Saturday, April 30, 2016

Karuvepillai Kuzhambu - Curry leaves kuzhambu

Be warned my friends and fellow foodies  - if you have a low tolerance for spicy food, this is not a post for you. 

My son was out for pretty much the whole day on Saturday.  First he had volunteering at an event at CU (Univ or Colorado) and then a soccer game.   He wasn’t going to be home till 4 p.m.

So after feeding him and packing lunch his lunch, I looked in the fridge and saw a ton of beans that needed to be used and a couple of sad looking tomatoes.  And of course I had some potatoes in my pantry.  Don’t judge me – I haven’t been grocery shopping in a couple of weeks!

Anyway – I did have a bunch of curry leaves and remembered that I used to make this fantastic kuzhambu with them. 

So I turned on my Bluetooth speaker – and with music blaring (thanks Sujata for starting those music groups on FB), I made karuveppilai kuzambu, beans curry, potato curry, rasam, and sutta appalam.

My husband’s comment at the end of the meal “nothing beats the taste of this kuzhambu, mixed with thayir sadam (yogurt rice) and aloo curry” :)

Our friend Ramesh gave me a cook book over 20 + years ago – Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan.  I first saw the kuzhambu recipe in this book.  I have made it several times, and now, this is the recipe that works for me.

Here is what you need:

For the masala powder: 
  • 5 – 6 red chilies
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp. channa dal
  • 1 tsp. urad dal
  • 1 ½ tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp rice
  • 20 – 30 curry leaves
  • a tiny bit of tamarind (soaked in water to soften it up a bit)

For the kuzhambu:
  • 2 – 3 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp. asafetida
  • 1 red chili
  • lime size ball of tamarind, soaked in warm water
  • salt to taste

Here is how I made it:

  1. Dry roast all the ingredients for the masala powder except the curry leaves and tamarind.
  2. Let this cool.  Grind it to a fine paste with curry leaves, tamarind and a little bit of water.  Set aside
  3. Squeeze out the pulp from the tamarind and extract a thick juice. I added about 2 – 2 ½ cups of water.
  4. Heat oil in a cast iron kadai.  Add mustard seeds
  5. When they sputter, add hing.  Add the ground masala after a few seconds. Mix well.
  6. Gently pour the thick tamarind extract.  Add salt.
  7. Let this simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes until the raw tamarind smell is gone.
  8. You can add a little more sesame oil to this at this point – just before turning off the heat.

Serve with steaming hot rice, drizzled with sesame oil and sutta appalam (fire roasted papad), or with pongal.  Remember - it is spicy!  You only need a tiny bit.  It stays fresh in the fridge for 7 - 10 days

1 comment:

  1. Wow mouthwatering and very tasty looking recipe. I will definitely try this at home. Have you tried Pakistani Cooking Recipes I love all Pakistani Recipes and mostly the appetizers by zarnak sidhwa recipes


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