Monday, August 13, 2012

Brinjal-Drumstick Sambhar (Gulla Maskasange Kolmbo)

Brinjals/ Eggplant are in season these days. Ironically, whenever I found a nice plump Eggplant, the freshly plucked Drumsticks were out of sight and vice-versa and that prevented me from making this Sambhar for the longest time. Finally, the day dawned and I found them both at the local Indian store and I was darn happy. This is a variety of Sambhar I grew up eating. Incidentally, this is my Dad's favorite dish and he enjoys this Sambhar served with cooked white rice along with Papad and Vodi.

In India, my parents use a special variety of Brinjal known as Gulla which is available only for a short time during particular months of the year in Udupi/ Mangalore region and surrounding areas. Since I can't find them here, I use the purple skinned Brinjal also known as Japanese Eggplant. Gulla is Eggplant, Maskansang is Drumstick hence Gulla Maskasange Kolmbo.

Another interesting thing about this dish is the vegetables cook quickly, all you need is boiled Toor Dal to put everything together. This in turn helps me save a lot of time and on a busy day it matters quite a lot. 

~ Gulla Maskasange Kolmbo ~

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Eggplant (diced into big chunky cubes of 2") - 5 cups
Boiled split Pigeon Peas/ Toor Dal - 2 and 1/2 -3 cups
Sambhar Powder/ Kolmbo Pitti - 2 tbsp
Drumstick (peeled and cut into 3" sticks) - 2 cups
Asafoetida - 1/5 tsp
Tamarind pulp - 1/2 tsp

For Seasoning - 
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Ghee/ Oil

For Garnish -
Coriander leaves (finely chopped) - 3-4 tbsp

Rinse the vegetables, trim off the tip and stem of eggplant. Dice them into large chunks of 2" pieces. Peel the Drumstick with a peeler to get rid of the thick green fiber and cut them into sticks which are 3" long. Cook the vegetables with lightly watered down boiled Toor Dal. Bring to boil and simmer on low flame, covered with lid on till par-cooked.  This takes around 5-8 minutes.
Once par-cooked, add salt, add Sambhar powder, and tamarind pulp in little warm water. Mix well to get a smooth paste, add this paste to the boiled vegetable-daal broth - adjust salt, spice level, add asafoetida and adjust consistency as desired. Simmer for few minutes till completely cooked. Turn off flame and set aside.
In a small frying pan, heat few spoons of oil, season with mustard seeds and once they splutter  add curry leaves. Pour this seasoning over the freshly made Sambhar and garnish with chopped Coriander leaves. Mix few minutes before serving, goes well with cooked Basmati Rice.

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