Saturday, November 30, 2013

Milagu Kuzhambu (Pepper Kuzhambu)

I have this brown diary from 1985, filled with hand-written recipes.  This was the diary my mother-in-law sent with my husband, when he came to the U.S. as a graduate student.  In it, she has penned down recipes for different rasams, couple of types of sambar, lemon rice, curd rice, a simple vegetable kootu, adai, pongal, her signature morkuzhambu, and a recipe for milagu kuzhambu.  For each dish, she has listed ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, and shortcuts for my husband.


I love her simple explanation for preparing these dishes and even today, turn to it for some classic recipes.  I got this recipe for milagu kuzhambu from her.  Most milagu kuzhambus I have had are fairly thick in consistency (almost like a chutney or thogayal).  My mother-in-law made it similar to the consistency of vathal kuzhambu. She has made this a few times when she stayed with us.  I love the tangy taste from the tamarind and the spicy kick from the pepper.

It tastes great with sutta appalam (fire-roasted papad).

Here is what you need:

For the masala powder:
  • 2 tsp. dhania
  • 3 red chilies
  • 3 tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. hing
  • 3 tsp. channa  dal
  • 1 tsp. urad dal
To make the kuzhambu
  • small lime-sized ball of tamarind
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 red chilies
  • few curry leaves
  • salt to taste

 Here is how I made it:

  1. Dry roast all the ingredients for the masala powder.  Let it cool
  2. Grind it to a fine powder. Set aside.
  3. Soak the tamarind in a cup or so of warm water and squeeze out the juices, adding more water if necessary.  I had about 2 cups of tamarind water.  Discard the remaining pulp.
  4. Heat oil for tempering in a kadai.  Add mustard seeds and the red chilies. when the mustard seeds sputter, add curry leaves.
  5. Carefully pour the tamarind water into this pot, add salt and bring it to a boil. 
  6. Let it simmer on medium heat till the raw smell goes from the tamarind.
  7. Mix the powdered spices with a little water and add that to the tamarind water.
  8. Simmer for a few more minutes (about 5 – 10), till the oil floats on top and the gravy thickens.

Serve with hot rice drizzled with sesame oil, parupputhogayal, urilaikizhangu curry, and sutta appalam.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...