Ennai Kathirikai Kulambu is a wonderful and super flavourful curry made with the goodness of baby brinjals cooked in a tangy tamarind sauce. This is a very popular dish from the south Indian cuisine especially in Tamilnadu. There are various ways of making a brinjal curry.
Generally brinjals are stuffed in a spicy mix made with peanuts, sesame seeds and dry coconut blended together with spices and cooked in tamarind sauce known as Gutti Vankaya koora but the difference in making the Ennai kathirikai kulambu is using of only fresh grated coconut in the gravy along with tamarind juice and tomato-onion spiced gravy. Use of Fresh coconut Coconut is extensively used in most south Indian recipes. There are arrays of sweet and savoury dishes that can be made with coconut meat.
The inner white fleshy part of the seeds is the coconut meat and is either used fresh or dried in cooking especially in confections and desserts. Fresh coconut gives a pleasant taste and balances the spiciness of the dish. Fresh grated coconuts are most often used in seasoning curries.They are added to creamy puddings.
The addition of fresh coconut into curries or gravies gives a good dense and texture to the dish. People from south India also make chutney (coconut chutney) with the coconut meat served with Idli, dosa and vada etc. Ground Coconut with spices is also mixed in sambar (coconut sambar) and other various lunch dishes for extra taste. Another dish Puttu is a culinary delicacy of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in which layers of coconut alternate with layers of powdered rice, all of which fit into a bamboo stalk.
Use of tamarind juice Tamarind juice/ pulp is extensively used in most south Indian gravies and stew based preparations. Tamarind is delicately sweet and sour. The tamarind juice/ pulp is flavoured in various hot and sour soups as well as marinades.
They are also used for making the rasam, sambar and chutneys. It is a common ingredient all over India and South East Asia. This pulp is also used in confectionaries as solidifying agent. When raw, the pulp of tamarind is very sour and turns sweet when ripens.
This pulp is used to make tamarind juice which has a sweetish sour taste. It is a popular food in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and is used as a spice in the local cuisines. It has been known to have curative powers and has long been used by traditional healers to treat a host of illnesses.
The health benefits of tamarind juice are many. It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B, carotenes, antioxidants and minerals like potassium and magnesium. The high vitamin C content acts as an immune booster, helping the body to fight of viral infections like the common cold and fevers.
Use of eggplant Eggplant is very versatile and is cooked mixed with a variety of other foods. Make sure you pick out the right brinjal for making this dish or else the dish would turn out bad. Eggplant or Brinjal, is a very low calorie vegetable and has healthy nutrition profile; good news for weight watchers! Eggplants should be firm and a bit heavy. Choose only those eggplants that have smooth and shiny skin. The colour, no matter which color you purchase, should be very vivid.
An eggplant that is discoloured or has scars and bruises is not a good choice. These blemishes may indicate that the flesh inside the eggplant is damaged or even decaying. Eggplant is very low in calories and fats but rich in soluble fiber content.
It contains good amounts of many essential B-complex groups of vitamins such as vitamin B5, B6, B1,B3. Ennai kathirikkai kuzhambu is a simple and delicious recipe which you can make for your lunch or special occasions. This is an authentic Tamil Nadu kuzhambu recipe and is sometimes a bit overwhelming for lazy people.
This brinjal curry will taste good with rice, chapatti, dosa and more.
How to make Ennai Kathirikai Kulambu – Brinjal curry
Baby Eggplants - 200 gms
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Fresh coconut (grated)- 2 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 2 springs
Fenugreek seeds - ¼ tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Jaggery - 1 piece
Mustard seeds - ¼ tsp
Onion, chopped - 1 no
Oil for frying Red chilli - 4 nos
Salt - to taste
Tamarind juice - ¼ cup
Tomatoes, sliced - 2 nos
Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
Urad dal - ½ tsp
Heat oil in a pan, add onions, salt and sauté for 2 minutes. Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric, tomatoes, grated coconut, chilli powder, coriander powder and mix well. Cover the pan with a lid and allow cooking for 2 minutes then let it cool and put it into the blender and make a paste. Heat oil in a pan and when it becomes hot, add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chilli, urad dal (optional), curry leaves and the onion-tomato-coconut paste. Mix all ingredients well and cover the pan.
Allow to cook for 5-6 minutes. Add tamarind juice, water, jaggery and once it comes to a boil, add fried baby eggplants, salt and mix it well. Cook this on a very slow flame for few minutes and then switch off the flame. Though eggplant is not a nutrient packed powerhouse, it does contain a great amount of Vitamin A and Folate. Eggplants contain fiber, a very important part of any diet as fiber helps maintain bowel regularity. Eggplant also contains a wonderful amount of calcium and even some Vitamin K. Do try this recipe and enjoy cooking. Check out the making of Ennai Kathirikai Kulambu at: