Kathari mochai poriyal is a dry curry of dried beans and eggplant. It is a typical farmers dish as dried beans are economical and readily available throughout the year. Eggplant is commonly grown in villages and is added to a lot of dishes for flavor. My mom’s version of this dish is accentuated with a spicy coconut masala that makes this a perfect side dish for a simple dhal and rice meal.
1 large American eggplant, cubed(Indian small eggplants are typically used, but I only had this on hand)
1 cup mochai(dried lilva beans), soaked overnight and cooked with added salt
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste
To grind(without adding any water):
1/2 cup grated coconut
4 red chillies
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp Madras curry powder
Soak the dried mochai beans overnight and pressure cook them with a tsp of salt, until cooked but not mushy.
Grind the ingredients listed under ‘to grind’ without adding water. The moisture from the coconut yields a powder that is slightly moist. That is how you want it.
Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute until cooked. Add the tomatoes, turmeric powder and salt and saute until soft and mushy. Add the eggplant pieces and coat in the oil. Cover with a lid and cook the eggplants for about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until all the moisture is evaporated. Add the cooked and completely drained mochai to this and toss to combine. Add the ground mixture and toss to coat and cook until the raw smell of garlic is gone and the poriyal comes together. Serve hot with simple dhal and rice.
Verdict: The fennel flavored masala is the perfect spice for this poriyal. The eggplant is tender and wilted and adds a good contrast to it too.Pin It