Thursday 23 July 2015

Eggplant Masala Poriyal (கத்தரிக்காய் மசாலா பொரியல்)

Brinjal or eggplant (கத்தரிக்காய்) is a vegetable that evokes extreme reactions – either people love it or hate it! Being a brinjal lover, I tend to try newer recipes with this vegetable. Eggplant masala poriyal is a spicy and tasty curry made with a special, freshly prepared masala. Ideally purple colored small brinjals (டிஸ்கோ கத்தரிக்காய்) are best suited for this curry. You can serve this poriyal with the regular meal. Alternatively this curry can be eaten mixed with plain rice and ghee. Well, if you are fond of brinjals, please try this recipe. 

Ingredients: (Serves four)

Small purple brinjals – cut lengthwise, half kg or 500 gms*
Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Split urad dhal – 1 teaspoon
Cooking oil – 2 tablespoons
Curry leaves – a few

To be ground into a powder:
Coriander seeds – 2 tablespoons
Dried red chilies – 3-4 (adjust to taste)
Bengal gram dhal – 1 tablespoon
Urad dhal – 2 teaspoons
Tamarind – 1” long piece
Asafoetida – a generous pinch
Coconut – grated, 3 tablespoons
Jaggery – powdered, ½ teaspoon (optional)

*Remove the stalks, cut brinjals lengthwise, and soak the cut pieces in water immediately, lest the pieces will turn dark if left exposed to air.

Eggplant Masala Poriyal (கத்தரிக்காய் மசாலா பொரியல்)
Method: Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a kadai, add red chilies and when they turn darker, add Bengal gram dhal, urad dhal and coriander seeds. Fry till the dhals turns golden brown in color. Add asafoetida and switch off the stove. Once cooled to room temperature, grind the fried ingredients into a slightly coarse powder. Now add tamarind, jaggery and grated coconut to the powdered masala and grind together. Keep aside. 

Heat the remaining oil in the kadai, add mustard seeds, when they start to sputter, add urad dhal and fry till the dhal turns golden brown. Drain the cut brinjal fully. Add in the cut vegetables, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well. Cover and cook on a low flame. DO NOT ADD ADDITIONAL WATER. The vegetable gets cooked in the steam generated during slow cooking. Once the vegetable is cooked, remove the lid. Add the ground masala powder and mix well. Cook on low flame till oil separates. Switch off the stove and garnish with curry leaves. Serve hot with rice and sambar, kuzhambu or rasam. 

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