Eggplant/aubergine/brinjal all the same and all names refer to one of my favourite vegetables. Adapting to Spanish aubergine instead of the baby eggplants and variety of other brinjals I was used to was a learning experience in my culinary adventure. Once I got a hang of ways to cook this variety, I am now more comfortable experimenting it. I saw eggplant chutney recipe by Sanjay Thumma and I have adapted to my preference. Key difference is that I have charred the aubergine rather than frying it. It not only imparts an awesome flavour but also reduces amount of oil. The traditional eggplant chutney (thogayal) recipe in my family is different from this and will post that later. This dish tastes great with rice but can also be used as a dip or spread. Here is my version...
1 big eggplant
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1-2 inch piece of ginger
3 green chillies
2-3 tablespoons dhariya (roasted chickpea aka ‘odaicha kadalai’)
½ teaspoon tamarind paste
¼ teaspoon fenugreek powder (optional)
1 sprig curry leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds and curry leaves for tempering
Wash the aubergine and char on direct flame until it is well done. Remove the skin and chop roughly
Heat a teaspoon oil, crackle mustard seeds and asafoetida, turmeric powder, add ginger, curry leaves, chillies, dhariya, fenugreek powder and fry for 3-5 minutes
Add tamarind and some water and cook for about 5 minutes then add the chopped aubergine and salt and fry for couple of minutes
Allow it to cool and grind to desired consistency, add required water while grinding. Add a teaspoon oil in a skillet and add mustard seed. Once it crackles add curry leaves and add the ground paste. Add little water and allow to boil briefly.