This is an accidental recipe full of familiar flavors: too much salt, too much grease, un-soft rice, brinjal/eggplant, lime juice.
Funnily enough, some discussion on BT brinjal had me buying two packets of the vegetable, the brinjal part of it, that is, not the BT. They didn’t look oversized or particularly beautiful, which meant that they probably weren’t extra-chemically treated than the other vegetables around them, so I brought them home. I made a simple stir-fry with one packet, but it was so salty that even the juice of one big lime couldn’t redeem it. I refrigerated it in despair, trying to put my fears in cold storage along with it, but come dinner tonight, I couldn’t ignore it any longer.
There was also some plain rice that went wrong very badly - I cannot cook rice to expert softness but I’m not this bad either - and by the time I scraped it out of the pressure cooker and into a container for the fridge and then brought it out again today, it was hard and dry.
At dinner a couple of hours ago, the rice was brought out and microwaved with some water, upon which it achieved its my-usual level of softness. It was then mixed with the eggplant curry in traditional style - full hand on, palm pressed, literally, into action - to ensure that the spices were well distributed and blended. Then it was tasted.
Voila! You know what it turned into? It turned into pulihora (lime rice) with the brinjals providing a - ahem - a wonderful accent. In one shot, I had it all - instant lime rice and a magically redeemed brinjal curry. The microwaving had turned the old, odd rice into rice of the perfect consistency for pulihora.
So here’s the method for the stir-fry, which is all that you need to know:
Depending on the size of the brinjal/eggplant, halve or cube 250 gm of the vegetable into salted water.
In a pan, heat 4 tsp of sesame/gingelly oil. Temper it with ½ a tsp of mustard seed, ¼ tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of urad dal (split, hulled black gram), a few curry leaves, 2 tsp of red chilli flakes (or 1-3 split, dry red chilli). The urad should turn pleasantly brown.
Add the brinjal and saute for about half a minute.
Add salt and turmeric.
Mix well and saute some more.
Turn the heat down to simmer and cook till the brinjals are at the almost-beginning-to-turn into-mush stage.
Douse liberally with lime juice.
Of course, if you want it exactly the way I came about the instant rice, you should oversalt it deliberately - that involves much overconfidence in one’s abilities to shake out the exact amount of salt that one deems right (or exactly too much) directly from the salt box into the pan. Then you can experiment with the amount of cooked rice that you need to add for the perfect mix I chanced upon.
If that sounds incoherent, you've got it - no, you've got ME - right. That's how I cook(ed).
Psst: Turns out I’m not the only bold one to put brinjal and lime/lemon rice together. Check out this and this.
Rice Brinjal/Eggplant Lime Humour