Kathrika Kara Kuzhambu’s a knockout dish, that draws it’s flamboyant personality from several flavorful ingredients – Kathrika/Brinjal lends meatiness, cumin seeds and peppercorns impart heat and spice (Kara), tomatoes, onions, and coconut add body (kuzhambu). It’s best had with hot rice, a big dollop of ghee and chutta papadam (fire-roasted papad).

If you’re looking for a dish to brighten up your palate and plate, look no further!



  1. Kathrikka (small) – 8 – 10
  2. Gingely – 2tbsps
  3. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Methi – 1/2 tsp
  5. Hing – a small pinch
  6. Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
  7. Salt – 1.5 tsps

To be roasted and ground to a paste

  1. Oil – 2 tsps
  2. Jeera/Cumin seeds – 1.5 tsps
  3. Peppercorns – 1.5 tsps
  4. Onion – 1 medium or 1 cup roughly chopped
  5. Tomatoes – 2 roughly chopped
  6. Coconut – 1/4 cup
  7. Tamarind – 1 gooseberry sized ball
  8. Sambar powder – 2 tbsp


Step 1 – Making the paste

  1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed kadai. Add the cumin seeds and peppercorns and toast until they release their aroma. Less than a minute. Add the onions and tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes get mushy. Add the coconut, tamarind and sambar. Mix well. Turn off the heat. Let sit for 5 mins. Grind into a smooth paste with water as needed. Keep aside.

Step 2 – Making the kuzhambu

  1. Remove the stem. Slit the brinjal crosswise while keeping the base intact.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil. Splutter the mustard seeds. Add the fenugreek seeds(methi), hing and curry leaves. Once the fenugreek seeds turn red, add the slit the brinjal, a pinch of salt and sautee until the brinjals are almost done.
  3. Add the ground paste, some water and mix well. Add salt, check for consistency and add more water if needed.
  4. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Serve hot with rice.


  1. You could also make this kuzhambu with vendakkai (Ladies finger/ Okra). I didn’t have enough brinjal and so I’ve added some okra in this preparation.
  2. I’ve use gingely/sesame seed oil here but you could use any neutral tasting oil of choice.
  3. If you add the paste before the brinjal is almost cooked, you could even give it a whistle in the pressure cooker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.