Today, 11th March 2010, is World Kidney Day. World Kidney Day is a joint initiative taken by the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations, and was first started in 2006. Each year is focused on a particular theme. Last year, the focus had been on hypertension and its effects on the kidneys. This year, much to my pleasure, it is focusing on diabetes and the importance of blood sugar in order to preserve kidney function. Do check out their website for support and informative material.
I discussed the relation between diabetes and kidney troubles last year too. Those interested can click here for a detailed look at the physiology. I cannot stress enough the importance of self-education in these matters because often chronic disease has a gradual onset and can be treated without affecting quality of life, but only if detected early.
The kidneys are our filtration system. All food and medication that we put into our mouths are broken down and absorbed in the body, and in the process waste materials are created in the bloodstream that are disposed of by the kidneys. These organs work for us day and night throughout our lifetime. We must think carefully about what we ingest and try to avoid overloading these vital organs.
In celebration of World Kidney Day, I wish to share one of my favorite recipes. It is my own recipe, in the sense that I wasn't taught to make this by anyone. Tired of gravied dishes and sambars, I just made this one day, and it seemed rather quick and easy. And I love to make it when I spot fresh long green brinjals at the vendors'.
For this particular recipe, you will need around a quarter kilo of long green brinjal. I surfed the internet a bit and I got a picture off a doctor's blog, so that you know the kind I mean. Click here . You can see the light green brinjal there, heaped up. This kind of brinjal has less pulp within it because of its shape. Thus, the pulp doesn't melt easily when cooking and hence is ideal for this.
If not using organic, take care to wash brinjal well, soaking them in salt water or by using vinegar solution, whichever suits you, since in some places brinjal is sprayed with pesticide before marketing. Slice each brinjal longitudinally into four and then cut across to make slices of about 1.5 inches. Rather like thick potato wedges. Make sure to have all pieces approximately the same size. Soak these in cold water to prevent browning.
Halve a big onion and then slice each half into thin slivers, top to bottom. Keep this aside.
Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add a teaspoon of mustard seeds, allowing them to crackle, then add a teaspoon of urad dal, stirring it in until it turns golden in the oil. Throw in a fistful of curry leaves, stir some more. Sprinkle hing (asafetida) powder. Then add the onion slivers and cook in the oil on slow heat, stirring every now and then. A lovely aroma arises after a while, and the onion shows a reddish tinge. Then add the brinjal and stir along with requisite salt and chilli powder. Allow the oil to coat the brinjal pieces evenly. Cover with a lid and let it cook on slow heat. A little bit of water can be added now and then to facilitate cooking. Usually brinjal has some water in the pulp and cooks on its own.
Once done, keep it on low heat until all water is absorbed and the vegetable is dry. Then turn off the stove and garnish with fresh grated coconut. Serve hot with rice or chapatti.