Kathrikkai Kothsu – Side Dish for Idli/Dosa/Pongal

Kathrikkai Kothsu is a mashed brinjal dish, kind of a southern counterpart of the North Indian Baingan Bhartha. As baingan bhartha is used as a side dish for rotis/parathas, this kathrikkai kothsu is used as as a side dish for South Indian tiffin items, such as idly, dosa, pongal etc.

Ingredients:
1 medium American Eggplant, chopped into fine pieces
1 large red onion, chopped fine
1 tomato, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp sambar powder
1/4 cup tamarind extract
salt to taste
pinch sugar(optional)
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp urad dal
1 tsp channa dal
curry leaves
salt to taste

Method:
In a small pressure cooker, heat the oil. Splutter the mustard. Add the urad dal and channa dal. When the dals turn brown, add the curry leaves. Add the onion and saute until soft and golden brown. Add the tomato, salt and turmeric powder. Saute until the tomato is soft. Add the minced eggplant. Add the tamarind water, sambar powder and 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook for 1 whistle. Let the steam release. Open the pressure cooker and check for seasoning. You may cook it further to thicken the sauce a little bit, if needed.

At this point, you may smash the eggplant to make it saucy. My mom does this using a ‘mathu’, a traditional wooden masher. I used my immersion blender for brief spurts. You don’t want to puree this. To avoid this step, you may mince the eggplant in a food processor. You would get a good consistency this way.

Verdict: I served this with idlies for dinner yesterday. Sweet, tart and spicy..the idlies sopped up some of the juices and became juicy. Loved it!!

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