I learnt this recipe from my mom-in-law. Brinjal/Eggplant is an indispensable vegetable at my in-laws next to tomatoes & potatoes and VJ is a big fan of this vegetable! So, my mom-in-law has many good recipes using eggplants, mainly to satisfy VJ 's palate. Of all, this is one of my favorites!
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 20 mins
Cook time - 20 mins
Serves - 3
Eggplants - 15 nos (small, tender Indian eggplants)
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Salt - to taste
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Vegetable oil - 3 tbsp
Channa dal - 1.5 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1.5 tbsp
Dry red chillies - 3-4 nos (adjust to your spice level)
Hing - 1 small piece (or 1/2 tsp of powdered hing)
I happened to find mini Indian eggplants at the farmer's market. I just cut each eggplant into 6-8 vertical pieces to get this beautiful crescent shape. Keep them soaked in water to retain color.
Heat about a tsp of oil. Fry hing, red chillies, channa dal, coriander seeds until it wafts out a wonderful aroma. Let it cool completely and using a mixer, grind it into a coarse powder (towards the finer side). Set aside.
Heat oil in a large pan and when hot, splutter mustard seeds, and fry curry leaves. To this, add eggplants, turmeric powder, salt and give it a good mix. Cover and cook for about 5-7 mins until eggplants are tender & cooked but is still holding its shape. Make sure that the eggplants are cooked through (check the skin too) and if not, cook them until eggplants are done. Do not overmix as it will mush-up the curry.
Only after eggplants are cooked, add the ground spice powder and gently mix it so as to coat each & every piece of the eggplant. Cook on med-high for couple of mins and then, remove from heat.
I love this spicy 'idichu-potta' curry with rasam rice! Yum!!
- Do not cut the eggplants too thin, it tends to get too mushy because of its tender flesh.
- My mom-in-law uses the ground spice powder to also make okra-idichu-potta-curry and vazhakkai-(raw banana)-idichu-potta-curry. Cooking method remains the same for the other curries too! Worth to mention, all of the curry tastes equally good.