Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Kathirikkai sadham (Curried brinjal/aubergine/eggplant rice)

Here's one dish I never thought I'd be writing about in my blog, much less make it at home! Mainly because my taste-buds REALLY dislike aubergines from the bottom of their little souls. There's no way to disguise it, not even buried under tonnes of cheese - I always know when that slug-like vegetable has found its way into my food!

However, no more mentions of slugs in the same breath as aubergines, since this is a recipe that became reality and was, apparently, edible.

I made curried aubergine rice for my husband, to rave reviews. He said he'd never had anything like it ever. This I believe, because I was really going to make something else (Saffron Hut's
Dahiwale Baingan) with the aubergines, not combine it with rice! But I found out a little too late that my sour cream had perished of old age (when it's a fuzzy green on top, you can pretty much be sure of its demise) and I didnt want to use yogurt. So there went that idea.

Then, since there was some leftover rice from yesterday, I decided to marry the aubergine to the rice. Not such an unlikely pairing, really, going by the end result.

I want to say here that Saffron Hut's instructions worked out really well. She said to use the long thin kind of aubergines. So I did. She said to marinate the cut aubergines in a ginger-garlic-salt mix. So I did. She said to place it thereafter in a colander and put a bowl of water on top to squeeze out the bitter juices. So I did. And my goodness, did that ever work! It was pretty surprising to see just how much liquid got squeezed out. The aubergines also picked up the flavour of the marinade, according to feedback from my husband.

I pretty much followed the original recipe until the aubergines were cooked. Then I sauteed cumin seeds, coriander powder, mustard seeds and a bay leaf in a little oil and cooked two thinly sliced onions to a nice golden brown. (I would have added a few minced green chillies had I been making this for anyone but Pete - but he isnt fond of chillies really... something to do with HIS tastebuds, apparently!) Mixed in the rice and last of all, added the cooked aubergines. Served with a nice chilled tomato raita, this was quite a hit with Pete.

And because my taste buds rebel at the idea of eating aubergines, no matter how delectably cooked, I had toast and marmalade for dinner.

Recipe for:
Kathirikkai sadham (curried brinjal/aubergine/eggplant rice)


4 cups rice, cooked
2 cups sliced Japanese aubergines (cut them in half lengthwise, then slice into 1/2-cm thick half-moons)
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 fresh green chillies, cut into very thin rounds (optional)
1 tsp salt
4 tsp oil
2 medium onions, sliced thin
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
5-6 fresh curry leaves
1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
2 tsp fresh coriander leaves, for garnish


1. Sprinkle salt over the aubergines, then mix with the ginger-garlic paste. Place in a colander, and put something heavy on top (a large bowl of water is what I used), so that the bitter juices drain away.

2. In a pan, heat 2 tsp oil and pop the mustard seeds and green chillies if using. Add in the sliced aubergines and stir well.

3. Cook on medium high, stirring occasionally, until the aubergine is cooked and acquiring brownish spots. Ser aside.

4. In a large pan, heat the remaining oil. Add the curry leaves, cumin seeds, coriander powder and garam masala and fry for 30 seconds until the cumin seeds turn a darker shade of brown.

5. Add the sliced onions, mix well and cook on medium high, until they start to turn golden brown. (Add an extra tsp of oil if you wish.)

6. Put in the rice and stir well, keeping it on the heat until it is warmed through. Mix in the cooked aubergines and check for salt.

7. Serve hot with a side of chilled tomato or cucumber raita, pickle and papads.


Anonymous said...

Shammi, this looks yummy!(Wow, poetic :))
I love brinjals with all my heart and your pic is compelling me to make it right away. And girl, how can you NOT like brinjals?*shocked*

Anonymous said...

Come on Shammi, you were brave enough to make the "slug-like" vegetable, now you've got to muster up the courage to eat 'em. You can do it, I know you can!!

Perhaps you can grind the eggplant into a thogayal?? no wait, the thought of pulverized slugs is now making me a bit squeamish!!!

Your post is your writing style :) :)

I have to add that I love eggplant of all shapes, sizes and colors.

Anonymous said...

Even I love eggplant in all forms.Before my marriage I hated this vegetable,but now..its my favorite..thanks to my hubby.
This surely goes to my 'must try ' the list is growing longer day by day...

Priya said...

hi pretty lady, ur kathrika saadham looks yummy. I always wanted to make brinjal rice and ur recipe is different from the usual ones. So today iam gonna make this for lunch :) but with the round indian brinjals. Thanx for the recipe.

Kay said...

You don't like Brinjal!!! :) Shammi, why does it feel like I'm hearing myself-as-a-kid ?

Well, I hated brinjals... any type.. brinjal sambar, brinjal poriyal.. I used to think 'yuck!'. I just couldn't bear to touch that mushy thing with my hands.

But then, after I tried some Kathrikai Bajji (not really bajji, it's actually 'bainga ki bartha of south') and then slowly started trying poriyal, etc, I started loving it. Still cant eat the brinjals in sambar though.. but otherwise there are so many yummy brinjal dishes! Have you tried 'Baingan ki bharta'? Yummm! My love for brinjals was so famous that I was called 'Kathrikai' in school(my short, plump stature helped in finalising the name though ;)

Anonymous said...

Atlast!!!!! I found some one just like me...someone who hates eggplant for the same reason I do...!!!
I am Priya..been to ur blog very regularly in the last few months...havent had to courage to start mine yet...I am still a student and dont cook on a daily basis...but I just love cooking and wait for my turn to cook in the room..!!
My frnds try in vain to make me eat eggplant...'vangi baath' is one recent recipe they tried on me...I think its a sllight variation of ur recipe. The aroma was so good that I had the rice after carefully inspecting that they were no hidden pieces of 'The Slug' he he he..!!
Happy Cooking :-)

Ashwini said...

Aww you poor thing. Cooking up a delectable dish and then sticking to toast. Cmon you can do it...!

Kitchenmate said...

you cooked up such a delicious dish and what if you dont taste, Come on Shammi, be a sport. Taste and let us know :)

Luv2cook said...

Hmm..reminds me of vangi bath a little.. :) but I love the name "Kathrikai". This blogging is not only teaching me new dishes but also names in different languages. :).

Menu Today said...

Ilike Brinjal in any form. Yours seems to be different method,i will try it.

FH said...

Nice looking recipe from a gal who doesnot like eggplants! Love the picture and will try today.I seem to be blogging a lot these days about eggplants.Ahh! Summer!!
We lived in England until 1994,my daughter was born in Ashford.Nice to visit your blog and see your photo!

Anonymous said...

Excellent instructions and amazing dish ! Thank you thank you thank you ... I made it to the delight of a few friends who did not believe that eggplants would go well with rice. By the way, the eggplants by themselves taste very good as well.

I hope to try some of your other recipes as well.

The site is so beautiful and the photos are "tasty enough to eat" :))

T Senthil Durai said...


Romba romba super....I would like to that this wonderful Brinjal which reduces fat ( when we take with Biriyani )

See my Blogs too


Senthil Durai