Like I said earlier, people in the coastal regions of Karnataka are great coconut lovers and they use it extensively in their day- to- day cooking. A dish with no coconut is a rarity there! One of the very few such dishes is "Bolu Huli". 'Bolu' in Kannada means, bland or plain. To the Mangaloreans, a dish with no coconut would definitely sound bland and plain.... Hence the name, I guess!!!! :P :). You could use any veggie of your choice - pumpkin, eggplant, green beans, carrot, cabbage etc. Some people in Bangalore/Mysore regions also make a similar dish and call it "Tharakaari saaru" meaning, 'Rasam with Veggies'.
Eggplant Bolu Huli is also a speciality at the Shri Krishna temple (Commonly known as Krishna mutt) of Udupi! Devotees from all over the country, throng the temple for this 'prasadam', served during lunch.
2 cups Eggplant, chopped into 1 - 1.5 inch long pieces. I use the purple Asian variety.
1/2 to 3/4 cup Toor dal
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp Tamarind paste
1 tsp Jaggery
1 tsp Sambhar/Rasam powder (Optional. It is used only to add a mild flavor)
1-2 tbsp Coconut milk (Optional. Add if the gravy becomes too watery)
1-2 tsp Oil/Ghee
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Jeera seeds
3-4 Green chilies, low to medium spiced
3-4 Curry leaves
1-2 strands Cilantro, chopped finely
A generous pinch of Hing
Salt as per taste
- Wash and pressure cook toor dal with a few drops of oil and turmeric; Keep aside.
- Cook the chopped eggplant with some salt and water, until done.
- Mix the cooked dal and the eggplant; Boil well for 4-5 mins.
- Add sambhar powder, coconut milk, jaggery, tamarind, salt and boil further for 3-5 minutes.
- Temper with mustard/jeera seeds, green chilies, curry leaves and hing; Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with steamed rice. Note: You might want to reduce the number of green chilies during tempering, if you opt to add sambhar powder.