Kathirikai Kichadi

According to people living in Tirunelveli kichadi is a side dish for idli or dosa prepared with vegetables, but for others kichadi is a main dish using whole grains and/or lentils. Kathirikai kichadi (brinjal/ eggplant gothsu) is one of our favourite accompaniments for idli & dosa. It is a very unique gothsu with spicy and tangy flavors. We usually prepare this delicious side dish for breakfast on Sundays.

kk-7 Kathirikai Kichadi
Brinjal gothsu

We also make kichadi using tomatoes, yellow pumpkin (poosani) and ridge gourd (peerkangai).

img_9893-scaled Kathirikai Kichadi
Manjal poosani kichadi
img_9951-scaled Kathirikai Kichadi
Peerkangai kichadi

How to serve kathirikai kichadi:

We can serve brinjal gothsu with hot soft steamed idlis, crispy ghee roasts or spongy dosa. It is heavenly when you pour this gothsu liberally over idli/ dosa followed by cold pressed sesame oil. So it is better to prepare it in slightly larger quantity so that your family can relish this with complete satisfaction.

kk-2 Kathirikai Kichadi
Kathirikai kichadi served with idli & coriander uthappam

Kathirikai kichadi recipe:

Cooking Time: 30 min

Serves: 4

img_4877-scaled Kathirikai Kichadi
Kathirikai kichadi recipe

Ingredients:

  1. Brinjal (kathrikai) – 500 g
  2. Green chillies (pachai milagai) – 5 Nos
  3. Tamarind (puli) – Please refer the image (or) tamarind pulp – 1/2 tsp
  4. Sesame Oil (preferably coldpressed) – 1 tbsp
  5. Turmeric powder (manjal podi) – 1 tsp
  6. Salt – 1 tsp (heaped)

For tempering:

  1. Mustard seeds (kadugu) – 1/2 tsp
  2. Split black gram (ulutham paruppu) – 1/2 tsp (optional)
  3. Shallots (chinna vengayam) – 100 g
  4. Curry leaves (kariveppilai) – 1 sprig
  5. Red chillies (milagai vatral) – 2 Nos

Garnish:

  • Finely chopped fresh coriander leaves – as desired

How to prepare kathirikai kichadi:

  • Chop brinjal & green chillies roughly.
  • Steam the chopped brinjal & green chillies along with tamarind in a steamer for 5 to 7 min and leave aside.
  • When it reaches the room temperature blitz into smooth paste.
  • Add salt into eggplant paste and whisk for a while.
  • Chop shallots finely & keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
  • When they spluttered add curry leaves & red chillies and fry for few sec.
  • Add turmeric powder & fry for 5 sec.
  • Then add chopped shallots & sauté till they become translucent.
  • Add brinjal paste and mix well.
  • Finally, add water required for the right consistency and chopped coriander leaves into the pan.
  • Then bring it to a final boil.
  • Remove the pan from heat.
  • Hot kathirikai kichadi is ready to serve.

Tips & Tweaks:

  1. Turmeric powder is an important ingredient without which gothsu will be in grey or black color. Stir frying turmeric powder helps to bring out its color rather than adding it just before boiling.
  2. We use sesame oil only for this preparation, and the cold-pressed sesame oil is useful to enhance the flavor.
  3. Some may not like the brinjal flavor, we can enhance the flavor of this dish to a great extent by adding chopped coriander leaves generously.
  4. It is preferred to use shallots rather than onion.
  5. We can replace brinjal with chayote (chow-chow), ridge gourd (peerkangai) or yellow pumpkin (for these vegetables tamarind & turmeric are not required) and prepare kichadi as below:
poosani-kichdi Kathirikai Kichadi
Poosanikai kichadi
peerk-gotsu Kathirikai Kichadi
Peerkangai kichadi



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  1. Mmmm, it’s a good start to the day with this meal! I like what you wrote about cooking being a form of meditation 🙂 🙂

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