In Udupi Thali, they also have a sequence of dishes that are placed on the leaf. This Ajethna or Ajadina is a dry vegetable curry. Ajadina means dried in the Tulu language. The ajethna is eaten along with plain cooked rice as part of Udupi cuisine. The vegetables generally used in ajethna are cluster beans, french beans, beetroot, snake gourd, bitter gourd, ladies finger, and others.
I adapted this Ajethna from here.
This dry saute uses the Udupi special Rasam powder and it was so good when served with the sambar and then curd rice.
Udupi Style Eggplant Dry Curry
Eggplant / Brinjal 2 nos.
Tamarind marble size
Jaggery marble (I skipped)
Salt to taste
Rasam powder 2 to 3 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Cooking oil – 3 tsp
Mustard seeds, Urad Dal 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves handful
How to make the Brinjal Dry saute
Prep the brinjal by removing the stalk, washing. chop each into half, then slice each into lengthwise. Keep it soaked in water to prevent browning.
Heat a nonstick pan with oil and add all the seasoning ingredients one after the other. When the mustard start spluttering, drain the brinjal from water and add to the pan.
Add turmeric powder, jaggery if adding, and salt. Give a quick stir.
Cover the pan with lid and cook for about 5 minutes. Soak tamarind in warm water for about 5 minutes. Squeeze thick tamarind juice.
The eggplant slices would have turned soft now, Add the thick tamarind juice and rasam powder.
Stir and cook for 3 more minutes or till the tamarind water is absorbed by the veggie.
Switch off the flame. Eggplant dry curry in typical Udupi style is ready. Serve it with steamed rice and relish.
Do not add additional water to cook eggplant slices. Let them cook in seasoning oil itself.
Do not overcook after adding tamarind extract as eggplant turns mushy easily.
This dry curry is of mild spice, you can increase it adding slit green chillies.