January 21, 2012

Ennai Kathirikkai Kozhambu

Ennai Kathirikkai Kozhambu (Eggplant gravy) is another treat for all eggplant lovers. Masala infused eggplants are shallow-fried in gingelly oil and then soaked & simmered in a tamarind based spicy gravy.

This is one other dish that I learnt at my in-laws and VJ is a great fan of this! Ennai kathirikkai kozhambu is an absolute relish with hot rice.

Basic Info
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 20 mins
Cook time - 20 mins
Serves - 3-4

Baby Indian Eggplants (small, fresh) - 10 - 12 nos
Tamarind - size of a small golf ball
Salt - 1 3/4 tsp
Gingelly oil - 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - a sprig
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder - 1-2 tsp (depending on your spice level)

Roast & powder
Channa dal - 2 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 3 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 5 nos
Hing - 1 small piece
Coconut - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp (gingelly / vegetable)

Soak tamarind in a cup of hot water and extract about 3 cups of tamarind juice. Keep it aside.

Roast all the items under "Roast & powder" in a tsp of oil and grind them into a fine powder (without adding water) with 1/2 tsp of salt and keep it aside.

Take about 1/4 cup of gingelly oil in a heavy bottomed pan and let it heat in medium flame. In the meanwhile, remove the stem from the eggplants and slit it four-ways on the top (leaving the bottom intact). Now, stuff the eggplants (through the slits) with 1/2 tsp ground spice powder and shallow fry the stuffed eggplants (You can use the excess spice powder for gravy). Make sure all the sides of eggplant is cooked/roasted. Remove from heat & keep them aside.


In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of gingelly oil and splutter mustard seeds & fry curry leaves. To this, add tamarind juice, sambar powder, ground spice powder (remaining, if any. I had about 1/4 cup), salt and  bring it to a boil.

Now, gently add the stuffed/fried eggplants and let it simmer in the gravy for 5-10 mins in low heat until the gravy thickens to desired consistency.

Remove from heat and serve with steamed rice.

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