April 26, 2008

Thai Eggplant-Drumstick Kolumbo

A new job and U.S boards made us relegate blogging to the background for the last few weeks- but how long can one be away from "FOOD", especially home-cooked Desi food(:-). Kolumbo is a very South Indian delicacy which is a dal dish cooked with vegetables. If you visit South Indian restaurants you can see Kolumbu with white rice, a upkari , papad and pickle on every thali menu. Even at most South Indian homes this is a fixed menu for lunches and dinners. My sister, Chai, made this wonderful dish the other day, and I am posting this recipe on her behalf.

Preparation time: 1 hour(this includes the soaking time for Eggplants)
Cooking time: 30 mins

8-10 thai eggplant(green brinjal)
7-8 drumsticks, cut into small pieces(we used frozen ones)
1/2 onion,finely chopped.
1/2 cup tuvar daal
1/4 tsp tamarind paste
1-2 tsp sambar powder(MTR or any variety)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 mustard seeds
4-5 sprigs curry leaves
a pinch asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 dry roasted red chilly
2 tbsp cilantro

Pressure cook daal with eggplant,drumsticks,turmeric powder,1/2 tsp oil and 1 1/2cup of water. Keep aside. Heat oil in a separate pan. Add mustard seeds. When it begins to pop, add cumin, hing, curry leaves and red chillies. Saute for a min. Add the onions to this and saute till the onions turn transparent. Now add the pressure-cooked dal mixture. Add sambar powder, tamarind paste and salt. Mix well and bring it to a boil. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy with white rice and pickle.


1) According to Wikipedia- the raw eggplants can have a somewhat bitter taste, but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. Salting and then rinsing the sliced eggplant (known as "degorging") can soften and remove much of the bitterness.
2) Chai salted the eggplants and rinsed it couple of times to remove the bitterness. Alternately, you can soak them in water for an hour.
3) When the eggplants are cut open and if the seeds are black, then it tastes bitter. The ones with white seeds are good for cooking.


sra said...

Hi Dee & Chai, I've often seen Kolumbo being spelt that way and wondered if there was any difference between that and the South Indian Kozhambu, which I know to be a gravy, dal-based or otherwise. I usually cut eggplants into some water and use them whenever I need to.

sra said...

Hi Dee & Chai, just testing - I just left a comment, did you get it?

Dee & Chai said...

Hi Sra- very true! We came across Kolumbo only recently. But as you said there are several names out there for this dish. We assume that comes from regional differences within South India.

Mallika said...

This looks lovely ladies. I have had this before but didn't know the name. By the way, did you see that we made the same entry to RCI bengal? Great minds...

musical said...

Lovely kolambo, girls. Will try it soon.

Glad to know that you both love eggplants as well :).

Dee & Chai said...

Rightly said, Mallika- Like(great) minds think alike! Doi Machh is our absolute favorite.

Musical, thanks! Let us know how you liked it.