My mother is quite famous for her Brinjal curries. She makes even brinjal haters like them.
And this is one of her best versions. She makes this quite often, and it tastes amazing with rice or roti.
Brinjal or egg plant or aubergines are one of the most misunderstood vegetables.
It is low in calories and high in fibre content. It is also a good source of minerals like manganese, copper, iron and potassium. It has anti-oxidant properties and studieshave shown that it is effective in controllling high blood cholesterol.
Brinjal and split chickpea curry
You will be needing
-250gms Brinjal, preferably the smaller Indian variety and not the large eggplant variety. Chop them in half lengthwise, and halve them again length wise, so in total, you will get 4 pieces in each half.
Note: Brinjal, like potatoes and apples, oxidises on contact with air. So either soak them in a bowl of water, or coat them with lime juice or vinegar to stop the oxidation.
– 3-4 tablespoons of bengal gram (also known as split chickpeas or channa dal). Soak them for a couple of hours. Boil them with a pinch of salt till al-dente, i.e, it is cooked, but still has a ‘bite’ to it. Fully cooked channa dal is soft and has a smooth texture when smashed between your fingers.
– 1 tsp Mustard seeds
– 3-4 cloves
– 1 cinnamon stick, broken
– 1-2 bay leaves
– 1 tsp cumin seeds
– 8-10 curry leaves
– 2 tsp red chilli powder
-1/2 tsp turmeric powder
-1 tsp corriander powder
– 2-3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
– 2 onions, chopped
– 2-3 tbsp oil
– salt to taste
-1 tsp vinegar
– A handful of chopped corriander (I use both stem and leaves, because the stem contains a high amount of Vitamin C)
-Drain the chopped brinjal and dab it with a kitchen towel to remove as much water as possible.
-In a bowl, mix the brinjal, chilli powder, turmeric and corriander powder.
-In a kadai (pan), heat oil and when it’s hot, add the mustard. You know the oil is hot enough when it starts to crackle and pop as soon as it hits the oil. This is essential to release the flavours into the oil.
-Add the cumin, and stir around till it starts to become fragrant.
-Add the curry leaves and watch them crackle and turn crisp to a vibrant dark green.
-Add the cloves and cinnamon stick and stir.
-Add the onions and stir around till it turns translucent.
-Add the prepared brinjal, cooked bengal gram and stir well. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent burning, but what we’re looking for is the brinjal to cook and soften and the ground spices to cook.
-Add the tomatoes and salt, stir well, cover and cook for a few minutes, till the tomatoes are pulpy and have been thoroughly absorbed into the brinjal.
I personally like my brinjals to be cooked to the skin i.e., so well cooked that the skin peels off with almost no effort.
-Check seasoning, add vinegar, garnish with chopped coriander leaves, and serve hot.