• Jyothi Varne

Sprouts and Eggplant Curry


When you have a family that loves non-veg to the core, bringing in some healthy veggie food to the table can be quite a challenge. And trust me my dear Mum struggled with us for sure. I watched her take notes from Khanna Khazana on Zee TV to impress us with the Palak Paneer. Thirty years ago, north Indian dishes been cooked in the house was quite an alien concept vs today, wherein you just need to google a recipe and you can conjure the best of dishes at home. We all hated greens, dals, the South Indian palyas to the Kadis. Meat dishes ruled the palette.

But my Madraasi grandma had her own set of specialised vegetarian curries, which are mostly unheard of even to this date. One such dish was the Chickpea sprout curry with Mysore brinjals and hot steamy rice. Yes this is my savoury comfort food, it has so many childhood memories associated with it which still bring in a big grin on my face. The taste is very unique and the texture of the curry will only make you want it more with every dollop of well cooked rice. On a gloomy rainy day, this is all you need to warm your soul and tummy.

It does involve a wee bit of prep work though in terms of sprouting the chickpeas, but trust me it is totally worth it!!

From a health benefit standpoint, sprouts contain a significant amount of protein and dietary fibre, good amount of minerals to meet your daily needs and vitamins as well.

To make the sprouts :

Wash the black chana twice, soak in water overnight (ensure that the water is at least 2-3cm above the lentils).

The next day remove the water, sprinkle with some fresh water and cover with a lid for another day. You will notice the dal will begin to sprout by day 2 and is ready to be de-skinned and used for the curry.

INGREDIENTS :

1 Large bowl - sprout chana dal/ chickpea

2 large onion - chopped

2 medium sized tomatoes - chopped

1/2 cup - Coconut chunks

5-6 sprigs of Coriander leaves

3-4 Brinjals - slit into halves

4 - Cloves

1 inch Cinnamon

4 Garlic pods

1 inch - Ginger

1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder

1 tsp - Coriander powder

1/2 tbsp - Red Chilli powder ( adjust as per your taste)

Salt to taste

Oil for cooking

PROCEDURE:

1. For the masala/curry paste : Fry 1 chopped onion in a tbsp of cooking oil until they turn golden brown. Once cooled off, transfer it into a blender. Add the coconut chunks, coriander leaves, cinnamon, cloves, ginger , garlic and some water, to grind it into a fine paste.

2. In a pressure cooker, add some oil. Once hot, add the other chopped onion, tomatoes and cook till they all turn mushy.

3. Next add the sprout chana dal, dry spice powders - turmeric, chilli & coriander plus salt to taste. Cook this mixture on a low simmer until the raw smell of sprouts disappears. Else your whole curry will smell funny.

4. Add in a glass of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles.

5. Once the pressure settles down, add the masala and cook until the raw smell disappears.

6. Finally add in the slit brinjals, adjust the spice levels and cook with a closed lid until the curry reaches the desirable consistency.

7. Your sprout brinjal curry is ready to be served with hot steamy rice


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