Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

Yennai Kathirikkai Araithu Vitta Kuzhambu (Baby Eggplants simmered in coconut tamarind gravy)

This post was lying in my drafts for such a long time…I am guessing four months….I thought it was really time I pulled it out to see the light of day. In my ever growing love for eggplants, this experiment was born in my kitchen, after eating something similar at a south indian restaurant nearby…The delicate flavour of the poppy seeds linger long enough and combined with the flavours of the spices, shallots and coconut milk…its a burst of earthy flavours in your mouth….


10 Baby Eggplants. Tender Brinjals.

1 Medium Onion Chopped or 10 shallots.

2 1/2 – 3 cups Tamarind Water.

3 Tsp Poppy Seeds.

1/3 cup Grated Coconut.

Handful of Raw Cashew.

2 Tbsp Coconut Milk (Optional).

1 1/2 spoons of Red Chilli Powder.

1/2 Spoon of Dhania Powder.

1 Spoon of Sambar Powder.



3 spoons of Gingely Oil. (This departs flavour to the dish so try not to substitute with Canola Oil or Refined Oil)

Mustard, Curry Leaves for Seasoning.

Cilantro to garnish.


  • Grind the coconut, cashew and poppy seeds with a little coconut milk and water to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
  • In a kadai, add the 3-4 spoons of Idhayam Gingely Oil and allow to heat.
  • Add Mustard, curry leaves a dash of hing and pop in the chopped onions. Allow to saute well.
  • Slice the brinjals in to four slices leaving the calyx intact. Sprinkle a dash of salt and microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. This is render then half cooked.
  • When the onions are sauteed well, slowly add the brinjals and saute for a couple of minuted.
  • Now pour in the tamarind water.and add  salt, turmeric, sambar powder, dhania powder, red chilli powder and stir in well.
  • Cover and cook on medium heat for at least 20 minutes until the brinjals are soft and well cooked.

  • It is imperative that the brinjals are completely cooked until soft, as any hard portions would spoil the richness and taste.
  • After the 20 minutes, add the ground coconut-poppy seed paste and stir in well.
  • Allow the entire pot to come to a boil and the oil seperates from the gravy.
  • Switch off the stove and garnish with chopped Cilantro.
  • Serve kuzhambu with Urulai Fry or Sepangkizhangu Fry.

21 thoughts on “Yennai Kathirikkai Araithu Vitta Kuzhambu (Baby Eggplants simmered in coconut tamarind gravy)

  1. These things should never lie in a draft. They should be posted pronto so we can all drool at it!

    Like just the Vetha Kuzhambu is not enough, you serve that with sepangkizhangu? That is what I call – Moksham…

  2. Hey I tried to reply to your comment through mail, but guess mail is not active so got a mailer demon… here is what i replied


    I’m so sorry.. couldn’t reply to you then ! Had been too busy with stuffs…

    About your qs,( though I received your next comment where in you tried this recipe), I would suggest Kolhapuri Masala as the next best replacement for Malvani Masala. I had mentioned garam masala as an option as that is something all normally have but it would surely change its taste a bit.

    Do tell me what did you use in it?

    Hope you and your family loved the Kheema.

    I know its a bit late .. still would love to know if you liked it 🙂

  3. Wow! Love this dish and adding cashews must be tasting even more wonderful.. Thanks for visiting my blog!!

  4. I’ve read over and over again about cooking many Indian recipes until “the oil separates from the gravy.” Can’t tell you how decadently delicious that always sounds.

    Hope I can find these tiny eggplants this summer. They look wonderful to cook with. Lovely recipe.

  5. I don’t like vegetables that much, but as I look these photos, awesome! It really gets my attention and wanting to try some. Maybe later, I’ll ask my wife to serve me this menu.

    Looks yummy!

  6. Dear Anu,

    Your recipes have always been an inspiration for me… Some queries:

    1. What size tamarind ball must I take (I have tamarind with seeds) to make the tamarind water?

    2. Can I use dessicated coconut powder instead of fresh coconut?

    3. What cuisine is this? Andhra, Tamil< Kannad, Malayali?

    4. Is this to be cooked covered or open?


  7. Lovely curry.Today I made it though in a hurry,tasted delicious.Before I took your recipe I had checked other websites but your curry’s picture was quiet tempting than the rest.And worth trying.Thanks so much.
    Can cashews be substiuted with toordal or peanuts?

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