Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dec. 6, 2006......No, that's not a date that's going to be immortalised in history for any reason. It's just the date on which I last posted here.....
Thank you, blogger buddies for checking in and asking me how I am doing. It's been a long absence, but what with moving across continents and taking my little girl to visit all her relatives for the first time....I've been extremely busy.
What better way for a foodie to make a comeback to blogosphere than to send in a recipe for the mother of all events - Jihva for Ingredients???

When I found that this month's JFI hosted by Sangeeta features brinjals, I knew that I just had to post. Needless to say, brinjals are a favourite in my household. Be it the slowly simmered baingan bharta, the spicy vangi baath or just plain sauted brinjals, my family loves their eggplant.
The dish that is featured here today combines my love for eggplants with my love for all things is a simple Koottu curry. Traditionally this koottu curry is made with yam or pumpkin, but I substituted that with brinjals with lip smacking results.

Here's what you will need:
Brinjal aka eggplant - 3, cut into medium sized pieces (I used the long green ones. If u are using the small, oblong ones, use more and if you are using the larger chinese eggplant, use less......How many brinjals u need also depends on how many people you are cooking for)
Channa dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coconut (grated) - 1/3 cup
Red chilli - 4 ( U can use more or less depending on your tolerance for spices)
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sugar/Jaggery - a little

Heat some coconut oil. Fry about 2-3 tbsp of the grated coconut in it until it turns reddish brown and keep aside. Take care not to burn it keeping in mind that there's a very fine line between aromatic reddish brown and charred coal black.
In the same pan, fry the cumin seeds and red chilli for about a minute or two and then grind it with the remaining coconut.

Cook channa dal in a pressure cooker until one whistle. It should only be about three-fourths cooked....not mushy. Add brinjal pieces to the cooked dal along with some salt and turmeric powder. Cook until the brinjals turn soft...but do not overcook or you will end up with a gooey mess that'll taste fine but you won't be able to discern the brinjal in it.
Add the ground mixture to it along with a tiny piece of jaggery. Stir well and cook for a few minutes.
Remove from fire and mix in the fried coconut.
Tamper some mustard seeds and urad dal in oil and pour it over the curry.
Garnish with fresh curry leaves.