This post was lying in my drafts for such a long time…I am guessing four months….I thought it was really time I pulled it out to see the light of day. In my ever growing love for eggplants, this experiment was born in my kitchen, after eating something similar at a south indian restaurant nearby…The delicate flavour of the poppy seeds linger long enough and combined with the flavours of the spices, shallots and coconut milk…its a burst of earthy flavours in your mouth….
10 Baby Eggplants. Tender Brinjals.
1 Medium Onion Chopped or 10 shallots.
2 1/2 – 3 cups Tamarind Water.
3 Tsp Poppy Seeds.
1/3 cup Grated Coconut.
Handful of Raw Cashew.
2 Tbsp Coconut Milk (Optional).
1 1/2 spoons of Red Chilli Powder.
1/2 Spoon of Dhania Powder.
1 Spoon of Sambar Powder.
3 spoons of Gingely Oil. (This departs flavour to the dish so try not to substitute with Canola Oil or Refined Oil)
Mustard, Curry Leaves for Seasoning.
Cilantro to garnish.
- Grind the coconut, cashew and poppy seeds with a little coconut milk and water to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
- In a kadai, add the 3-4 spoons of Idhayam Gingely Oil and allow to heat.
- Add Mustard, curry leaves a dash of hing and pop in the chopped onions. Allow to saute well.
- Slice the brinjals in to four slices leaving the calyx intact. Sprinkle a dash of salt and microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. This is render then half cooked.
- When the onions are sauteed well, slowly add the brinjals and saute for a couple of minuted.
- Now pour in the tamarind water.and add salt, turmeric, sambar powder, dhania powder, red chilli powder and stir in well.
- Cover and cook on medium heat for at least 20 minutes until the brinjals are soft and well cooked.
- It is imperative that the brinjals are completely cooked until soft, as any hard portions would spoil the richness and taste.
- After the 20 minutes, add the ground coconut-poppy seed paste and stir in well.
- Allow the entire pot to come to a boil and the oil seperates from the gravy.
- Switch off the stove and garnish with chopped Cilantro.
- Serve kuzhambu with Urulai Fry or Sepangkizhangu Fry.