Whenever mom could not cook at home (not very often as she made every effort to make us good food), we would order meal from Saravana Bhavan. One of the items I used to love from them was kara kozhambu. I remember my mom making it for me just like how they made it. It has been many years since I last had it and recently my sister-in-law reminded me of the dish. I realised I still had loads of the Indian eggplants to finish off so I just took the opportunity. It is a very quick recipe and can be whipped in very little time. As I loaded it with eggplant, which is one of the five a day vegetables, it just means you get a healthy and wonderful comfort food. Well, kara kozhambu to me is a comfort food. ‘Kara’ means hot and ‘kozhambu’ refers to sauce but you can make it as hot or as mild as you like. Serve it with plain rice, chapattis or curd rice. Yum yum!
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 tomato, roughly chopped
2 tablespoon grated coconut or dessicated coconut
1 cup of chopped eggplant
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon sambar powder (optional)
½ teaspoon chilly powder
Salt to taste
Grind the coconut, tomato and onion to a fine paste. You could add some garlic pods to this if you like. (forgot to click, sorry!)
Heat some oil and add mustard seeds. Once it crackles add asafoetida, turmeric powder and the cut eggplants and sauté for couple of minutes
Add tamarind paste and enough water to cover the eggplants and cook covered.
Once the eggplants are cooked add the ground paste, chilly powder and/or sambar powder, salt and cook till raw smell goes. Add water if needed and cook until desired consistency
Serve with rice or rotis!