Kathirikai (Brinjal) Kara Kuzhambu

Brinjal Kara Kuzhambu is a spicy South Indian curry made with fried eggplants in a tamarind-based gravy. This dish is served as a side with rice, roti, or naan. It originates from Tamil Nadu and is known for its unique flavor from a blend of red chilies, black pepper, and tamarind. Brinjal Kara Kuzhambu is healthy and low in calories, high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is easy to make using fresh ingredients and adjusting the spiciness to taste. It is a great way to enjoy the rich flavors of South Indian cuisine and incorporate eggplants into your diet.

Kathirikai (Brinjal) Kara Kuzhambu

Recipe by S Kamala
3.7 from 73 votes
Course: MainCuisine: TamilDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Looking for a flavorful main dish option? Try Brinjal Kara Kuzhambu! This dish is perfect when paired with rice and packed with delicious flavors.


  • Brinjal – Medium size 3 to 4

  • Sambar Onion – 10

  • Garlic flakes – 5 to 6

  • Tamarind – small lemon size

  • Sambar Powder – 1 heaped tablespoon

  • Turmeric Powder – ½ teaspoon

  • To roast and grind:
  • Red Chillies – 3 to 4

  • Coriander seeds – 1 tablespoon

  • Big Onion – ½

  • Tomato – 1

  • Coconut gratings – 1 tablespoon

  • For seasoning:
  • Gingelly Oil – 2 tablespoon

  • Mustard – ½ teaspoon

  • Bengal Gram Dhal – 1 tablespoon

  • Red Chillies – 2

  • Fenugreek – ½ teaspoon

  • Asafoetida powder – 2 pinches

  • Curry leaves – few

  • Salt – 2 teaspoon or as per taste


  • Begin by soaking tamarind in water. Squeeze out the juice and dilute it with additional water, resulting in 3 cups of tamarind water.
  • Cut the brinjal into medium-sized pieces. Similarly, cut the tomato into medium-sized pieces. As for the large onion, cut it lengthwise. If the sambar onion is too large, you can cut it in half.
  • In a kadai, heat one teaspoon of oil and add coriander seeds and red chillies. Fry them until the coriander seeds slightly change color. Remove the mixture and set it aside.
  • Using the same kadai, add the pieces of large onion and fry until they turn transparent. Then, add the tomato pieces and fry for a few seconds. Incorporate the coconut gratings and fry for two minutes. Once done, remove the mixture and allow it to cool.
  • Once cooled, grind the mixture along with the roasted coriander seeds and red chillies into a fine paste.
  • Now, add the remaining oil to the kadai. When it becomes hot, add mustard seeds. Once they start popping, add Bengal gram dal, broken pieces of red chillies, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, and curry leaves. Fry until the dal turns light brown.
  • Next, add the sambar onions and garlic flakes, and fry them well. Then, add the brinjal pieces and fry for two to three minutes.
  • Add the sambar powder, turmeric powder, and salt, and mix everything well.
  • Pour in the tamarind water and stir once again.
  • Cover with a lid and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the brinjal becomes soft.
  • Finally, add the ground paste along with a cup of water and stir well. Allow it to cook on low heat for three to five minutes.

Recipe Video


  • After grinding the coconut and tomato, you can wash the mixie with a cup of water and add that to the paste and make it semi liquid. If you add this liquid, it will blend with the kuzhambu well.
  • You can also prepare this Kuzhambu with drumstick, green banana, or in combination of brinjal, Drumstick, broad beans.


  1. Sounds delicious Kamala. The pic is making my mouth watery!

  2. Thank you Priya for visiting my site and your comments.

  3. Hi Kamala, Thanxs for this brinjal recipe, I tried it and it turned out awesome. All your other recipes too look appealing and Iam going to try them all! Keep up the good work!

  4. Jaya,

    Thank you for your comments. Nice to hear that the recipe turned out good.

  5. u have a wonderful blog here. i am going to try this today. thanks

  6. Thank you for visisting my site. Send your feed back after making this kuzhambu.

  7. SandhyaDeepak

    Tried this today, it was awesomely yummy…:)

  8. Hi Sandhya Deepak,

    Thank you for visiting my site and nice to know that the recipe turned our good.

  9. Hello Kamala,
    We Tried your recipe and it was a big hit in my family. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  10. Hi Rekha,

    Thank you for visiting my site and trying my recipes. Glad to note that you liked this kuzhambu.

  11. This kuzhambu came out very good and everyone liked it at home. Thanks a lot.

  12. Thank you.

  13. thank you for the wonderful recipe,it turned out be great..

  14. Thank you for visiting and nice to hear that it turned out great.

  15. Hi Kamala,

    Am definitely going to try this recipe… do let me know how many people can be served with the quantity of ingredients given by you..



  16. Hi Hema,

    Thank you for visiting my site. For the above quantity, 5 to 6 people can be served. If you prepare other items like rasam, kootu etc along with this, then you can serve more people.

  17. Hi kamala,
    Thanks for sharing this recipe. It came out very well. I used okra instead of brinjal. It tastes delicious. I've a doubt, don't you use garlic flakes to this? I dint used it, but still having a doubt whether to use or not.. Pls reply when you find time.

  18. Hi Shereen,

    Thank you visiting my site and nice to hear that this kuzhambu came out well. Mostly, in Brahmin cooking garlic is not used. If you like, you can add few flakes of garlic too.

  19. HI Kamala,
    I tried brinjal kaara kuzhambu & it came out very well.. thanks for the wonderful receipe

  20. Hi Prasana,

    Thank you for visiting my blog. Nice to hear that you tried this recipe and came out well.

  21. Hi kamala,

    I am going to try this recipe today itself. have been looking for a kathrika recipe for a long time. just today i found yours. thank you.

  22. Hi Saleema,

    Please try and let me know your feed back.

  23. Excellent recipe.
    We all relished it!

  24. Thank you Pratiksha.

  25. sruthiradhakrishnan

    Hi, I live alone and this is one of the easiest recipes I've come across. Thanks a lot. I'll definitely try this over the weekend.

  26. looks yummy!! will definitely try soon, maybe i can add a few pods of garlic for that extra kick?? ;P

  27. I tried this recipe and it turned out to be awesome…we just loved it:-))

  28. Hi Archana,

    Nice to hear that you tried this recipe and came out well.

  29. Hi Jaishri,

    Please try and let me know your feed back.

  30. Anonymous

    hi kamala
    Its pradeep.Thanks for ur receipe & sure i will try 2day and say my feed back

  31. kamala,u r awesome d same are ur recipes.dis is relishing.i wil b a regular visitor

  32. Thank you Anisha for visiting my blog and your kind comments.

  33. Very Nice Website am in love with veg food now… eaaah yummy…keep this hot with more recipes… have not tried anything but gonna start now… great work..

  34. i tried this recipe today. it came out so well. thanks

  35. suganyabharathivasu

    please add more recipes

  36. i tried this receipe. it came out verywell.

  37. Meenakshi Rajeev

    Kamala maami,
    Tried your brinjal kaarakuzhambu.Turned out very well.Namma paarambaria samayal kurippuhal indraya ilam thalaimurainarkkum use aahira maadhiri avrhal adikkadi refer pannum internet il neengal poettu vaithiruppadhu nalla vishayam.Because for anything and everything today’s youngsters turn to internet for reference.Thankyou and request you to continue your service.

    • Hi Meenakshi Rajeev,

      Thank you for writing. As you rightly said, posting the recipes in the internet, it will reach younger generation who wants to try our Parambarai samaiyal.

  38. Akila Rajesh

    Hello Kamala Madam,
    Am a beginner. trying out all the recipes from your site and it was awesome. everyone at home appreciated. thanks a lot…

  39. Thanks for this recipe..Tried it out today and it was very good. Thanks again.

  40. Hi Kamala,

    Tried out this kuzhambu, Taste was very good, it changes the casual kara kuzhambu i do,
    I have used few of : broad and cluster bean, drumstick and okra… its goes well with keerai .
    Thank you …

  41. Padmanaban

    Hi kamala..

    “”AWESOME”. thats i can say after i tried this menu..!!

    great job..

    thanks ..!! 🙂

  42. I am Latha, originally from Kerala – during my Masters in Madras, I happen to taste some of authentic tamilian food especially Kozhumbu and Koottu Varities. I couldn’t get the recipes until today from your blog. Thank you and I must say it brings back old memories and tastes back to my life.

    Thank You and look forward to try all your recipes!!!

  43. Hai kamala aunty, today i tried this recipie and it camed out well. Thanks for posting this wonderful recipie. Great job.

  44. good and easy to follow recipes

  45. I tired the above recipe and it was very tasty as we expected. Thanks a lot.

    We will try your other recipes too definitely. 🙂

  46. HI Kamala.
    I tried your kootu. It was really nice. Thanks a lot . Hope to follow more of your recipes.

  47. thanks for ur website i hav just tried very tasty i also added asofaetida it makes very tasty

  48. if we do not get sambar onion. can i use only onion.

  49. thanks……. the receipee s very taste full

  50. Nithiya varma

    Hello kamal amma,

    i came to your site when i was searching for pongal kolangal and since i liked your kolams i thought i’d check out the rest of your site and the truth is i am in love with ur website. It is wonderful and it has made me from a no good cook to a supercook (at home). I love ur simple step by step instructions and the lovely pictures of the recipes. I’m a catholic and this is lent season, durning this time me and my mother do not take non- veg, and since we are not familiar with a lot of veg dishes, it was a little difficult to cope, but this year, i tried most of your recipes and now i really prefer to be a vegetarian. This is the first time i have done kara kuzambu and ennai kathrikai and i was very happy it came out very well. I then did the kara kuzumbu with green plantain and okra and it was too good. Everyone in my family loves my cooking now. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes.

  51. hi kamala tried thisreceipe today it tasted awesome.thanks a lot for you for sharing this wonderful receipe:-)

  52. Hi Kamala,
    Went thru ur website. really its good. since we do not use sambar powder in our home,just wanted to know the alternate for that(ingredients of the sambar powder). Is that ok if i use coriander powder alone? Thanks.

    • Hi Jhansy,

      Instead of sambar powder, you can use red chilli powder and coriander powder. Also you can add little pepper and jeera powder to get the sambar powder taste.

  53. Thanks for your recipes mam… its very tasty mam… everyone in my family like this recipe mam

  54. Hi Mam,
    Your recipe’s are tooooo gud,… My husband is taking medicine for allergy so he should not take tamarind .But all kuzhambu needs tamarind..any other alternative for it.
    can I use lemon ….if so when to add it when cooking.
    Awaiting for ur reply.

    • Hi Stella,

      Thank you for your kind words. Kuzhambu is tamarind based dish. Lemon will not suit. You can make Poricha Kuzhambu and Kootu, where tamarind is not required. Check our website for the recipes.

  55. Uma Ramachandran

    Hi Kamala mami,
    I tried your Brinjal Kara Kuzhambu recepie. Was fantastic and we relished it a lot. Hence, am preparing the same twice a month. Goes well for rice as well as for rotis. Thanks a lot for the recepie. I also made the Kuzhambu with drumstick, which was also very tasty.

  56. Pushpalatha Ganesh

    I am a recent visitor to ur site. Trying out most of your dishes and all turning out very well. I am particularly fond of brinjals and happy to note varied dishes using the vegetable. Thanks. Keep up the yummy work.

  57. Hi Kamala,
    Your recipes are very useful especially for learners. Each recipe with picture presentation makes mouth watering and eager to try the recipe. I am going to try this recipe. For this recipe will the taste be good if rice flour is added. Rice flour is usually added to kara kulambu in Tamilnadu side.

    • Hi Kalpana,

      Thank you for your kind words. Adding rice flour to Kara Kuzhambu is only for thickening purpose. If you add rice flour to this kuzhambu, there will not be much difference in taste. But to get more spicy and tangy taste, you can omit rice flour.

  58. hi aunty i’m new to cooking now but i tried this receipe today it was really great the taste was fantastic aunty hope u won’t mind if i call u aunty can u pls teach me how to make spicy veg biryani in a simple way

  59. Anitha Balasubramanian

    Hi kamala….tried this kozambu today. My son really enjoyed the taste and took three servings! Thank you for the lovely post. Going to try the apple halwa later today.
    Best regards
    Anitha B

  60. All at home loved it. What can replace Bengal gram dal?

  61. Thank you Soumya for your kind feed back. You can add Urad dhal instead of Bengal gram or you can omit it also. Adding the dal is to enhance the flavour.

  62. Swapna Sudheer

    Hi Aunty,
    I prepared Brinjal kara kuzhambu for the first time. Yummy. Everyone in my home liked it. I even shared this recipe with my mom and she too prepared it. She also gave a very positive feedback. Thank you so much aunty. Will start preparing tamilnadu dishes by seeing ur blog.

  63. hi mam i tried this recipie but kulambu was not thick..why its like that mam?

    • Hi Kalyani,

      I presume you would have added more water to extract the tamarind juice. The tamaring extract should not be too thin. If you find the kuzhambu is not thick, you can add a teaspoon of rice flour mixed with litter water and allow to boil for few more seconds. Then it will be thick. Or you can also add little coconut paste to make it thick.

  64. Hi,ur recipes are really good.if there is no sambar onion can we use big onion.wat is the diff btw two.pls

    • Hi Anu,

      Thank you for your kind words. If you do not have sambar onion, you can use big onion also. The difference is, sambar onion is having unique flavour which you may miss when big onion is used.

  65. Hi Ms. Kamala,

    I tried your brinjal kuzhambu yesterday. Amazing. I am going to try more receipes from your website. The entire family loved it. Thanks again and looking forward to more exciting options. Can you also post some suggestions for side dishes for every kuzhambu variety?


  66. nambikkai

    beautiful recipes

  67. Pingback: Cucumber Mor Kootu - Kamala's Corner

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