Ennai Kathirikkai (Eggplant Shallow fried with Home made Spice Powder)

I know most of your mouth waters just by hearing the name Ennai Kathirikkai. “One of the most yummy and sought after dish in South India”.There are umpteen recipes for this delicacy and this one is from Amma’s one and only cook book Lifco’s ‘Samaipathu Eppadi?’ (means How to Cook?).

Amma gave me this book when I came to U.S after my marriage. This is what she said ‘This one has all the basic recipes you might want to cook everyday, they are simple and tasty.’ She knew her pampered daughter will definitely need this book as she hardly stepped into the kitchen to learn the everyday cooking from her Mom. This is the first time I used this book and I am completely happy with the results just as my Mom. Ennai Kathirikkai is traditionally served with Rice and curries. You can also serve it with rotis as well.
How does it taste?
No words to explain how good it tasted. Amma was correct about this book. I am gonna try more recipes from this book. You must make this to experience it yourself. It is super delicious and my mouth literally waters when I am writing this :)

Can’t wait for this recipe? let us go look into it without further delay…

Ingredients
Eggplant/Brinjal – 4 (200 gms approx)
Oil – 4 tbsp
Mustard Seeds/Kadugu – 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds/Jeeragam – Pinch [Optional]
Curry Leaf – 3-5 [Optional]
For Spice Powder/ Podi:
Red Chili/Varamilagai – 3
Channa Dhal/Kadala Paruppu – 1/2 tsp
Whole Urad Dhal/Uluttam Paruppu – 1/2 tsp
Hing/Perungayam – little less than 1/4 tsp
Coriander Seeds/Dhania – 1/2 tsp

Method

Multi-purpose Spice Powder

Dry roast the ingredients mentioned in the ‘For Spice Powder/ Podi’ section. Allow it to cool and grind it to a fine powder in a blender/mixie adding salt. This recipe recommends the use of  solid type of Hing. Since I didn’t have it at home, I have used the L.G hing powder. Dust the hing powder on a plate, add 1 or 2 drop of water and try to put them together. It easily absorbs water and gives you a solid hing effect. This podi/powder can be used with other vegetables like potato, bitter gourd, yam etc., for Poriyal, Varuval preparations.

Shallow Frying

Wash and cut the brinjal/eggplant in to 4 pieces. I have tried to retain its stem.

In a skillet/pan, add 2 tbsp of oil. When it is hot add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add a pinch of cumin seeds and few curry leaves.

When it sizzles add eggplant and saute until it cooks and becomes tender. The entire cooking must be done on a medium low flame. Otherwise, the the outer skin of eggplant will cook too fast and it will be still raw in the center. Add 1 tbsp of oil as you saute.

Just to confirm that the eggplant is cooked properly, pierce a toothpick or the curry leaves stem in the center. If it pierces easily then it is cooked, if it is hard to pierce then cook it for some more time.

When it is 90% tender, add the spice powder/podi, 1 tbsp of oil and mix it well with the eggplants. The powder/podi must coat all the brinjals. Cook for couple of minutes until the brinjal becomes tender and the podi coats well on the eggplants.

You will see the oil leaving the pan then remove from flame and close the pan with a lid. Let it stay for a while so that the masala absorbs well into the eggplants.

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