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4.84 from 6 votes

Kathirikai Sambar

Brinjal sambar is a quick and delicious South Indian sambar made with small brinjals.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: south indian
Servings: 3 to 4
Author: Dassana Amit


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


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.