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Kathirikai Pitlai Recipe | Brinjal Pitlai Recipe
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3.75 from 8 votes

Kathirikai Pitlai Recipe | Brinjal Pitlai Recipe

Kathirikai Pitlai, a traditional recipe in Tamil Brahmin kitchen. Its a thick gravy made with Brinjal cooked in tangy tamarind juice along with freshly ground coconut and spices. Kathirikai Pitlai is usually served as a mix with hot steaming rice. We can make the pitlai thick and serve as a kootu too
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Kootu Varieties, Kuzhambu
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian, Tamil Brahmin, Tamil Nadu
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 96kcal
Author: Sowmya Venkatachalam


  • Heavy Bottomed Pan
  • Mixer Grinder
  • Sauce Pan


  • 1 Lemon Size Tamarind or 2 tablespoon Tamarind Paste
  • 250 gms Brinjal Cleaned and Cubed
  • 1 Pinch Turmeric Powder
  • tsp Salt Adjust As Needed
  • ½ Cup Toor Dal 1 Cup - 250ml
  • 2 tbsp Chickpeas

For Grinding

  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 2 tsp Split Bengal Gram (Channa Dal / Kadalaparuppu)
  • 2 tsp Urad Dal
  • 1 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp Peppercorns
  • ¼ tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp Grated Coconut
  • Few Curry Leaves
  • 1 Pinch Asafoetida (Asafetida / Hing)

For Tempering

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • Few Curry Leaves


Cooking Chickpeas

  • Soak Chickpeas in water overnight. Next morning, take chickpeas in a vessel, add water and pressure cook for 4 whistles

Cooking Toor Dal

  • Take Toor dal in a vessel. Add turmeric powder and water. Pressure cook for 4 whistles
  • Once the toor dal is cooked, mash it well and set aside

Preparing Tamarind Juice

  • Soak tamarind in warm water for 10 mins. Extract the juice and set the tamarind juice aside

Preparing Grinding Ingredients

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add chana dal dal, urad dal, coriander seeds, peppercorns, red chili, fenugreek seeds and fry till the dal turns light brown. Take these fried ingredients aside
  • In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add grated coconut, curry leaves and hing. Fry the coconut till it turns light golden color. Keep stirring to prevent coconut getting burnt.

Grinding Process

  • Take the fried ingredients along with fried coconut in a mixer jar and grind it to a coarse paste

Tempering Process

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add mustard seeds and allow it to sputter. Then add curry leaves and give a mix

Making Pitlai

  • Add cubed brinjal to the pan. Also add a pinch of turmeric powder and stir-fry the brinjal for couple of minutes
  • Next, add tamarind juice to the pan. Add salt and allow the tamarind juice to boil for 5 mins in high flame to get rid off raw smell of tamarind
  • Add cooked chickpeas to the pan and give a mix. Next add ground coconut-spice paste to the tamarind mixture
  • Stir well to avoid any lumps. Add mashed dal to the pitlai and give a good stir. Add 1 to 1.5 cups of water to adjust the consistency.
  • Allow the pitlai to boil for 5 mins and then switch off the flame

Serving Time

  • Serve the delicious Kathirikai Pitlai with hot steaming rice and relish this yummy kuzhambu!



We can add less water and serve this pitlai as a kootu (side dish) for Sambar/rasam 


Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g