I grew up eating Ennai Kathrikai at home which is a dry curry where the slit brinjals stuffed with Kari podi(dania,red chillies,urad dal and gram dal - roasted and grounded to a coarse powder)are shallow fried in oil. My mother makes it really good. I first tasted Ennai Kathrikai khuzhambu when I went for a holiday trip to masinagudi. I stayed in a resort where the cook prepared this siah. It tasted heavenly with both rice and chapathi. The dish made was spicy and made in Andhra style with peanuts and sesame paste.
I wanted to find this recipe for a long time.I did a lot of research on its ingredients and cooking specifications so as to make changes to fine tune the recipe. I was finally successful in preparing the khuzhambu which was almost same as that of the dish made by the cook in masinagudi. From that day, this khuzhambu is a regular one on our weekend menu at home whenever we get bored of the usual rasam and sambar. It tastes superb with hot rice and any vegetable curry. The curry can be refrigerated and used for the next day and quite interestingly I found that it's taste increases with time, the more the brinjals are soaked in curry, the better they taste. I mean it tastes best after few hours of making it. Though the process is little bit long, it's worth every step.
Preparation time :35 mins
Purple brinjals:6-8 nos ( please pick uniform sized brinjals)
Chopped big onion-1 no
Tamarind- 1 lemon size
Chopped tomato-1 no
Small onions-10 nos
Curry leaves- few bunch
Peanuts - 2 tbsp
Sesame seeds- 2 tsp
Poppy seeds-2 tsp
Red chillies-8 to 10 nos
Dhania seeds-2 tsp
Jeera and fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp each
Grated coconut-2 tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
Hing- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste
Oil - 5 tbsp
Jaggery-1 tsp( optional)
Mustard -1 tsp
Fenugreek -1/2 tsp
Curry leaves -1 string
1. In a tbsp of oil , roast peanuts,dhania,red chillies ,peppercorns,jeera and fenugreek and keep it aside.Now in the same kadai add sesame and poppy seeds and roast them till they splutter and keep them aside with the above roasted ingredients.(below picture shows ingredients before roasting)
2.In the same kadai ,add small onion,garlic and curry leaves and sauté well. Then add tomatoes and mix well till they become soft.
3.Switch off the flame and grind all the roasted ingredients in step 1 and 2 along with 2 tbsp of grated coconut to a fine paste.
4. Slit the brinjals lengthwise such that they don't fall apart completely. Make sure to remove the stalk of brinjals.
5. Take a spoon of the ground paste and carefully fill the slit brinjals.
6.In a non -stick kadai add 2 tbsp of oil and place all the stuffed brinjals in it and close the Kadai with a lid.
7.Reduce the flame as well. After few mins open the lid and carefully turn the brinjals so that they get roasted on the other side as well.
8. Once they are roasted ,completely switch off the flame.
9.In a separate kadai,add 2 tbsp oil and add the tempering ingredients.Then add chopped big onion and sauté well.
10.After the onions are done,add the tamarind extract,turmeric powder,hing and salt.
11.Once the mixture starts boiling ,add the ground peanut mixture Of step 3 and roasted brinjals.Reduce the flame and close the kadai with lid.Cook till oil separates.
12.Add jaggery and turn off the heat.Serve hot with rice or chapathi.