This is one side dish that comes into my mind instantly when I see eggplant! I used to dislike this veggie earlier, but now with a wide variety of dishes that can be prepared with the eggplant, I actually started liking it. This is quite easy to prepare - cook the eggplant on stovetop till the outer skin is burnt, after which the skin is removed and the inner part is added to a ground coconut chutney. Tastes great with chapathis, rottis, esp Ubbu rotti, and even with rice.
|Burnt Eggplant in Coconut Chutney
Preparation time : 5 min
Cooking time : 15 min
Serves : 4
Eggplant - 3, medium sized, preferably purple ones
Coconut - 1 cup, grated
Green chilies - 5-6, depending on taste
Channa dal - 2 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Coriander leaves - 1 Tbsp, chopped
Cooking oil - 1 tsp
Jaggery - a small pinch (optional)
Tamarind - a small marble sized ball
Salt - ½ tsp or as per taste
Turmeric - 1 pinch
Cooking oil - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - A few sprigs
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Asafetida - a pinch, powdered
• Wash the eggplants, make sure there are no holes on the outer skin, which means there might be bugs inside
• Smear a few drops of oil over the eggplant
• Switch on the gas and place these eggplants directly over the flame
• Turn it around every now and then and ensure an even blackening of the outer skin. This will take around 2 minutes per eggplant.
• Poke the back of a spoon or a knife to check if it is cooked soft inside.
• Repeat this for all the eggplants and set aside to cool
• Meanwhile, roast green chilies, curry leaves and chana dal in a few drops of oil till they change color
• Grind the above with coconut, turmeric, salt, tamarind, jaggery, coriander leaves, adding a little water if needed
• Transfer the ground chutney to a serving bowl
• Once the burnt eggplant is cool enough to handle, peel the outer charred skin. A thick layer comes out easily.
• Mash this slightly or cut with a knife to get small pieces
• Add it to the ground chutney and mix well
For tempering / tadka:
• Heat the oil in a pan, add mustard and allow to splutter
• Add curry leaves
• Garnish with tadka
Tips n Tricks:
• Do not make the chutney too smooth – a little coarse consistency will give a better taste
• You can just bake the eggplant in oven too. But make sure to prick some holes all over, to prevent it from bursting inside the oven!