Saturday, May 3, 2008

Kathirikai Pitlai (Eggplant/Brinjal curry)

The eggplant is not one of my favorite vegetables. I rarely buy one and when I do, I end up making the one dish I am most familiar with- baingan bharta. I recently bought home a few baby eggplants with the intention of trying out something else for a change. As always, I looked toward Taste of India for some much needed inspiration and it came to me in the form of these two wonderful pitlai recipes. Pitlai, I understand, is a very popular preparation in the Tamil Brahmin community. This is how I made it.

6-7 brinjals, cubed and placed in a bowl of salted water to prevent discoloration.
A big ball of tamarind soaked in hot water
1-2 tsp brown sugar or jaggery (optional)
½ cup cooked toor dal/split pigeon peas

For roasting and grinding:
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp urad dal/white lentils
1 Tbsp chana dal/split chickpeas
1 ½ Tbsp coriander seeds
5-8 red chillies
2-3 Tbsp coconut

For seasoning:
I Tbsp Oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp urad dal/white lentils
4-5 curry leaves
A pinch of asafoetida

Cook the eggplant cubes with some salt in the tamarind extract. Add the jaggery. Cook till eggplants are soft.

Add the roasted and ground spice mixture to the cooked eggplants and cook on medium heat for 2-4 minutes.

Add the cooked dal to the above mixture. Add desired amounts of water depending on the consistency required. Cook for 5 minutes or so. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat.

In a small pan, heat the oil and add all the ingredients for seasoning. Pour the seasoned oil over the pitla.

Serve hot with some rice and

This is the first time I have used eggplants in this manner and I can’t say that I was too disappointed. It tasted really good!

This is my entry for Abby's Vegetables, beautiful vegetables.

On another note, Court Cooks considers me worthy of this.

Anjali has passed this onto me.

Thank you for thinking of me! I really appreciate the friendly gesture, Court Cooks and Anjali.
I’m going to be a spoilsport now, and selfishly hang onto these for as long as I can. ;-)

54 Burps:

zlamushka said...

TBC, what a gorgeous bowl of curry, brinjals look like they re going to fall out of the bowl any second, oh i wish i had a plate here right now to catch them :-)

Unknown said...

lovely pic..nice recipe too..

Sig said...

Kinda like theeyal if you ignore the daal huh? Looks great, me too not a big eggplant fan... :)

Congrats on the awards, how selfish of you to hang on to them... oh wait, I did the same thing today :p

Siri said...

the pitlai is new to me TBC, bookmarked it.. will try soon!..:D


Madhavi said...

Oh,,this curry looks awesome, mouthwatering. Congratulations for ur well deserve award!!!!

Unknown said...

I love kathrikai pitlai..looks delicious...

sra said...

I bought some eggplants today because they were striped and light purple, not seen in a long time. Maybe I'll make this.

Rachel said...

Congrats on bothe deserve it..and keep hanging on it for as long as you can :D

Deepa Kuber said...

TBC, brinjal curry looks too good, ur pic r always good. And abt the award, TBC u deserve it :)

Rajitha said...

like the way you got a brinjal tucked away in the corner for this shot :)..and i am not a fan of brinjal except for
gutthi-vankayam ..yum!

Rajitha said...

oh! i forgot..congrats on the awards :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely recipe. Bookmarked it gonna try this soon. As you said I am also familiar only with baigan-bartha I've been surfing lot of brinjal recipes recently I think I got one here. Recipe is really very Nice.

notyet100 said...

nice version,.yesterday when iwas doing my grocery shgopping,old lady asked me for recipe off eggplant,..think will give urs too

Jaya M said...

Looks good TBC ....Brinjal Curry or Pitlai ....
hugs and smiles

Asha said...

Beautiful photo tbc, looks mouthwatering. Another for me to try!:))

EC said...

I always end up with kootu or mixed rice with eggplant...time for me too to try out something else

ranji said...

oh wow!!i love this curry...i also make it similar mouth is watering here:)

Bhags said...

Congrats for your awards tbc.....the dish looks all spicy and hot, something Mr Kanth wud enjoy

Lisa Turner said...

I enjoy your blog so much. Virtually every single recipe you post I want to try. I'm not a big fan of eggplant either, but I just know I would like this. Thanks!

Richa said...

the gravy looks so good, tbc! i guess will go well w/ other veg as well?
did u make someone hold the eggplant in the background ;)

Kalai said...

This is one of my favorite eggplant dishes, TBC! Love it and big time congrats on the 2 awards! Enjoy every minute of it. :)

TBC said...

Zlamushka- I know, I filled the bowl up to the brim, didn't I? :D

Divya Vikram- thank you.:)

Sig- You know, I did not even see the similarity till I saw your comment. But my theeyal tastes better than this.;-)

Yeah, I am doing my bit to prevent them (the awards) from spreading like wildfire!;-)

Siri- Do let me know how it turns out for you.:D

Madhavi- thanks !:D

Sowmya- your recipe was my inspiration.
Hoep you are feeling better now.:)

Sra- I do that too- buy something just 'cos it looks pretty!:-)

Rachel- Thanks! I'm gonna do my best.;-)

Anjali- thank you. That is so sweet of you to say that about my pics.:D

Rajitha- I will try that next then. I think I saw a recipe on Indira's blog.

And thanks!... see I don't pass it around.;-)

Shriya- yeah, it used to be baingan bharta all the time! I could not think of anyhting else.
Do give me some feedback if you end up trying it.:D

Notyet100- I like your name.:D Welcome to my blog.:)

Jaya- thanks:-D

Asha- thank you. :D
You're cooking a lot from other blogs, aren't you!

Easycrafts- yeah, that is the best part about blogging- you learn so much! Definitely helps bring a lot more variety to the table.:-)

Ranji- thank you.:D

Bhags- thank you.:D

Lisa- awww, what a nice thing to say!
I generally ignore eggplants and mushrooms while grocery shopping. I think I have bought this vegetable only once in the last 6+ months.:)

Richa- thanks! I would definitely try this with veggies that I like more the next time. I have a feeling that I'm gonna make it with pineapple next. It would be hot and sweet...yummy!

No- It was kinda flat at the bottom and stood up for itself! ;-)

Kalai- hmmm... so u're an eggplant lover... Can't say the same about myself.:D
Thank you:D

J said...

Am not a big eggplant fan, but it seems to be on everyone's favourite list!

Swati said...

Mouthwatering dish.. would try this soon !!
Lovely photograhs!!

Suganya said...

Hi TBC...
This eggplant curry looks YUM!.... So mouthwatering recipe... Nice picture...

Cris said...

This looks so nice! Funny, we call eggplants almost the same name too, influence from the Portuguese? :-)

AnuZi said...

Deeeeeeliiiiciiious TBC :o) You keep outdoing yourself on every recipe.

Mandira said...

delicious bowl of eggplant curry, I just need to mix it with rice... I'm drooling after a full dinner :)

Elsye said...

haiii tbc, me again..:D...thanks for visiting my blog :D

btw, the curry look yummy and inviting :D, i've never tried indian curry before..:D but your pic make me mouthwatering now..:P

Shravan Vijayaprasad said...

looks really really good

Do you mind being a guest blogger??

Sia said...

TBC, u tease! i am a die hard fan of brinjal and u have done justice to this wonderful veg:)

Cynthia said...

That is a fantasic and tantalizing photograph!

TBC said...

Jyothsna- I'm not either.:D

Swati- thank you.:)

Sukanya- thank you.:)

Cris- U mean kathrikai? or brinjal?
Too lazy to google it up now.:D

Anuzi- you are very kind.;-)Thanks!

Mandira- awww! :)

Elsye- I spent a little bit of time there browsing thro' your pics the other day. You take some gorgeous ones! Your DMBLGIT pic was one of my favorites.:)

Shravan- welcome to my blog.
What did you have in mind?

Sia- u're a brinjal lover... I wouldn't call this a wonderful veggie. It has a nice color, but that's all there is to it.;-)

I hope you have settled down after your trip home.:)

Cynthia- thank you.:-)

Nupur said...

Eggplant pitlai is new to me, but wow, it looks absolutely tempting! This one I have to try soon :) I have never met an eggplant dish that I didn't love :D

Shweta said...

Looks gorgeous! An absolutely new way for me to cook eggplant. Would love to try it!

Deepa Kuber said...

thanks TBC, thanks for ur nice comments.

karuna said...

i usually make only eggplant bharta. this one is a nice change.
so whr did u do ure food science from?

Seema said...

Pitla looks yum.. that bowl looks so gorgeous & wish i could grab it for todays lunch :-) As usual great photo TBC!!

Congrats on 2 awards for you deserve it! Hope your sis is reading your posts & trying it out too !!

Anonymous said...

Your curry looks so delicious! Simply mouthwatering!

Anonymous said...

Your curry looks so delicious! Simply mouthwatering! said...

Hi There

I just stumbled upon your blog and think it is an excellent read for foodies and especially like the photos and design of the blog.I started off as a blogger myself and realise the importance of a good clean design like you have here. I have now bookmarked it for myself to read and have added you to our new list of "all the food blogs in the world" on which we have been compiling for the last month! Hopefully it will send you some traffic in the long run. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on food so keep up the good work and talk soon. Cheers

EC said...

Another award waiting for u at my blog...

Unknown said...

Very different and very good-looking dish..I have to try it sometime..thanks

Laavanya said...

Love your pictures TBC... I know i've missed a lot of posts but the pics of the tomatillo and the stack of pancakes - absolutely brilliant. I like pitlais but haven't tried with eggplant.. will keep it in mind.

Anonymous said...

I seriously love eggplants and don't cook them enough. You have inspired me with this recipe. I looks wonderful.

TBC said...

Nupur- and I haven't met one that I haven't hated.:D

Shweta- thanks, please do, it was really good.:)

Anjali- you are welcome. I really like your sketches.:-)

Karuna- yeah... I thought so too.:D

Seema- thanks, and it is good to have you back. :)
My sister has no interest in cooking right now. She only visits this space when I force her to!:-(

Homecooked- thank you:)

Private chef- thanks for adding my blog to your comprehensive list.
Compiling everything must be so much work!
Thanks for the hard work all of you put in.

EC- thank you. That is very sweet of you!:)

Sara- nice to see you here again.:)

Laavanya- I have hardly been posting these days...
It is so nice to see your comment. I've missed you!

Vegeyum- yet another eggplant lover!:D
Thank you. I hope u are enjoying day2 of your vacation.

Rajitha said...

akka...i called u few days back and left u a kar re :D

Anonymous said...

lovely sounding and looking dish tbc. and you've taken me back to my childhood calling it brinjal...

thanks for sharing with vegetables, beautiful vegetables!

TBC said...

Rajitha- :D

Abby- brinjal is what we call it too back home in India.:)
Thanks YOU for hosting!

Seena said...

Hey , couldn't see you for long.. :)
me now doing trtmnt for the old problems..
not much change yet, will write u detail later..
how are u, I like all your recent recipes and pics, looks beautiful..

Bhavani said...

Tried this recipe too Budding Cook.Read about it on my blog :)It was a hit.Thanks again.

TBC said...

You made another one from here so soon?
I am glad you are able to find dishes you like here.:)
Thanks for the feeedback!

Gayathri said...

Firt time i visited your blog, Excellent photo. I love that. Feels like i should taste it immediately :)

TBC said...

Gayathri- welcome!
Thank you.:D I'll be over to check out your space.

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