Sundakkai / Pea Eggplant / we call them usthikaya in Telugu . There are lots of kuzhambu ( a type of curry, which is spicy and tangy ) varieties in Tamil Nadu. This is one of my favorite.
Sundakkai vathal- vathal, means a sun-dried vegetable.
|Sesame seed oil||3-4 tbsp|
|Mustard seeds||½ tsp|
|Fenugreek / methi seeds||¼th tsp|
|Chili powder||2 tsp|
|Coriander powder||2 tsp|
|Turmeric powder||¼ th tsp|
|Salt||as per your taste|
|Asafoetida / hing||pinch|
Place a wide pan on a medium heat add sesame seed oil ( you can use regular refined oil but sesame seed oil gives the authentic taste). Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and methi seeds, fry till the methi seeds are slightly golden, add hing followed by the vathal, fry till they are crisp.
Now add the curry leaves and finely chopped onions, fry till they are golden. Add finely chopped tomato, once the tomato is mushy add the chili powder, coriander powder and pinch of turmeric, fry for 2 minutes / till oil ooze out.
Add the soaked tamarind extract and again cook until oil oozes, now grind the coconut pieces in the food processor into smooth paste by adding enough water and add into the pan. Cover the pan with its lid and cook for 2-3 minutes in low flame.
Once it cooked add freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve it hot with plain rice along with papad / appalam .
Instead of sundakkai vathal, you can add eggplant / okra / different kind of vathal . Add sesame seed oil to get that authentic taste and flavor.