Thursday, October 8, 2015

Kathirikkai Pitla | Curried eggplants in rich coconut gravy



If you ever wonder why I come up eggplant recipes, I have only one answer, I'm a hot core fan of this humble vegetable. This time I'm bringing a typical South Indian Tambram recipe. As a kid I've never liked this gravy because of complex texture and flavor but Mom makes it especially for my sister. She can eat this gravy even in her dreams. As they say ,you never know the value of certain things when it is readily available.



As a new bride when I used to cook , my Father-in -law used to  ask me if I know to make a kathirikkai kootu( Brinjal kootu) and I would be amused to hear this. When mother in law prepared this I could figure it out that kootu is nothing but this pitla that my mom makes.



This is also called Rasavangi as it is generally served with Rasam. So many names to confuse people like me. But I'm more used to an ultimate combo of eating this along with Mor Kuzhambu (Southern Counterpart of Kadhi from North).Steaming hot rice , this pitla , some pakodas / potato fries along with mor kuzhambu .... bliss is the word.




As you know every house hold has their version for this. Usually black chickpeas is added in this gravy but it's a tradition in my In-Laws family to add  fresh peanuts , which naturally adds a bit of sweetness to this gravy. I make both variations. It's also very common to see bitter guard pitla or cluster beans pitla in some households.

Here are some more for eggplant lovers : Enna kathirikkai Kuzhambu / Baby eggplants in spicy gravy, Roasted eggplats with Za'thar






Ingredients

Eggplants / Brinjal ........................................ 1/2 lb
Fresh Peanuts..................................................1/2 cup or soaked black chickpeas
Tamarind ..................................................... 1 tbsp , tightly packed or 1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
Toor Dal ........................................................ 2 tbsp , boiled and mashed.
Turmeric powder......................................... 1/2 tsp
Asafetida / Hing ........................................... 1/4 tsp
Salt ............................................................... to taste

To roast and grind

Dry red chili ..................................................4
Coriander seeds............................................ 1 tbsp
Channa Dal .................................................. 1 tsp
Toor dal ........................................................1 tsp
Shredded Coconut .........................................1/4 cup
Coconut oil ................................................... 1 tsp

To temper 

Coconut oil ..................................................... 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds................................................ 1 tsp
Urad dal ......................................................... 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves ................................................... few
Shredded coconuts .......................................... 1 tbsp

Method 


  • Soak  tamarind in 1/2 cup warm water and extract the juice by adding 1/2 cup water. if using tamarind concentrate, add 1 cup water to 1/2 tsp of concentrate.
  • Boil the peanuts until just boiled to leave some crunch to it. If using chickpeas soak them for  8 hrs and pressure cook until done.
  • Wash and chop the eggplants into 1 inch cubes and immerse in water.
  • Heat a deep pan  and add the ingredients listed under roast and grind except cocnuts.
  • Once the dals are roasted fine, transfer to a plate and roast the coconuts till golden brown.
  • Grind them to a coarse paste and set aside.
  • To the same pan add the eggplants and tamarind juice. Stir in the boiled peanuts/ chick peas , salt , hing , turmeric . cover and cook til the raw smell of tamarind is gone and the eggplants are soft.
  • Now add the ground paste, boiled toor dal and allow it to cook for 10 minutes in slow flame.
  • You can check the consistency and add water if the gravy is very thick.
  • Heat a shallow pan a tbsp of coconut oil and add the ingredients other than coconut.
  • Once the mustard is done crackling and the dal is golden add the coconut and cook in a slow flame until golden brown.
  • Pour this tempering over the gravy, cover with a tight lid and turn off the heat.




5 comments:

  1. I love the way you plated and photographed the whole recipe. Look at you, my dear how far you've gone! I am so proud of your photos - seriously. The eggplant curry sounds so yum.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Dolphia. I'm so glad to hear this from you and this means a lot :)

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  2. Names are so confusing but you call it by any name brinjal is my favorite.
    The pitla looks yummm Sujatha.

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    Replies
    1. Then you are my team mate Meena. Thanks.

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  3. So many names .. Isn't it ? For our humble Pitla.. Different regions in Tamil Nadu and Kerala have it named differently .. I loved the styling in the first pic . Yay board 💚

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