kathirikai sambar or brinjal sambar, how to make kathirikai sambar


kathirikai sambar or brinjal sambar – since i make sambar & rasam along with the various other dals or vegetable curries, at least once or twice a week…. and so many veggies inclusively or exclusively go in the sambar.

luckily the very much north indian husband also loves to have sambar with rice… so its always welcome whenever i make this south indian popular dish.

apart from the kerala sambar and udipi sambar that i make, this is my go to recipe for making sambar with any veggies, be it aubergines, colocasia, drumsticks, spinach or even mixed veggies.

in this kathirikai sambar recipe, i have use homemade sambar powder. now when using sambar powder, always make your own if you can or buy a good quality sambar powder. my mom always make sambar powder and gives it to me. so i don’t need to make a batch for myself. also i have a kerala shop near my place, which sells a really good sambar powder. i don’t remember the brand, but it is good.

for this brinjal sambar i have used the tiny brinjals with thorns on them. they are also called as gavti brinjal. these country brinjals are green in color with thorns on the stems and are generally used for making bharli vangi (stuffed brinjals). however, any brinjal or aubergine would be good in the sambar.

i have used pressure cooker for cooking the dal and then cooking the brinjals too. however you can also use a pot for cooking the dal and the brinjals. this is a quick recipe of making sambar… and one i often resort too when i have less time.

few more sambar recipes in the blog are vegetable sambar, hotel style tiffin sambarradish sambarred amaranth sambarkala vatana sambarvengaya sambarblack eyed beans pumpkin sambar and arachuvitta sambar recipe.

kathirikai sambar or brinjal sambar

if you are looking for more baingan recipes then do check baingan bharta, aloo baingan, baingan fry, dum ke baingan, baingan pulao and kalimirch baingan recipe.

brinjal sambar recipe details below:

5.0 from 3 reviews
brinjal sambar recipe
brinjal sambar - delicious south indian sambar made with small brinjals
CUISINE: south indian
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
for the sambar:
  • 200 gms brinjals/baingan/aubergines
  • 1 small onion, quartered or sliced
  • 1 medium sized tomato, quartered
  • 1 cup tuvar dal/pigeon pea lentils
  • 1 tbsp seedless tamarind + ½ cup water
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • ½ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • 2.5 to 3 tsp sambar powder
  • 2 or 2.5 cups water
  • salt as required
for tempering:
  • 12-15 curry leaves/kadi patta
  • 3-4 dry red chilies
  • ¾ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ¾ tsp urad dal/spilt & skinned black gram
  • a pinch of asafoetida or ¼ tsp asafoetida powder
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil or coconut oil or vegetable oil
preparing the sambar:
  1. soak the tamarind in ½ cup water for 20-25 minutes.
  2. squeeze and extract the pulp from the tamarind.
  3. keep the tamarind pulp aside.
  4. boil the tuvar dal with onions and a pinch of asafoetida powder with 2.5 to 3 cups water in a pressure cooker, till soft and completely cooked.
  5. quarter or chop the brinjals.
  6. soak them in salted water for 15-20 minutes.
  7. once the pressure settles down, open the cooker lid and mash the dal with a wooden spoon.
  8. now add 2 or 2.5 cups water, chopped brinjals, quartered tomatoes, salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder to the dal.
  9. stir and pressure cook again for 1 whistle.
  10. let the pressure settle down. the brinjals would be cooked by now.
  11. now add the sambar powder, tamarind pulp and simmer the sambar till the rawness of the tamarind goes away and the whole mixture has well blended flavors and taste.
preparing the tempering:
  1. in a small pan, heat oil.
  2. add the mustard seed and urad dal.
  3. splutter the mustard seeds and brown the urad dal.
  4. add red chilies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
  5. fry for some seconds.
  6. stir and immediately pour the tempering mixture on the sambar.
  7. cover with a lid, so that the flavors get absorbed.
  8. open after 4-5 minutes.
  9. garnishing with coriander leaves is optional.
  10. serve the brinjal sambar hot with steamed rice.

{ 15 Responses }

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  1. jmk says

    This is a very versatile recipe. I used a bunch of vegetables (potato, squash, tomato, green bean) instead of brinjal. I made it without pressure cooker (cooking vegetables in a separate pot, then combining). It still turned out great. I like that the only oil is in the tempering at the end.
    One question about the tamarind. How brown/sour is sambar supposed to be? I added 1 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate (not the pulp) and it turned out browner than your photo above. I actually liked the flavor more before I added it.

    • says

      thank you. sambar is one such recipe where various veggies can be used or even can be made with just one veggies. the browness varies with color of the tamarind paste/concentrate and the color of sambar powder. usually it is more yellowish than brownish. i think the tamarind got too much. concentrate is more thicker than the pulp made with dried tamarind. i would suggest to add first 1/4 tsp. check the sourness and add more 1/4 tsp if you feel its less. the sourness of sambar is not pronounced or hitting the palate, but yes you do feel the sourness when you taste sambar which balances with the additional flavors in the sambar.

  2. kaavya says

    Thanks for posting this recipe dassana. I tried sambar for first time and it really came out well. All your recipes are really superb . A big motivation for begginer like me in cooking 😉

  3. says

    i love the flavour of kathirikai in sambar. my mom uses the small baby brinjal and adds it just by slicing into it and not chopping. i am too lazy to go hunting for that so use whatever variety i can get

  4. says

    Hi Dassana,
    I am a new blogger. I came across ur blog when I was searching Garlic bread… Nice Blog to look around…
    Nice recipe too….We make it with moong dhal…

    • says

      its very easy to make sambar powder. i know the method, but right now i don’t have the proportions of the spices, since i have to make the powder first. i won’t give you some rough or approx measurements as there should be a balance in the overall power. before i post the sambar powder recipe, you can google and you will get sambar powder recipes online.