Monday, June 30, 2008

Karakkuzhambu -The Chettinad way.


Who can say a ‘no’ to this spicy, tangy Chettinad Kara Kuzhambu or Vathal Kuzhambu?
With the medley of garlic, onions, vatral, the aromatic Kuzhambu proves to be a feast by itself and is also known as Poondu Vengaya Kuzhambu.The yummy gravy goes well with steamed rice, dosa, idly or with any main food.

This is for Sig, who hosts JFI-Tamarind for the month :).

Ingredients:
Gingelly seed Oil-A tbsp
Garlic- peeled- ½ cup(slice length wise into halves if the pods are large)
Shallots/small onions-sliced into halves1/2 cup
Dhania powder/malli thool-1 tbsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Kuzhambu milagai thool-I use Aachi brand to get that distinct Chettinad flavour- 1 tbsp
Tamarind- a small lime sized ball
Salt-to taste

To Season:
Gingelly seed Oil-1 tbsp
Mustard seeds
Urad dal or Bengal gram dal-a tsp
Methi seeds-1/2 tsp
Dried Sundakkai or Manathakkali Vatral(optional)- A tbsp
Curry leaves-a sprig

Method:
1. Soak tamarind in half a cup of warm water and extract juice as thick as possible.Keep aside.Generally I use a little aged tamarind, blackish brown in colour.This enhances the taste of any Kuzhambu and gives that blackish brown colour too.

2. Heat oil in a thick bottomed deep vessel. Sauté garlic and onions till they turn golden brown, say for abt half a minute. Add tamarind extract followed by the 3 powders.(you can also use sambhar powder or just chilly powder instead of Kuzhambu milagai thool.)Mix well to avoid any lumps. Add salt. Bring this to a boil and reduce flame to simmer till it reduces to a semi-thick paste.Refer picture for consistency.If you prefer a little watery, take off from fire a little earlier, accordingly.

3. In a separate kadai, heat oil, season with mustard seeds, urad or bengal gram dal & Methi seeds. Sauté Vatral of your choice for 3-5 seconds and throw in curry leaves. Pour over to the Kuzhambu, bring to another boil, mix well and remove from fire.

Note- Keep the pan open till it cools down.(If the pan is closed the kuzhambu turns more watery by the evaporated water dripping in from the inside of the lid).This has a good shelf life and stays well for even a month if refrigerated. Dilute with warm water to make instant kuzhambu or mix with hot rice to make the Kuzhambu sadam, a yummy and simple pack away lunch.If you need to place this as a preserve, definitely add liberal amounts of oil while seasoning, as seen in the picture.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back, after the Summer Break!..


After being almost out of blogging for about 3 months, it required much effort, to shake away the so called 'laziness' and pull myself back in :)....I know I'd not been doing justice with my posts, but for sure had been doing my best, responding to each and every comment dropped any where here and to those ‘concerned’ mails I’d been receiving from my lovely friends..each of them making me feel proud and special; the way one would feel, when you induce someone with that feeling, that you're ‘missed’!!.. Thanks a ton, friends…

After the round up of Arusuvai, in the month of April, I'd been away to my native, for my sister’s wedding. Should admit the fact, that I enjoyed each and every moment, taking up the responsibilities, even though turning green every now and then when 'the bride at home' was found busy shooting around dishes and blogging in a cool and easy way..;)..but believe me, she proved to be smarter by treating the family, by cooking up all those wonderful dishes from the blogs which I had book marked and would have never tried otherwise!!!...:)

Month of May proved to be pretty eventful as we had the great “Chennai Bloggers Meet” on the very first day. Since I was the last one to turn up for the meet, I'm the last one spared to mention about it too ;)…I have an excuse for that too coz I was away holidaying with my family to Scotland till the month end..

June?..well, children back to school, weddings, lots of travelling, had been keeping me occupied….
Did all the above explain my reasons for not blogging so far, ?? :D..

I'm grateful to my wonderful pals for having considered me, even during my 'hibernation period', to gift me with these cute awards..



From the talented, smart n efficient blogger, Srivalli..


From the cute, loving n affectionate blogger, Nanditha..




From the sweet, affectionate n caring, Suma..

Hugs to you, girls!! :)..

So, where’s the recipe now???
Err.. hmm…may I postpone it to my next post, pls???
.. coz I’m still not away from a few important commitments that might slow down blogging for a while, again..