August 16, 2016

Vazhuthananga Theeyal / Brinjal in Fried coconut gravy

Ingredients needed for the Brinjal / Vazhuthinanga Theeyal
2 cups coconut, grated
4 dry red chillies
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 dsp small sambar onions, sliced
1 dsp refined vegetable oil
¼ tsp turmeric powder
250 gms brinjal, sliced 1” lengthwise
6 green chillies, slit
A few curry leaves
Tamarind, the size of a lime, soaked in 1 cup water /2 tsps tamarind paste
Salt to taste

Ingredients needed for the seasoning
1 dsp coconut oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies, halves
3 small sambar onions, sliced

How to prepare the Brinjal / Vazhuthinanga Theeyal?
In a deep pan, fry the grated coconut, red chillies, coriander seeds and 1 dsp small sambar onions, to a golden brown colour. Be careful and see that the coconut does not get burnt while doing that.When cool, grind all the fried ingredients to a fine paste.
In the same pan, heat 1 tsp oil and add the brinjal pieces, 1 dsp button onions and green chillies with turmeric powder.
Strain and add the water from squeezing the soaked tamarind and also the ground masala. Add water and salt to taste and check for consistency.
Cover and cook over low heat till the gravy thickens.
In a small fry pan, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds. Add the broken chilli pieces and the sliced button onions and fry till they get golden. Pour over the curry.
Serve hot with hot steaming rice as a side dish. This can also be used as a side dish to Chappathies.

Points to Note while preparing the Theeyal gravy
You have to fry fresh coconuts very carefully. If they are under fried the colour of the Theeyal will not be golden brown.
If the coconut gets burnt also the colour will not come out right, the taste will also be bad.
What you have to do is to keep the flame in simmer, saute the fresh coconut slowly. As it gets to the golden brown colour you can see oil coming out of the coconut. So add less oil while frying coconut for theeyal recipe.
You can always fry coconuts to a golden colour and refrigerate. Then you can use it whenever you feel like and it will not sound tedious.

There is an easy method for frying coconuts to a golden colour. 
Microwave the grated fresh coconuts till the moisture gets removed.  Once it looks dried up, add a little oil in the fry pan and fry till you get the golden colour. You can store the fried coconut in an airtight container and refrigerate.

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