March 24, 2013

Sautéed Eggplants

I never liked eggplants, or as the smaller Indian varieties are called - Brinjals, as a kid. These days I can't seem to get enough of them, especially as the smaller varieties are hard to find. My ultimate comfort food, cooking with them, is the Ennai Kozhambu, and the next best thing is to saute them with coconut or peanuts. I am not a fan of mushed eggplants and try to cook them in the microwave first and not turn them much when sautéing.

Ingredients: 6 small eggplants - quartered; Coconut - frozen is better than dessicated - 2 tbsp; salt to taste; Red Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp; Turmeric - a dash; 1/2 tsp cumin; 1/2 tsp coriander powder; 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds; 1/2 tsp Urad dal + yellow split peas; 1 tbsp oil
  • Slice the eggplants, put them in a bowl with enough water and microwave, covered, for about 7 - 8 minutes.
  • In the saute pan, add the oil, wait till it is hot, add the tempering - mustard seeds, cumin, urad dal and yellow split peas. 
  • Wait for the mustard to pop and the lentils to turn red. Add the almost cooked and drained eggplants. 
  • Season with coriander powder, salt, chilli pepper, turmeric. Mix well, taking care not to mush the eggplants.
  • Let cook for about 5 minutes or so. Add the coconut powder, and cook for a couple more minutes.
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