An easy and delicious spicy eggplant/brinjal stir fry (dry) made from whole spices.
Long eggplant/brinjal – 250 gm
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Tamarind pulp – 2 tbsp
Jaggery powder – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt as needed
For Dry Roasting and Grinding:
Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
Whole dry red chilies – 3
Urad dal/Chana Dal – 1 tsp
Grated coconut (optional) – 2 tbsp
Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Wash the eggplant. Remove their stems. Slice them into slightly thick, inch-long pieces. You do not want to slice them thin as they cook easily and become mushy. Place the sliced eggplant in a bowl of water. Add a pinch of turmeric to this water.
In a thick pan, add Chana dal and dry roast until it turns red. Keep aside. Note: I used urad dal as Chana dal does not suit my stomach.
In the same pan, add coriander seeds. If you are adding coconut, add it at this stage. Dry roast until the raw smell of the coriander seeds go away and the grated coconut starts turning red. Keep aside to cool.
When the dry roasted ingredients cool down, dry roast them in a mixer to make a coarse powder. Keep aside.
Pour oil into a thick pan. When the oil heats up, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add asafetida and curry leaves.
Drain the water from the sliced eggplant pieces. Add the eggplant pieces to the oil. Stir for a minute, close with a lid, and cook for 5 mins. Occasionally open the lid and use a spatula to turn the pieces so they get cooked evenly.
When the eggplants start to wilt a little, add salt and the dry roasted powder and mix well. Cook for couple of minutes.
Add the tamarind pulp and jaggery. Mix well and cook until eggplants are cooked and spices are coated well. Serve hot with rice or roti.
Note: Instead of using whole ingredients, roasting, and dry grinding them, you could use coriander powder, but that cannot beat the taste of using roasted and coarsely powdered whole ingredients.