Wednesday 24 September 2014

Ennai Katharikkai Kuzhambu (எண்ணெய் கத்தரிக்காய் குழம்பு)

Ennai katharikkai kuzhambu (எண்ணெய் கத்தரிக்காய் குழம்பு) is a tamarind based kuzhambu made with tender brinjals/ eggplants and a special masala powder. It tastes just superb! In my grandparents’ home ‘ennai katharikkai kuzhambu’ is a special and much sought after delicacy. It can be eaten with rice and pappad, while it also makes a great combo with curd rice. Remember! You need to choose the right kind of brinjals – tender, small, purple variety. Take care to select only fresh brinjals that are not infested. Now let’s proceed to the recipe. 

Ingredients: (Serves four)
Tamarind – the size of a large gooseberry (காட்டு நெல்லிக்காய்)
Brinjal/Egg plant – tender, small, 10-12 no
Jaggery – half teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Cooking oil – 2 tablespoons
Sesame/ gingelly oil – 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - a few

To be ground into a paste:
Red chillies – 4 no (adjust to taste)
Coriander seeds – 3 tablespoons
Bengal gram dhal – 1½ tablespoon
Asafoetida – 2 pinches

Method: Soak tamarind in warm water for 15-20 minutes. Later squeeze tamarind and extract the juice. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a kadai, add red chillies, coriander seeds and Bengal gram dhal, and fry till the dhal turns golden brown in color. Add asafoetida and switch off the stove. Allow the fried ingredients to cool and later grind them into a fine powder.

Wash and cut off the stalks of brinjals. Slit the brinjals vertically twice, from the stalk portion making a “X cut” leaving the top intact, and immerse in water. Once all the brinjals are cut, drain the water and stuff the masala powder into each brinjal, through the slit (See the picture below). Keep aside.

 Brinjals stuffed with masala powder
Heat the remaining oil in the kadai, add mustard seeds and once they start to sputter, add the stuffed brinjals and required salt. Saute for a minute. Cover and cook on low flame till the brinjals are cooked. 

Mix the remaining masala powder, salt and jaggery to tamarind juice Add tamarind juice mixture to the kadai and bring it to boil. Now reduce the fire and simmer for 3 minutes. Add sesame oil and garnish with curry leaves. Switch off the fire and serve hot with rice and poriyal or applam.

Ennai Katharikkai Kuzhambu (எண்ணெய் கத்தரிக்காய் குழம்பு)
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