Ennai Kathirikkai Kuzhambu / South Indian Stuffed Eggplant Gravy

Ennai Kathirikkai kuzhambu / Stuffed Eggplant Gravy is a South Indian gravy variety and is very popular in chettinad cuisine. It is made by stuffing the eggplants with some freshly ground spice powders, which are then tossed and cooked in sesame oil, tamarind extract and freshly ground spice powders. This is a tangy, spicy and sour gravy and is best served with steamed rice.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Serving: 2 to 3

Cuisine: Indian /Tamilnadu -Chettinad

Ingredients:

Tamarindsmall lemon size
Sesame oil3 to 4 tablespoon
Mustard seeds1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder1/2 teaspoon
Hing / Asafotedia1/2 teaspoon
Brinjal /Eggplant (small size)4
Curry leavesfew

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To roast & grind:

Toor dhal2 teaspoon
Urad dhal 2 teaspoon
Channa dhal 2 teaspoon
Coriander seeds 3 teaspoon
Red chilli6
Peppercorns /Milagu1/4 teaspoon
Methi seeds / Vendayam1/2 teaspoon

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Step by step instructions:

  1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for about 10 and 15 minutes. Extract about 3 cups of tamarind juice from this.
  2. In a kadai / wok, add 1 teaspoon oil, add toor dhal, urad dhal, channa dhal, coriander seeds and peppercorns and roast all the ingredients. Keep the flame low. When the lentils start changing colour, add methi seeds/vendayam and red chillies. Roast until all the lentils turn golden brown. ( Red chilli and vendayam are added towards the end since they both get roasted in a short time). The whole roasting process should be done with low to medium flame and all the lentils should be evenly roasted to golden brown. Transfer the ingredients to another plate and allow it to cool.

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3. Transfer the roasted contents to a blender and grind it to a slightly coarse powder. This gives approximately 12 teaspoons of masala powder.

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4. Wash and dry the small eggplants / brinjal. Trim the green leaves near the stem. Using a knife cut the eggplant vertically until you are 1/4 th inch on the other side. Similarly make another cut so that there are 4 slits.

5. In a small plate, take around 2 to 3 teaspoon of the freshly ground masala powder. Add a little bit of oil and make a paste. With the help of a spoon stuff this powder/paste between the slits.

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6. In a kadai, add 3 to 4 tablespoon of sesame oil, add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves and stuffed brinjal /eggplant. Keep the flame low. While stirring, be gentle so that the stuffing stays intact. Cook until the skin of the brinjal is tender. When the brinjals are cooked, add the tamarind extract, turmeric powder, hing and salt. Add 5 teaspoon of freshly ground powder. While adding the powder, see that it doesn’t form lumps. To avoid lumps, add the masala powder before the tamarind extract starts boiling. Store the rest of the freshly ground powder in a air tight container.

7. Cook until the gravy thickens. If the gravy is too thin even after cooking for few minutes, then add rice flour paste. To make a rice flour paste, take 1 teaspoon of rice flour in a small cup and add little water to make a paste. Pour this paste to the gravy while simultaneously stirring. Cook for 2 minutes for the gravy to thicken. Adding rice flour paste is optional. Add this only if the gravy is too thin.

8. Serve with steamed rice.

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         Notes:

  1. To make a easier version of the same kuzhambu, you can add brinjal without stuffing it with the masala powder. Just toss and cook the brinjal in sesame oil and follow the rest of the instructions as above.
  2. Freshly ground masala powder – Store the remaining masala powder in a air tight container at room temperature. This can be used as a curry powder and can be sprinkled on raw banana curry, potato dry subzi and few other porials / dry curries.
  3. The masala powder can be prepared well in advance and can be used whenever you prepare this gravy /kuzhambu.

Check out my other Kuzhambu Varieties:

Check out my other Category recipes:

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