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…

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


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.

You might like this:
Ongoing Events:

Do you know how to make a healthy fast food meal with in 30 minutes? Then hurry and send in your entries before 11.59 pm 5th Feb 2010. For more details click here.

You are awesome!!! Thanks a bunch for leaving your valuable comment. It certainly makes me happy and helps me to learn and improve.


  1. Cool Lassi(e) says:

    I guess its the week of “ennai Kathirikaai” in everyone’s home cause I posted my version yesterday and Collaborative curry the day before and now you. Very yummy and nice shots.

  2. AshKuku says:

    WOW!!!! What splendid pictures??????!!!!!! Totally perplexed…… I bet the prep must be awesome too… Haan!!! loved the pic of your favorite guide to all your culinary skills…. Sure worth all the trouble…. Very pricey possession indeed….. The most interesting part is to pass it on further to gen next….


  3. Priya says:

    Ennai kathirikkai looks fantastic RV..this is quite a new version for me, we never slice the brinjals for making out yennai kathirikkai, will try out soon..hey loved ur cookbook..Thanks for ur encouraging words dear, u r a darling..

  4. Sailaja Damodaran says:

    My grama makes this but 2 more ingredients added by her are moongh & thur dhal….She stuffs it & fries.Urs looks yummy

  5. Sakshi says:

    I used to gorge on this stuff while I was studying in Chennai. It tastes so delicious that I can’t belive the preparation is so so simple. When you eat it you think it’s prepared over hours :). Will give it a try.

    Btw the first pic is rocking. The blue shade with the whiteness of the bowl is awesome and needless to say the colours of the brinjal in it is like the icing on the cake….

  6. PJ says:

    wow, this is such a unique dish, very new to me! I love such authentic recipes passed down from generations! My grandma gave me a similar Marathi recipe book when I got married and I still use it todate and has been the one cookbook I turn to most often. Love your clicks.

  7. www.dhaleb.com says:

    This post is making me hungry! I love eggplant but I rarely cook it because I don’t have enough recipes on hand. This looks absolutely YUMMY! Hopefully I’ll be able to find all these wonderful spices around town. But in the event that I can’t, what are the chances of you shipping a batch of this yummy eggplant dish to NY? 😉

  8. Hamaree Rasoi says:

    They say a picture says a thousand words. Your egg plant picture looks so inviting that i can well imagine how much tasty it will be. I came to you about your blog through one of your on going event. I sent you my entry. I must say You have a rocking blog !!! Will keep coming here for more.
    Do drop in my blog also

  9. Prathibha says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog..
    wow that brinjal fry looks amazing dear..even we make this just that we dont add hing to it..looks really yummy..

  10. deepti says:

    Awesome Presentation & a spicy recipe to try out …Thanks 4 sharing..
    Adding u 2 my blogroll..wll b visiting 2 c ur furture additions

  11. RV says:

    Thank you all for your lovely comments…. :)

    @Deepti, Thanks for the add :)

    @Nithu, Thanks for the award sweetie…

    @PJ, yes these books are indeed a treasure

    @Dhale, You can find these ingredients in any Indian store… and yes I can ship it to you or we can meet up in person too.. I visit NY very often…

    @Sakshi, Thanks for your feedback sweetie…

    @? Yes, eggplants are addictive.. I simply love eggplants…

    @Gulmohar, @Cool Lassie, yeah true.. it is raining eggplants in blogosphere…

  12. Kalai says:

    Wonderful recipe with absolutely stunning clicks! ‘Samaipathu epadi’- should have been ur kitchen companion in many ways:)

  13. Vegan Epicurean says:

    Wow that looks amazing. You are really making me wish I had some eggplant in the frig. I can’t wait to try this.


  14. AdukalaVishesham says:

    wow… nice click… first time here… you have a beautiful space.. and we really enjoyed this brinjal recipe… we will try to send a recipe for your healthy fast food event by tomm… following you…

  15. Latha says:

    Kathrikai looks divine. My favorite. Came here through raaga’s blog. You have a very lovely blog. I am listening to your husband’s songs while I type this. Wonderful composition.

  16. Yummy Team says:

    Tempting pictures..Love this recipe..

    Thanks a lot for your kind and encouarging words in our space, RV…You have lots of interesting recipes here, really loved your step-bystep procedure with pictures….I would surely try some of your recipes soon..Shall let you know how they turned out..

  17. sayantani says:

    we Bengalis eat a different version of this without any spice (salt and turmeric), which I even make very often. they soak oil like sponges. but I love this spiced up brinjal fries. lovely to have with warm rice and dal. you tempted me Radhika. bookmarked.

  18. vaishak says:

    Hi Maam,
    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.
    There are many recipes of brinjal, I saw in web, but I liked only a few recipes.
    Most of them had onion and garlic and all that. Your recipe didnt have that. And I liked it!

    Also, in our home we used to make kathirikkai in this fashion. We make fresh sambar powder at home, so we dont powder the ingredients like you did.


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