Tuesday, March 18, 2014
We returned from our native village carrying with us not only the pleasant memories about our temple visits, the river side walks, and the tranquility, but also some garden fresh vegetables that we purchased at the Village "Santhe' ( Weekly farmers' market). I especially loved the Varikattarikkai - a seedless variety of pale green brinjals with purple stripes - for its 'butter like' 'melt in the mouth' property when cooked. I could not suppress the desire to prepare Rasavaangi which literally means ' Delicious Brinjal' the very next day. The Rasavaangi turned out delicious indeed, but the stripes had magically disappeared after cooking!
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tbsp
Split black gram dal - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 6
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Fresh coconut gratings - 2 tbsps
Sesame oil - 1/2 tsp
TO PREPARE THE RASAVAANGI POWDER
1. Heat oil in a pan and add coriander seeds, Bengal gram dal, black gram dal and red chillies and roast till they emanate a pleasant aroma.
2. Add asafoetida and fry for half a minute more and remove the roasted ingredients on to a plate.
3. Add the coconut gratings to the same pan and roast till the colour turns golden brown.
4. Cool all the roasted ingredients and grind them together into a smooth powder.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE RASAVAANGI
Brinjals - 200gms
Split yellow pigeon peas / Tur dal - 1 cup
Tamarind - 1 plum size ball
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Soaked and cooked chick peas - 4 tbsps
Sesame oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
TO PREPARE THE RASAVAANGI
1. Add two cups of water and turmeric powder to the tur dal and pressure cook till it gives out three whistles.
2. Soak the tamarind in warm water and extract the juice.
3. Wash and chop the Vaangi / brinjal and keep the pieces immersed in cold water to avoid discolouration.
4. Add the chopped Vaangi / brinjal and salt to the tamarind extract and cook till the vegetable becomes soft but not mushy.
5. Mash the cooked tur dal and add it to the vegetable and tamarind mixture.
6. Throw in the soaked and cooked chick peas.
7. Mix the Rasavaangi Powder with water to make a thick and smooth paste and blend it into the Rasavaangi.
8. Cook till all the ingredients blend well and switch off flame.
9. Heat oil in a seasoning ladle and add the mustard seeds.
10. When the seeds splutter add the curry leaves and pour the seasoning on to the RASAVAANGI.
Enjoy the Rasavaangi with steaming hot rice topped with a spoon of fresh ghee.