Lucky me, taking a breather from yard and housework for a long weekend getaway. But first, I finally get to rejoin the fun over at One Hot Stove, where lovely Nupur is hosting her weekly A-Z of Indian Vegetables!
Radishes, red peppers, red potatoes, all a possibility for “R” but I had none in the house. I was determined not to miss out on yet another week, so I made my favorite, sambhar — but instead of using plain eggplant, I roasted it. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of eggplant, and the delicate Asian varieties take wonderfully to this treatment. Deglazing the roasting pan with a little water and adding it to the sambhar carries that lovely carmelized sweetness into the finished dish. The addition of fresh ginger is probably not authentic at all, but it compliments the taste of roasted eggplant.
Roasted Eggplant (Brinjal) Sambhar with Ginger
1/2 c toor dal, picked over and washed
1 small piece tamarind
2 fresh eggplants/brinjals (preferably long asian type)
1 tsp ghee
1″ piece very fresh ginger, peeled and quartered
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp chana dal
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a few methi seeds
1-2 dried red chiles
few curry leaves
1 tsp kashmiri chile powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp methi powder
Salt to taste
Because my brinjals were so fresh and young, I didn’t put them in the oven but pan-roasted them in just a little cooking spray. To do this, heat a frying pan over med-high heat and spray with Pam, or use a little veg. oil. Cut the eggplant into half moons, somewhat thick, and place them in the hot pan. Let them cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes, until they’re good and brown all over and smelling delicious. Turn off the heat and leave the eggplant in the pan. Add about a cup of warm water and stir it around, scraping up any little bits that stuck with a wooden spoon. Reserve the eggplant and this deglazing liquid.
The rest of the recipe is almost identical to the jackfruit sambhar I made a few weeks ago:
Pressure cook the dal with 1 1/2 c water. Mash to a smooth paste and set aside.
Soak the tamarind in about half a cup of hot water till soft. Strain the pulp and set the tamarind water aside.
In a saucepan, heat the ghee and do the tadka. I did the dals and methi first until fragrant, then popped the mustard; cumin, curry leaves and ginger were added last.
Add the roasted eggplant and its deglazing liquid along with the tamarind water, and simmer this mixture about 5 minutes or so, then add the powdered seasonings. Let it simmer together about 10 minutes, then add the mashed dal paste and 2 cups fresh cold water.
Bring everything to a boil, mixing well to blend the dal in completely. Boil just a minute or two, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add salt to taste and simmer a further 15-20 minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary. Thin with a little more water to get the consistency you prefer.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend, and thanks for having me, Nupur! 🙂