Kathirikkai Pulikuzhambu/ Eggplant or brinjal in a tamarind sauce

Thursday, August 11, 2011
This is a curry made with eggplant/brinjal simmered in a tamarind based sauce and often part of lunches especially in South Indian households. Amma makes puli kuzhambu atleast once a week with different vegetables like brinjal, drumstick, okra/ladies finger etc. She adds a lot of garlic which gives a nice flavor to the curry. This tastes great especially with cooked rice and some papads or vadagam or omelette to accompany it.

Eggplant/Brinjal (the smaller variety) - 8 to 10
Tamarind extract - from a lemon sized ball of tamarind
Onion - 1/2 medium sized
Garlic - 10 cloves or as per taste (optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Chilli powder or all-purpose curry powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

For tempering
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Urad dal - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - few


  1. Soak the tamraind in warm water for about 15 to 20 minutes. Squeeze out the pulp to get tamarind extract.

  2. Chop the onions. Also slice the brinjal/eggplant lengthwise.

  3. In a pressure cooker or a kadai, do the tempering with oil, mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. once they start spluttering, add the onions and saute till they turn translucent for about a minute.

  4. Add the peeled garlic and saute for a minute.

  5. Add the sliced brinjal/eggplant, salt, turmeric powder and the chilli powder/all-purpose curry powder and stir well.

  6. Finally add the tamarind extract and about half cup of water.

  7. Pressure cook for about 3 whistles. If using a kadai, cover and cook for about 15 minutes until the brinjal and the garlic becomes tender.

  8. Allow the sauce to simmer until you get the required consistency.

Serve with rice and papads.

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