Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Periya katharikaai pulikuzhambhu / Big eggplant pulikuzhambu



This is one among many of my mother's great dishes and this is my favorite one too. Generally any food made with eggplant is very tasty and this one in particular is heavenly since eggplant is cooked with tamarind and chilly gravy. We dont add any pulses for this and its just the proper mix of tamarind juice with chilly powder that gives the great taste.

This kuzhambhu tastes yummy with rice and with tiffin varieties like Idly,Dosa,Chapathi or Pongal. In my home, we make this kuzhambhu with Ven Pongal in particular as my dear hubby is an ardent fan of this combo.

In India we see this veg easily available in super markets, but here in Australia though i find this in the super market, i didnt afford to buy it as it was very costly. I was surprised to see this veg in an affordable cost in Farmers market one day and i didnt wait to grab it immediately. Then comes the experimental part. My mom used to cook the eggplant directly in the flame, then peel the skin and cook it. Since i dont have a flame gas stove here, i tried to cook it in Microwave oven.

The result of my experiment was a huge sucess :) The eggplant was cooked as i expected in the oven and so the kuzhambhu turned out to be awesome. 

Here goes the recipe:

Items Required:

Big eggplant - 1
Onion - 1 chopped
Curry leaves - few
Tamarind - 1 small lemon sized
Turmeric Powder - 1 pinch
Sambar Powder - 2 tbsp
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 5 tbsp

For tempering:

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Hing - 1 pinch

Pre-requisites before starting to cook:

1. Apply oil all over the eggplant nicely and cook it in the microwave for 4 mins. The skin should become soft as shown in the pic which means its cooked. Keep it aside.



2. Soak tamarind in water for 30 mins.

Method:

1. Once the eggplant is cooled,  try to peel off the skin. Can be done with the hand though it becomes little messy. If you prefer not to use your hand, use a spoon to remove the skin, but make sure to extract all the veg inside before throwing off the skin.


2. Once the skin is peeled, mash the cooked eggplant nicely and keep it aside.



3. Heat oil in a kadai. We need a little more oil to this recipe for it to taste awesome. I use Olive oil and for those who are particular about oil intake can adjust it according to their need.  Add mustard seeds to it.  Once the mustard starts to splutter, add jeera and hing. Now add the chopped onion and the curry leaves and saute them well till the onion becomes golden brown in colour.


4. Once the onion is nicely cooked, add the mashed eggplant and mix it well with the onion.


5. Extract tamarind juice 2 times and add it to the mix. Now add turmeric powder, sambar powder and salt and allow this to boil in medium flame. This would take some 10 - 15 mins to thicken based on the how much tamarind juice is added.


6. Once the kuzhambhu becomes thicken, remove it from flame and transfer it to a serving bowl.


Serve hot with rice or with tiffin varieties. Try this and provide your valuable comments.

Tips:

1. For those who like more sour taste, 1 chopped tomato can be added after the onion is cooked.
2. Adding more tamarind juice would make the kuzhambhu more watery and will not taste good. Extract the juice only 2 times for this one to taste better.

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