Monday, December 27, 2010

Eggplant or Brinjal Kootu

Some days back I came across a beautifully illustrated thought provoking question - Time or Money?  So I decided to put this on my status on Face Book and see what sort of replies I get.  Of course the most common reply was "both" or "time is money".  But the real thing is when you really start thinking about this and have to decide between either time or money - what would you really choose?   

I decided to give it some thought and see what was really important.  Money could buy me all the comforts I could only dream of.  Money could mean I would not have to go to work another day of my life and be able to spend more time with the family and children.  Money could mean not having to think twice before I want to buy something.  Not a bad choice.  Time - what could I do with time.  Stop time? Rewind time?  Fast forward time?  What would I gain?  Stop time and be stuck in this cold weather?  Rewind time to go back to those days when I had to wake up to sick children and wet diaper?  Forward time and go to God knows what? But then why was I still scared to choose money?  Why were all my friends and acquaintances on Face Book not choosing money?  What are we scared of? Perhaps in secret I would choose money but would not admit it openly to all.

The dish below is south Indian.  I made it using very small eggplants and doubled the amount of tamarind to get a sourish taste.  I served it as  side dish with a chicken I had grilled and the combination was perfect.
Yellow lentils (raw & boiled)

Preparation Time:  40 minutes
Serves 6


½ kilo small eggplants
½ cup yellow lentils (tuvar dal)
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 tablespoon coconut scrapings
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon Bengal Gram dal (chana dal)
1 teaspoon white lentils (urad dal)
3 red chillies
Coriander seeds, Bengal Gram Dal, White Lentils & chilies
1 small ball of tamarind
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
A few sprigs curry leaves
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of asafoetida
2 tablespoon sunflower oil

  1. Soak the yellow lentils in 2 cups water for 15 minutes.  
  2. Now put the lentils in the vessel along with the water and cook for 20 minutes till the lentils are soft.   
  3. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup hot water. Remove juice of tamarind and keep aside.   
  4. Cut eggplants into quarters and keep aside.   
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan.  When hot, fry coriander seeds, white lentils, pepper, Bengal gram dal, red chillies and asafoetida.   
  6. Grind the above to a smooth paste with coconut scrapings.  Keep aside.   
  7. Now heat the remaining oil in a pan.   
  8. When the oil if hot, add the mustard seeds and the curry leaves.   
  9. When they splutter, add the ground mixture of coconut.   Fry for 2 minutes.
  10. Now add the sugar and salt and the eggplants along with the tamarind juice.  
  11. Cook for 10 minutes on low flame.   
  12. Now add the cooked dal and cook for a further 2 minutes.  Serve hot with bread or chappatis.

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