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Friday, December 24, 2010

Curry Leaf Kuzhambu

Curry Leaf Kuzhambu

Curry Leaf, known as Karuveppelai in Tamil, is ubiquitous in south Indian dishes either as garnish or as part of spice paste or even on its own in Curry Leaf Chutney.

Kuzhambu/Kozhambu is a south Indian thick and spicy stew served with rice. While Sambar typically has cooked mashed toor dal and vegetables in it to add some body and protein, Kozhambu is typically made when dal and seasonal vegetables are not handy, relying mostly on herbs and such for a bold flavor - garlic (Poondu Kozhambu), ginger (Inju Kozhambu), Molagu Kozhambu (Black pepper Kozhambu), Curry leaves as in this Curry Leaf Kozhambu...

I add vegetables to some of the kozhambu I make, but is usually optional... sometimes even some lentils like the Pottu Kadalai Kozhambu or Paruppu Urundai Kozhambu.

And this Curry Leaf Kozhambu features cauliflower, but can be omitted, or substituted with any other favorite vegetable.

Asafoetida is a staple in most south Indian kitchens, a pinch here with tempering, a pinch there in the simmering pot... a small jar of it lasts quite a while in my kitchen, thanks to its strong aroma and taste.

For the Curry Leaf Paste:
1 cup fresh curry leaves, chopped coarsely
1 Tbsp whole black pepper
2 to 4 dry red chilies (fewer if preferred)
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (optional)
4 Tbsp dry grated (unsweetened) coconut

For the kuzhambu:
1 cup Cauliflower florets
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp tamarind paste (I like Tamicon™ paste)
Cornstarch or rice flour for thickening
salt to taste
6 cups of water

Tempering: 1 Tbsp oil, ½ tsp asafoetida powder, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp chana dal, 1 tsp urad dal

  1. Combine the curry leaf paste ingredients together, grind to a smooth paste, set aside
  2. Tempering: Heat the oil in a large enough pot for making the kuzhambu, add the chana dal, then urad dal and when they turn golden brown, add the mustard seeds, and when they pop, add the asafoetida
  3. At this point, can reserve some of this tempering for garnish or simply proceed with the kuzhambu
  4. Add the onions, sautée till translucent, then add the kuzhambu ingredients, (except cornstarch or rice flour), cover and simmer till it is reduced in volume by one-third
  5. Add the curry leaf paste, adjust salt to taste and simmer about 5 minutes longer
  6. Thicken: mix a teaspoon of cornstarch or rice flour in cold water, add to the simmering kuzhambu, stirring constantly to thicken

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  • At 1:25 AM, Blogger Akila said…

    wow great dear... never heard of this...very new to me.... looks wonderful

  • At 1:36 AM, Blogger Priya said…

    Delicious kuzhambu, love them anytime..


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