Podi Kathirikkai

BM# 101: Week 4, Day 3
Theme : 
1 ingredient, 3 side dishes

I was introduced to podi kathirikkai (eggplants prepared with a spice powder) by my mother in law. It took me a little time to warm up to this dish but soon it was a favorite. I make this when I want a change from my usual method, which is a simple eggplant sauté with salt and sambar powder. Earlier I used to add homemade idli podi to brinjal instead of preparing the spice powder from scratch. That works decent, especially if the idli podi is coarse and not finely ground, but it’s not the same as the original.

The recipe for the ingredients to grind varies from home to home. My mother in law uses Chana dal, coriander seeds and dried red chilies, but I have seen recipes that have coconut, sesame seeds, peanuts, black pepper etc. I have added urad dal also to the mix. The base recipe is the same, sauté brinjal until it’s mostly done and then add the prepared podi (powder) to coat evenly. It’s important that you take care not to overlook the vegetable. If it turns mushy, it won’t be good. So keep a close watch when cooking this curry.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves : 3-4

Ingredients:

To roast and grind

  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Chana dal
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 3-4 dried red chilies

For curry

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 10-12 small Indian eggplants, sliced into thin long pieces
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Heat a pan and add all the ingredients under toast and grind. Keep stirring and once the dals turn slightly brown, remove to a blender jar. Once it’s cool, grind into a powder, don’t add any water for grinding. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the sliced eggplant. Let it cook in medium heat, stirring in between.
  3. Once it’s 3/4th cooked, add the prepared spice powder and salt. Mix gently until the vegetables are coated with the powder. Continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes and turn the heat off. Serve with rice and sambar of your choice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

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Brinjal curry

BM# 101: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : 
1 ingredient, 3 side dishes

For the last week of Blogging Marathon, I will be posting three eggplant based recipes. Initially I was thinking of paneer or potatoes for this theme. Then when I was shopping with my friend she suggested eggplants. It got me thinking that we don’t give this simple vegetable it’s due. This is an everyday veggie, but it never gets the limelight.

We use brinjal in sambar or other gravies, it also gets prepared as a dry side dish. At my home, we sauté this with salt and sambar powder until the vegetable is done. My mother in law prepares a fresh spice powder and makes podi kathirikkai (Brinjal with spice powder). But today’s post is my friend’s version which has sautéed onions and tomatoes and all the spice powders in it. It doesn’t take a lot of time to cook and tastes delicious with rice.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source : My friend Devi

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • 10-12 medium Indian eggplants
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Cut each eggplant into two halves and each half into 3 pieces each length wise. So you will get about 6 pieces for each eggplant. Else just dice it.
  1. Heat oil in a thick pan. Add onions and minced garlic, sauté until onions turn pink. Add tomatoes and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the spice powders and salt. Reduce heat, cover and cook until tomatoes are done.
  3. Add the eggplant and mix into the tomato masala carefully. Cook under medium-low heat, stirring in between, until eggplants are done. Take off heat and Serve with rice and sambar.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

Bombay chutney

BM# 101: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Cooking with Chickpea flour

Growing up, chickpea flour or besan was a pantry staple at our home. It was mostly used to make quick pakoras when unexpected guests arrive or to make an occasional sweet treat. Another dish was this Bombay chutney that pairs well with dosa and idlis and even with curd rice.

Recently a friend of mine was mentioning that this is an oft repeated recipe at her place and they use Sattu flour (roasted chickpea flour) instead of besan. That’s when I remembered the many times amma have made this at home. I had completely forgotten about this one.

The base is a simple onion tomato mix with ginger and green chilies. To this a besan slurry is added and then everything is cooked together with Some water to thin it out. The reason to add besan as a slurry instead of adding it directly is to avoid the dry lumps. It’s a more tedious work to break down the lumps once it’s already in the heated pan.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 red chilies
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1″ ginger piece, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons besan
  • 2 cups water*
  • Salt as needed

*This amount needed to be adjusted according to the thickness preferred.

Method:

    Mix besan with one cup of water until the lumps are dissolved and set aside.
    Heat oil in a thick pan and add the mustard seeds and red chilies. Once it crackles, add the chopped ginger and sliced green chilies. Sauté for a couple of seconds and add the chopped onions. Sauté until it turns pink.
    Add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder and chili powder(if using). Mix well and let it cook until tomatoes are done.
    Add the besan slurry and another cup of water. Let it cook, stirring in between, until it thickens. If it is too thick, add a little more water until the consistency is to your preference.
    Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed. Take off the heat and serve with idli or dosas.

Watermelon Aguas Frescas

BM# 100: Week 3, Day 2
Theme : Let’s have a toast!

Summer means watermelons and mangoes in India. Drinking Watermelon juice is very common to help cool the body down. It’s a straightforward no fuss recipe of blending watermelon with sugar.

Now coming to the recipe here, it’s the Mexican version of watermelon juice. Agua means water and fresco means cool in Spanish. Agua frescas means cool water and are not limited to just watermelons. It can made with a whole bunch of fruits and sometimes even cereals. Water and fruits are blended with sugar or sweetener of your choice and served with ice. I have seen some interesting recipes like tamarind agua Fresca and cinnamon rice water. You can read more about it here.

Read on for the recipe and prepare it this summer please :-)!

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced watermelon
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar, or per taste
  • Ice cubes

Method:

  1. Blend the fruit with 2 cups water and sugar.
  2. Pour it into a pitcher and add the remaining 2 cups of water. Taste test and add more sugar if needed.
  3. Serve immediately with ice cubes.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#100