50 grams grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

For serving:
3 numbers garlic bread


Clean all the vegetables well.
Peel and slice the potatoes in round discs. Similarly, slice the tomatoes and eggplant in discs. place the eggplants in water until required.
Keep aside few of the tomato slices.
Cut broccoli in small florets. Stem and wash the spinach. Chop the spinach in small strips.
Steam the potato discs just until soft.
Blanch the greens and broccoli for two minutes, not allowing them to get too soft.Add some salt and pepper individually to these vegetables.
Marinate the eggplant discs with salt, pepper and some oil. Saute in a pan until they are grilled.
Heat the oil in a pan. Drop the chopped celery and the onions. Toss for two minutes and add the crushed garlic. Saute for about five minutes and add to this the broccoli and spinach. toss them to be coated well with the oil.
Add the tomatoes and eggplant. Adjust the seasoning. Cook very lightly for two minutes.

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/ 190 degrees Celsius. (moderately hot oven, gas mark 5).
Beat together the milk, corn flour and a teaspoon of the cheddar cheese.
Add some salt and pepper to this also.
In a baking dish arrange the potatoes in a layer. Top this with a small portion of the milk mixture.
Spread the vegetables over this in a layer.
Top this with the grated parmesan cheese.
Repeat the same order for another layer or two more as desired.
The above is done in a ring mould. I have used a normal baking dish and spread the layers.
On the top most part spread the uncooked tomatoes and cover with the parmesan cheese.
Bake for at 375 Degrees F for 5 to 7 minutes until slightly brown on top.
If you are baking using a ring mould, transfer the baked contents to a serving plate and remove the mould. Spoon in  few tablespoons of tomato couli and serve hot.
I have baked in a baking dish and hence served from the dish. I did not make the tomato couli to garnish.
Serve this hot with garlic bread.

This is a very easy dish to make and all the vegetables can be filling.
My other free spirit mates have all cooked quite exotic dishes that may interest you. Indulge yourselves reading posts by Anu, Deepti, Dhivya, Madhuri, Mridhu, Nags and Siri.
Look out for more spirited posts in the following months.


  1. Glad to see your post :) after all those issues. Thank god! Nice recipe...

  2. wow such a yummy dish .. the chef is so kind to share the recipe..good work..

  3. Good to see your blog back. And that's one real treat to celebrate.

  4. Good to see the problem resolved and you blogging..nice to see the dish. I always do that these days, get the recipe from the chef..:)..nice to recreate it at home right..

  5. Glad to see ur blog with full swing again. Nice recipe and hope u would have taken a back up by now.

  6. Avery warm welcome back Lata. Lovely droolworthy and awesome dish.
    indu srinivasan

  7. Glad to have you back on the block! This one is certainly very nutritious. Am gonna try this for lunch very soon. A fab way to get some veggies into our tummies!

  8. I make a white sauce with veggie version of this but I don't add aubergines in there. Do add a lot of cauliflower - this is one of my favorite comfort food that Amma makes for us. everytime she visits, my sister and I ask her to make a big batch - i love eating it hot - my sis loves eating it cold. SO nice to see yours and will soon try your version too!

  9. Hi Lataji,

    Nice that you are back to blogging after all those little problems with google! How very very strnge that today I made the Corn and Cauliflower Au Gratin and posted them in my drafts, waiting for the pics!!!! I love the au gratin with the white sauce as the kids love them! I love the version I have at Eden, Chennai! Looks good. I guess the substitute for the white sauce is the corn flour milk mixture which is also not loaded in calories like the bechamel sauce is! Yummy!


  10. Just mouthwatering....looks so easy to prepare and delicious!

  11. A mouth watering recipe Lata.Yumm luking potato and aubergine gratin in the pic.Nice click.Luv ur recipes/Folowimg U.


Welcome and thank you for taking time to drop by.
I appreciate your valuable comments and tips.
I sincerely hope to improve with them.
Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.