A traditional Tamil kerala style biryani dish made of brinjal/eggplant (Brinjal pachadi / Kathirikai pachadi) cooked with coriander powder, coconut, green chilly, onion, ginger, tomato and salt. It is a healthy dish to be served as a side dish for the lunch or dinner menu.

Brinjal (eggplant) is one of those vegetables that people either really like or really hate. Some people seem to be able to turn any dish that includes it into something they like. But others hate it with all their heart, and I am one of them. Having said that, I do eat it when I feel like it. It is especially good in vegetable curries like this one.

On the day of the Krishna Janmashtami festival, people get up early in the morning and get ready for the sweets. Then they have a big breakfast. And then they have a big lunch. And then they have a big dinner. And then they get a little sleepy and go to bed and read their prayers. And then they get up the next day and do it all over again.

In Chennai, Kathirikai pachadi is a popular side dish eaten with biryani. We can get biryani almost everywhere in Chennai, however there are a few locations where biryani is known for its flavor, quality, and quantity. There are several takeaway shops in Chennai that sell biryani, however not every shop’s biryani is excellent. You can obtain extremely excellent biryani prepared by experienced Muslim chefs in certain areas where there is a Muslim population, and the biryani is known as daekchi biryani (biryani made in a very big vessel). People just go in, place an order, and take it home to enjoy this delectable biryani. Even my friends used to ask me the name of the store when we ordered for them, and they loved it. It’s like a tiny store; you can’t dine there since there won’t be enough room, and he just sells biryani. The timings used to be just in the afternoons or nights, but now you may receive them at both times. Anyone who purchases this biryani will also get two side dishes: onion pachadi and brinjal pachadi. Brinjal pachadi is a must-have side dish at Muslim weddings in Chennai. Anyone who has tried it wants to get the recipe. Although the recipe I previously shared with you (brinjal curry) is different from this one, it is also extremely simple to prepare and tastes similar to the previous one despite the fact that the ingredients are totally different. My Muslim buddy from Salem shared this dish with me. This was a recipe that her mother used to make. I have no clue how much this kathirikai pachadi should be since I simply grabbed the ingredients and made it as a side dish for the biryani. This meal turned out so good that it quickly became one of my favorites. Because it is sour and acidic, it is a good choice for pregnant ladies.

Time to prepare: 10 minutes

Time to cook: 30 minutes

Tamil Nadu cuisine

Medium spiciness

3–4 servings


    • 7 brinjals (little brinjals)

Tadka (seasoning)

    • 1/3 cup or less of oil
    • 3/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 2 tsp. green cardamoms (optional)
    • – 3 cloves (optional)
    • 15 curry leaves


    • 1 medium onion (chopped)
    • 1 tomato (medium)
    • 1 tsp ginger and garlic paste
    • 1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste (double concentrated)
    • 2 tbsp vinegar
    • a pinch of salt (to taste)
    • 3 green chillies, slit
    • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
    • 1 1/2 to 2 cups water

powdered spice

  • 1/2 teaspoon or more cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon khus khus (poppy seeds)
  • 2 tiny pieces of dry coconut (kopra) or 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns


powdered spice

  • In a spice grinder, combine all of the ingredients and grind to a fine powder. Set aside. It’s okay if it’s a bit rough.
  • Make cross incisions across the brinjals’ tops (make 4 cuts on each brinjal but not fully). Set things aside for now.
  • Chop the onion and tomato into small pieces. Set aside for now.
  • In a pressure cooker, heat the oil. Add all of the spice ingredients, including cumin seeds, pepper corns, curry leaves, cloves, and green cardamoms, when the pan is hot. For approximately 30 seconds, sauté.
  • Cook until the onion is tender and translucent. Toss in the tomatoes, green peppers, and brinjal. On a medium heat, sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Combine the ginger and garlic paste, chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and ground spice powder in a large mixing bowl. On a medium to low heat, roast for 3 to 4 minutes. Continue stirring until the brinjal is thoroughly covered in spices and roasted.
  • Add the water, tamarind paste, vinegar, and salt to taste. The amount of water should be enough to boil the brinjal and make enough gravy (curry) for your needs. Close the lid, wait two whistles, and then turn off the machine.
  • When there is no more pressure in the cooker, open the lid. Cook for another 5 to 8 minutes with the lid closed, or until the desired consistency is achieved.
  • Serve with hot biryani and savor the flavor.


  • After seasoning, you may roast the brinjals in oil with or without onion. After that, add each ingredient one at a time.
  • Toss in the tamarind and vinegar to taste.
  • When making the spice powder, 3 curry leaves may be added. This will enhance the flavor.
  • If the gravy/curry is too thin, cook it until it thickens or reaches the desired consistency.
  • Stir the curry carefully to avoid breaking the brinjal, which will be very delicate.


The word ‘Biryani’ is a mix of two Indian words: ‘Bhir’ which means rice and ‘yani’ which means meat. So what is Biryani? Biryani is actually a dish that goes with rice, not meat. In fact, you can use this dish to prepare a vegetarian Biryani.. Read more about brinjal curry for biryani hebbar’s kitchen and let us know what you think.