Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Traditional Brinjal Kothsu (பாரம்பரிய கத்தரிக்காய் கொத்சு)


Brinjal kothsu (கத்தரிக்காய் கொத்சு) is made as an accompaniment to ven pongal (வெண் பொங்கல்) or rice uppuma (அரிசி உப்புமா). Kothsu is a tamarind based gravy, made with roasted brinjals/eggplants. Select fresh, large purple brinjals for making kothsu. My grandmother used to roast brinjals in a charcoal oven, which ensures uniform cooking of the vegetable. Roasted brinjal has a slight smoky taste and a nice aroma. Brinjal kothsu can be made with onions, which tastes slightly different. This traditional Brahmin brinjal kothsu makes an excellent combo with ven pongal. 

Ingredients: (Serves three)
Brinjal/eggplant – 3 no
Tamarind – the size of a small gooseberry (அரிநெல்லிக்காய்)
Green chillies – 1-2no, chopped (adjust to taste)
Asafoetida – 2 pinches
Oil – 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
Split urad dhal – ½ teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Curry leaves – a few

Method: Wash and dry the brinjals. Cut off the stalks. Smear oil on the surface. Use a fork or skewer to prick the stalk end of the brinjal. This helps you to hold brinjal while roasting. Place the brinjal on medium flame and roast on direct fire (Fig.1). 

Fig.1: Brinjal/eggplant is being roasted on direct fire
Keep turning the vegetable till the skin is completely burnt. Roast all the brinjals in the same manner and allow them to cool (Fig.2).

Fig.2: Roasted brinjals/eggplants
Once cool, peel the skin and mash the roasted brinjals and keep aside. Soak tamarind in warm water for 15-20 minutes. Later squeeze tamarind and extract the juice. Add mashed brinjal, green chilli, asafoetida and salt to tamarind juice. Mix well. 

Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds and once they start to sputter, add urad dhal. Fry till the dhal turns golden brown. Now add the tamarind juice mixture and bring it to boil. Reduce the fire and simmer for 2 minutes. Switch off the stove. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve hot with pongal or rice uppuma.

Traditional Brinjal Kothsu (பாரம்பரிய கத்தரிக்காய் கொத்சு)
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