Tamil: கத்திரிக்காய் பொறிச்ச குழம்பு (katharikkai poricha kuzhambu)
English: fried eggplant curry
For years I have eaten கத்திரிக்காய் பொறிச்ச குழம்பு as if it was some mystery – it tasted that good.
When I eventually bothered to learn it – I was surprised at how easy is is to make. I am quickly learning that Tamil cooking is not very complicated. There are only a few spices that need to be combined to make the most delicious spreads. The key with this dish is to deep fry the கத்திரிக்காய். The few times I have skimped on the deep frying – i soon regretted it!
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
- 3 eggplants cut into cubes (see photo for cubes less than 1 inch in lenght and breath). Use long eggplants if possible – they are more tasty!
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 green chillies, slit and cut into pieces
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 8 curry leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp of paprika powder
- 1/3 tsp sugar (optional in 12)
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste – this is a key ingredient)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated coconut milk from the homeland (cows or soy milk is an option)
- 1/2 cup oil (this does seem like a lot – but you need it for deep frying)
- 2 tsp tamarind paste
- 1 medium tomato chopped roughly (you will be adding it to a grinder)
- a little bit of sugar (this is a controversial ingredient – at times when I have made this – the eggplant has turned out quite bitter – not sure why. To save the dish – we add sugar at the end – but this is probs a very contro thing to do. I remember in 2004 asking அம்மாs in the homeland if they did this and they looked at me like I was mad. The other thing I have done is add mango chutney to the curry in place of sugar.)
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the eggplant and leave for 30 min. The salt will extract the water.
- Squeeze the eggplant with your hands to drain the water out.
- Add most of the oil to a frying pan.
- When the oil is hot – deep fry the eggplant till the skin is crispy and the insides a deep golden colour. See video:
- Remove eggplant and drain the oil by patting it with absorbent paper.
- Add the tomatoes, curry powder, salt, tamarind paste, paprika powder and 1 cup water, grind it and set it aside in a pan.
- Fry curry leaves, chilli, onions and garlic with 1 tsp oil.
- When the onion are golden brown, add the fenugreek seeds and fry for a minute. Set aside.
- Bring the pan with the tomatoe mixture to boil.
- Add the fried onion mix and the fried eggplant and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and once it boils, remove stove.
- This is an optional step and not everyone will do this – but my அம்மாwill add 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar this point.
- Add ginger and turn the stove off. Stir in the ginger and cover with a lid for about 5 minutes to allow the ginger to cook.
Note – அம்மா freezes bags of fried eggplant and then defrosts them when she needs to.
Thanks for the support Helen.
Amazing. I’m so excited to finally make this dish. It’s one of my favorites!
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