Brinjal or Kathrikkai Pitla


Pitla is a type of sambhar. It goes well with rice.  This dish can be made using brinjal or bitter gourd. I have always loved the brinjal pitla 🙂 This is a treasured recipe from my grandmother. She makes amazing bitter gourd pitla and brinjal pitla

Serves: 4


  • 3-4 medium sized brinjal
  • Tamarind extract-1 tsp or tamarind water extracted from lemon sized tamarind
  • Tomato-1
  • 1 cup Tuvar dal boiled
  • 1/4 cup black chana to enhance the taste
  • Coconut, grated – 1/2 cup
  • To grind into a fine paste:
    • 4 tsp Bengal gram dal (Chana dal)
    • 4 tsp black gram dal (Urad dal)
    • 5 tsp coriander seeds
    • Asafoetida a piece
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • Red chillies – 3 (medium size) – You can increase or decrease the amount depending on the spice level you enjoy; 3 red chillies – medium spice
    • A few curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • For tempering:
    • Mustard seeds
    • A few curry leaves
    • 1 tsp fried coconut
  • Oil for frying and salt to taste


To make the paste

  • Heat oil and fry coconut to a golden colour.  Keep aside.
  • Fry dals, coriander seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, pepper and red chillies
  • Boil 1 tomato and puree it in a blender
  • Grind all of the above into a fine paste, adding a little water if needed. The tomato puree will give a really nice color and texture to the pitla

Pitla Preparation

  • Cut brinjals into small pieces and sauté in oil for around 5 minutes
  • Cook the black channa in a pressure cooker. Keep aside.
  • Heat tamarind water and add brinjals. Add salt and turmeric powder.
  • When the brinjals are soft, add the ground paste.
  • When the smell of raw pepper disappears and the mixture starts bubbling, add boiled dal and black chana. Add enough water and boil for a few minutes.

For the tempering

  • Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add curry leaves and a tsp of grated coconut and fry till golden colour
  • Add this to Kathirikkai Pitla

Note: To save time, sambar powder can be used instead of frying and grinding Bengal gram dal, coriander seeds and red chillies. In this case, only black gram dal and pepper have to be fried and ground and the same taste can be brought to the dish

Enjoy the pitla with rice and a subzi (Suggestions: Kootu/ Potato or Bhindi Fry/Avial) 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s