Saturday, April 19, 2014

Brinjal Curry

For most of us Indians, curry is indeed the easiest thing to make. My brinjal plant is doing well (it's the sweet variety) and my harvest of three of these purple veggies was more than enough for the two of us. I used the two in a curry that had a rich gravy, the kind that would also be good with flat-breads. But being hard core rice-eaters we decided to have it with rice instead.:)

The grinding stone is a kitchen staple in most homes. Although I use the mixer/grinder, for small amounts of spices, I prefer to use this stone.
The brinjal:
Wash, pat dry with a kitchen cloth and cut each brinjal into four pieces lengthwise. Leave the stalks on. Rub with some salt and fry in hot oil till golden brown on all sides. Remove and keep aside.

Ingredients for the curry:
About four tbs oil
2 onions
1 tsp garlic and ginger paste, freshly ground
2 tbs poppy seeds, soaked and ground to a paste
1 tsp cumin seeds, broiled and powdered
1 tsp of coriander seeds, broiled and powdered
1 tsp yellow chilli powder
A quarter tsp of freshly ground pepper
A quarter cup of tomato puree
10 whole cashews ground to a paste
Salt to taste
A pinch of turmeric powder
A few Indian bay leaves 
A piece of raw mango, grated
Coriander leaves for the garnish

Roast the onions on the gas flame till the outermost skin is charred. Peel, wash, cut into bits and pieces and blitz.
Heat the pan (where the vegetable was fried) and check whether you'll need some more oil, add the bay leaves and the onion paste. Fry till the onion paste changes colour. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and all the powdered spices. Fry till the oil separates and then add the tomato puree. Season.
When the spices come together, add the cashew paste and a bit of water. This paste will thicken the curry. For that bit of tang I added the raw mango paste.
Add about a cup of hot water, let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently add the fried brinjal. Cook for another 7-8 minutes before taking it off the heat. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Adding the grated raw mango to this dish created a balance or else the curry would have tasted a little too sweet for my liking. With the wind and a bit of rain, tender mangoes fall off the tree. I use these for that hint of sour in my dal and curried dishes.

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