When I was growing up as a kid, eggplant was definitely not one of my favorites. Maybe because it was my sisters fav at that time - we used to fight over everything - She loved kathirikkai - I loved vendakkai. She was a fan of Rajni, I was a fan of Kamal. I liked everything opposite to her just because we were sisters!
Eventually, we grew up - now, I love both Kathirikkai and Rajinikanth! No one like thalaiva. I even taught my daughter to do the padayappa salute! And I love my sister too - we eat each other's brain everyday but that's what sisters are for.
Anyways...this is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. So, here it goes -
Use fresh small purple kathirikkai's...
Chop them each into 4 pieces and soak in water.
Now, to make the fresh ground masala, you will need -
Coriander Seeds - about 1 tbsp
Peanuts - 1tbsp
Urad daal - 2 tsp
Channa Daal - 2 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Red Chillies - 3-4
Coconut - shredded about 1/2 cup
Dry roast everything together in a pan till they are nice and roasted! Of Course! Once it cools down, make a coarse powder of this in a mixie.
Here comes the other stuff -
Green Chillies - 1-2 finely chopped
Ginger - about 1 inch piece - finely chopped
Garlic - 2-3 finely chopped
Curry Leaves - about 5-6 chopped in between once
Juice of half a lemon
1-2 onion - roughly chopped
Add about a tbsp of oil to a pan, add all of the ingredients above and fry till done.
Now, add the cut eggplants in here. Add salt, tumeric powder and red chilli powder to taste. Mix well.
Before you start all this, you will need about 3 cups of cooked rice. I use Basmati and cook it in the propotion of 2 cups rice to 3 cups water. That way the rice is just done and the grains don't stick together or become mushy. Move the cooked rice to a wide bowl and add some salt and squeeze the juice of half a lemon.
Now, the eggplant is probably a little done. At this point, add the fresh ground masala. Mix well. Add a little bit of oil if needed. Turn the flame to medium and let this just cook.
Its mixed well now. Still cooking....
While that is happening, on another small pan, roast some peanuts separately. We will use this to mix with the rice at the end. I love the cruchy bits of peanuts while eating the biriyani. You can also fry cashews if you like.
Now, its almost done here.
Move the cooked vegetable to the rice little at a time. Mix well.
Here's the last part and I'm dumping it in to mix it up!
There, that's all mixed in now. Add salt if needed.
You're done! You can make this in advance. Instead of just leaving it on the counter, cover it with a foil and put it in the oven at warming temperature (around 170 f) - this will keep it warm and will also help all the flavors to soak way into the 1 mm rice bits!! Hey..that's true!
Serve hot with raitha. This goes great with Onion raitha. But, today I made Carrot/Tomato Raitha and served the biriyani with that.
As soon as I served this way to my husband, he teased me that it was like Indian Railways food service! But, he did own up and say that the food tasted way better than that!
I'm going to make him cook his own biriyani next time!
Enjoy your biriyani and watch a Rajini movie!