April 6, 2009

Kathirikai Poriyal Recipe | Brinjal Poriyal Recipe

How to make Kathirikai Poriyal

I used to think that poriyal and thoran meant one and the same, the former being the tamil version of the latter. But the differences are quite stark, the most significant one being, thoran doesn't use any lentils in the recipe unless you use urad dal while tempering. Poriyal uses lesser coconut and more lentils, the type of lentils depending on which part of Tamil Nadu you are from. Would love to hear abour your versions too!

I don't have much else to say about this particular recipe except that its another kathirikai recipe from my huge list :) Since TH doesn't like coconut much, I tone down the amount in all my poriyal recipes (though the original Kerala thoran recipes are made my way!). Poriyal is his domain, so I don't mind making it his way ;)

I have made this kathirikai poriyal with different kinds of brinjal and eggplant. It comes out fine whichever ones you use, its quite forgiving that way. I used the long japanase purple brinjal this time, the ones that are most common in Singapore. 
Kathirikkai Poriyal Recipe

3 cups brinjal, cubed
2 medium onions, finely sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt, to taste
For Spice Powder
2 tsp + 2 tsp oil
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida / hing
2 - 3 dry red chillies
2 tsp urad dal
2 tbsp grated coconut
A small marble-sized ball of tamarind
1/4 tsp salt
For Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 dry red chilly, halved
1 sprig curry leaves

How to make Kathirikai Poriyal:

1. Heat 2 tsp oil for spice powder in a pan over moderate heat. Add coriander seeds, hing, red chillies and urad dal. Fry till spices are fragrant and the dal turns golden. Remove and set aside to cool. 

2. Add 2 tsp oil to same pan and heat through. Add coconut and fry over low heat until golden brown. 

3. Combine coconut and the fried spices, tamarind and salt and grind to a fine powder. 

4. Heat oil for tempering in the same pan as above and add the ingredients for tempering. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add onions and saute for 1-2 mins. 

5. Add the brinjal, turmeric, salt and 1/4 cup water. Lower heat, cover pan and simmer for about 10 mins till brinjal is tender and all water is absorbed. 

6. Sprinkle the spice powder to the cooked brinjal and stir gently to combine well. Serve hot with steamed rice or roti. 

I sometimes make extra poriyal spice powder and store it in an airtight container in the fridge (since it has coconut). If you use it within two weeks, the flavour will still be intact. This is in case you get sick of the roasting and grinding each time :)

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