Kathirikkai Pitla (Brinjal Gravy)

Pitla is another tasty south Indian dish similar to sambar. We do not use sambhar powder, instead prepare with ground spices and coconut. Brinjal Pitla is a popular dish among Iyengars.
Oil for sautéing             – 1tsp
Brinjal                        – 1 cup  (Chopped)
Toor dal                   1/4 cup (cooked)
Turmeric powder              -1/2 tsp
Peanusts –                2 tbsp (optional)
Tamarind                    a lemon size ( dissolved in water)
Salt                          to taste
Spices for grinding:
Oil                            ½ tsp
Coriander seeds          – 1 tsp
Whole Black Pepper     1/4 tsp
Chana Dal                   1Tbsp
Urad Dal                     2 tsp
Asafetida                  – ¼ tsp
grated fresh Coconut     ½ cup
 Curry Leaves              1 Sprig 
Ghee/Oil                       1 tsp
Mustard Seeds              1/2 tsp
Red chili                        1 no
 fresh Curry Leaves        1 Sprig

  • Cook dhal in a pressure cooker. Keep aside.
  • Cook the peanuts in microwave for 5 minutes. Keep aside.
  • Wash and dry the Brinjal. Cut into medium size square pieces.
  •  Roast all spices for grinding in a tiny bit of oil, add coconut and the curry leaves last and fry until coconut is golden. Cool and grind using a blender into a fine paste with about 1/4 cup of water.
  •  Sauté the brinjals pieces with 1 tsp oil, a pinch each of turmeric and salt for 5 minutes and cook the brinjals and peanuts in tamarind water. Bring to a boil and cook until veggies and peanuts are tender.
  • When the brinjals is cooked, add the cooked dal &  grounded coconut paste. Combine well. Stir again. Let it simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.
  • For the tempering:  Heat the ghee/ oil, and Pop mustard seeds and curry leaves, red chilies in a teaspoon of hot oil/ghee and pour it over the Pitla.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with plain rice with other vegetables dishes.