Kathrikai Masala Kuzhambu (Tangy Eggplant Curry)

30 mins
Serves 6 people
Author: Rajni Ram
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Eggplants or Brinjal is one vegetable that I love cooking with, because it is so versatile and the possibilities are so endless. Most cuisines around the world have atleast one Eggplant dish. Indian cuisine has many to its credit- be it the Baingan Bharta from the Punjab, the Vangi Bath from Karnataka, Gutti Vankaya Kura from Andhra Pardesh or the Bharli Vangi from Maharashtra.

On the blog I have quite many Brinjal recipes which proves this ???? . This recipe of the Masala Kathrikai Kuzhambu may be a little different from other recipes you might find on the internet as I have not used Onion or Garlic, and the choice of Masalas will be different. The spices and the tamarind combine to give a very flavourful curry which goes very well with Rice, Parathas, String Hoppers(Idiyappam) and many other Main course dishes.

While you are here check out other recipes on the blog like Brinjal Pepper Masala(no onion -no garlic), Gutti Vankaya Kura, Methi Wale Baingan, Drumstick Curry, Rajma Masala, Mirch Ka SalanKadai Paneer and more…

Here is the recipe of Kathikkai Masala Kuzhambu (Tangy Eggplant Curry) for you

Ingredients

Ingredients

  1. Brinjals (any small variety) 250 gms. Remove stalk and make a cross cut in the center
  2. Tamarind- a lemon sized ball soaked in water and the pulp extracted.
  3. Sambar powder (homemade)1 tbsp
  4. Salt as required
  5. Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  6. Red chilli powder 1 tsp
  7. Jaggery 1/2 tsp (optional)

To be ground

  1. Coconut 1 tbsp
  2. Cloves 4-5
  3. Dry Kashmiri Red Chillies 2
  4. Fennel seeds/ Saunf 1 tsp
  5. Fried gram Dal/Pottukadalai 2 tsp
  6. Peppercorns 1/2 tsp
  7. Coriander seeds 1 tbsp

To Temper

  1. Gingelley oil/Sesame oil 2 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds 1 tsp
  3. Chana dal/gram dal 1 tsp
  4. Dry Red Chilli 1
  5. Asafoetida 1/2 tsp
  1. Put a Kadai/pan on flame and put in all the ingredients mentioned under “To be ground” and dry roast them until you get a good aroma, and they turn a light brown. Transfer to the blender jar and let them cool. Once cooled, add little water and grind to a fine paste.
  2. Now in the same Kadai take the Gingelly oil and heat. Add all ingredients mentioned under “To temper” and fry for 30 seconds.
  3. Now drop in gently the Brinjals after removing the stalks and making a cross cut until midway. Add a little salt and turmeric powder(both in small quantity as we shall add them again to gravy) and  nicely stir fry the Brinjals until they are half done. You can cover the Kadai and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Now pour the tamarind extract, add the Sambar powder followed by salt and red chilli powder. Let them cook for 2 minutes. Now add the ground paste and stir nicely. Add 1 cup water to adjust consistency. Let the Brinjals cook until done. Finally, add a small bit of Jaggery, it enhances the taste of the gravy, and balances the tanginess of the tamarind. This step is optional though.
  5. Take care that the Brinjals must not go limp, but must maintain shape as well as be cooked. The consistency of this dish will be gravyish or more like a Sambar.

Put a Kadai/pan on flame and put in all the ingredients mentioned under “To be ground” and dry roast them until you get a good aroma, and they turn a light brown. Transfer to the blender jar and let them cool. Once cooled, add little water and grind to a fine paste. Now in the same Kadai take the Gingelly oil and heat. Add all ingredients mentioned under “To temper” and fry for 30 seconds. Now drop in gently the Brinjals after removing the stalks and making a cross cut until midway. Add a little salt and turmeric powder(both in small quantity as we shall add them again to gravy) and  nicely stir fry the Brinjals until they are half done. You can cover the Kadai and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Now pour the tamarind extract, add the Sambar powder followed by salt and red chilli powder. Let them cook for 2 minutes. Now add the ground paste and stir nicely. Add 1 cup water to adjust consistency. Let the Brinjals cook until done.  Finally, add a small bit of Jaggery, it enhances the taste of the gravy, and balances the tanginess of the tamarind. This step is optional though. Take care that the Brinjals must not go limp, but must maintain shape as well as be cooked. The consistency of this dish will be gravyish or more like a Sambar.

Serving suggestions: This can be served with Pulav, Variety rice, Dosa, Idli, String Hoppers(Idiyapam) and more. I served it with some  Matar Pulav.

Notes:

  1. Any small variety/ baby Brinjals can be used.
  2. Adding Jaggery at the end, not only balanced the sourness of the tamarind, but also enhances the taste.
  3. For homemade Sambar Powder click here, or store bought powder can also be used. However there will be slight change in taste.
  4. Please follow exact proportions for the whole spices and spice powders to get the exact taste.

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

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