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Ennai Kathikkai- Baby Eggplant/Brinjal Masala

Ennai Kathikkai- Baby Eggplant/Brinjal Masala

Ennai Kathikkai- Baby Eggplant/Brinjal Masala

Ennai Kathikkai is a traditional South Indian curry made with baby eggplant/ aubergines/ brinjal. A quintessential dish from the Tamilian cuisine, this curry is absolute comfort homey food, best served with steamed rice. Tamil cuisine is famous for its lip-smacking kulambu/ gravies and you will be hooked to this curry. Ennai Kathirkkai means eggplant in oil. There are two reasons why it is called so, first, the baby eggplant/brinjal is sauteed or fried in oil, and secondly, the gravy of roasted masala is slow-cooked and simmered till oil separates. This may sound complicated, but it is an easy recipe. It is the slow simmering of the roasted gravy along with the fried eggplants that does all the magic!

Ennai Kathikkai is a tangy and spicy gravy. It is somewhat similar to the Kerala eggplant theeyal with onions, coconut, and tamarind. It is the right balance with coconut, turmeric, chilies, earthy spices, onion paste, and tamarind- the right balance of sauce with the heat of chilies, tangy, sweet, and extremely flavorful. Eggplants attains a caramelized flavor when fried along with caramelized onion
and jaggery adds a touch of sweetness to the curry.

There are variations to this curry. Earlier I have tried the dry stuffed
version. You can also stuff the ground masala paste in the brinjals. I
like to keep things simple, so instead of stuffing, I cooked the masala
paste and added the fried brinjals. If you want you can stuff the masala
paste in the brinjals.

One tip to make this curry tastier is adding 1/4
cup of thick coconut milk. You can use your favorite canned coconut
milk, but I bet it tastes extremely delicious with freshly squeezed
coconut milk. Coconut milk is optional but makes the gravy luxurious and
rich. Another tip is to add half teaspoon of ghee before serving. The
beautiful aroma of melted ghee makes this dish irresistibly appetizing.

The gravy is very versatile and you can use other vegetables like fried
baby potatoes, yam, drumstick, or okra. It has so much flavor in it and
tastes better the next day. Serve it with rice, chapathi, idli, or with
pulao. Surprisingly it tastes delicious with biryani too. So give this
recipe a try, you will surely love it.

Ennai Kathikkai- Baby Eggplant/Brinjal Masala

Cooking time- 30 minutes
Recipe type- Side dish
Cuisine- South Indian

Recipe source- Vahchef inYoutube
Baby eggplants- 8-10
Onion -1 large
Tomatoes- 3 medium
Ginger garlic paste-  2 tsp
Grated coconut- 3/4 cup
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Chilly powder-1 1/3 tsp
Fenugreek powder- a pinch
Coriander Powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Tamarind- 1 small ball (gooseberry size)
Jaggery powdered- 1 tsp
Urad dal- 1 tsp
Dry red chilly- 2
Gingerly oil- 1 tbs
Oil for frying egg plants

To make the masala- Heat 2 tbs of oil (any regular oil) and add roughly chopped onions and saute till it changes color. Next, add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw flavor disappears. Add coconut and saute till the coconut changes to a golden brown. Add chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and finally the tomatoes. Saute till tomatoes become soft. Allow to cool and grind to a fine paste.

See Also

Soak tamarind in half a cup of water and keep aside.

Wash and dry the baby eggplants. Make 2 slits all the way to the top of the eggplant, but make sure it remains intact and fry in oil for about 4-5 minutes in medium heat. Drain and keep aside.

In a heavy bottom pan heat gingerly oil and add mustard seeds and urad dal. When the mustard seeds crackle add dry red chilly and curry leaves. Pour the onion tomato paste and cook for 8-10 minutes in medium flame or till oil separates. Add thick tamarind pulp, a pinch of fenugreek powder, jaggery, and salt and simmer for one more minute ( add more water to adjust consistency). Finally, add fried eggplants and simmer for another 10 minutes more minutes. Serve with rice.

You might also like,
Sri Lankan Eggplant pickle
Spicy Stuffed Eggplant
Eggplant Fry
Eggplant Yogurt Curry
Vellarikka Manga Curry/ Cucumber Mango Curry
Prawns Ghee Roast

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

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