Dec 1, 2011

Kathirikkai Pitla (Brinjal Gravy)

Pitla is another tasty south Indian dish similar to sambar. We do not use sambhar powder, instead prepare with ground spices and coconut. Brinjal Pitla is a popular dish among Iyengars.
Oil for sautéing             – 1tsp
Brinjal                        – 1 cup  (Chopped)
Toor dal                   1/4 cup (cooked)
Turmeric powder              -1/2 tsp
Peanusts –                2 tbsp (optional)
Tamarind                    a lemon size ( dissolved in water)
Salt                          to taste
Spices for grinding:
Oil                            ½ tsp
Coriander seeds          – 1 tsp
Whole Black Pepper     1/4 tsp
Chana Dal                   1Tbsp
Urad Dal                     2 tsp
Asafetida                  – ¼ tsp
grated fresh Coconut     ½ cup
 Curry Leaves              1 Sprig 
Ghee/Oil                       1 tsp
Mustard Seeds              1/2 tsp
Red chili                        1 no
 fresh Curry Leaves        1 Sprig

  • Cook dhal in a pressure cooker. Keep aside.
  • Cook the peanuts in microwave for 5 minutes. Keep aside.
  • Wash and dry the Brinjal. Cut into medium size square pieces.
  •  Roast all spices for grinding in a tiny bit of oil, add coconut and the curry leaves last and fry until coconut is golden. Cool and grind using a blender into a fine paste with about 1/4 cup of water.
  •  Sauté the brinjals pieces with 1 tsp oil, a pinch each of turmeric and salt for 5 minutes and cook the brinjals and peanuts in tamarind water. Bring to a boil and cook until veggies and peanuts are tender.
  • When the brinjals is cooked, add the cooked dal &  grounded coconut paste. Combine well. Stir again. Let it simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.
  • For the tempering:  Heat the ghee/ oil, and Pop mustard seeds and curry leaves, red chilies in a teaspoon of hot oil/ghee and pour it over the Pitla.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with plain rice with other vegetables dishes.

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