July 15, 2013

Kathirikkai Kootu

I have been touring a lot lately and I got to taste this kootu at my sis 's place. With pongal, this kootu tasted amazingly good and I fell in love with it instantly. Another great eggplant recipe to satisfy the taste buds of "kathirikkai lover" that I have at home! Yes, VJ loved this kootu and he was literally drinking ladles after ladles ;)

This recipe is very close to "kathirikkai rasavangi" minus mashed toor dal plus onions & tomatoes. The plus & minus works just right as a side for tiffin items. A quick, different & tasty break from the regular chutney/sambar routine.

Basic Info
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 20 mins
Cook time - 20 mins
Serves - 4-5

Eggplants - 8 nos (small, chopped into small cubes)
Onion - 1 no (small, chopped into small pieces)
Tomato - 1 no (medium, chopped into small pieces)
Tamarind - size of gooseberry
Oil - 1-2 tsp (preferably sesame oil)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Whole urad dal - 1.5 tsp
Channa dal - 1.5 tsp
Curry leaves - 1-2 sprigs
Salt - to taste

To roast & grind
Hing - 1 small piece
Channa dal - 1.5 tsp
Red chillies - 2-3 nos (depending on the spice level you like)
Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
Coconut - 1 tsp

Roast all the ingredients except coconut under 'To roast & grind' in a tsp of oil. Let it cool and grind along with coconut to a pasty consistency (use as less water as possible) and keep it aside.

Boil chopped eggplants in some water until soft and keep it ready.

Soften tamarind in hot water and when cold, extract about 1 cup of tamarind juice and set it aside. 

Meanwhile, heat 1-2 tsp of sesame oil in a saucepan, crackle mustard seeds, fry urad dal, channa dal until golden brown. Add chopped onion and saute until soft and translucent. Then, add chopped tomatoes and saute until soft. 

To this, add turmeric powder, tamarind water, boiled eggplants, salt and let them cook until the raw smell of tamarind is gone (about 6-8 mins). If required, add water and adjust the consistency of the gravy per your liking.

Finally, add the ground paste and let the gravy come to a boil. Remove from heat.

Garnish with curry leaves and serve hot with idli, dosa, pongal, upma, rice .. you name it! Enjoy!!

- Cooking eggplants separately in boiling water works well compared to cooking it directly in tamarind water.

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