KATHRIKA KARA KUZHAMBU
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!
THIS RECIPE SERVES 6
- Kathrikka (small) – 8 – 10
- Gingely – 2tbsps
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Methi – 1/2 tsp
- Hing – a small pinch
- Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
- Salt – 1.5 tsps
To be roasted and ground to a paste
- Oil – 2 tsps
- Jeera/Cumin seeds – 1.5 tsps
- Peppercorns – 1.5 tsps
- Onion – 1 medium or 1 cup roughly chopped
- Tomatoes – 2 roughly chopped
- Coconut – 1/4 cup
- Tamarind – 1 gooseberry sized ball
- Sambar powder – 2 tbsp
Step 1 – Making the paste
- 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
- Remove the stem. Slit the brinjal crosswise while keeping the base intact.
- 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.
- Add the ground paste, some water and mix well. Add salt, check for consistency and add more water if needed.
- Bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Serve hot with rice.
- 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.
- I’ve use gingely/sesame seed oil here but you could use any neutral tasting oil of choice.
- If you add the paste before the brinjal is almost cooked, you could even give it a whistle in the pressure cooker.