If you want to experience the authentic "Kaaram" (spicy) taste that a non-vegetarian Tamilian dishes are known for, then this dish - Kathirikai Kari Kozhambhu (Brinjal Mutton Gravy) is the right one to start with. The original recipe calls in for a fiery hot gravy which is sure to set the tongue on fire. I have modified it to my palate. If you wish, you could increase the spice level. The bony and fleshy meat pieces were steam cooked with the spongy brinjals/eggplants, tomatoes and onions sauteed with the home grown Indian spices. The finely cooked brinjal adds a great volume to the dish and makes it thick and creamy. They taste heavenly and irresistible with rice/ rotis / bread.
My gravy was a true hit in every way and S loved it so much. They tasted so similar to my achi's version and I am really proud about that. The taste was so authentic that it reminded me of my grandparent's rural Tamil Nadu, where the houses have small chimneys letting out aromatic smoke of charcoal and flavorful curries and we would smell the dishes while playing in the backyard. Every Sunday of our summer vacation would begin with Kari Kuruma (Mutton Curry) to go with idly/dosa and then Aatu Kal Rasam (Mutton soup with bony pieces) as a mid-morning appetizer and delicious Mutton briyani and left over kurma for lunch.
As I slide-in a spoonful into my mouth, I was mesmerized with those thoughts , I could feel the smell of that air and I could hear the bustling sounds of my playmates and it was a trip down the memory lane. I relished every morsel and it was a hearty meal. We ate that with whole wheat bread the following day. We couldn't get enough of it! Yummy!
- 2.2 lbs / 1 kg mutton chunks
- 3-4 brinjal / eggplants - cubed
- 1 large onions - vertically sliced
- 1 tomato - chopped
- 4 green chillies
- 1/2 tbs ginger-garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1-2 tbs chilli powder
- 1 tbs coriander powder
- 1/4 tbs garam masala
- 1/2 cup coriander - chopped
- 1-2 tbs oil
- Salt to taste
- 500- 750ml water
Heat the oil in a pan. Once they get heated up, add the onions and let it sweat. Cook for 5-8 minutes and let it brown. Now add the green chillies and ginger-garlic paste and cook for further 2 minutes.
Now throw in the brinjal and tomatoes and let it soften for 3-5 minutes. Cook them all on medium high. Once done, add the mutton chunks and saute for a minute.
Finally sprinkle the turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder and cook till the raw smell disappears. Pour in 600 ml water and give it complete mix. Adjust the water requirement according to the amount of gravy needed. Add the salt, garam masala and coriander leaves and mix well. Check for taste before closing the pan. Cook for 7-8 whistles.
Serve hot with steamy rice. They can be served for breakfast with idly/dosa too.
Note: If the gravy is too thick add little hot water to dilute them.
If it is too watery, dissolve 1/2tbs corn flour in 1 tbs water and add to the hot gravy while on flame. This will thicken the gravy well. Adjust the spice level accordingly. I usually heat oil in a small pan and add 2-3 tsp chilli powder and cook for couple of minutes to get rid of the raw smell and pour over the cooking gravy.