The ethnic cuisine of the Malabar region in Kerala is a mix of influences that include Arab, Zamorin and Chirakkal influences. This eggplant masala, enriched with coconut oil and spices, is perfect to eat topped over a bowl of rice.
Malabar cuisine across the coast in Kerala is known for its spice-rich robustness, thanks to most exports happening off of the coast. A blend of cross-cultural culinary influences, the cuisine boasts of meat dishes unlike no other, found across the state. The cuisine celebrates seafood, duck and vegetables with equal aplomb and has grown a fan-following over the past few years. Dishes like the pathiri (rice dough stuffed with fish, sweet coconut filling or meat), beef kurumilakitathu (beef pepper fry) and variations of roast duck are the relatively well-known dishes that hail from the region.
This eggplant masala fry, a vegetarian offering is a delicious curry replete with coconut oil, spices and a healthy dose of aromatics. Essentially considered to be a substitute for fish or meat, this curry is tangy, spicy and coconutty at the same time. Traditionally cooked in clay pots and loaded with curry leaves and baby shallots, this could easily be classified as one of the quintessential vegetarian representation of the cuisine. While this curry is perfect to eat topped on a bowl of rice, you could also pair this spicy, flavoursome curry with dosas, idlis and parathas while packing a lunch box.
Image Credits: Salt & Tamarind