After the Kukul Mas Curry, the next recipe I chose to try under the “Sinhalese Cuisine” theme in the Blogging Marathon #84 was this delicious brinjal relish called Batu Moju or Wambatu Moju. I was first informed about this dish by a Sri Lankan friend, Rizna on the JorenQ FB group. From then on, I had noted it down. I am not a fan of brinjal at all, but the spicy mishmash looked like a nice side dish. She had mentioned in her post that it goes really well with a dish of rice and curry.
As usual, I set my Google search on these lines. I was bombarded with so many ways of cooking it as well! It is said that the dish is of Portugese origin, as Sri Lanka was once-upon-a-time a Portugese colony around the sixteenth century! Not much has been written about the dish as such, but one thing is for sure – it is truly delicious!
The dish involves deep frying the brinjals and then adding it to the spicy sauce that is prepared. Most of the recipes do not seem to have the use of coconut milk, however a little digging did tell me that it is an essential part of the moju, otherwise the absence of it would make it “batu achaaru” or brinjal pickle. Understandable!
Mixing and matching many recipes, I came up with my version. I was really not sure how good it would turn out to be. To my surprise, it tasted awesome! I served it as a side to biriyani and what little I made was completely wiped off. I really wished I had made a larger portion and stocked it in my fridge! This relish can be stored in sterilized glass bottles and the more it sits, the better it would taste! The first taste tester did have a strong mustard taste, but as it sat, it just got neutralized and then it became lip-smacking. Whether you like brinjal or not, this is definitely a must-try for a rice-curry meal… Off to the recipe…
- 250 gm brinjal
- 1½ tsp turmeric powder, divided
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- ½ cup pearl onions/ shallots, roughly chopped
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 5-6 green chillies, slit
- 1 small tomato, choppped
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- Wash the brinjals, cut them into strips. Toss up with ½ tsp turmeric powder and some salt. Set aside.
- Dry roast the mustard for a couple of minutes on very low flame. Crush them on a mortar and pestle. Pour the vinegar and let it soak.
- Heat oil in a saucepan. Add in the brinjal and cook till it gets fried and is cooked completely. Drain it into a plate.
- In the same oil, add the ginger garlic paste and saute till a nice aroma comes.
- Add in the onions, curry leaves, green chililes and tomato. Add salt and cook till the mixture gets nicely mashed up.
- Add in the remaining turmeric powder and red chilli powder and saute till oil floats on top.
- Add the mustard soaked vinegar and the coconut milk and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the fried brinjals and cook till the mixture is dried up and coats all over. Adjust seasoning.
- Allow to cool completely and store in an air tight container till use. As it sits, it gets really flavorful.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page to see what the other Blogging Marathoners are doing this BM#84