Last updated on December 24th, 2017
Kathrikai pitlai recipe is a tangy spicy stew prepared with eggplants and lentils. This tangy eggplant stew tastes best with hot rice and papad.
Kathrikai pitlai is an authentic recipe from Tamil cuisine. Pitlai is often referred to a stew with tamarind along with freshly ground coconut paste. Pitlai is an authentic Tamil brahmin recipe. Mostly pitlai is prepared with bitter gourd or eggplant. Usually kathrikai pitlai is served along with any rasam and spicy stir fry or roast. All the spices that go into this kathrikai pitlai are known for its taste and flavor,thus they create a harmony of flavor and when matched with roasted coconut,the whole curry is taken to the next level.
Next the toor dal added to this kathrikai pitlai, gives the curry,the needed thickness along with protein. When served with steamed rice,ghee/oil and a vegetable roast/stir fry this makes for a healthy whole some meal.Though a little time consuming (see notes for saving time),this kathrikai pitlai will be a hit in your home,if you are yet to try this.It is a warm,comforting and healthy meal to keep you going during monsoons/winter. I recently got request to post some traditional eggplant recipes and here is one for you all.Even for kids/toddlers who refuse to eat eggplant,you can serve them this kathrikai pitlai,just make it less spicy,mix with rice and ghee and feed them,they will surely love the flavor.Few people do not like eggplant for its mushy texture,this is the best way to serve eggplant for those people,as you will not separately find egg plant in this curry.
Kathrikai pitlai recipe card below:
Kathrikai pitali recipe- A mildly spiced tangy stew with eggplants and lentils. Best served with rice.
- 6 small eggplants
- 1/2 cup toor dal
- 1/2 cup thick tamarind extract
- 1 teaspoon urad dal
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
- Fry in oil and grind:
- 2 tablespoons gram dal
- 2 rablepoons coriander seeds
- 10-12 black pepper corns
- 3 dried red chillies
- 1/2 coconut cut into small pieces
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a kadai and fry coriander seeds,dried red chillies,gram dal,pepper corns and coconut. (See notes). Take care not to burn anything.Fry in low flame until golden and fragrant.Set aside to cool thoroughly. Grind to a smooth paste.
- Wash,rinse and boil the toor dal until mushy.
- Saok small lemon sized tamarind ball in hot water and extract thick pulp.
- Wash and chop the eggplant into cubes.
- Heat the same kadai with 2 more teaspoons of oil and temper with mustard,urad dal,asafoetida and curry leaves.Add the chopped eggplant and saute for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the thick tamarind pulp and coat the eggplants.Saute for 3-5 more minutes.
- Add the ground paste and mix well.Add 2 cups water and bring to a full boil
- Now add the boiled and mashed toor dal and mix well.Add salt and simmer for 7-10 minutes.
1.Usually you need to roast each ingredient separately in low flame.I generally roast everything together to save time.You should be careful not to burn anything while doing this way.
2.Instead of eggplants you can use boiled bitter gourd in this recipe.Add a small piece of jaggery while adding water,if using bitter gourd.
3.It is best to use sesame oil in this recipe.
How to make kathrikai pitali recipe (step wise )
1.Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a kadai and fry coriander seeds,dried red chilies,gram dal,pepper corns and coconut. Take care not to burn anything.Fry in low flame until golden and fragrant.Set aside to cool thoroughly. grind to a smooth paste.
2.Wash and chop the eggplant into cubes.
3.Heat the same kadai with 2 more teaspoons of oil and temper with mustard,urad dal,asafoetida and curry leaves.Add the chopped eggplant and saute for 3-5 minutes.
4.Add the thick tamarind pulp and coat the eggplants.Saute for 3-5 more minutes.
5.Add the ground paste and mix well.Add 2 cups water and bring to a full boil
6.Now add the boiled and mashed toor dal and mix well.Add salt and simmer for 7-10 minutes.
7.Serve hot with rice.