Paneer Ravioli with Eggplant & Lentil Sauce

“Ravioli, oh so fine to eat
Whether it’s veggies
Or a variety of minced meat,
An envelope of flour lean
Hiding delicious fillings
In pillows that cook in steam,
The sauce is steaming hot
The pasta shines in pride
In a roasting & fiery pot,
Cut in half, revealing treasure
A bite bursting in flavor
Like winning treasure,
Spoon it up, lick those lips
Store the left-overs
To remember and later relive”

For the Ravioli dough
1 ½ cups flour
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons water
½ teaspoon salt

For the Ravioli filling
1 cup fresh homemade paneer (cottage cheese)- recipe provided here.
½ cup mixed peppers, finely chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

For the Sauce
1 eggplant, cut lengthwise
¼ cup onions, chopped
1 ripe tomato, diced
1 cup boiled yellow lentils (toor/arhar)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cube of vegetable stock
Salt & pepper to taste

Make the dough: Make a hole in the center of the flour and pour in the rest of the ingredients. Slowly work through the flour with your fingers and work into a smooth dough. Cool for 1 hour.

Make the filling: Mix all the ingredients for the filling and keep aside.

Make the sauce: Heat oil in a pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook till onions are golden brown. Grill the eggplant at 180 degrees C for 10 minutes, till it browns, and then add it in. Cook till it becomes tender. Now add in the remaining ingredients, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium flame.  Add a little water if it’s too thick. Garnish with fresh coriander and remove from flame.

Make the ravioli:  Cut the dough into 2 halves. Roll out 1 half of the dough and cut out out circles using a round cutter of about 4 inch diameters.  (You can also roll it out and cut squares of you prefer) Take a spoon of the filling and put it in the center of each round. Keep aside.
Roll out and cut the same number of circles from the other half of the dough. Put each circle on top of the one with the filling, and bind the edges with your fingers. It will look like a circle with a bulge in the center. Do this with all the pieces and keep aside.
Boil water and salt in a deep pan. Once simmering, add the ravioli and let it cook for a few minutes. Once cooked, it will float to the top. Remove it from the pan immediately.

Put 2 pieces of the ravioli in a shallow dish. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce and put it on top. Garnish with the dried mint and Parmesan and serve immediately. Quite the Desi-Italian meal!