Brinjal moju/ pahi is one of those Sri Lankan vegetarian dishes which successfully tickles every single tastebud in your mouth. From the spiciness of the chilli to the tang from the vinegar to the slight bitterness of crushed mustard and the sweetness and saltiness of sugar and salt – it covers the whole spectrum of flavours in one mouthful.
There are quite a few variations to how you could make this dish and the recipe (or rather method) I am sharing today is the way my mom makes it. It is that foolproof and yummy that it is also the only version I’ve ever attempted. Making this always reminds me of my mom and the times my siblings and I always used to sneak into the kitchen to flick some of the piping hot crispy brinjals while my mom was busy frying them. Being the loving mom she is, after a couple of times she made it a point to fry extra rather than chasing us away from the kitchen 🙂
Please pardon me as I share only the ingredients (and not quantities) today as this is one dish that really needs to be tailored to your own taste. More often than not I end up adding an extra bit of this and that to get the perfect flavour that I’m after. So it’s really hard to give exact measurements.
- Brinjals (Aubergine, Eggplant)
- Onions – Chopped into cubes
- Green chilies – Slit lengthwise
- Oil to deepfry
- Mustard cream or mustard seeds
- Red chili flakes
- Salt, turmeric and Sugar
- Chop the brinjals into small cubes and season it with salt and turmeric and leave it aside. Adding salt would bring out the moisture from the brinjals and will make them fry to golden crisps without getting soggy.
- After about 10 mins, squeeze out the liquid that would have seeped from the brinjals and set aside.
- Heat up oil in a pan and deepfry the brinjals in batches. Remove from the fryer and transfer them to paper towels to get rid of the excess oil.
- Into a separate bowl, add in the cubed onions and green chilies and marinate with vinegar, salt, sugar and red chili flakes to taste. It should taste slightly sweet and tangy.
- Next add in a good amount of mustard cream. My parents were sweet enough to send me a couple of bottles from Lanka, but if you are not able to find it, you could grind some mustards seeds together with vinegar and turmeric to form a paste.
- Lastly mix in the brinjals to the marinade and mix well.
- This keeps perfectly well in the fridge for about a week and pairs beautifully with yellow Rice, chicken curry and a potato white curry. I’ll post recipes for the above soon too – I promise!