Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Indian Eggplant Stir fry curry ( Podi Kathrikai )
I have to admit, snow can be quite a hassle, especially when it has half melted and you have to worry about the slush re freezing, black ice and bad road conditions, etc etc. But it is also so very beautiful, the sight of our entire neighborhood blanketed with snow was such a beautiful sight, it almost made it seem worth it, to have the hassle that went along with snow. Our area looked like a winter wonderland:-)
Being snowed in meant that I got a chance to tinker around my kitchen and make some of our favorite stuff over the weekend. One of my favorite vegetables is eggplant, I like eggplant in all its forms but I especially love it in this south Indian style stir fry with ground masala powder known as podi katrikai.
Usually my podi katrikai has four ingredients in its ground masala, but this weekend when I was making this curry it struck me that I wanted a change and I tried some additional ingredients in the masala. The resulting curry has become my new favorite, give it a try and see, maybe it will become yours as well :-)
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Ingredients and Method to make Indian Eggplant Stir fry curry ( Podi kathrikai)
8 medium sized (small variety) Indian eggplants washed, cut off the crown and sliced lengthwise
This yielded about 5 cups of loosely packed eggplant slices
salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
handful cilantro (coriander leaves) for garnish cut fine
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp split black gram lentil (udad dhal)
For the masala
2 tbsp split chick pea lentil (chana dhal)
1 tbsp coriander seeds (dhania)
2 1/2 tbsp brown sesame seeds (ellu)
1 thumb sized piece of tamarind
3 dry red chillies
1/2 tsp dried curry leaves (optional)
4 tbsp fresh coconut (this has to be dry roasted until reddish seperately)
Dry roast each of the ingredients under the masala list in a large heavy bottomed pan on a low to medium low heat starting with the split chick pea lentil. Dry roast split chick pea lentil (chana dhal) until it starts to redden a little, then add coriander seeds, stir for a few seconds, then add brown sesame seeds. When the sesame seeds begin to pop a little, add tamarind, then red chillies and stir for a few more seconds until the red chillies become a little stiff and crisp, finally add dried curry leaves stir for a few seconds. Then remove the entire masala ingredients and place on a plate to cool.
Separately dry roast grated coconut until it is reddish, remove and add to the rest of the masala ingredients to cool.
When these have cooled, powder them in a spice grinder/ blender until it turns to a fine powder and keep aside.
In the same pan heat oil, then add mustard seeds, when the seeds begin to splutter, add split black gram lentil and stir it until it begins to redden.
Quickly add turmeric powder to the oil, stir once or twice and add the sliced eggplant to the pan followed by a little salt.
Keep stirring the eggplant until it gets cooked completely and becomes soft.
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Then add the ground masala, stir it in and allow the curry to cook on a low flame for a minute or two longer.
Finally garnish with cilantro and serve hot with either plain roti or with rice and dhal or sambar or rasam.
This curry along with Sweet Sesame Rice and Savory Sesame Brown Rice ( Ellu Saadam) is off to the Cooking with seeds-Sesame event hosted by Priya
Sweet Sesame Rice
Savory Sesame Brown Rice ( Ellu Saadam)