I need no excuse to cook eggplant as I just Love it. But it was interesting to find that the plant is native to India. Also interestingly its name has originated from Sanskrit. It is such a beautiful looking and cooking vegetable. I could just keep rambling about it but it is suffice to say I very much miss the variety of brinjals that I could get in India. We get only the Spanish ones here and the wee ones can be found in Indian stores if lucky. My mother-in-law used to tell me that she was warned not to eat brinjals while pregnant as they thought it could make the baby’s skin dark. She being a nutritionist, decided it was not quite possible and that if anything, the iron content in brinjal will be helpful. And guess what, my husband is not dark.
This particular recipe I am sharing is one of my favourites. It is quite simple and quick to make. My grandmother used to make it often for me. She used to make it with the green brinjals. I had to be happy with the big Spanish brinjal but the dish was still yummy. Ithink this is one of the many recipes that shows that Indian cooking is not always about using a number of different spices, but just few simple ingredients can come a long way. Here is the how to make it part...
1 aubergine or more depending on variety you are using
1teaspoon mustard seeds
2-3 green chillies
1 sprig curry leaves (optional)
1.5 cups yogurt, slightly beaten
Salt to taste
Wash and wipe the brinjal. On the stovetop char the aubergine on direct flame. As the aubergine gets cooked, fluids will ooze out of it and it will cave in when done.
Put it in a cup of water, preferably cold, so you can peel the skin off. Transfer to a bowl and mash it with a fork. It is not very nice to have it smooth so keep it a bit chunky.
In a small pan or kadai, add less than a teaspoon of oil. Once hot, add the mustard seeds and after it splutters, add the chopped green chillies, asafoetida, curry leaves.
Add this tempering to the brinjal and mix with yogurt. Wonderful charred brinjal raita ready!
You could add some urd dal to the tempering. If you like you can also add turmeric powder to it to get the yellow colour.