Hubby had been expressing his desire to have a Tamil Style Meal from a long time. He wanted a Saravana Bhavan type Vegetarian Meal with Kara Kuzhambu, Vatha Kuzhambu and so on. Since, I am unfamiliar with Tamil Cuisine, I decided to search for some recipes to satisfy hubby’s palate. I found many recipes for Kara Kuzhambu and decided to give it a try. The only vegetable I had with me was Brinjal/Eggplant and so I made Brinjal Kara Kuzhambu also known as Kathrikkai Kara Kuzhambu in Tamil.
Remember, how I have said I don’t really like Eggplants and that I often don’t know what to cook with it. Well, I must say I have changed my opinion about Brinjal (Vazhuthananga). I simply love this hot & tangy Brinjal Curry/Kuzhambu. It goes so well with Rice and this is probably the only way I am going to be making curries with Eggplant – well at least for a while until I get bored of it! One thing that I have learned after all these years is that Eggplants & Tomatoes make a good pair. Throw in some garlic and it becomes even more better.
Hubby liked this Kara Kuzhambu a lot specially since it had lots of Chaaru (gravy)! And when he is happy, I am a happy woman!
- Chinese Purple Brinjal/Eggplant – 1 large
- Sliced Onions – 1 medium
- Diced Tomatoes – 2 ripe ones
- Minced Garlic – 4 cloves
- Dry Red Chillies – 2 or 3
- Curry Leaves – a sprig
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Cumin (Jeera) Seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Fenugreek (Uluva) Seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Urad Dal (Uzhunnu Parippu) – 1 tsp
- Asafoetida Powder (Kaayam) – a pinch
- Sambar Powder – 1.5 tbsp
- Red Chilly Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Tamarind Paste – 2 tsp (Alternatively, you can tamarind extract. See Notes.)
- Powdered Jaggery – 1 tsp (optional)
- Rice flour – 2 tsp
- Water – as needed
- Salt – to taste
- Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.
- Reduce heat and add fenugreek seeds, uzhunnu parippu and jeera seeds. Quickly stir fry for a minute.
- Throw in the onions, red chillies and curry leaves. Saute until the onions are translucent.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and garlic. Saute until the tomatoes are mashed and cooked.
- Reduce heat and add sambar powder, red chilly powder and asafoetida. Stir fry for a minute.
- Add the diced brinjal to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of water to the pan along with salt to taste.
- Bring everything to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Add tamarind paste to the pan and mix everything.
- Do a taste test and add 1 tsp of jaggery powder to balance the flavors. (optional)
- Dissolve rice flour in 1/4 cup water and add it to the pan. Simmer for 5-7 minutes so that the gravy thickens.
- You can also use Indian Eggplant or any other variety for this recipe.
- I have also tried this recipe with Canned “Fire roasted Tomatoes & Garlic” and it tasted equally good.
- If using tamarind extract, soak a small lemon sized piece of it in little water. Using your hands, squeeze the juice from the extract and use the tamarind water. Discard the solids.