Probably this can be called as South Indian Chole. Few days ago, my friend Aruna sent me this recipe. She tried her best to reach to the origin of this dish. She mailed the person who had introduced this recipe to her. Finally we came to know this recipe is a Salem special.
This is a very interesting combination of chickpeas, eggplants and drumsticks, spiced up with sambar powder. So it is like a very dry sambar with chickpeas. V is not very fond of chole, so I was a bit skeptic to try this. But this was very delicious. We both enjoyed it a lot. Eggplants and drumsticks give a very good flavor to this. Kudos to whoever came up with this recipe.
Do you like the photo of this dish? I do. V spent a lot of time to take this shot. I think this is one of my favorite pictures so far. We have been struggling with our camera for a long time now. Then last week, Cynthia from Tastes like home, gave me many inputs to take good pictures. I am a great fan of her pictures. She was very kind to send me a detailed mail when I asked for tips. Thanks a lot Cynthia.
2/3 cup chickpeas soaked overnight
10-12 big pieces of eggplant(brinjal)
8-10 pieces drumsticks
1/2 cup onion
1/3 cup tomato
4-5 curry leaves
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn chili powder
1 tea spn sambar powder (Use any brand you like. I used homemade)
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract or 1-2 pieces of tamarind
3-4 strands coriander leaves
Soak chickpeas overnight and cook till they are tender. (you can also use canned chickpeas. Make sure to drain off all liquid and give a good wash).
Heat a little oil and add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add curry leaves and onion. Fry till onions are slightly brownish. Add tomatoes and salt. Fry for a min till tomatoes soften (salt helps in cooking tomatoes faster). Now add eggplant and drumsticks, pour in half a cup of water. Cover the pan and cook on a medium heat till they are done (do not overcook).
Add chili powder, sambar powder, chickpeas. Mix well. Add the tamarind extract/juice. Cook for another 3-4mins. Take off the heat and garnish with coriander leaves. (Remember, this is a dry dish unlike any other sambar which is like gravy). Serve hot.
Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 30mins (if you use canned chickpeas, it takes much less time).