Kathirikkai Thuvayal/Brinjal Chutney

rice with brinjal chutney

Now, here comes a special recipe. Why special?

Because… this one belongs to one my friends’ grandmother. While dosaikal.com talks about some of the traditional recipes I learnt peeping into my grandma’s kitchen, and ofcourse also trying my hands at cooking with mama and grandmama – amma and aachi, I feel delighted to try some of those precious recipes that the elders of your household have left behind for you!

Thank you so much ‘A’ for sharing this, from your treasured cookbook – your grandmother’s recipe.

Kathirikkai is Eggplant to Americans and Brinjal to the British, if I am right.

It is supposed to possess many medicinal properties and is used as a remedy for cancer, hypertension and diabetes. Brinjal is high in water content and potassium. This is an excellent cholesterol regulator. Speaking of heart health, eggplant is also naturally low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.http://www.health-galaxy.com/Benefits-of-brinjal.html

A very simple and easy recipe. ‘A’ also informed me that hot rice and thuvayal is incomplete without a kootu to go with it. Kootu is a stew of vegetables. Mixing the thuvayal/chutney with rice would make it a thick mix and the stewy kootu would aid in bringing in a balanced consistency during the travel of the food towards digestion. Kootu which is cooked with lentil also helps in the protein intake in a meal. Shall try to post ‘kootu’ in the near future.


Kathirikkai Thuvayal/Brinjal Chutney

kathirikkai thuvayal

Ingredients (serves approximately 6)

  • kathirikkai/Brinjals – 3 no.s if medium sized (I used one long brinjal)
  • oil – 3 tblsp
  • kadugu/mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • seeragam/cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • perungayam/asafoetida powder – 1 tsp
  • manjal podi/turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • kariveppilai/curry leaves – a few
  • puli/tamarind – about 25 gms soaked in 1/2 cup warm water


cut brinjal in water




  • oil (preferably gingelly oil) – 1 tsp
  • mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • red chillies – 1 long chilli split to halves

left to cool in a plate

smooth paste in blender

Method of Preparation

  • Clean brinjals and cut to small pieces
  • Always keep cut brinjals in water to avoid discoloration
  • Soak tamarind in warm water and leave aside
  • Heat oil in pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and saute for a while
  • Now add asafoetida powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder (I used 1 long red chilli in place of powder)
  • Mix the cut brinjals and fry them till soft
  • When the brinjals are soft, transfer to a plate or bowl and cool the ingredients
  • After brinjal is cooled, add the tamarind with water and grind in a blender to a smooth paste
  • For the thaalippu/seasoning, take 1 tsp in a pan – add mustard seeds – when they splutter, add red chillies – when they turn a bit darker pour into the thuvayal/chutney
  • Thuvayal/Chutney is ready
  • Serve with hot rice and kootu or just enjoy hot rice and chutney.

kootu – lentil and vegetable


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