Another classic combination from the realms of Tamil Nadu courtesy of my dear MIL. My own mother used to make venpongal all the time, but I only really got hooked on it when I tasted my MIL's eggplant gotsu. My own mom will attest that the eggplant gotsu is very good as she got the recipe from my MIL even before I did! I digress, lets get back to venpongal. So I have done a post on venpongal earlier for the Pongal Festival, but that day I didn't have any eggplant so I served it up with sambar. The classic combination for venpongal is eggplant gotsu. Yummy eggplant and tomato stewed in a tamarind sauce with only a few lentils and spices to flavor it. I recommend making this gotsu next time you make venpongal, you'll be hooked I promise. This recipe is for four people.
1 medium eggplant diced, 1 tomato diced, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp channa daal, 2 dried red chillies, a pinch of asafetida, 1 tbsp minced ginger, 1 medium green chili minced, a few curry leaves, 1 cup of tamarind juice (use a 1" ball of tamarind to extract the juice from), 1/2 tsp turmeric, salt, a little water
1. Splutter the mustard seeds in 2 tbsp of oil. Add the channa daal, asafetida, red chillies, and curry leaves and let the channa daal turn golden.
2. Add the ginger, green chilli, and turmeric.
3. Add the tomato and fry it a little. Add the eggplant.
4. Add the tamarind juice, and barely cover the eggplant with water. Add salt.
5. Let this simmer until it thickens.
Verdict: A repeat dish for sure.