Kathrikkai Pulikuzhambu (Eggplant in Spicy Tamarind Sauce)

Puzhikuzhambu is a common and much liked dish in my family, eaten traditionally with Uppu Paruppu (seasoned dal) and Vathal and Vadakam. The simple taste of dal and the spicy, tangy taste of the puzhikuzhambu make it a combination hard to beat. Puzhikuzhambu can be made with ladies finger(okra), brinjal (eggplant), Pavarkai (bitter gourd or bitter melon), Garlic and onions. It is quick and easy to prepare, and I learned it from my mother.

KPuzhi

Ingredients
1. 2 brinjals (I used the long variety) any kind would do
2. 1 1/2 cup of tamarind pulp
3. 1/2 onion chopped roughly
4. 5 garlic pods
5. 2 Red chillies broken in half and seeds removed
6. 1/2 tomato finely diced
7. 1 tbsp puzhikuzhambu powder (see below) or use readmade vathakuzhambu powder
8. seasoning, cumin,mustard, urad dal, methi seeds – about 2 tsp combined, curry
leaves
9. 1/4 tsp sugar
10. a pinch of asfoetida(perungayam)
11. 1 1/2 tsp oil

Puzhikuzhambu powder
1. 1 1/2 tsp corriander seeds
2. 1 tsp cumin seeds
3. 2 red chillies
4. 1/2 tsp methi seeds
5. 1 tsp urad dal
dry roast the above and powder (in a coffee grinder)

Method
1. In a vada chatti (pan) heat the oil and season with urad dal (when this turns slightly brown) add , cumin, methi, mustard and curry leaves.
2. When the mustard starts to pop add the red chillies and onions, fry till the onion starts to brown.
4. Add the garlic pods and saute for about a minute.
5. Add the brinjals and saute for a few minutes.
7. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute till they are soft.
8. Add the puzhikuzhambu powder and salt and mix well.
9. Now add the tamarind pulp
10. Let it boil add the sugar and when it reaches the consistency that you desire switch off the heat. I like it a little bit thick so I leave it till it thickens.
Also before you switch of the heat test to see if there is enough salt.

Serve it with Seasoned Dal. Feels like home everytime we have this dish.

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