Ennai Kathirikai/ Tamilnadu style Brinjal Fry


Ennai Kathirikai / Kathirikka mezhukkuvaratti is one of my favorite recipes since child hood for many reasons. Let me first explain, what these terms mean. 

Kathirikka as it is known in Tamil and Malayalam, is Brinjal. Mezhukkuvaratti means to fry. 

Mezhukkuvaratti is a method of preparation where we add mustard seeds, urad daal in cooking oil and deep fry the vegetables in it. 

When I searched online for brinjal fries, most of the preparation were variants of onions, green chillies, brinjals, masalas added and fried together. Nowhere, could I find that missing touch that made kathirikka fry, my favorite child hood recipe. 

The Unique Way to Prepare Brinjal Fry

So, below I am going to explain, how brinjal fry or kathirikka mezhukkuvaratti was made in my home. 

This brinjal recipe, is quite different from the rest. What makes this recipe unique is the mix of 2 flavors it has. 

• spicy flavor - from the Sambar powder 

• tangy flavor - from Tamarind juice. 

Just imagine, brinjal’s being fried golden brown in a pan. As you put a piece in your mouth, you feel the crunch of the crisp brinjal’s fried in oil, coated with a tangy, spicy flavor mix. It is one heck of a dish you would love to make.

Ennai Kathirikai - Preparation Steps

1. First, cut the Brinjal’s into small pieces.The brinjals used here is a mix of medium sized violet and green brinjal's. 



If you want to choose between a violet brinjal vs green ones, choose violet ones as they taste better. 

If you are making for 2 people 250gms of brinjal is sufficient. For 3 people, you can buy 350 gms of brinjal.

2. Prepare Tamarind Juice.To prepare tamarind juice, take tamarind from the jar and roll it into the size of a gooseberry.Take very little warm water and let the tamarind soak for some-time enough to make a semi solid mix.



In case, tamarind is not available, you can also use 2 tbsp. tamarind paste and mix it in warm water and make them into a thick paste. 

3. Heat oil in a pan.For the preparation of this dish, I have used coconut oil. You can also try it with mustard or sun flower oil.

4. As the oil gets hot, add mustard seeds into it.  Once the seeds splutter, dry red  chilies.


5. Once the mix is tempered, add some karipatha leaves and ½ tbsp.Asafoetida and 1tbsp salt.

6. Now add the diced brinjal into the pan and mix well. Add 1/4 tbsp of turmeric powder and 1 tbsp of salt into the mix. 


7. Gently mix the brinjal. Add 1tbsp. Sambar powder into the mix and stir it gently. Close the lid and let cook it for another 5 min.



In case that, sambar powder is not available you can use ½ tbsp. Red chilli powder and ½ tbsp. Coriander  powder.

8. Pour the Tamarind juice into the mix and let it cook for 5 minutes. Close the lid of the pan. Keep a medium flame as you do.No need to add any more water in to this mix after adding tamarind juice.


9. Once the brinjal’s are cooked, remove the lid and add 2 tbsp. of oil and fry it for 5-10 min.

10. Stir the mix  occasionally, so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add oil if necessary. Once the mix gets a golden brown color, you can turn off the flame. 


11. Your tasty fried ennai kathirikai is ready to be served.This recipe goes well with white rice and Onion sambar, Pulisherry, Thenga Aracha Curry. Do check out how to make those recipes by following the links. 


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