Brinjal Masala Kuzhambu | Eggplant Masala Kuzhambu (with Freshly Ground Masala Paste)

Kuzhambu is a common dish in South Indian, Tamil cuisines and is primarily made with variety of dals and vegetables. Brinjal Masala Kuzhambu is a gravy based on broth made with tamarind, eggplant (brinjals) and freshly ground masalas. The preparation of Kuzhambu vary with the type of Kuzhambu to be made, but the basic preparation methods includes frying mustard seeds, curry leaves, dry chili in the oil. I have added onions for extra taste but originally Kuzhambu is prepared without it.

photo of Brinjal Masala Kuzhambu | Eggplant Masala Kuzhambu (with freshly ground masala paste)
Ingredients: 
5-6 Eggplants (brinjals, each cut into 4 pieces and keep immersed in water until use)
1 Onion (chopped)
1 gooseberry size Tamarind (soaked in hot water)
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp Sambar Powder
1-2 tsp Red Chili Powder (for extra spices)
Salt to taste
1 tsp Chana Dal (For Freshly Ground Masala Paste)
1 tsp Coriander Seeds (For Freshly Ground Masala Paste)
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds (For Freshly Ground Masala Paste)
1/2 inch Cinnamon Stick (For Freshly Ground Masala Paste)
1/2 cup Coconut Powder (For Freshly Ground Masala Paste)
2-3 tbsp Oil (To Temper)
2 tsp Mustard Seeds (To Temper)
Directions: 
Dry roast all the ingredients given under the table For Freshly Ground Masala, for a minute or two.
Cool down and grind it with water until smooth paste consistency and set aside.
Heat oil in the kadai or pan and add all the ingredients listed under the table To Temper and fry until the mustard seeds splutter. Add onions and fry until translucent.
Now add the freshly ground masala paste, salt, turmeric powder and the Sambar powder, mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Then add the eggplants, mix well and cook until the brinjals (eggplants) are tender. (Add water if the mixture is too thick) Add the soaked tamarind juice, mix well.
Boil until the oil separates and once it reaches to a thick consistency. (Approximately 5-6 minutes).
Serve hot with rice and ghee (clarified butter)