Kathirikkai (eggplant) thogayal is a spicy condiment that is eaten with hot rice and crispy papad on the side. Eggplant is VJ 's first love (no kidding!!!) and this thogayal is one of his favorites.
In India, we roast eggplants directly over the open flame (or) on gas stovetop. But in US, my kitchen only had an electric range and I just couldn't figure out how to roast eggplants to make this thogayal.
On a terribly chilly night, I decided to make this thogayal and started roasting eggplants directly on the electric coil, only to end up with smoke all over my kitchen. To make things worst, the smoke alarm went on and I had to open all the doors & windows to let the smoke escape. Chilly weather, rumbling tummies, empty vessel and smoke all over the house - life couldn't get any more worse, or could it?! That night, I was very close to give up on this thogayal. Then, something just told me to try conventional oven for roasting eggplants and boy, was I glad?!
This thogayal also serves as a great savory spread for chips, bread, bread crisps, roti (or) just with anything!!
Complexity - Simple
Prep time - 20-25 mins (includes roasting eggplants)
Cook time - 5 mins
Serves - 1.5 to 2 cups of thogayal
Eggplant - 2 nos
Hing - 1 small piece
Dry red chillies - 6 nos
Urid dal - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - size of a gooseberry
Salt - to taste
Cut the eggplants lengthwise into 2 halves. Broil at 400 degrees for about 15 - 20 mins (or) until inner side of the eggplant turns brownish black (see pictures). Let it cool.
Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water and keep it aside.
In a pan, add a tsp of oil and fry hing. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Then, roast red chillies, urid dal until golden brown. Allow it to cool.
Scoop out just the flesh and grind it along with the roasted ingredients & soaked tamarind (drain the water). Add salt to taste and mix well. Smokey, spicy eggplant thogayal is ready to serve & eat!!
- You can also add a handful of cilantro while grinding - a great flavor boost to thogayal!
- Sending this off to Made with Love Mondays!