Friday, March 25, 2011

Fenugreek Spiced Tamarind Gravy "Venthaya Kuzhambhu"

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A few weeks ago everyone in the family fell sick. First it started off with my son feeling sickly, thanks to the germs he picked up from the daycare. Then hubby got sick quickly followed by me. My son coughed right into my eye and my eyes got it too. It was horrible.Initially I thought it was pink eye and then the doctor clarified that it wasn't. My son's goop was traveling places. :). Gross, I know! I think it was the worst flu strain cause besides the usual symptoms, my mouth was feeling extremely dry and everything tasted like mud.FYI, I have eaten mud and bricks when I was young. So I know what I am talking about. The only best part of that sickness was that I actually lost a few pounds due to frequently skipping meals. I mean, who wants to eat anything that tasted like mud,right?(Well, I guess I didn't feel that way when I was really young).Anyways, I remembered that mom always tells me to eat something hot and tangy to delight my taste buds. So I made this "Venthaya Kuzhambhu" and ate it with such gusto that the food vanished from the plate in a blink of an eye.And I was ready for seconds.

I know the photo looks fancy and all but its eaten best when the rice and gravy/kuzhambhu are combined/mashed with hands and eaten like so. With Chips on the side. Oh yeah!

  • 1 Small Onion
  • 1 Small Tomato
  • 1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Mustard seeds
  • Golf-ball size Tamarind, soaked in 1/2 Cup warm water for 10-15 minutes
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 Stalk Curry Leaves, Optional but highly desired
  • 2-3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
For Making the Ground Masala:
  • 3 Tbsp Red Lentils
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin seeds
  • 4-5 Tbsp Fresh or Frozen Grated Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 3-5 Dry Red Chili

    • In a pan, heat about 2 tsp oil and brown the red lentils. When they start turning lightly brown add the cumin, fenugreek, red chilies and saute for a minute more. Switch off the stove and add the grated coconut and stir to combine. Cool and grind to a smooth paste with little water.
    • Heat the remaining oil in a pan/kadai and add the dry mustard seeds. When they start sputtering, throw in the onions and curry leaves(if using). Saute until the onion is translucent.
    • Add the turmeric powder, chopped tomato and fry till the tomato loses raw smell.Extract a thick pulp from the soaked tamarind.
    • Pour the extracted tamarind pulp along with salt.
    • Add the ground masala along with some water and slowly stir to combine.
    • Lid the Kadai and bring it to a boil on a medium flame for 10 minutes or so. The gravy/kuzhambhu should look something like this-
    • Serve with piping hot rice and chips.


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    1. This sounds like a traditional recipe, Lassie. I always love tamarind based gravies...

    2. One of favorites.Looks so good Lassie..How r u people doing now.Hope all is well..

    3. i can almost feel the spice:)
      and fancy crackers on top or is it something else??

    4. Glad to know that the sickness has passed! This would be perfect for a cold day. The first snapshot would look gorgeous on a white background/platter.

    5. @ ? : Thanks for the suggestion. I should have done it on a white plate but this plate came handy.. LoL

    6. @AnOpenBook: Nisha, its Veggie Straws. They taste similar to the hollow fryums/finger chips in India. I buy this cause my son loves it. So do I.

    7. @Shabitha: We are doing good. So how is you?

    8. I am huge fan of vendhaya kuzhambu. This looks perfect.

    9. Delicious recipe!! Great one for when you have lost your appetite. Hope that you all have recovered.

    10. Delicious recipe!! Great one for when you have lost your appetite. Hope that you all have recovered.

    11. Sounds authentic recipe,tangy and spicy,makes me drool.
      As to your question I brought the banana leaves from Indian grocery store,freezer section. The Asian market here also has them :)

    12. Tremendous flavors,it has so much going on in there and it is so right that we eat with our eyes first,I am drooling and greddily eyeing this platter*drools*

    13. This looks beautiful and sounds like something I would love to try. The ingredients are intriguing. Blessings, Catherine

    14. Hi Cool
      Gravy looks to be awesome. Would love to try out this method in this weekend.

      Hamaree Rasoi

    15. The more I scroll through your pics the hungrier I get :)
      Great recipe!

      US Masala

    16. ரொம்ப அருமையாக இருக்கு கூல்...அம்மா வந்து இருந்த பொழுது செய்தது...அப்பறம் செய்வேயில்லை...கண்டிப்பாக உங்க செய்முறையில் செய்து பார்க்கிறேன்...

    17. Woww... Traditional and delicious recipe.. looks so so so perfect and tempting.. thanks for sharing !!

      Indian Cuisine

    18. Beautiful presentation CL, i dont bother to finish that whole plate, inviting and mouthwatering here..

    19. ooooh love the pics..very well presented

    20. அழகான பிரேசண்டேஷன் கூல்..வெந்தயக் குழம்பு எனக்கு ரொமப் பிடிக்கும்..உங்க செய்முறையிலும் செய்து பார்க்கனும்..

    21. Those chick crackers looks fab! and Kolambu drool! :)

    22. this is my all time fav.. your gravy looks super delicious.. tempting..

    23. I adore the flavor of tamarind so this whole dish sounds fantastic to me!

    24. ur presentation is too tempting!...veggie strawswith hot rice and pulusu!....soo yummm!...heavenly...comfort food at its best!
      Smitha's Spicy Flavors

    25. well prepared n mouthwatering..
      stop over n pick up an award plz..
      Tasty Appetite

    26. Love your presentation, CL. The crispies in the fist click look good.

      Lite Bite


    Thanks a bunch for your valuable comments and continued support.They are very much appreciated. Yes,like "Rain on Dry Land" and like "Oasis in Desert Sand".
    XoXo, Cool Lassi(e)