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Ennai Kathirikai Kulambu | Traditional South Indian Egg Plant Curry

Ennai Kathirikai Kulambu | Traditional South Indian Egg Plant Curry

‘Ennai’- Oil, ‘Kathirikai’- EggPlant (Brinjal), ‘Kulambu’- Wet Curry. This traditional curry is made often in South Indian homes. It is usually spicy and little tart with so much of flavors in it. It adds so much nutrition value to a meal especially when eaten with rice. This gravy is usually thick and made with lot of sesame oil. Though cold processed sesame oil is good for health, ‘Oil is Oil’ any ways and it carries lot of energy with it. The more you eat, the more you must burn to make it useful for your body. In olden days, it was easier, not nowadays unless you are a serious work out person or your job calls you to be physically active. So, I tried this less oil version with all the traditional ingredients and it turned out to be beautiful and delicious without so much oil floating on it.

Serves: 4

Calories per Serving:108; Carb- 11g; Fat- 7g; Fiber- 4g; Protein – 2g

Preparation time:  10M Cooking time: 25 M Total time:  35M

Difficulty: Moderate


7-8 Brinjal (Baby Eggplant)

2 Tsp Sesame Oil

To Roast and Grind:

2 Tomatoes

12 Small Onions (Shallots)

6 Garlic pods

2 Green Chilly

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

1 Sprig Curry Leaves

2 teaspoon Grated Coconut

1 tsp Sesame Oil


1 tsp Chilli Powder

1 tsp Coriander Powder

½ tsp Turmeric Powder

1 tsp Salt

For Tempering:

1.5 tsp Sesame Oil

1 tsp Mustard Seeds

0.5 tsp fenugreek Seeds


  1. Slit brinjal as shown in the picture below i.e., one across and two vertical to it.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add the brinjal, cover and cook for about 5 minutes flipping sides in between.
  3. Remove and keep it aside.
  4. Parallelly, in a separate pan, add 1 tsp oil, add cumin seeds, green chillies, garlic, small onions and fry for 2-3 minutes until it gets nice golden brown.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, coconut, curry leaves and fry for another 3 minutes. Let it cool and grind it to a smooth paste.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add mustard and fenugreek seeds.
  7. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the ground paste, water, and all masalas (chilli, coriander, turmeric powder and salt) and bring it to a boil.
  8. Add the tamarind water (soaked, mashed and filtered) and let it cook for 7 minutes.
  9. Once the desired consistency is reached, check for the seasoning and add the fried brinjal.
  10. Cover with lid and cook for 10 minutes.
  11. Serve over millet rice, rice with a side of any lentil curry like cabbage paruppu kootu for a traditional delightful experience.

Stepwise pictures:


  1. Be careful when adding water/ tamarind water. If you add too much water, your cooking time will increase to get to a thick consistency.
  2. You can also use Vendaikai (Okra/Ladies finger/ Bindi) instead of brinjal. Though not traditional, it will be tasty as well.

Paruppu urundai more kulambu

Cauliflower Butter Beans Gravy

Mothbean Curry


Micronutrient Values:

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