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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Kathrikka Rasavangi

Rasavangi is a dish my mom makes on and off, but, I never paid much attention to it until recently. Of course, in keeping with my fusion passion, the recipe here is probably not traditional, but tweaked a bit to suit my taste...

easy recipe eggplant rasavangi kathrikkaiRasavangi is typically made with eggplant, but, I think next time I would like to try it with a different vegetable, say, bitter gourd...

It is usually served with hot white rice, ghee and a mild vegetable side like butternut squash poduthuval or Zucchini & Snake Beans poduthuval.

The masala paste for this can be made in larger quantity and refrigerated or frozen for later use (thaw in a hot water bath, not microwave)

1 large eggplant, cut into largish chunks
1 medium tomato,diced
1 medium yellow onion,diced
2 cups cooked toor dal, mushed
curry leaves and cilantro for garnish
2-3 Tbsp tamarind paste/concentrate (adjust to taste)
1 Tbsp brown sugar or jaggery
salt to taste
2 Tbsp canola oil
for the masala paste:
1 cup coriander seeds
½ cup dry grated coconut (or fresh)
1 indian bay leaf
½ star anise
2 cloves
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
4-5 dry red chilies
¼ cup chana dal
for tempering: 1 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, a few curry leaves

heat oil in a pan, toast the masala paste ingredients till chana dal turns golden brown; stir constantly so as not to burn the other ingredients; set aside to cool a little; then, blend to a fine paste

in a pan, add the tamarind paste, some salt, enough water to cover the eggplant pieces and let it simmer till eggplant gets tender (skin loses color)

add the masala paste, onions, tomatoes, cooked toor dal, and brown sugar to the pan; stir well, let it simmer till onions cook through and the flavors meld; adjust salt to taste

this is a fairly thick dish, about the consistency of chili or a thick stew, but, add a little water if needed to keep it smooth

tempering adds a nice finish and flavor: heat a tbsp of oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds and let them pop, then add some cumin seeds and curry leaves, turn off heat, let cumin seeds plump up in residual heat and the curry leaves get crispy; garnish the rasavangi dish with the tempering; stir well before serving

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