Kathirikkai Kothsu (Eggplants in tamarind gravy)
Kathirikkai Kothsu is the perfect combination for pongal. The sauteed eggplants with spices and a hint of tamarind makes it a easy side dish for idlis and dosas as well.
Chopped onions – 1/4 cup
Small purple eggplants-6 to 8
Salt to taste
Sesame oil- 2 tbsp
Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Tamarind- one small key lime size
For the spice powder:
Chana dal- 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds- 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida- 1 big pinch
Sesame oil- 1 tsp
Curry leaves- few sprigs
Wash and pat dry the eggplants. Remove the green stem.
Heat one tbsp of oil in a pan and add the eggplants, season with a pinch of salt. Keep the flame on low-medium and let the eggplants sear on all sides, so that the eggplants are tender to touch. This takes about 10-15 minutes. Let the eggplants cool. Once the eggplants have cooled down, smash them with the back of a spoon into a pulp.
Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water and extract the juice.
Heat oil in a pot and add mustard seeds, when they splutter, add curry leaves and asafoetida. Then add the chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder and saute well.
Pour in the tamarind extract and let the onions and tomatoes cook. Once the gravy is 3/4th cooked through, add the mashed eggplants, the spice powder and mix well. Simmer for another 5 minutes and switch off. Make sure that the tamarind taste is not over powering. You can use either tamarind or tomato. If the tamarind is enough for the tangy taste, leave the tomato out of the recipe and proceed like above. You can also increase the quantity of spice powder to make the kothsu more spicy.
Serve hot with pongal, idlis or dosas.
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