Friday, April 4, 2008
Ennai Kathirikai (Baby Eggplant Fry)
Ennai Kathrikai usually refers to the stuffed eggplants in gravy. But my mom always makes the stuffed eggplants minus the gravy. The stuffing is a no brainer, it's either chili powder or sambar powder stuffing. Last week, I made ennai kathirikai when I called my friends for dinner. My friend who is a good cook liked it so much and she asked me for the recipe. I was surprised to know that she never cooked eggplant that way. It's very easy to make. Choose baby eggplants of possibly same size to make this dish, as they cook evenly.
Baby Eggplants - 10 to 12
Chilli Powder - 3 tbs
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1 tbs
Make a paste of chili powder, turmeric and salt with little water. Lay the eggplant sideways on the cutting board and make a criss-cross cut starting from the bottom of the eggplant towards the cap. Make sure the slit doesn't split the eggplant into pieces. Take a bread knife and stuff the paste into the eggplant by sliding through the slits.
Take oil in a wide pan (use oil liberally). Place the eggplants in the pan and let it cook in a slow flame. After 5-7 minutes, flip them to the other side and cook. Handle them gently, otherwise the cooked eggplants fall apart. Cook in an open pan to get the roasted texture. Take the eggplants one by one with a spatula and arrange them in a plate.
Patience is the key to this dish. Eggplants have to be roasted in a slow flame.
I like to leave the stem and cap on the eggplant. It helps in two ways. It holds the eggplant without falling apart and to gobble it holding the stem.