We had this sandwich this past weekend, after a trip to the local arboretum. We picked up the bread (a loaf of french baguette) and goat cheese, and had most of the other ingredients. It came together very quickly – the eggplant and the zucchini were cut into circlets and cooked very lightly with salt and pepper, the spread was made with goatcheese, sundried tomatoes, and herbs (I didn’t use most of the herbs, just the basil). It was amazing, satisfying. We had it with roasted corn with chaat masala – strange bedfellows, these two but it was a fantastic meal.
This is one of the best versions of eggplant/brinjal/aubergine made with a special spice mix. Like most children, I wasn’t too fond of eggplant growing up, due to the texture. But my patti got me to eat this in her own special way. After she made this curry, and transferred it to a serving dish, there would be invariably some sticking to the kadai (or maybe she left it on purpose). Anyway, she would add some hot rice to the baanali (that’s what we called the vaanali in our family), add a couple of spoons of ghee, and mix it all together, make balls of the rice shining with the eggplant and the ghee, and go around distributing it. Oh man, that was the best! To this day, I do it every time I make eggplant curry this way, but somehow my memories taste better!
Eggplant (kathirikai/vangi) gothsu is a tangy spicy side dish that pairs well with bland main dishes like pongal, dosai, idli. The traditional way of making this is to smoke the eggplant and cook it in a tamarind broth spiced with chilies, onions, and sambar powder. And this is the recipe I have made today, to serve with vennpongal.
On to the recipe!