My aunt Cynthia moved to Madras (Chennai) in the summer of 1962, to stay with her son who was working here. We used to spend weekends with them, and she prepared egg-coated eggplant one evening as a side dish for our dinner. I used to dislike brinjal (eggplant), because my mother treated it as a staple vegetable. But this Muttai Kathirikkai as my aunt called it, changed my taste perspective of brinjal. I took a liking to the vegetable, and I ate it without protest from then on.
This is an ideal side dish for packed lunches, as it is dry, tender, and gives good satiety value. At the same time, it can also be included in formal dinners and buffets. It can also be served as a starter.
- ½ kg Brinjal (Eggplant)
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Salt, or to taste
- 1 C Water
- 2 to 3 Hen’s Eggs
- ½ tsp Pepper powder
- ¼ tsp Salt, or to taste
- Vegetable Oil, for shallow frying
- Remove the brinjal stems and calyxes. Cut the brinjals vertically into two; cut each piece again vertically stopping 1 cm from the stem end.
- Boil water with chilli and turmeric powders and salt. Add the brinjal and cook on low heat till the brinjals are cooked, but not mushy. They should retain their shape. Drain and cool.
- Beat the eggs with pepper powder and salt.
- Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan.
- Dip the brinjal pieces in the beaten egg, add to the oil and fry gently. Turn them once to fry the other side and remove.
- Preferably select only the purple variety of brinjal, as its flavour lends itself better to this preparation than the green variety. The shape of the brinjal also matters. The long and slender ones make it attractive.
But in India, we use whatever is available.
2. If you do not like the flavour of oil on the brinjal, place it on a paper towel as soon as it is fried. Remove and serve.