Thursday, 25 March 2010
Kathirika(i), urulai kizhangu puli kuzhambu / vankaya, bangaaladumpa pulusu ( Brinjal and potato in tamarind gravy)
Puli kuzhambu is Rajender's favourite. I too like it but not that much.. I love potato in pulikuzhambu. It gives a nice aroma and the potato soaked in sour, tamarind gravy also tastes great. The next best vegetable in pulikuzhambu is kathirikai (brinjal), especially the smaller varieties. See those lovely, small, white brinjals, I got them from a chinese shop. In India they call them as mutta(i) (egg) katirikai,since they are white in colour and resemble an egg. In olden days mutta(i) kathirikai pulikuzhambu was made and served to the groom before the nuptial night. Might be in olden days people beleived that it has an aphrodisiac property . Whatever it is these small, white brinjals taste very good. They are very firm and takes time to get cooked when compared to other brinjal varieties. All tamarind based gravies taste very good on the next day of preparation.
Potato- 4 nos
Brinjal- 6 nos
Onion-2 nos (smaller variety onions or shallots are the best for this gravy)
Tomato- 1 no (big, ripe one)
Green chilli- 3 nos
Garlic- 6 pods
Curry leaves- handful ( more the better)
Tamarind- size of a small lemon
Mustard, fenugreek and jeera seeds- 1 tspn
Chilli powder- 2 tspn
Coriander powder- 2 tbspn
Oil- 5 tbspns
Asafoetida- a pinch, turmeric- a pinch
Salt- to taste
Cut potato into big pieces. Cut the brinjals as shown in the picture. Cut tomato and onion into small pieces. Now heat a pan and add enough oil. Then do the tempering by adding fenugreek seeds initially followed by mustard and jeera seeds. When they splutter add onions, garlic pods, curry leaves, a pinch of turmeric and a pinch of asafoetida. Saute well until the onions become translucent and soft. Then add the tomatoes. Saute well until they become soft and completely mashed. Now add the cut potatoes and brinjal. Let the vegetables cook for sometime in oil till the skin of brinjal turn slightly brown. Soak and extract tamarind juice. Now add the tamarind juice to the sauteed vegetable mixture and allow it to boil. Then simmer it untill the vegetables get cooked. When the vegetables are cooked add salt according to your taste. Remove from fire when the oil seperates out. These brinjals need lots of time for cooking. If you add salt before they get cooked, it takes much more time. So add salt at the end. Very tasty pulikuzhambu will be ready to be served with hot rice.
Taste enhancing tips for this recipe: If possible use gingelly oil for this preparation. Make sure brinjals are tender. Add enough tamarind juice. This recipe tastes good if they are sour enough. You have to balance the sour taste of tamarind with enough chilli powder and salt. Addition of enough curry leaves increases the flavour of this gravy. The onions and totmatoes should become soft enough before you add the vegetable and the tamarind juice. Please do not use a teaspoon of oil for the entire preparation. Definitely it will not taste good. Instead make it tastier with enough oil and reduce your intake, if your are calorie conscious. Adding garlic to any pulikuzhambu enhances the flavour and taste. Enjoy and happy cooking!!!