I had planned on making vegetable hakka noodles but my big american eggplant in the fridge needed more attention. So I had to change the menu to venn pongal and gothsu. Instead of making a usual gothsu I roasted the eggplants and made the gothsu. I generally don’t roast eggplants in open flame because of the mess it creates around the burner but the mess was well worth it. The combination of steaming hot venn pongal with tangy, smoky roasted eggplant gothsu just melted in our mouths with my taste palate still tingling as I write. My grand mother makes excellent pongal, I used to get hot pongal for evening snack as soon as I came back from school. The best part of eating her pongal was I used to get double the share of cashews, because she used to pass on all her cashews from her plate to mine. This pongal recipe is very healthy as the ratio of moong dal to rice is 3/4:1/4 and when cooked well it gets a creamy consitency thats bound to melt in your mouth. I am sending this entry to “Walk Through The Memory Lane” started by Gayathri and hosted by Roshan (for March 2012).
Venn Pongal Recipe
Rice –1/2 cup
Moong Dal (Green gram dal) –1 1/2 cup
Green Chillies –2
Ginger –1″ piece
Curry leaves –few
Salt –to taste
Ghee (clarified butter) –3 to 4 Tbsp
Peppercorns –10 to 12
Jeera –1 Tbsp
1. In a kadai, fry moong dal in medium flame without any oil. Fry till the raw smell of the dal goes and starts to turn brown.
2. In a vessel, add the dal and washed rice. Add water (for the 2 cups of combined measure dal and rice add 6 cups of water, in other words the ratio of dal+rice combined to water is 1:3).
3. Pressure cook till one whistle. Simmer the flame and cook for about 10 minutes. Switch off the flame. Let the pressure release.
4. Coarsely pound 5 peppercorns and jeera together. In a kadai, add 2 tbsp of ghee, remaining 5 peppercorns, finely chopped green chillies, finely shredded ginger, pinched curry leaves, coarsely pounded peppercorns and jeera. Fry for a minute.
5. Mix the cooked rice and dal well with a laddle, add the fried ingredients from step 4, salt and 3 Tbsp of ghee. Garnish with cashewnuts.
Roasted Eggplant Gravy(Sutta Kathirikai Gothsu) Recipe
Eggplant –1 big
Garlic(finely chopped) –1 Tbsp
Tomato –1 medium (finely chopped)
Salt –to taste
Oil –1 Tbsp
Curry Powder –2 Tbsp
Mustard seeds –1 tsp
1. Roast the eggplant in open flame. Other option to roast the eggplant is either in microwave (high for 5 minutes, but prick the eggplant with a knife to avoid the eggplant exploding in the microwave) or roast the eggplant in conventional oven at 350F.
2. Remove skin from the roasted eggplant and smash them well in a bowl and keep aside.
3. In a kadai, add oil, mustard seeds and let it splatter. Then add chopped garlic, finely chopped onions one after another and fry well. Add tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are soft.
4. Now add the eggplant, salt and turmeric powder. Add the curry powder and add 1 cup of water and let it boil.
5. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with idli,dosa or venn pongal.
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