श्रीमान वेंकट नाथार्याह कविथार्थिक केसरी |
वेधान्थाचार्य वर्योमे संनिधात्तम सदह्रीदी ||
Salutations to shri vedantha desikar, he remains the greatest devotee until eternity.
No disrespect, but when I think of what Shri Vedantha Desikan would have had for lunch I can imagine mor kuzhambu, parupu usili and kathrika sudal! I think kathrika sudal dates back as long as Vaishnavism itself and until now I havent seen an Iyengar family that does not relish this traditional dish. The methodology of preparation is simple, very simple. When I think about this dish now, I am surprised how I could have hated Aubergine so much during my pre-teens. I used to give away my share of aubergine to my sister and she would be the happiest child ever. Unfortunately now, I even steal away her portion. Every time mom used to cook this, she had to make sure world war III would not start in Mylapore just over a portion of Kathrika sudal.
Kathrika sudal can be translated as Grilled Aubergine. Though grilling is only the first step and not the only step, its referred to as this. What I present here is the traditional way without variants (the variant using tamarind is equally amazing).
Aubergine/Brinjal/Kathrika (huge) - green chili - mustard seeds - cumin seeds - broken urad dhal - hing - salt - yogurt - oil.
Smear a drop of oil over the Aubergine. If you have a gas stove, then grill the aubergine over the naked flame (keep the flame on medium, place the aubergine over it and turn it occasionally so that its cooked uniformly). Else, set your microwave in the grill mode and toss it in for 10-15 minutes. In a conventional oven, the aubergine takes 15 minutes at 200 C (heat from top and bottom). Once the aubergine is grilled, allow it to cool before peeling off the skin. Remove the crown of the aubergine and transfer it to a bowl. Heat a table spoon of oil and crackle the mustard and cumin seeds. Fry 1 table spoon of broken urad dhal until golden brown. Add chopped green chillies and a dash of hing and pour this over the grilled aubergine. Add the required salt and a cup of thick yogurt and smash the aubergine finely. For the best taste, use clean hands so that you can squeeze the chili into it. (Ooooo, hands?! People who think like this, just go ahead and use your vegetable smasher :-) )
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve with hot sambar rice.