Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Vazhuthananga Pulincurry (Brinjal/ Aubergine in Tamarind Gravy)

Recipe No: 290
A few weeks before a good friend of mine gave me her Mother’s recipe for Prawn in Tamarind gravy (Konchu Puli pizhinjathu).  Even though I am not a big fan of 'sourness', I like the dish so much that I started experimenting the same with many vegetables and this is one of them. Since a vegetarian loving friend of mine asked for its recipe after tasting and I promised her that I will post it in the blog, I am doing this…
Ingredients                                               Serves 4
  • Oil………………………...2-3 Tablespoons (Coconut Oil preferred)
  • Ginger chopped…......1 teaspoon heap
  • Shallots………………....7-8 (Sliced big; about ½ cup)
  • Indian Green Chilly…2 (depending on the taste; I use long ones which are less spicy)
  • Curry Leaves…………..2 Sprigs
  • Tomato sliced………...1/2 medium
  • Brinjal…………………...2 medium (sliced into long medium sized pieces; about 2 cups)
  • Red Chilly Powder…..1 Teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder.….1 Teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder……1/4 Teaspoon
  • Tamarind Water….…3/4 Cup (Squeeze a large Gooseberry sized Tamarind in hot Water)
  • Salt as needed
Method of Preparation
  1. Heat Oil in a ‘Chatti’ (an earthen cooking vessel) or a stainless steel pan (please refer the notes) on high heat and saute the chopped Ginger for 30 seconds.
  2. Add Shallots, Green Chilly, Curry Leaves and Tomato; saute till the Shallots turn translucent.
  3. Add the Brinjal (squeeze off the excess Water if any) and fry in the Oil for two minutes or till the Brinjal pieces changes its color slightly.
  4. Mix in the Chilly Powder, Coriander Powder and the Turmeric Powder; saute for a minute. Do stir often to prevent burning.
  5. Add the Tamarind Water, Salt and more Water if needed (I used ½ Cup more); mix well. Let it boil and then lower the heat to medium low and cook till Oil starts to float on top and the gravy level is reduced to a desired consistency. (This will thicken a bit when cools down.)
  6. Drizzle a bit of Coconut Oil and some Curry Leaves (Break it into pieces for a stronger smell) on top; switch off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  • The amount of Tamarind depends on your taste. So do taste in between adding rather than dumping everything at once.
  • Tamarind will sometimes be hard; so in that case use hot Water to squeeze the pulp and do discard the seeds (if present) and the hard fibrous parts after squeezing.
  • As Tamarind is extremely acidic, it can react with Aluminum and the non stick coatings; so please use a stainless steel pan or earthenware (the best) like the Chatti to make this curry. However, as prolonged contact of acid with steel is also not good, don’t store the leftovers in stainless steel containers.
  • It is necessary to wash and discard some seeds from the Brinjal if the ones available contains a lot of ripe seeds. In that case use a colander which will allow the seeds to flow out throw the holes while washing.
  • If you are not using Coconut Oil in the beginning, please do try to use it at the end for drizzling. This will give that appealing smell without using a lot of it.
  • A note regarding the two photos: Yes... They are both the same dish .The one on top gives the exact color of the dish when done, but for me the lighting was not so good and it came out a little blurry. The one below is over lighted (I am sorry for that) but not that blurry. So if you are looking for the color of the finished dish, do check the picture on top; but if you are looking for the size and shape of the pieces when done, do refer the picture below... I apologize for the inconvenience caused...

Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
serve it to your family with love…


Julie said...

Lovely dish for Vishu..Loks appetizing n yummy!
Happy Vishu too :-)

ONGOING EVENT- "Mint & Coriander seeds" (EP Series-Apr)
Erivum Puliyum

Priya Suresh said...

Happy vishu wishes, fingerlicking pulicurry..Makes me drool..

Vardhini said...

Curry looks yummy. Happy Vishu.

CooksJoy said...

delicious inviting

Faseela said...

yummy curry...superb

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