Its been a little over a year since my Appa passed away and it has been very difficult to deal with the loss a lot more after a year than when it all actually happened for me. Blogging and most things took a back seat for me the last month. This Saturday, I got some eggplant and made vathal with it. It was my Appa's favorite vathal to use in vatha kozhambu. He used to constantly ask for vathal to be made at home. It took me only 3 days for the vathal to be made. Thanks to the 100 degree weather that we have been having, though I wished it was cooler it helped in the process of making vathal. I made the kozhambu and it turned out delicious. I had it with sutta aplam ( toasted papad) and thought of my Appa.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Eggplant/ Kathirika ( I used Italian kind) - 4 ( makes about 1 1/2 cups)
( Cut the eggplant into half, and then cut into 3/4 inch cubes making sure each piece has skin in one side)
Sesame Oil - 1/3 cup
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida piece - small marble size bit
Dry Red Chilies - 3
Udad Dal - 1 tbsp
Channa Dal - 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves - a few
Sambar Powder - 2 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - 1 lemon size
Warm Water - 3 cups
Kathrika Vathal - 1 1/2 cups
Rice Flour - 2 tsp
Spread the kathrika pieces on a plate and allow to dry out in direct sun. It will take about 3 days if the weather is really hot. Remove and store in the bottle.
Making Vathal Kozhambu:
1. Soak the tamarind in water and set aside for 10 minutes. Using your fingers squeeze the juice out of the tamarind pulp and set aside.
2. Heat the wok with oil. Fry the asafoetida piece in oil and then add mustard seeds. Allow for the seeds to pop.
3. Add chillies, udad and channa dal and fry into the dal starts to golden brown.
4. Add the vathal and fry them in oil. Add sambar powder and give it a mix for a few seconds.
5 Add curry leaves and mix before add the tamarind water. Add salt and allow for the liquid to come to a boil. Allow it to reduce in quantity. To make make quantity, add some rice flour and mix with 2 tsp of water to form a paste and add to the kozhambu and allow it to come to a boil and thicken.
6. Serve with hot rice, toasted papad and potato curry or kootu.