Blogging Marathon# 39 – Indian States: Day 22
Dish: Pori Kuzhambu or Pathiya Kuzhambu
Today, we are going south to Puducherry, formerly known as Pondicherry, is a Union territory in India. The French acquired Pondicherry in 1674 and held control, with occasional interruption from the Britsih and Dutch, until 1954, when it was incorporated into the Indian Union along with the rest of India.
I have a long association with Pondicherry, not directly but indirectly. I went to Aurobindo school in Hyderabad which was founded based on the principles and teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Pondicherry was the residence of Sri Aurobindo and Aurobindo ashram located there. My dad would never let me go with my school friends to Pondicherry on the yearly school excursions. But he took us all there when we went on our tour of south India.
Today’s Dish: I initially wanted to make a French inspired recipe from Pondicherry and even narrowed down to a stuffed peppers with a fancy French name called Poivrons Farcis, but had to change it to this simple eggplant based rasam kind of dish. I was browsing through Cham’s blog Spice Club, knowing fully well that she is the native of Pondicherry. When I found this simple rasam like dish, I made this the same dau for a simple lunch.
This rasam is unlike any other without either tomato or tamarind. It is flavored with ground coriander and lots of garlic. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised with the earthy taste of the dish. Cham says other veggies like drumstick, radish or potato can also be added to this dish.
Recipe adapted from Cham’s Spice Club:
Pori Kuzhambu or Pathiya Kuzhambu
- 4 Eggplant - small, chopped
- 1 Onion - small, chopped
- 6 ~ 8 cloves Garlic
- 2 tbsp Coriander Ground
- 2 chilies Green - slit (optional)
- ¼ tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 8 ~ 10 Curry leaves
- to taste Salt
- Combine ground coriander, turmeric with 1½cups of water. Add salt, mix well and set aside.
- Heat 2tsp gingelly oil in a sauce pan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds; once the seeds start to splutter, add the curry leaves, garlic cloves and onions. Cook till onions start to turn lightly brown.
- Add the eggplant and cook till tender, about 5~6 minutes.
- Add the prepared coriander water and let the mixture boil for 10~12 minutes or until it doesn't smell raw anymore.
- Serve with hot steamed rice.