BM# 72: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: Dips, Chutneys and Spreads
Dish: Vankaya Tomato Pachadi
We are starting the last week of blogging marathon today and my theme for this week is ‘Dips, Chutneys and Spreads‘. First up is one of my absolute favorite chutneys and yes, it is made with eggplant (my favorite veggie, if you didn’t know that already). It is my mom’s Vankaya Tomato Pachadi. My mom makes this chutney with big baby eggplants (does that even make any sense???). Italian eggplants are probably the closest to the ones we get back home. But I made today’s chutney with long, slender Japanese eggplant and it turned out great.Most of the South Indian chutneys my mom makes are pretty straight forward. Saute some lentils (chana dal and urad dal), dry red chilies until golden, set aside. Adding dal makes the chutney thick and gives it some body. Mustard or cumin seeds can also be added for added taste.
Next the veggie of choice (eggplant, bottle gourd, ridge gourd, tomato etc) is cooked until tender. Finally everything is ground together along with tamarind paste and salt. Additional add ins like peanuts, garlic, ginger etc., can also be added for extra taste.This eggplant chutney is great to serve with some steamed rice or upma or idli or dosa or roti. Basically it’s something I like to keep in the fridge for a few days, so I have something to tasty for just about anything I make.
Vankaya Tomato Pachadi
For the Chutney
- 1 Long Japanese Eggplant (or Medium Italian eggplant), chopped
- 1 Medium Tomato, Chopped
- 2 Green Chilies, slit
- 2 tsp Tamarind paste
- 1 tsp Chana Dal
- 1 tsp Urad dal
- 1~2 Dry Red Chilies
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp Oil
- To taste Salt
For the Tempering:
- 1 tsp Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 8~10 Curry leaves
- 1 tsp Urad Dal
- Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan; add chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds and dry red chilies. Cook till the dal is golden and chilies turn a dark color. Remove onto a plate.
- In the same pan, add the chopped eggplant, tomato and the green chilies. Cover and cook till the eggplant is cooked through and tender. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
- When cool enough to handle, grind the dal mixture first into a somewhat smooth powder. Add the cooked eggplant mixture, salt and tamarind paste and grind to a smooth paste. You can leave it a little chunky, if you like texture in your chutney.
- Remove the chutney into a bowl.
- Heat 1tsp oil in a small pan, add the urad dal, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the seeds start to splutter, add it to the chutney and mix well. Serve with rice, upma, idli, dosa or even roti.