During my childhood, when in village we were served four meals a day. The farmer community exerts more physical energy and are hungry often which was perhaps a reason for this practice. The extra meal around 6 in the evening was usually some thuvaiyal/ thovial or keerai – karathanni or mor pachai pulusu or kaatu rasam along with piping hot steamed rice.
Virai kotthamalli thovial or dhaniya thuvaiyal is one of my favorites in the list. Coriander seeds have good detox properties, are especially good for women’s health, are rich in iron, they are antibacterial and then we all know they aid digestion. But I’d count them just as excuses to relish such a mouthwatering thuvaiyal with hot rice and a dollop of ghee.
As mentioned in my earlier post this thovial (kind of chutney) is a splendid combination with puliogare/ pulisaadam. Though I have tasted it in my college days it is only when my sister tried and acknowledged I tried it few months back. Moreover it couples well with idli/ dosa/ chappati/ adai kinds.
I was hardly 5 years old then; it was a nice evening when I was playing in the backyard of my pattama’s (maternal granny is called pattama) home. Few guests arrived in a car to invite the family for wedding or something. Pattama along with thatha(grandpa) and uncle went out to receive them while I peeked into the hall to see if anything interesting to me happened; nothing so exiting as elders were sharing pleasantries and so I returned to the garden to play around the well with calves there. At times I help pattama pluck the flowers from her garden for the temple visit later in the evening, that day I volunteered to do as she was busy taking care of the guests. Sometime later the aroma of hot puris dragged me to the kitchen and there I saw pattamma had almost readied the dinner while she presented me a bowl of hot kesari topped with extra cashews. That is her love, that’s her knack- nice delicious dinner in no time; and for me hospitality is synonymous to pattama even now. Now comes the intro of our protagonist ‘Bombay Chutney’, yeah puri was to go with it for dinner. They had no mixie in those days and so this instant side dish was a pretty wise choice. When I was done with kesari she sent me back to garden for getting some fresh coriander to add to the glamor of Bombay chutney. That is probably the first time I can remember having Bombay chutney. Don’t ask me the etymology, I have no idea; but to me, till date it is pattama’s Bombay Chutney that is mapped mentally when I come across this recipe. However, making it more nutritious by augmenting veggies was done by my mom and I follow that.
Baingan is Brinjal and this dish is more like a ‘kathirikai masiyal’ that we’ve in south India. Here we like to eat it with steamed rice while in north it is preferred with rotis mainly. Traditionally for Baigan ka bartha, large eggplants are chosen and charred on stove before the skin is peeled to prepare bartha as I din’t get large ones I just chopped them fine and used in the recipe. This is so flavourful and totally different in texture from other Brinjal recipes and so even people who detest Brinjal would like to try it.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
1.Brinjal large – 1 or small -4
2.Tomato large – 1
3.Onion medium – 1
4.Salt to taste
5.Oil – 1 tbsp
6.Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
7.Asafoetida – 1 pinch
8.Coriander powder – 1 tsp
9.Chili powder – 1 tsp
10. Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp chopped
Step 1: Char the large brinjal directly on stove on all sides. Cool it, wash, peel the skin and slit to check for worms and mash it with masher chop if using small ones.
Step 2: Alternatively chop the small brinjals into small cubes as I have done.
Step 3: Heat oil in a tawa, temper with cumin seeds and asafoetida.
Step 4: Sauté with it finely chopped onions then add coriander, chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt in that order.
Step 5: Add little water if required and let it get cooked. Add chopped brinjal if using small ones and mash it using potato masher.
Step 6: Else when done add the mashed large brinjal to it and stir well.
At our home this is one of the regular side dishes that accompany the pongal which is prepared on the day of Pongal festival. We just love it so much for this stimulates our taste buds by rendering a mixture of tastes; sweet, heat, salt and sourness. It is not frequented at home as it is pretty much concentrated and so we indulge as and when prepared. Apart from pongal it goes well with curd rice.
Yields: 1 cup
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
1.Green chilies – 5-10 (depending on the heat of chilies)
2.Tamarind extract – ½ cup
3.Jaggery – half a lemon size
4.Salt to taste
5.Gingelly oil – 1 tbsp
6.Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
7.Curry leaves – 1 sprig
8.Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Step 1: Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds in it, add curry leaves, asafoetida and green chilies to it. Sauté until green chilies let out a nice aroma and turn whitish.
Step 2: Dissolve jaggery in ½ cup of water, filter and add it to the pan.
Step 3: Add the tamarind extract, salt and boil in simmered heat until becomes thick. Adjust salt, sour and sweet if required at this stage.
Step 4: Serve with steamed rice or curd rice. This can be stored for few days.