ennai kathirikai

Ennai Kathirikai (Brinjal curry)

Here’s a delicious side dish recipe for Biriyani – the very famous “Ennai Kathirikai” aka brinjal curry. Biriyani is incomplete without a spicy and thick brinjal gravy that oozes out oil. This is a much requested recipe by my friends and family and this brinjal curry has become an important of all our biriyani meals. Every part of India has a different method of preparing brinjal and this one here is a traditional South Indian recipe that goes very well with both biriyani and roti! Try out this method and share your results with us.


  • Brinjal – ½ kg 
  • Gingelly oil – ½ cup + 2 tablepsoons 
  • Mustard seeds – 2 teaspoons 
  • Cumin seeds – 3 teaspoons 
  • Dried red chillies –  3 large 
  • Curry leaves – 2 sprigs 
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon 
  • Asafoetida (hing) – a generous pinch 
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon 
  • Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon 
  • Tamarind – lemon-sized 
  • Coriander leaves – ½ cup, chopped 
  • Required salt 

To make a masala paste :

  • Coriander seeds – ⅓ cup 
  • Groundnuts (peanuts) – ½ cup 
  • Grated coconut or dry coconut powder – ½ cup 
  • White Sesame seeds – ¼ cup 
  • White poppy seeds – 2 tablespoons 
  • Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) – ¼ teaspoon 


  1. To begin making the ennai kathirikai, dry roast all the ingredients mentioned under ‘masala paste’ until fragrant and golden brown. Let it cool and blend to a fine paste by adding ½ cup of water. Keep this aside. 
  2. Wash and dry the brinjal. Cut off the stems and slice them according to preference. 
  3. In a large kadai or saucepan, heat ½ cup gingelly oil and lightly fry the brinjal over medium heat. Fry for 2-3 minutes until soft and the peel shrinks. The brinjal should be half-cooked so don’t fry it for a long time as it might turn dark quickly. Remove the brinjal from the pan and transfer to a plate. 
  4. In the same oil, temper mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chillies & curry leaves until they splutter. Add ginger garlic paste and the ground masala paste and stir well. Add ½ cup water and let it boil. 
  5. Meanwhile soak a lemon sized tamarind in ¾ cup water for 5-1o minutes and extra the water. 
  6. As the gravy cooks, add turmeric, red chilli powder and required salt. Drop the fried brinjal into the gravy and add in the tamarind water. Close the kadai with a lid and let it cook for 5 minutes. 
  7. Now add in 2 tablespoons of gingelly oil to the gravy and let the brinjal cook completely for 10 minutes and until the gravy oozes out oil and gravy changes color from white to a lovely golden orange curry. 
  8. Turn off the stove and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with biriyani and raita! Enjoy!

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