This Kothsu (Gothsu, Kosthu) is a tamarind based South Indian (Tambrahm) curry that is made by roasting and mashing eggplant and popping it into a spicy tamarind gravy.
Some people get this dish confused with Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu, but it is different. Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu is made with toor dal and without tamarind. This Brinjal Kothsu is made without any dal, and includes tamarind. There is only a little gravy which is thickened with some rice flour, so it just coats the eggplant. You can see that the two dishes are quite different.
It is a quick dish to make once the eggplant is roasted. The aroma of the roasting is a wonderful smell. I do it outside on the BBQ grill, and I am sure that all neighbours must suddenly become hungry, due to the aroma.
Brinjal Tamarind Kothsu | Eggplant Tamarind Kothsu
for 2 cups Kothsu
2 or 3 large eggplants
lime sized piece of tamarind
salt to taste
6 dried Indian red chillies, pinched into halves
2 green chillies, cut into 3 pieces each
0.75 tspn brown mustard seed
4 tspns ghee
0.5 tspn fenugreek seeds
0.5 tspn rice flour
Roast the eggplants over hot coals, or in a charcoal oven. Alternatively you can roast them over a gas flame, under a griller, in the oven or in a covered BBQ (my favourite method).
When the eggplant is well roasted, the skin is charred and the flesh is soft, remove them from the heat and allow to cool. Remove the skin and knead/shred the flesh. Keep aside.
Soak the tamarind in about 0.75 cup or so hot water, for 30 mins, then strain, pushing the pulp through the strainer. Discard the seeds and fibres and keep the water and pulp aside.
Heat the ghee in a kadhai and fry the mustard seed, allowing it to pop. Add the red chillies and asafoetida, then after a moment, add the green chillies and curry leaves. Stir fry a little.
Add the tamarind water and salt to taste, and bring it to the boil
Dry roast the fenugreek seeds and grind them to a powder. Add to the kothsu once it has boiled well.
Mix the rice flour with water to a thin paste, and mix into the kothsu. Bring back to the boil while stirring, and allow to boil for a few moments.
Add the eggplant to the simmering kothsu. Stir well and boil for 2 or 3 seconds before removing from the heat and serving. Garnish with coriander leaves if desired.