Food / Recipes

Kalla Veetu Kathrikkai – Aubergine curry

The Kallar (or Kallan, formerly spelled as Colleries) are one of the three related castes of southern India. This community is ¬†found largely in Thanjavur, Trichy, Pudukkottai, Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Karur and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu. The Royal House of Pudukottai belongs to the Kallar community. They have certain recipes unique to them. Here is one such recipe the Chettiars learnt from them using aubergines. Kalla Veetu Kathrikkai literally translates to aubergines from the house of Kallars. A subtly flavoured, unique recipe from Mrs. Meyyammai Murugappan’s The Chettinad Cookbook:

Also, we’re organizing a vegetarian chettinad cookery workshop in Chennai by her. Should you wish to participate, here are the event details:


  • Aubergine – 6 nos (cubed)
  • Roasted Bengal Gram – 1 tsp
  • Cashewnuts – 6
  • Aniseed (saunf) – 1tbsp + 1/2 tsp
  • Potato (peeled,cubed and boiled) – 2
  • Grated coconut – 2 cups
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Chilly powder – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Poppy seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch stick
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Onion (peeled and chopped) – 1
  • Tomatoes chopped – 2
  • Salt – to taste
  • Water – 5 cups
  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves – for garnishing


1. Grind together roasted bengal gram, cashwenuts, 1tbsp aniseed, grated coconut, cumin seeds and chilli powder adding little water.
2. Roast poppy seeds in a wok (kadai). Grind
3. Heat oil in a large pan, add cinnamon stick, bay leaf, aniseed.
4. Once they splutter, add onions and saute
5. Add aubergines and stir fry for 1 minute
6. Add chopped tomatoes ,turmeric powder and cook for a few minutes
7. Add boiled potatoes, ground masala and salt to taste
8. Stir fry until oil separates
9. Sprinkle little water to prevent sticking to pan
10. Add boiling water to cooked masala and bring to a boil
11. Simmer and cook till the curry thickens
12. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander leaves.
13. Serve hot with idiappam (string hoppers), idli or dosai

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The musings of two Chennaiites seeking to discover the world through food and travel. As they open themselves up to adventure, the accompanying puliyogare, travels well and ensures that the idea of home is never lost

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