Ennai Kathirikka Kulambu, Pachai Pasi Paruppu, Nei Sadham

Ennai Kathirikka Kulambu, Pachai Pasi Paruppu, Nei Sadham

This simple and easy meal plan boasts of very little use of spices. Over the years, it has been used as a break from the sambar-rasam staple of Tamilian lunches and has emerged as a much-loved alternative among the older generation looking to cut spice but not flavour. Ennai Kathirikka Kulambu (brinjal curry) comes in as the main alternative to Sambar and Pachi Pasai Paruppu is a healthy supplement of dal, high in minerals and vitamins and cooked in its own juices to retain nutrients. Savoured with ghee rice or steamed rice, this meal has been eulogised by several Tamil poets espousing the cause of simple living and high thinking!

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Brinjal Curry (Ennai Kathirikka Kulambu)
  • Duration:30 minutes
  • Serves:4 people

Authenticity Slice

Tamil

The unique taste of Ennai Kathirikka Kulambu is achieved by a cooking technique that requires the onion-coconut paste to be added to the curry only after the baigan is almost cooked through. The dish is put on high heat for the last few minutes of cooking to ensure that most of the water dries up and makes the baingan spicy and flavourful.

Ingredients

  • Brinjal (Baingan), vertically slit 2 ways (6, small)
  • Onion, finely chopped (1, medium)
  • Oil (2 tbsp)
  • MTR Dhaniya Coriander Powder (1 tsp)
  • MTR Lal Mirch Chilli Powder (1 tsp)
  • MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder (½ tsp)
  • label (For the tadka)
  • Methidana (fenugreek seeds) (½ tsp)
  • Black mustard seeds (Rai) (1 tsp)
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera) (½ tsp)
  • Asafoetida (Hing) (a pinch)
  • Curry leaves(Kadipatta) (5 to 6)
  • label (For the special paste)
  • Coconut, fresh (4-inch piece)
  • Garlic(Lahsun) (4 pods)
  • Ginger (Adrak) (1-inch piece)
  • Tamarind(Imli), de-seeded (1, lemon-sized ball)
  • Onion (1, medium)

Method

For the special paste

  • Grind together the coconut, lahsun, adrak, imli and onion till a smooth paste is formed.

For the Ennai Kathirikka Kulambu

  • Heat the oil in a kadhai and toss in all the tadka ingredients.
  • When the spices start spluttering, add the chopped onion and fry till they turn golden brown.
  • Add the slit baingan to this mix along with the MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder, MTR Dhaniya/Coriander Powder, MTR Lal Mirch/Chilli Powder and salt and stir for a minute.
  • Cover the kadhai and lower the flame.
  • Keep stirring intermittently till the brinjals are half done.
  • Next, add in the special ground masala paste and mix well.
  • Stir and fry till the paste begins to dry up.
  • Pour in half-a-cup of water and keep stirring on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Turn down the flame and cover with a lid. Let the brinjals cook through. (You may check to see if they are done well by piercing the vegetables with a fork.)
  • Serve hot with steamed white rice and Kootu, a delicately flavoured mixed-vegetable-and-lentil dish.

Green Gram Dal (Pachai Pasi Paruppu)
  • Duration:15 minutes
  • Serves:4 people

Authenticity Slice

Tamil

Authentically, a little more than the usual amount of water is used to boil this dal. Another trick to getting it right is to boil the dal again after the tadka has been added. The leftover water is added to ensure that the nutrients in the final dish are retained.

Ingredients

  • Whole green gram (Sabut moong dal ) (1 cup)
  • Onion, finely chopped (1)
  • Tomato, finely chopped (1)
  • Green chillies (Hari mirch), finely chopped (1)
  • Ginger-garlic paste (1 tsp)
  • MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder (¼ tsp)
  • MTR Lal Mirch Chilli Powder (½ tsp)
  • MTR Dhaniya Coriander Powder (1 tsp)
  • MTR Garam Masala (¼ tsp)
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera) (½ tsp)
  • Asafoetida (Hing) (a pinch)
  • Dry red chillies (Sabut lal mirch), broken (3)
  • Coriander leaves (hara dhania), chopped (a handful)
  • Oil (1 tbsp)
  • Salt (to taste)

Method

  • Wash the moong dal well and pressure-cook it on a high flame with enough water and salt, timing it to 2 to 3 whistles. Let the steam escape naturally. Once done, keep the dal aside.  
  • Heat oil on high flame in a kadhai and add the jeera to it. When the jeera starts to splutter, add the hing and the sabut lal mirch and stir for 5 seconds.
  • Next, add the onions and the hari mirch and fry till the onions turn pink.
  • Add in the ginger-garlic paste and stir for a minute or till the raw smell of the mix disappears.
  • Add in the tomatoes and keep stirring till they turn pulpy.
  • Now, add the MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder, MTR Lal Mirch/Chilli Powder, and the MTR Dhaniya/Coriander Powder and mix well.
  • Pour the cooked dal and a little of the leftover water over the tadka and stir thoroughly. 
  • Season the dal with salt and bring the concoction to a boil on a medium flame, stirring intermittently.
  • Once the dal starts bubbling, add the MTR Special Garam Masala and mix well. Keep boiling for another minute.
  • Switch off the flame and transfer the dal to a serving dish and garnish with hara dhania.
  • Serve hot with ghee rice and pappadam.

Ghee Rice (Nei Sadham)
  • Duration:30 minutes
  • Serves:4 people

Authenticity Slice

Tamil

This rich delicacy has always been made using the best, most flavourful rice available. Despite the thorough mixing involved, care is to be taken to ensure that the cooked rice grains remain whole and separate. In olden Tamil homes, the raw rice would be washed at least 4 times to remove as much of the starch as possible and to make sure the grains stayed unbroken when cooked. Later, lemon juice started being added to the boiling water used to cook the rice—the souring agent prevented the grains from sticking together.

Ingredients

  • Rice (long grained), washed thoroughly and soaked in water for 2 hours (1 cup)
  • Onion (large), finely sliced (1)
  • Dry red chillies (Sabut lal mirch), slit vertically (2)
  • Cloves (Laung) (4)
  • Green cardamom (Hari elaichi) (2)
  • Cinnamon (Dalchini) (2 1-inch pieces)
  • Bay leaves (Tejpatta) (2)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Ghee (4 tbsp)
  • Cashew nuts (Kaju) (8-10)
  • Raisins (Kishmish) (8-10)
  • Almond (Badam) (8-10)
  • Water (2¼ cups)

Method

  • In a kadhai, heat 1 tablespoon of desi ghee and fry the kaju and badam till they turn golden. Scoop them out and keep aside.
  • In the same kadhai, lightly fry the kishmish and then keep aside.
  • Next, heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pressure cooker and add the elaichi, dalchini, laung and tejpatta and fry for a minute.
  • Add the sabut lal mirch and fry for a few more seconds.
  • Next, add the sliced onions and fry till the onions turn golden brown.
  • Add the washed rice and the dry fruits to the onion mix and keep frying and stirring on a low flame for 3 to 4 minutes. Take care to be gentle while sautéing so that the rice grains don’t break.
  • Pour in 2¼ cups of hot water and salt to taste. Place the lid on and cook the rice, timing it to 2 whistles.
  • Turn off the flame and let the steam escape naturally.
  • Remove the lid and gently run a fork through the ghee rice.
  • Serve hot with brinjal curry and Kootu.

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