Egg plant is widely used in Indian Cooking. It's not only good in taste but also carries good nutritional value.
There are Indian chefs who can cook the eggplant in 1000 varieties.
This post describes one of the methods Egg plant or Brinjal(as it is called in India) (Vankaya - Telugu, Bhaigan - Hindi & Kathirikai - Tamil) can be cooked with a tangy tamarind juice.
This dish is a perfect condiment for Biriyani.
In most of the Indian Biriyani Stalls this is accompanied with a plate of Lamb or Chicken Biriyani. And therefore whenever I cook Biriyani I make it sure to add this too to my menu.
Egg plant - 6-7 Small, or 3-4 Medium - Cut into small cubes
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fennel Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon 1 big or 2 small
Cardamom - 3
Green Chillies - 2
Onion - 1 Small or 1/2 Medium
Curry leaves - 8-10
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Tomato Paste - 2 Tbsp or 1 Tomato cut into small cubes
Salt - to taste
Red Chilly Powder - 1/2 - 1 tsp depending on how spicy you want.
Tamarind Juice - Made from a small lemon size tamarind ball soaked in 1/3 cup of hot water
Black Pepper balls : 10-12
Finely chopped Coriander leaves
1. In a deep pot add oil after heated. When the oil is hot add mustard seeds.
2. After the mustard cracks add the whole spices and sauté till they change color.
3. Add cut onion, green chillies; curry leaves - sauté till onions change color.
4. Add ginger garlic paste and mix well so that it doesn't stick to the edges and get burnt.
5. Add tomatoes or tomato paste and mix.
6. Once cooked add the cut cubes of egg plant, add salt, chilly powder and mix well to coat all the pieces with the masala.
7. Add 1 cup water, mix and cook for 15- 20 minutes covered.
8. Keep mixing in between and add more water if necessary.
9. Once the egg plant is almost cooked, add the tamarind juice, mix well and add the black pepper balls.
10. Cook for another 5 - 7 minutes and add the coriander leaves, cook for another minute and remove from heat.
Leave the gravy to set for 1/2 - 1hour, so that the egg plant will absorb the tanginess of the tamarind.
Serve with Rice, Biriyani or Roti.