Eggplant (Tamarind Gravy) Kozhambu

Eggplant which is also known as brinjal or aubergine is an exotic vegetable

It is called Vankaya in Andhra Pradesh, Katharikai in Tamil Nadu, Badanekayi in Karnataka and Baingan in the northern parts of India.  Most people either love the vegetable or loathe it. This is one of my favourite vegetables and is very popular in Italian cuisine as well

Eggplants comes in different sizes – large, medium or small.
Dark Purple, Pale Green and White are generally smooth and plain. The light violet version is long and plain or small with light stripes.

This particular dish is generally prepared with the small whole dark purple or pale green very small round eggplant and it is known as Vankaya Pulusu in Andhra Pradesh!

Ingredients to serve 6 people

7-8  small Whole  Eggplant
1 Lime size Tamarind (soaked in a cup of hot water)
2 Tbs Gingili Oil
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds
4 Tbs Black Chick Peas (optional)
¼ inch Piece Asafoetida or
½ Tsp Asafoetida Powder
¼ Tsp Turmeric Powder
3 Tbs Sambhar Powder
Small piece of jaggery or
1 Tbs of Brown Sugar
1-2 Tsp Salt
A Few Curry Leaves

Eggplant Gravy with Tamarind

Eggplant Kozhambu


Soak the tamarind in hot water for about 10 minutes.
Extract the tamarind juice and keep aside
Remove the cap of the eggplant and slice through each one from the top to nearly the bottom, ensuring that the egpplant is not fully sliced.
Generally about 3-4 slits are made depending on the size of the eggplant

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds
When the mustard seeds crackle, add the fenugreek seeds, dry black chick peas (beans), curry leaves, turmeric powder and asafoetida
Fry till the fenugreek seeds turn golden brown

Add the slit eggplant and fry gently for 3-4 minutes
Pour in the extracted tamarind juice, sambhar powder, jaggery or brown sugar and the salt
Cook for 15 minutes on a medium flame till it reduces to half the quantity

The Kozhambu or gravy is now ready to be served. It tastes delicious with any lentil or rice dishes and snacks like Ven Pongal and Coconut Rice as well!!



  1. you have asked to add dry black beans in the recipe after adding mustard but it is not mentioned in the list of ingredients. How much black beans should one add. What is black bean ?

    • Shobha Krishnan says:

      Hi Gita
      Thanks for pointing it out – it has now been updated on the website –
      The black beans is the black chick peas (black kondai kadalai or Kaala Channa) used in this dish is optional just to add some crunchiness bits in the dish.
      Use 1/2 a ladle or 4 tablespoons of it if you wish!