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.