Spicy Eggplant curry [Kathirikai Kaarakuzhambhu]
Today’s recipe is Spicy Eggplant Curry also known as Kathirikai Kaarakuzhambhu in South India. This dish is one of the most famous dish of Tamilnadu. This is a very simple recipe and goes very well with rice, or Dosa and Idly. Sometimes with Chapattis too.
There are variations possible in this recipe. You can replace the eggplants/Brinjal with Okra or the lady’s fingers, drumstick or Yam. This is a tangy, a little spicy dish with sweetness from the eggplants. Hence the name ‘KaaraKuzhambhu’ meaning Spicy hot gravy in Tamil.
The method may look complex, but believe me it is all preparation work and the result will be awesome.
The tang in the gravy comes from the use of tamarind juice which can be replaced with lemon juice or more tomatoes, but nothing equals to the pungent tang from the tamarind.
My version, while it may look so spicy with red oil spatters on top, but that my beloved people is one of the tricks learnt from my mom. Floating fat on top doesn’t mean I have added a lot of oil in addition to the required[or allowed] quantity. We just add a pinch of chilly powder when you saute the seasoning and the vegetables before adding the wet ingredients like tomato-onion paste and the tamarind pulp juice.
As I was saying a lot of variations that are done, so you can do without the eggplants or with any vegetable or combination of vegetables , the gravy will still be delicious.
Let’s get on with the preparation method
How to make spicy eggplant curry?
There are three major steps – Temper, Saute and stew. Simple. Check out the recipe below –
Eggplant/Brinjal Gravy [Kathirikai Kaarakuzhambhu]Course: Gravy & Curry, Savoury Recipes, Stews, Eggplant curry, Easy curry, Vegetarian curry, Dairy free, Coconut, Brinjal, Lunch, gravyCuisine: Tamil, Indian
Recipe of a tangy, spicy eggplant curry which is an intergral part of Tamil cuisine made with brinjal/eggplant. This is perfect with hot steamed rice.
- To temper the curry
Sliced onion – 1 small
Fresh curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Peeled garlic cloves – 2
- Grind and keep these
Large onions – 2
Tomatoes – 2
Grated coconut – 3tbsp
- Other ingredients
Oil – 2 tsp
Brinjal/eggplants – 250 gms
Green chilly – 1
Salt as per taste
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Tamarind juice – 2 tbsp.
- In a thick bottomed pan, heat oil and add the mustard, cumin, pepper and the fenugreek seeds
- Once you feel aroma of them frying, all the sliced onions, curry leaves and garlic. Coriander leaves are optional. Mind your hands and face here, it will splutter.
- Once they are slightly fried, add the eggplants, cut in vertically as you see in the pictures and the green chilly.
- Sauté well till your eggplant slightly change colour.
- Then add salt and a little of the chilly powder. Trust me, this makes all the difference in how your dish looks.
- Slightly mix the salt and chilly powder and mix.
- Add the ground paste of onion, tomatoes and coconut along with the tamarind juice.
- Add the remaining chilly powder, turmeric and coriander powder and roast well until they coat the eggplant pieces.
- Add water, about a cup (don’t thin the gravy much) and let the gravy on the stove top on high for few minutes.
- Reduce the flame and simmer the gravy until the oil comes on top. Approximately 10 – 15 minutes.
- Take the gravy off flame. Your gravy is ready to be served.
- You can replace brinjal with okra, sliced in halves or drumsticks or yam cubes. Or just plain with no vegetables will be delicious too.
- Serve hot with rice and papad. The combination is unbeatable.
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