Any recipe that has some phrases reading ' Varuthu araitha, Araiththu vitta' (வறுத்து அரைத்த, அரைத்துவிட்ட ) will catch my attention. I have so much love to roast ingredients, pound and cook them in a recipe that I virtually try any recipe that sports such phrases. The following recipe, according to my mother is my Thaththa's favourite. Thaththa, my paternal grandfather lavished lot of love on the three of us, me and my sisters. I was named after his mother and he always called me 'Ennoda amma' (என்னோட அம்மா). So this is a dedication to Namakkal thaththa. He was a man of many virtues, a standing figure in that small town, well respected and very loving.
Coming to the recipe which I am sending to Sanghi's Fall in love with purplish brinjal, is an adaption from my mother's recipe with an addition of some 'araithu vitta' (roasted and powdered) ingredients from my very own culinary skills. The recipe calls for charring big size brinjals. But a tip my grandma gave my mother is to rub a drop of oil on the surface of the brinjal and steam it to remove the outer skin works well too.
With two fairly large brinjals, you will get about 1/2 cup of puli gothsu.
Purplish brinjals 2 medium large,approximately weighing 350 grams.
Tamarind one large lemon size ball, soaked in water and pulp extracted.
Salt to taste.
Green chilli 2 long pieces.
Curry leaves few.
Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon.
Channa dhal 1/2 teaspoon.
Asafoetida powder a little.
Ginger 1/2'' piece cut in thin strips.
Oil 2 tablespoons for cooking and tempering.
Finely cut onions and garlic are optional.
Dry roast and powder the following:
4 dry red chillies
11/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1teaspoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon channa dhal.
Wash brinjals and wipe them dry. Rub one drop of oil over the surface and holding with tongs, turn it over alow flame until outer is well charred. ( I read in Jayasri's- Samayalarai-cookingisdivine blog, that making small slits with a knife randomly on the brinjals ensures that the inside is cooked too.) Cool and peel the charred skin. Mash the pulp and keep aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the tamarind paste and dry powder.
If you would like to use onions and garlic, keep them ready.
Put a pan on the stove, put in 2 tablespoons of the oil. When oil is hot add mustard seeds. Allow to crackle and add curryleaves, ginger, asafoetida and green chillies. Saute for two minutes.( Add onions and garlic now.)
Add the tamarind extract and salt. Simmer for few minutes before adding the mashed brinjal.
Keeping the heat low add the powdered ingredients and mix well. Add some water if it is dry.
Switch off the stove when the gothsu is thick and ingredients are well blended.
Serve with steamed rice, idlis, venpongal as the Naagainallur cooks would (without onions and certainly no garlic) or with rotis and phulkas.