Brinjal Kootu or Kathirakkai Kootu

Brinjal Kootu is a South Indian style dal preparation made with brinjals and chana dal as the major ingredients. Brinjal, known as the king of vegetables is high in nutrients and has numerous health benefits. It is rich in fiber, vitamin B6 and low in calories. It good for the brain, aids in weight loss and also lowers the risk of heart disease.

Brinjal Kootu

Though brinjal is not a favorite veggie of my husband and kids, knowing its health benefits, I try to include this veggie in our meals and one way is by making this kootu, which they like. This kootu is very simple to make, delicious and also makes a perfect accompaniment for rice or chapathis.



Brinjal – 5 medium sized chopped
Chana dal – 100 gms
Onion – 1 medium sized chopped
Tomato – 1 medium sized chopped
Garlic – 7 to 8 cloves finely chopped
Coriander leaves – few finely chopped
Sambar or chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Salt to taste

To temper
Oil – 1 ½ tsps
Mustard seeds – ¾ tsp
Jeera or seeragam – ½ tsp
Urad dal – ½ tsp
Hing or asafoetida – a big pinch
Curry leaves – few


Prep time – 10 mins
Cook time – 20 mins
Total time – 30 mins
Serves 4

  1. Wash and cook chana dal in a pressure cooker adding sufficient water until soft.
  2. While the dal is getting cooked, chop onion, tomato, garlic and brinjal into small pieces. Keep the chopped brinjal immersed in salted or plain water until use.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, let it splutter. Add jeera, urad dal followed by hing and curry leaves. Let the dal turn golden brown.
  4. Add the garlic and onions. Sauté until onions turn translucent.
  5. Add the tomato and sauté till tomatoes turn mushy. Now add the brinjal and cook for 3-4 mins.
  6. Add turmeric and chilli powders and salt to taste along with water just enough for the brinjals to cook. Cook until the brinjals are done.
  7. Once the pressure releases, open the cooker and slightly mash the dal with the back of a ladle.
  8. Add the mashed dal to the cooked brinjal and mix well. Check for gravy consistency and spice levels. If required, add water and salt to get the desired consistency and give a quick boil.
  9. Add the finely chopped coriander leaves and mix well.

Serve hot with rice, ghee and appalam or any dry vegetable preparation of your choice or with chapathis. Brinjal Kootu also makes a delicious side dish for hot steamed rice and any kuzhambu.

Brinjal Kootu


  1. If you have cooked chana dal, this kootu can be prepared in a jiffy.
  2. You can soak the washed chana dal for 15-20 mins and then use it too.
  3. To pressure cook dal, I used 250 ml of water for 100 gms of dal. You can also cook dal in an open pot/pan however this method will consume more time.
  4. Brinjal kootu can be prepared as a one pot dish too. Heat a small pressure cooker with oil, add the tempering ingredients in the order mentioned followed by the chopped veggies as specified in the above steps. Lastly, add the soaked chana dal, turmeric and chilli powders, salt to taste and sufficient water and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. But, in this method, the brinjals may be mashed a little more than the dal.
  5. With the base recipe remaining the same, you can use a combination of chana dal + moong dal for this kootu.
  6. You can use sambar powder or chilli powder for the spiciness. You can replace it with green or red chillies too. If using chillies, add them along with the tempering ingredients.