Kathrikai Kara kuzhambu

A spicy and tangy taste of gravy is what you get to enjoy in this South Indian recipe. The title ‘Kathrikai Kara kuzhambu’ means spicy brinjal gravy. This gravy is traditionally served with steamed white rice for a main meal. It also serves as a good accompaniment with piping hot dosas or idlis. For the tangy flavour instead of tamarind, ‘kokum’ can also be used. The secret to relish this dish is it tastes better the next day.



  • Brinjal – Medium size ½ kg
  • Sambar Onions – 12 or 14
  • Big Onion – 1
  • Tomato – 2
  • Coconut gratings – of half a coconut
  • Tamarind – small lemon size
  • Sambar Powder or use curry powder– 1 heaped tablespoon
  • Turmeric Powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Gingely Oil/vegetable oil – 2 tablespoon
  • Mustard – ½ teaspoon
  • Fenugreek – ½ teaspoon
  • Red Chillies – 4 or 5
  • Bengal Gram Dhal – 1 tablespoon
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Salt to taste



  • Soak tamarind and salt in water. Squeeze out the juice, add water and make 5 cups of tamarind water.
  • Cut the brinjal into lengthwise pieces. Cut the tomato into four pieces. Cut the big onion lengthwise.
  • Cut the sambar onion into two.
  • In a kadai put one teaspoon oil and add big onion pieces and fry till it turns transparent.
  • Add tomato pieces and fry till the tomatoes are mashed well. Add grated coconut and sambar/curry powder and fry for two minutes. Remove and cool it. When it is cooled, grind to a fine paste. Keep aside.
  • Put the remaining oil in the kadai. When it is hot add mustard. When it pops up, add Bengal gram/chana dal, red chillies broken into pieces and curry leaves. Fry well.
  • Then add fenugreek and fry till it turns light brown. Add cut sambar onions and fry well. Then add brinjal pieces and fry for two to three minutes.
  • Add tamarind water along with turmeric powder. Bring to boil. Reduce the heat and cook till the brinjal is soft.
  • Now add the ground paste along with a cup of water and stir well. Allow to cook in reduced heat for three to five minutes and remove from flame.
  • Serve hot with steamed white rice.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6

Tips: After grinding the coconut and tomato, wash the mixer with a cup of water and add that to the paste and make it semi liquid. If you add this liquid, it will blend with the kuzhambu well.

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