Kara Kuzhambu Recipe with step by step photos. An easy kara kulambu using kathirikkai (brinjals), shallots, garlic and very basic masala powders.
It tastes delicious when served with rice. This kara kuzhambu keeps well for 4 to 5 days when stored at room temperature.
This kuzhambu is very famous in my mil’s hometown and is served in marriages as “Muzhu kathirikkai kara kuzhambu”.
The taste keep getting better when you serve it on the next day and the next.
It is very easy to prepare this kuzhambu and as it stores for a long time, it is very easy and handy for bachelors and students who stay away from home.
I love this kara kuzhambu very much and during my previous attempts I was unable to nail the taste of it exactly.
Though the ones served in the weddings were spicy, it also had a sweet tinge to it which has got nothing to do with the shallots added.
I did try adding jaggery towards the end like we sometimes do but even then it did not taste right.
Recently when my SIL visited me, she gave the procedure that she got from the Master who cooks this kara kuzhambu for marriages.
It was the same recipe and the ingredients but the order in which we add the ingredients made a huge difference.
So when I tried it later, the taste and flavor was spot on.
Kara kuzhambu recipe with stepwise photos:
1. Heat a flat bottomed pan with oil. Add thalippu vadagam and let it splutter. Place the kathirikkai spreaded out over the oil.
2. Let it cook over the oil and let it cook for 5 to 7 mins till the skin starts to shrivel.
3. Add shallots and garlic and once again cook for 3 to 4 mins shaking the pan often.
4. Add coriander and red chili powder and shake the pan for the powder to get cooked in the oil just for a minute.
5. Add thick tamarind extract, rock salt and mix very gently for all the ingredients to combine well.
6. Cook for 5 to 7 mins till the oil separates and starts to float on top.
Take the pan off the stove and let it cool completely before transferring the kara kuzhambu to a container to store for longer time or serve immediately with hot rice.
Points to note while making Kulambu:
- A flat bottomed pan is apt to cook as it is easy to shake the pan instead of mixing with a ladle which will break the brinjals.
- This kara kuzhambu is cooked in an open vessel and at no time the pan should be closed if you want to store for later use.
- We do not want the steam to turn to water droplets and falling into the kuzhambu which will spoil it quickly.
- Even after reheating, let the kuzhambu cool down to room temperature before closing with lid.
- Instead of adding whole brinjals, you can also quarter them or chop finely and add it to the kulambu.
- The kara kuzhambu should be cooked over low flame from start to finish.
- Add the mentioned quantity of oil and do not skimp on it.
- If you do not have thalippu vadagam, use ½ tsp each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds and ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds for tempering.
You may also like the following kuzhambu varieties...
Kara Kuzhambu Recipe details below:
Kara Kuzhambu - Kathirikkai Kara Kuzhambu
- Kathirikkai or brinjal - ¼ kg
- Chinna Vengayam or shallots - 100 gms
- Poondu or garlic - 50 gms
- Tamarind - medium lemon size
- Coriander powder - 3 tsp
- Red chili powder - 2 tsp
- Thalippu kari vadagam - ¼ tsp
- Rock salt - to taste
- Sesame oil - 50 ml
- Wash and wipe brinjals. Cut an X from the bottom of the brinjal towards the stem but keeping it intact and whole.
- Peel the skin of shallots and chop finely. Peel garlic and keep aside.
- Soak tamarind in 1 cup hot water. Extract thick pulp and keep aside.
How to make Kara Kuzhambu:
- Heat a flat bottomed pan. Add oil and let it get warm.
- Add thalippu vadagam and let it splutter.
- Place the kathirikkai spreaded out over the oil. Simmer the flame completely.
- Let it cook over the oil and let it cook for 5 to 7 mins. Keep shaking the pan to turn over the brinjals on its own.
- Once the skin starts to shrivel add shallots and garlic and once again cook for 3 to 4 mins shaking the pan often.
- Add coriander and red chili powder and shake the pan for the powder to get cooked in the oil just for a minute.
- Add thick tamarind extract, rock salt and mix very gently for all the ingredients to combine well.
- Cook for 5 to 7 mins till the oil separates and starts to float on top.
- Take the pan off the stove and let it cool completely.
- Transfer the kara kuzhambu to a container to store for longer time or serve immediately with rice.