How to make Andhra style eggplant chutney using the OPOS techniques of layering and flash cooking
Recipe #23 OPOS Cookbook Project: Chutney
I belong to a telugu community called “mulukanadu” who are 4th or 5th generation migrants to Tamil Nadu from the now Andhra state. Our Telugu language is highly influenced by Tamil and I get massively embarrassed to open my mouth to speak Telugu to people from Andhra. The Mulukanadu people or Mulkis cuisine have their strong roots in Andhra cuisine with influences of Tamil cuisine. What can I say, we got best of both the worlds 🙂
The word “pachadi” in Andhra is referred to any hand pounded sour chutney/dip that is usually served as an accompaniment to rice. We call it “oorpindi” which actually originated from telugu words “noorina pindi” which means blended paste.
My grandmother was a Oorpindi (pachadi) expert and used to make a new variety almost everyday. Usually the base ingredients like urad dal, corriander seeds, chillies were kept constant, but she used to play around with the vegetables/dals. I distinctly remember she making oorpindis with the skin of ridge guards which used to taste out of the world !
Today, I made the very popular andhra vankaya pachadi inlines with the thokku theme of OPOS cookbook. It is all about creating the correct layers and cooking at high heat for just enough time to retain maximum flavors and colors. I have shown the procedure clearly in the video tutorial and the exact measurements I have used in the recipe below . Please note the point here to get the best out of this recipe :
1. Layering technique mimics stove top open sauteeing without having to have supervision constantly. However, to succeed, please do not interchange the layers. Please follow the layering I have used here to the T.
2. Cut the eggplants into big chunks. As eggplants easily turn into mush in a pressure cooker, cutting them into big chunks will ensure a nice texture.
3. My grandmother says, using red ripe chilies gives the best flavors for pachadis. As I did not have any, I have used a combination of red chilies and green chilies which suits my family’s spice palette. If you want to decrease the spice levels just go easy on the chilies.
4. I have used the small light violet color eggplant variety for the pachadi. This is referred to as naati vankaya or country eggplant. This gives the best taste. If you are unable to find this one, chose to use any variety that is locally available to you.
5. There is sheer magic in hand pounding this pachadi in a stone mortar or what is known as ammi which is almost extinct in the modern day kitchen. Sorry for sounding like a old lady…age is catching up after all 🙂 You can chose to use a hand blender or mixer grinder to pulse the pachadi. Do not grind it smoothly.
6. In our households, we do not add tempering or tadka after blending the pachadis. You can chose to add fresh tempering. For this heat, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, add mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter, add 1/2 tsp urad dal, chana dal and saute until the dals turn golden. Add to blended pachadi. Or you can use the bottled tadka for enhanced flavor:
Hope you enjoy the video and the recipe –