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Brinjal Curry (Ennai Kathirikka Kulambu)
- Duration: 30 minutes
- Serves: 4 people
Spice Level: Medium
The unique taste of Ennai Kathirikka Kulambu is achieved by a cooking technique that requires the onion-coconut paste to be added to the curry only after the baigan is almost cooked through. The dish is put on high heat for the last few minutes of cooking to ensure that most of the water dries up and makes the baingan spicy and flavourful.
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Baingan (brinjal) is ubiquitous in South Indian curries, so much so that it is sometimes called the 'potato of South India'. Ayurveda considers brinjal a healthy vegetable, and people trying to lose weight are often advised to include it in their diet because of its high fibre and moisture content. Ennai Kathirikka Kulambu is an authentic dish that has long been prepared in Tamil Nadu, and its importance is such that it is sometimes used to replace the more common rice-sambar combination.
- Brinjal (Baingan), vertically slit 2 ways (6, small)
- Onion, finely chopped (1, medium)
- Oil (2 tbsp)
- MTR Dhaniya Coriander Powder (1 tsp)
- MTR Lal Mirch Chilli Powder (1 tsp)
- MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder (½ tsp)
For the tadka
- Methidana (fenugreek seeds) (½ tsp)
- Black mustard seeds (Rai) (1 tsp)
- Cumin seeds (Jeera) (½ tsp)
- Asafoetida (Hing) (a pinch)
- Curry leaves(Kadipatta) (5 to 6)
For the special paste
- Coconut, fresh (4-inch piece)
- Garlic(Lahsun) (4 pods)
- Ginger (Adrak) (1-inch piece)
- Tamarind(Imli), de-seeded (1, lemon-sized ball)
- Onion (1, medium)
For the special paste
- Grind together the coconut, lahsun, adrak, imli and onion till a smooth paste is formed.
For the Ennai Kathirikka Kulambu
- Heat the oil in a kadhai and toss in all the tadka ingredients.
- When the spices start spluttering, add the chopped onion and fry till they turn golden brown.
- Add the slit baingan to this mix along with the MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder, MTR Dhaniya/Coriander Powder, MTR Lal Mirch/Chilli Powder and salt and stir for a minute.
- Cover the kadhai and lower the flame.
- Keep stirring intermittently till the brinjals are half done.
- Next, add in the special ground masala paste and mix well.
- Stir and fry till the paste begins to dry up.
- Pour in half-a-cup of water and keep stirring on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Turn down the flame and cover with a lid. Let the brinjals cook through. (You may check to see if they are done well by piercing the vegetables with a fork.)
- Serve hot with steamed white rice and Kootu, a delicately flavoured mixed-vegetable-and-lentil dish.