Eggplant / Brinjal (/ Baingan as we know it) is tasty only when it is handled with care while cooking. Brinjal fry can easily turn into a tasteless soggy mess. The following recipe is tasty and best part is, the pieces hold their shape even hours after cooking it.
Some famous south Indian brinjal preparations include Ennai kathrikai, kathirikai Pulikulambu, Kathrikai sambar and kathrikai bhaji.
The ingredients list is very short which makes this dish easy to make.
Onion – 1 medium sized – finely chopped
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs – Curry leaves will add additional taste to this dish
Urad dal / black gram dal – 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Oil for frying
Salt, chilli powder – according to your preference
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Brinjal – Washed and cubed into small pieces
When exposed to atmosphere, cut eggplant turns color just like apple. To prevent this discoloration from happening, have a bowl of salt water nearby and drop the pieces inside the bowl as soon as they are cut.
For this recipe, it is best not to add additional moisture. So get all the other ingredients ready and cut brinjal last.
Deep fry to cut brinjal pieces in batches till they are slightly brown.
Some prefer a darker brown. Blot them with paper towels to remove excess oil.
Wash curry leaves and blot out as much water as possible.
After deep frying the eggplant pieces, switch off the stove and deep fry the curry leaves. A few seconds is enough to turn them into tasty crispy leaves.
Encourage kids to eat them as curry leaves are excellent sources of Iron especially for vegetarians and those who are suffering with anemia. Even those who don’t like the taste of curry leaves in curries will like the taste of these deep fried curry leaves. This is an idea to sneak in curry leaves into our diet. They help control gray hair and can even reverse graying of hair.
Heat a teaspoon of oil and add mustard seeds. When the seeds have spluttered, add cumin seeds and stir fry for a minute.
Then add urad dal (black gram dal) and stir fry till dal is roasted and turns golden brown in color. Urad dal gives crunchiness to the dish. But it has to be properly roasted or it will have raw taste.
Then add finely chopped onions and stir fry till it is cooked.
Add a pinch of turmeric powder, salt and chilli powder.
Then add the fried brinjal pieces and curry leaves and stir fry for a minute till all the pieces are coated with the masala. Make sure you don’t squish the baingan / eggplant pieces.
Enjoy tasty brinjal fry / kathrikai poriyal. Goes well with sambar and rice or rasam and rice.