In this dish, eggplant pieces are cooked in tamarind water and finally, enlivened with a spicy coconut paste. This has well-rounded flavour and goes well with plain white rice or roti.
Serves 4 to 6
500g brinjal, chopped into ½-inch cubes
5-8 dried red chiili peppers
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried peanuts
½ teaspoon white sesame seeds
Vegetable oil to cook
¼ cup/25g finely grated coconut
1 tablespoon de-seeded tamarind pulp
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- Place the eggplant cubes in a bowl of water.
- In a pan, separately roast the red-chilli peppers, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peanuts and sesame seeds until fragrant, adding a few drops of oil as required. Transfer them to a bowl.
- Add the grated coconut to the pan and roast until slightly golden. Transfer to the bowl and let cool to the room temperature.
- Using an electric blender, blend all the roasted ingredients to a thick, smooth paste, adding water a little at a time.
- Extract the juice of tamarind in 2 cups/500ml water and discard the pulp.
- Add 2 tablespoons oil in a medium pan and place over medium-low heat.
- Add the onions and cook, until golden, stirring frequently.
- Drain the eggplant, discarding the water, and add to the pan. Add the salt and turmeric powder. Mix.
- Add the tamarind water. Cover and cook, until the eggplant cubes are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add the paste from the blender. Mix well. If it’s too dry, you may add some water as required. Mix.
- Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The final consistency of the dish should be semi-dry.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as required. Remove from the heat.
- Leave for 30 minutes for the flavours to blend, before serving.