brinjal sambar | kathirikai sambar

brinjal sambar recipe with step by step photos – a quick and delicious south indian kathirikai sambar made with small brinjals or baingan. low fat and vegan recipe.

brinjal sambar, kathirikai sambar

i make sambar and rasam very often along with vegetable side dishes. as they are easy to make and healthy also. thus i have shared many sambar and rasam varieties on the blog.

apart from the kerala sambar and udupi 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, i have used 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 makes 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 the 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.

how to make kathirikai sambar

1. soak 1 tablespoon of seedless tamarind in ½ cup water for 20-25 minutes.

soaked seedless tamarind

2. squeeze and extract the pulp from the tamarind. keep the tamarind pulp aside.

tamarind pulp

3. add 1 cup tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentils or arhar dal) with 1 small quartered onion and a pinch of asafoetida powder (hing) with 2.5 to 3 cups water in a pressure cooker.

cooking tuvar dal in a pressure cooker

4. boil till soft and completely cooked.

cooked tuvar dal

5. quarter or chop 200 grams brinjals. soak them in salted water for 15-20 minutes.

kathirikai, brinjals

6. once the pressure settles down, open the cooker lid and mash the dal with a wooden spoon.

cooked tuvar dal
7. now add 2 or 2.5 cups water and chopped brinjals.

added brinjal to pressure cooker

8. also add 1 medium-sized quartered tomato.

added tomato

9. add salt as required, ½ teaspoon red chili powder and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder to the dal.

added spices for brinjal sambar

10. stir and pressure cook again for 1 whistle. let the pressure settle down. the brinjals would be cooked by now.

cooking brinjal

11. now add 2.5 to 3 teaspoons of sambar powder and tamarind pulp.

added sambar powder

12. simmer the sambar till the rawness of the tamarind goes away and the whole mixture has well-blended flavors and taste.

simmer the kathirikai sambar

making tempering for brinjal sambar

13. measure and keep all the ingredients ready for the tempering.

tempering ingredients for kathirikai sambar

14. in a small pan, heat 2 tablespoon oil. add ¾ teaspoon black mustard seeds and ¾ teaspoon urad dal (split and skinned black gram).

tempering the kathirikai sambar

15. splutter the mustard seeds and brown the urad dal.

tempering the kathirikai sambar

16. add  3 to 4 dry red chilies, 12 to 15 curry leaves and 1 pinch of asafoetida.

tempering the kathirikai sambar

17. fry for some seconds.

tempering the kathirikai sambar

18. stir and immediately pour the tempering mixture on the sambar.

pour the tempering mixture on the sambar

19. cover with a lid, so that the flavors get absorbed.

kathirikai sambar, brinjal sambar

20. open after 4-5 minutes.

kathirikai sambar, brinjal sambar

21. garnishing with coriander leaves is optional. serve the brinjal sambar hot with steamed rice.

kathirikai sambar, brinjal sambar
few more sambar varieties

  1. idli sambar
  2. tomato sambar
  3. drumstick sambar
  4. arachuvitta sambar
STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEmany of my recipes have step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

Kathirikai Sambar

4.84 from 6 votes
brinjal sambar is a quick and delicious south indian sambar made with small brinjals.
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:30 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Total Time:50 mins
Course:main course
Cuisine:south indian
Servings (change the number to scale):3 to 4
(1 CUP = 250 ML)

INGREDIENTS

for brinjal sambar

  • 200 grams brinjals (kathirikai or eggplant)
  • 1 small onion, quartered or sliced
  • 1 medium sized tomato, quartered
  • 1 cup pigeon pea lentils (tuvar dal or arhar dal)
  • 1 tablespoon seedless tamarind + ½ cup water
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2.5 to 3 teaspoon sambar powder
  • 2 or 2.5 cups water
  • salt as required

for tempering

  • 12 to 15 curry leaves
  • 3 to 4 dry red chilies
  • ¾ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon spilt and skinned black gram (urad dal)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida or 1/8 teaspoon asafoetida powder (hing)
  • 2 tablespoon groundnut oil or coconut oil or vegetable oil

INSTRUCTIONS

making brinjal sambar

  • soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup water for 20-25 minutes.
  • squeeze and extract the pulp from the tamarind. keep the tamarind pulp aside.
  • 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.
  • quarter or chop the brinjals. soak them in salted water for 15-20 minutes.
  • once the pressure settles down, open the cooker lid and mash the dal with a wooden spoon.
  • now add 2 or 2.5 cups water, chopped brinjals, quartered tomatoes, salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder to the dal.
  • stir and pressure cook again for 1 whistle.
  • let the pressure settle down. the brinjals would be cooked by now.
  • now add the sambar powder, tamarind pulp and simmer the brinjal sambar till the rawness of the tamarind goes away and the whole mixture has well blended flavors and taste.

making tempering for brinjal sambar

  • in a small pan, heat oil. add the mustard seed and urad dal.
  • splutter the mustard seeds and brown the urad dal.
  • add red chilies, curry leaves and asafoetida. fry for some seconds.
  • stir and immediately pour the tempering mixture on the sambar.
  • cover with a lid, so that the flavors get absorbed. open after 4 to 5 minutes.
  • garnishing with coriander leaves is optional.
  • serve the brinjal sambar hot with steamed rice.
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dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

namaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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25 comments/reviews

  1. Dassana you are the best!!! Wondering….I’ve been using Indican brand Toor Dal (Canada) – but it never cooks to a mushy paste as it should. I have to pressure cook Toor Dal separately for 20 minutes to get it to the proper consistency. Toor Dal is not supposed to take that long to soften. What brand do you use? This recipe is superb, but I would appreciate if you could give me the brand Toor dal you use!

    Love your recipes immensely!!!5 stars

    • Thanks Annu. I use organic 24 mantra brand. use the fresh stock. but organic pulses usually take longer time to cook. try soaking the dal for 30 minutes.

  2. Hi Dassana,

    Thank you for this recipe. I have tried veg manchurian gravy style, raw banana curry and a lots more. All of them are very well made and even for a non – cook, its easy to understand picture by picture. I have been cooking vegeterian for almost 14 years now and have few recipes like Aloo Idli, Masala Kadlehittu (Masala Besan Flour Mix) etc that I have made. Would you want to try them too?

    I also have the app downloaded, so that in case of any new recipe being tried, I make sure the ingredients do not get missed out at all, else I would end up getting a different taste. If its good, well, I am spared, else …. FIRED 😀

    Thanks again!

    PS – I cant rate any recipe on any of the pages.

    • thanks sri for the feedback on the recipes you have tried so far. nice to know about your cooking expertise in vegetarian cuisine. you can share the recipes. i will give a try.

      rating is working on the desktop. i will check about the rating issue in the app. thanks for letting me know.

      • Hi Dassana,

        I shall send the recipe in sometime. Please help me out with the email address so that I could send out the snaps taken in a zip format and send it across with the steps taken to make the recipe.

        The rating is not working on the desktop. App on the mobile does not have any option to give feed back, write comment, nothing. We can just use it to search the recipe and that’s it.

        • fine sri. right now i am not sharing pics on the fb page. so for pics let it be. recipes you can share in the comment section, whenever you have time.
          rating is working on the desktops. i will still check. about the app also i will check.

  3. thank you for the brinjal sambar. As I am single now, the quantity I cooked (following your instruction,) became more. anyway, it was nice to eat with rice.

  4. 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.5 stars

    • 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.

  5. 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 😉5 stars

  6. 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

  7. 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…

    • 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.