What I'm going to do is this. I'm going to put the main ingredient of the recipe in the title, so if you have brinjal all you have to do is write brinjal in the search box and recipes with brinjal will pop up.
The bin. That's another thing. I like keeping a small bin on the kitchen counter, next to the work surface so you don't drop bits and pieces of chopped veg waste all over the kitchen floor between work area and dustbin. Line the bin with newspaper and you're good to go.
Now you have the washed and trimmed brinjals. YOu have to cut them into half inch, or one centimetre cubes. You can cut the brinjals lengthwise in half then half inch slices, then half inch strips and across the strips to get your cubes. Put in a holding bowl.
I like the sound of "holding bowl". You don't cook in it. You hold the stuff you are going to put in a vessel for cooking. Buy nice shiny, easy to clean holding bowls of three different sizes. Small medium and large. The large one can double as a salad bowl.
So now you have the cubed brinjals in the holding bowl.
Chop an onion. You know how to do that right? Chop the top and the bottom. slice down the length. Peel off the outer layer. By the way I think when you keep your mouth open, or talk when chopping onions, your eyes water, if you keep your mouth shut, your eyes don't burn. I may be wrong. But my eyes don't burn when I'm chopping onions silently.
Place the onion cut side down, slice fine lengthwise, turn it around and slice horizontally. If you watch cooking on TV, they take a cleaver and chop rapidly up and down the pile of chopped onion. You can do that, but all it does is impress you, does not make much difference to the cooked dish. But finely chopped onions or finely sliced are easier to eat.
Chop one green chilli lengthwise then across as tiny as you can.
Chop one tomato finely
Chop about a tablespoon of fresh coriander (cotmir)
About 10 large curry leaves (curry patta)
One tsp ginger garlic paste
A tsp of whole mustard
A tsp of whole jeera
1/2 tsp haldi powder
1/2 tsp pepper powder
1/2 tsp dhania powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp mango powder (amchur)
A small lump of jaggery maybe 1 inch (optional)
Juice of one lemon
Two tablespoons of water
Put your cooking vessel on the stove, let it get hot, keep flame high.
When hot put in a teaspoon of oil. Swirl the oil around, so it coats the base of the vessel.
When the oil heats in half a minute, drop the mustard in. Turn the flame low, else the mustard will burn.
When the mustard stops popping, throw in the whole jeera.
A few seconds later when the jeera turns darker, throw in the curry leaves.
When they get brown, throw in ginger garlic paste. Stir it around for a about 10 seconds.
Now throw in the onions and stir them all over the place, so everything mixes nicely. Turn the flame up and stir till the onions get transparentish, or pink. There has to be some action there. Ideally, the onions should turn golden brown, but I find it annoying waiting for the stupid things to turn golden brown and if you dream a little, as it is PERFECTLY NORMAL to do, the stupid things get black. Less is more is what I say.
Chuck in the tomato, stir, the chilli, stir, the haldi, pepper, dhania, chilli, mango powders, stir until it's all mixed, chuck in HALF of the chopped coriander, now empty the chopped brinjals from the ahem, holding bowl, stir carefully until the masala is mixed nicely and evenly with the brinjal cubes. Turn the flame low, else you'll be coughing and sneezing all over the place.
Sprinkle a little water over not more than two tablespoons of water. You should never use lots of water to cook veggies, cos the vitamins go, and it tastes horrible. Again, less is more. Leetle water is all you need.
Add the jaggery and stir it around until it dissolves.
Close the vessel and check that the flame is low.
Let it cook for 7 minutes.
Add juice of one lemon
Replace lid of vessel.
Cook for another 2 minutes.
Taste a cube and see if more salt is needed.
If it is not spicy enough, make a note next time to add another chilli and maybe some more chilli and pepper powder. Don't add any more things now.
Turn stove off. Add remaining chopped coriander, stir gently. Close lid.
YOU CAN ADD FRESH PRAWNS AFTER THE SPICES ARE ADDED TO THE ONIONS AND A TABLESPOON OF WATER. (I used to do this when you both were small, but el kunjooso stopped that when frugality became his god)
YOU CAN ADD FRESH PRAWNS AND CHOPPED POTATO CUBES, THE SAME SIZE AS THE BRINJAL CUBES, AFTER THE SPICES ARE ADDED TO THE ONIONS. HERE YOU'LL HAVE TO ADD TWO MORE TABLESPOONS OF WATER SO THE POTATOES CAN COOK FOR ABOUT FIVE MINUTES. THEN ADD THE BRINJAL CUBES.