I love adding peanuts to stir-fried masala recipes like you would for variety rice recipes like lemon rice and puliogare. The usual suspect that always needs to share the limelight with peanuts is okra. Any time okra masala is made, in go a handful of peanuts.The other day I got some gorgeous baby brinjals (new-born, even) and had to make something non-fussy and flavourful. Although vatha kozhambu was on the cards, that didn't end up happening so I adapted a quick dry masala recipe for the baby brinjal and peanuts to have a go at each other. I think they like each other. This is a no-onion, no-garlic recipe.
Baby Brinjal and Peanut Masala Recipe (Kathirikai Curry)
8-10 baby brinjal
1/2 cup raw unsalted peanuts
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera / cumin seeds
1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
A generous pinch of hing / asafoetida
A pinch of turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
A few curry leaves
2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
A small piece of tamarind or 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
Salt to taste
How to make Kathirikai with Peanuts Curry:
1. Cut baby brinjal into thin long pieces. I cut each small brinjal into 8 long pieces, lengthwise.
2. Heat oil and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the jeera and curry leaves. Once the jeera sizzles and turns a darker share of brown, add the hing and fry for 5 seconds.
3. Now throw in the cut brinjal pieces and the peanuts. Mix well until well coated in the oil. Reduce flame and cook partially covered until the brinjal is soft yet cooked and the peanuts are sufficiently roasted. This should take about 12-15 mins. Sprinkle water if necessary but don't add too much.
4. Now add the turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder and the tamarind and mix well until well combined. Cook for another 3-4 mins, add salt, and remove from fire. Serve hot with steamed rice and any curry of choice.