Monday, March 5, 2012

Kathrika kara kuzhambu - Aubergine in Spicy Tamarind Sauce

The brinjal lover is back! The cloudy cozy days in Germany are at its peak and so is the craving for something hot and tangy and what better would be than good old brinjal with this effect?! This is one of the fastest and tastiest "kuzhambu" that one can make in spite of that panging hunger. Far from home, the mind often pushes you to be lazy and quick with food and this results in take outs which in turn results in an unsatisfied soul. So, to be in peace with the inner self and feast upon, here is a simple recipe.

Cut the Aubergine into 1 inch pieces. Heat oil in a pan and pop some mustard seeds. Add some channa dal, urad dhal and a pinch of hing and turmeric. Add a few curry leaves and immediately the cut pieces of brinjal. Once the brinjal hits the pan, it will soak up all the oil and this would result in charred lentils. So, a quick addition of the following is required. Sprinkle salt, chili powder and sambar powder and stir. Add a cup of tamarind juice (pre soak a lemon sized ball of tamarind in water and extract the juice or dissolve a spoon of tamarind paste in 250ml water). Reduce the heat to medium, cover the cooking pan and let the brinjals get cooked in the tamarind juice. It is essential that the mixture boils well to eliminate the rawness of the chili and tamarind. Chopped coriander is optional at this stage. Check for taste. In case of excess tanginess, dilute with water and let it boil for some more time.

One is always worried about the consistency during preparations like this. But since this preparation does not contain any cooked lentils, it will not be like a soup. However, the tamarind juice will thicken up with the sambar powder to provide a consistency denser than the rasam (minestrone soup) and ligher than a sambar (cream soup). Enjoy it with white rice!