Ennai kathirikai is a very popular dish in Tamilnadu. It is prepared in different ways in different regions but the the basics are the same. Its a melt in your mouth baby brinjals stuffed with the freshly masala and cooked in tangy tamarind gravy. It pairs well with plain rice or also paired with biryani or rotis. There are variety of masalas that are are used for the stuffing – Paste made of dry masalas, stuffing made of onion and garlic, without onion and garlic etc..
For me the first memory of this dish comes from my very early days at my grandmoms and every time I think of Ennai kathirikai I always remember that time. The summer holidays at paati’s house enjoying the variety meals and snacks.
Here is my version of No onion No Garlic Ennai kathirikai.
Ennai Kathirikai kuzhambu|Stuffed Brinjal Gravy
Small Baby brinjals – 8 nos
Tamarind paste – 2 tbs
Salt to taste
Channa dal – 1 tbs
Coriander seeds – 2 tbs
Cumin seeds ( jeera) – 1 tsp
Methi seeds – 1/4 tsp
Pepper corns – 10 to 15 nos
Tomato – 1/2
Red chillis – 5-6 nos
Sesame seeds – 2 tbs
Coconut grated -1 tbs
Salt as needed for the masala
Hing – 1/2 tsp
Sesame oil – 5 tbs
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- First prepare the masala for stuffing. Dry roast all the ingredients to golden brown all at one at a time.
- Once done, grind it to a smooth paste and set it aside.
- Now slit the Brinjals into four. Do not cut fully as we want the brinjal to hold its shape.
- Now in a pan ( I used my Soapstone pot) heat the sesame oil and add the mustard seeds, turmeric powder, hing and curry leaves.
- Once the seeds splatter add in the stuffed brinjals. Not let it fry in the oil till the brinjal cooks completely.
- Next add in the tamarind paste and the rest of the masala paste to the pan.
- Let this all cook together. The oil should float on the top, when it does turn off the heat.