Wednesday 25 June 2014

Poricha Kuzhambu (பொரிச்ச குழம்பு)

Poricha kuzhambu is a traditional preparation made with country vegetables (நாட்டு காய்கறிகள்). It is a healthy recipe owing to the large quantities of vegetables used. My grand mother used to make it at least once a week. Poricha kuzhambu can be eaten with rice and appalam. It also makes an excellent accompaniment to our humble curd rice. 

Ingredients: (Serves four)
Tamarind – the size of a large gooseberry (காட்டு நெல்லிக்காய்)
Cut vegetables – 3 tumblers or 600ml measure*
Sambar powder – 2 table spoon
Jaggery – ½ teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Cooking oil – 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Urad dhal – 1 teaspoon
Bengal gram dhal – 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves – a few
Rice flour – 1 teaspoon, if required

To be ground into a paste:
Urad dhal – 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida – a pinch
Coconut – grated, 2 tablespoons

*Ladies finger, brinjal, plantain, white pumpkin and broad beans (அவரைக்காய்) may be used to prepare poricha kuzhambu. Cut the vegetables into small pieces. Soak cut brinjal pieces in water to prevent them from turning dark. If you like, you may add mini bitter gourd (மெது பாவக்காய்), snake gourd or cluster beans. Using bitter gourd may make the kuzhambu taste slightly bitter.
Poricha Kuzhambu (பொரிச்ச குழம்பு)
Method: Heat a teaspoon of oil in a kadai. Fry urad dhal till the dhal turns golden brown in color. Add asafoetida and switch off the fire. Allow it to cool. Grind the fried ingredients with coconut and little water into a fine paste. Soak tamarind in warm water for 15-20 minutes. Later squeeze tamarind and extract the juice. Add sambar powder, salt and jaggery to the tamarind juice. Keep aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the kadai. Add mustard seeds. When they start to sputter, add urad dhal and Bengal gram dhal. Fry till the dhals turn golden brown in color. Add the cut vegetables, required salt and 1 small hollow ladle (50ml) of water. Cover and cook on a low flame till the vegetables are done.  Now add the tamarind juice mixture and bring it to boil. Allow it to boil for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the fire. Dilute the ground paste in little water. Add this mixture slowly to the boiling kuzhambu, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Simmer for a few minutes and switch off the fire. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve hot with rice and poriyal or appalam. 

Note: If the kuzhambu is watery, you may add a mixture of 1 teaspoon rice flour in little water to the boiling kuzhambu. Add slowly, while stirring continuously to prevent lumps. 

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