Kathirikai Sambar Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Kathirikai sambar recipe or brinjal recipe, a simple Tamil Nadu sambar recipe with kathirikai (also known as brinjal in India) or eggplant. Goes great with steamed rice and any stir-fried vegetable.
Recipe type: Sambar
Cuisine: South Indian
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup toor dal or pigeon peas
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 lemon-sized ball of tamarind
  • 3-4 baby kathirikai or brinjal
  • Salt to taste
For tempering:
  • 3 tbsp oil (I use and recommend coconut oil)
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ cup chopped shallots (ulli, chinna vengayam, sambar onions)
  • A few curry leaves
  • 2 heaping tsp sambar powder
  • A fat pinch of asafoetida (hing, perungaayam)
  1. Soak the toor dal for at least 2 hours. This step is optional but I find that it really helps to get smooth and mushy cooked toor dal on pressure cooking
  2. Place the soaked dal in a vessel with enough water to cover it by an inch or so
  3. Add turmeric powder to the dal and place the vessel inside your pressure cooker with water in the base. I find that this helps the dal not overflow as it pressure cooks
  4. Let the dal cook for 20 mins or 4-5 whistles and turn heat off. Let the steam escape
  5. In the meantime, soak the tamarind in 1 cup warm water
  6. Extract the juice and discard pulp and seeds
  7. Wash and remove the stems from the baby brinjal (kathirikai)
  8. Make large slits in them and place in a large cooking pot along with the tamarind and 2 more cups of water
  9. Bring to boil and simmer until the brinjal is cooked soft
  10. By this time, the pressure cooker should be ready to be opened
  11. Mash the dal with the back of a spoon and add to the tamarind brinjal mixture
  12. Bring to boil adding more water if the sambar seems too thick
  13. Add salt and turn off heat
  14. Heat oil for tempering in a pan
  15. Add the mustard seeds and when they pop, add the chopped shallots and curry leaves
  16. Fry until the shallots turn golden brown
  17. Add hing
  18. Then add 2 heaping teaspoons of sambar powder to the hot oil and turn off heat
  19. Fry the sambar powder in the resulting heat
  20. Add the tempering to the cooked dal brinjal mixture and mix well
  21. Adjust salt as needed
  22. Serve kathirikai sambar hot with rice and any curry
Recipe by Edible Garden at https://www.cookingandme.com/2016/04/30/kathirikai-sambar-kathirikai-sambar-recipe/