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Ennai Kathirikai Kulambu

Written By Angela Steffi on Thursday, January 26, 2017 | 9:29:00 PM

Ennai Kathirikai Kulambu also known as Baingan Masala is a spicy and a tangy recipe made with Small eggplant / Brinjal cooked in a special tangy masala base. First the brinjals are fried in oil and then added to the gravy to enhance the taste. This Ennai kathirikai Kuzhambu is and excellent side dish for Biryani.
In our food court in  HCL we have Rahman Biryani which is very famous for its Brinjal curry, I am a huge fan of their recipe and I always wanted to try one, but unfortunately I couldn't get the perfect recipes for years. Finally I got this recipe from my Mother-in-law , she made this delicious ennai kathirikai for Christmas as a side dish for biryani . From that day on I follow her recipe to make this delicious Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu whenever I make biryani.

Click here to watch Ennai Kathirikai Kulambu in Tamil - Madras Samayal.


Serving Size           : 4  people

Preparation Time  : 10 minutes

Cooking Time        : 25 minutes
Difficulty: Spice Level:
Quantity Ingredients for Ennai Kathirikai Kulambu
For Masala
1 tbsp  Oil
2 Onions
4 Garlic
1 inch Ginger 
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp Coriander Powder
1 tbsp Red Chilli powder
2 tbsp Grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp Fennel Seeds

For Brinjal Curry
4-5 tbsp   Oil
1/8 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
2dry red chilies
few Curry leaves
10 shallots / small Onion

Tamarind ( small lemon size) 

Salt to Taste

Required water
8  Brinjal / Kathirikai 

Cooking Method

Step 1) Masala:
Heat oil in a kadai and add the sliced onions and saute it for a couple of minutes, Once the onions turns translucent add ginger and  garlic and the masalas - turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder. Give it a stir and cook for a minute.

Step 2) Then add chopped tomatoes and cook it for another 2 minutes.Turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely.

Step 3) 
Once the mixture is cooled add grated coconut, cumin seeds ,fennel seeds and grind it to a fine paste.

Step 3) Frying :
Make X cut at the bottom of the brinjal , if the stem of the brinjal is very tender then you can use the stem else discard the stems.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the brinjal on a medium heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Step 4) Now in the same oil add ingredients to temper - Mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chilies and  curry leaves. Next add in finely chopped shallots and saute for a minute.

Step 5) Add the freshly ground masala paste from step 3 , Cover and cook until the oil separates and oozes out (medium heat).

Step 6) Once you see oil separating add tamarind juice , water if required, required salt and bring it to boil. Then add the roasted brinjal and let it cook for another 5 minutes covered.


That's it our Ennai Kathirikai Kulambu is ready to be served as a side dish for Biryani, Not only for biryani it also goes excellent with Rice, chapathi and idli too.Please do try the recipe and share your feedback with us. Happy Cooking !!!


  • Use small size brinjals for best results.
  • If you are using large brinjals then cut them into 4 pieces and add fry it for even cooking
  • Add a small amount of jaggery to balance the taste if needed.
  • The consistency of the recipe can be adjusted according to your preference, more water - kulambu / curry OR less water gravy / masala.


Ennai Kathirikai Kulambu is a very famous recipe of Tamil Nadu served as a side dish for Biryani , It also goes excellent with rice, chapathi and idli. Brinjal is first fried in oil and then added to the gravy which adds more taste to the kulambu.
Rated 4.7/5 based on 36 reviews

    For Masala:
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 4 Garlic
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tbsp Red Chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp Grated coconut
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • For Brinjal Curry:
  • 4-5 tbsp Oil
  • 1/8 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • few Curry leaves
  • 10 shallots / small Onion
  • Tamarind ( small lemon size)
  • Salt to Taste
  • Required water
  • 8 Brinjal / Kathirikai

  • Instructions:
    1. Add oil and saute onions, masala and tomatoes
    2. grind the mixture along with coconut, fennel and cumin seeds
    3. heat oil and fry the brinjal.
    4. now in the same oil temper and then add the masala and cook until oil separates.
    5. Add tamarind extract, water and salt
    6. Add fried brinjal and cook for 5 more minutes.
    7. Our Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu is ready to be enjoyed with Biryani and rice

About Angela Steffi

I am an avid food blogger with a great passion for food. I am always eager to try new recipes and modify recipes and experiment with them. I have two cooking channels on Youtube CLASSIC MASALA HUT (for english recipes) and MADRAS SAMAYAL (for Tamil recipes).


  1. hi Steffi, Made this delicious recipe and husband said this is the only way he will eat baingan. Only problem was that my brinjal did nt get nice n soft. Can u give me some suggestions. I roasted it as u said but it ws not like ur pic. Please help!

    1. Hi Roanne Thank you, we need to use baby brinjals for this recipe ( 1-1.5 inch size brinjals) only those size will cook fast and become soft soon, also use a small pan (not wide pan) for frying the brinjals otherwise we will need to add more oil for frying
      If you are using big brinjals then cut them into 4 pieces and continue frying Roanne.

  2. Thanks Angela i used a wide pan so thers my mistake.

  3. Hey Angela, is it ok if i air fry the brinjals

    1. No Vasu we don't get that nice taste if we air fry them ,as the name suggest "ennai kathirikai we need to fry the brinjals in oil to get nice taste"

  4. Hi Steffi

    tried this today and it came out so well :) It was easy to prepare and tasty. Went well with Chappathi, rice and side dish for curd rice..

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback, I am glad that you liked :)

  5. His steffi,I am first time cook never before your block is a guide to me every day,I am away from my home it is like your blog is like my mom helping me.I am cherished,I have tried chicken kulambu,paneer,peas gravy ennui kathirikai egg curry chapati out of this I have a big fan for ennui kathirikai recipient husband and his colleagues, very big thank you by,,,sukanya

    1. Wow thats so nice Sukanya,Very sorry for the late reply. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely feedback, I am really happy that you liked my recipes.

  6. Mam another great recipe... Gave it to another cancer patient.. Purchased idlies from a hotel... Thought that they can use the chutney and sambar in case they don't like my preparation... But it turned the other way around they didn't touch the chutney sambar... Patient who takes half a idly took two idlies today... Your recipes magic

    1. Wow that's so nice to hear , thank you so much, feeling blessed.
      Convey my love and regards to our elders :)

  7. Hi
    Iam new to cooking i like to know onion,small onion, tomatoes, and brinjal in grams so that it will be easy for me. I do not know what is small size of onion, or medium in grams


  8. Very easy tasty and yummy Steffi akka

  9. Hi Steffi, tried this today. Was really happy with the outcome. Was a good curry for the plain rice.

  10. Hi Steffi,
    Today i tried this recipe of yours, it turned out so delicious,
    I loved it.
    Thank you so much for your recipes,
    Also had tried your moti choor Laddoos they too turned great.
    Thanks again for making cooking hassle free, Looking forward to many more recipes.

  11. Hi Steffi, I tried ennai kathirikai with veg pulao today..Came out sooo welll!!!😋😋😋😋such a yummy sidedish😋😋😋

  12. Hi Steffi, I have red preparation guide for Ennai Kathirikai Puli Kulambu in Tamil here: Can I follow this steps?

  13. Hii , nice recipe notes, I have tried and it came out very well!!!