For those of you who don’t know what the “Yennai Kathrikai Kuzhambu” means … it is a spicy fried aubergine in a tangy onion-tomato gravy.
The Yennai Kathrikai Kuzhambu as the name suggests has the aubergines/ brinjals fried in oil before being added to the gravy. Many variations to the kuzhambu are there. This is a cheats method to the original version but with no compromise to the taste.
The masala powder to be roast and ground for the kuzhambu can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container. The same masala powder can be added for other dished also, to enhance their flavour.
The kuzhambu tastes absolutely divine with just plain steamed rice.
Onions – 1 no
Tomato – 1 no
Coconut (grated) – ¼ cup
Small Brinjals (whole slit in 4) – 4-5 nos
Tamarind puree – 2 tbsps
Kuzhambu milaga powder/ sambar powder – 1 ½-2 tbsps
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Saunf seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 1-2 sprigs
Small onions(chopped) – 4-5 nos
Garlic(sliced) – 4-5 nos
Thalikare vadagam – 1 tbsp
mustard seeds – ½ tsp
fenugreek seeds/ vendhayam – ½ tsp
To roast and grind:
Red chilies – 4-5 nos
Coriander seeds – 2 tbsps
Cinnamon stick – 1” piece
Saunf – ½ tsp
Jeera – 1 tsp
Pepper – ½ tsp
Channa Dhal – 1 tbsp
Grind together the big onion, tomato, coconut, tamarind puree, turmeric powder, chilli powder(kuzhambu milaga powder) and salt to a paste in a grinder and keep aside.
Dry roast red chillies, channa dhal, coriander seeds, pepper, fenugreek seeds, saunf, jeera and cinnamon together and grind to a powder. Keep aside.
In a medium pan, heat oil and fry the slit brinjals. Shallow fry them in oil till they change color. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.
In the same pan, add the talikare vadam or the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and wait for them to sputter.
When they do, add the ground onion –tomato masala paste. Sauté them on medium heat till oil starts to appear on the sides of the pan.
Add the already sautéed brinjals and check the consistency of the kuzhambu. (You may have to add half a cup of water)
Close and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Remove the lid, add a tablespoon of the roast and ground masala powder, mix it well into the kuzhambu and cover again.
Cook the kuzhambu on slow heat for 5 minutes and turn the heat off.
In another pan, heat a tablespoon of oil, sauté the chopped small onions, garlic and sprig of curry leaf.
Sauté the onions and garlic till they turn slightly brown.
Pour the entire mixture over the kuzhambu and mix it well.
Serve hot with steamed rice.