Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Mulu Kathirikkai vathakal (Stuffed Aubergine curry)

One of my colleagues hates aubergines. My reaction always is - wait until you set foot in Andhra to change your mind. One has to give it to the Andhrites for their imagination for creating many many varity and in so doing taking the humble aubergine to great heights. There are so many recipes that I have a theory which goes like this – For every great aubergine recipe from Andhra there are minimum 5 greater aubergine recipes from the same region. This is one such recipe, combination of two recipes one from a cookbook by Mallika Badrinath and the other from my ex-colleague. It is divine with plain boiled rice.

You will need

  • Aubergine – 300 gms
  • Sambhar powder – 4 tbsp (if the sambhar powder is bland add some more to make it hotter)
  • Coconut – 3 Tbsp grated (if you want a smoother texture then grind the coconut)
  • Tamarind – size of ½ a lime
  • Onions – 2 small (finely chopped)
  • Channa dal – 2 Tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Oil.

Microwave the tamarind for 2 minutes high with some water. Dilute with some cold water and extract the juice. The juice should be thick and so the water used must be as little as possible. Heat some oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and when they pop add the channa dal and wait until they turn light brown. Add the chopped onions till they turn soft. In a bowl mix the onions, sambhar powder, tamarind juice, coconut and salt.

Slit the aubergine into 4 on the top without cutting them. The idea is to keep them whole and stuff the onion mixture in them. The aubergine have to be stuffed individually.

Basic Recipe Courtesy Mrs Mallika Badrinath

Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a pan. Add the aubergine to the oil and if you have any of the onion mixture left add it on top. Fry for a few minutes, then add water, close the pan and let it cook. Check every 5 minutes for water and move the aubergine without breaking them if they are sticking to the pan. The more oil in the pan, the less possibility for the curry sticking in the pan. As a result you will end up with an oily, but lip smacking curry. Once the aubergine are done, remove from heat and serve with hot boiled rice. If Nigella were to taste it she would probably describe it as ‘Hmm out of the world’.


bhuvana said...

I tried it was very tasty.Even u can add some sesame powder in the last.It will give nice flavour.

Devi said...

Bhuvana, I am happy you tried and liked it. :)