Chettinadu Style Yennai Kathrikai Kuzhambu

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We are not chettiyars , but we love their cuisine. I wouldn’t call this an authentic chettinadu preparation , but this is my mom’s recipe. It is her version of Yennai kathrikai kuzhambu. She has changed the original recipe to our liking at home.

Synopsis

Take about 5-6 small sized aubergines / kathrikaai. The variety of aubergine I’ve used is entirely purple in color , it does not have white specks on it. This type of aubergine will not leave out water while cooking, you’ll get a nice thick kuzhambuIMG_20160125_121123.jpg

For Yennai kathrikaai , cut the aubergines like we do for any stuffing. Put 4-5 slits and take it only up to the middle , do not chop the entire vegetable , it should retain its original shape.

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For the kuzhambu , take a small gooseberry sized tamarind and soak it in lukewarm water. Later take the extract from this. Soaking the tamarind in lukewarm water makes it easier to get the extract.

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Now take 4 tomatoes and 3 onions and chop them into jullienes , i.e. , cut them lengthwise.

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This kuzhambu recipe does not require any sambar podi or anything , this requires only two powders : Turmeric-for color  and Red chilli powder – for color and spice.

This kuzhambu tastes best when cooked in sesame oil , but you can  use any cooking oil of your choice. Most of the Tamilnadu based cooking uses only sesame oil. To give this dish chettinadu flavor I have tempered it with Fennel seeds and Fenugreek seeds.

Summary

  • Cuisine:  south indian
  • Course or type: main course
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Aubergines / brinjal 6-7 slit
Tomatoes 4
Onions medium sized  3
Tamarind extract 200 ml
Salt To taste
Sesame oil 6 tbsps
Fennel / saunf / sombu 1 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds / methi/ mendhiyam 1 tbsp
Turmeric ¼ tsp
Red chilli powder  4 tbsps

Steps

  1. Make the above mentioned pre requisites ready , it’ll take about 10-12 minutes to prepare.
  2. Take a kadaai , keep it on medium heat  , add sesame oil to the kadaai and allow it to heat up. This will take about a minute or so.
  3. Now temper it with fennel and fenugreek and allow them to crackle.
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  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and onions and saute them until tomatoes turns soft and mushy and onions should become translucent.
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  5. After the tomatoes turn soft , immerse the slit aubergines into the gravy and add salt.
  6. Give this a nice stir. Do not break the aubergines ,they need to retain their shape. immerse the aubergines into the gravy and close it with a lid. Let it cook this way for about 3 minutes. Do not add water. It has to cook in the gravy itself.
  7. After 3 minutes , remove the lid and add turmeric powder and red chilli powder.IMG_20160125_123217.jpg
  8. Saute this evenly and add the tamarind extract.
  9. Allow it to boil for about 2 minutes and later close it with the lid and let it cook for about 15 minutes in low heat.IMG_20160125_123823.jpg
  10. After 15 minutes remove the lid and you’ll see a thick gravy and the aubergines would have cooked to perfection.IMG_20160125_125854.jpg
  11. Take it off the heat , transfer it to a serving bowl and serve it hot with plain rice and accompany it with a paapad or a vadaam. This can also be served as a side dish to Tamilnadu Style Appams.
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