Being an eggplant lover, I’m always in the lookout for some good baby eggplants whenever I visit the India grocery. I usually get very upset if they don’t have good looking fresh eggplants, because the thought of not eating Indian style eggplants for at least another month makes me a little cranky. (I know I’m weird about my beloved eggplant).
On my latest visit to the Indian store last week, the first store I went into had really bad, almost rotten eggplants. But luckily being in New Jersey, there are more Indian groceries in the same street to shop around. Fortunately the second store had some fresh looking eggplants that I bought without a second thought.
I have always wanted to try something Kathrikai Rasavangi,but never got around to make it. When I saw the recipe in Chandra Padmanabhan’s Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India, I thought this is a perfect dish for this week’s theme.
This dish is so delicious, it’s tangy, spicy, slightly sweet with the healthy goodness of lentils and the yummy eggplants. Goes great with hot steamed rice or even with rotis. I thought it tasted better the next day when the flavors had a chance to mingle.
½tspSambar powder - (homemade or store bought, I use MTR brand sambar powder)
2tbspsCoriander Leaves- finely chopped
For Spice Paste:
4tbspsCoconutFresh - grated
Make the Spice Paste: Fry the ingredients for Spice paste in 1 tsp of oil. Grind to a smooth paste along with coconut. Keep aside.
Cook toor dal in the pressure cooker and set aside.
For the Curry: Heat 2tbsp oil in a saute pan; add the tempering ingredients and once the seeds start to splutter, add the chopped eggplants and green chilies; cook until they start to get tender, about 8 - 10 minutes.
Then add tomato, tamarind pulp, jaggery, sambar powder and turmeric. Cook until the veggies are completely cooked through, another 5-7 minutes.
Next add the cooked dal and the spice paste. Simmer for couple minutes for the flavors to blend.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.
I served it with sauteed broccoli and steamed rice for a complete meal.