Onions Vetha Kuzhambu
When I moved to Bangalore about 9 years ago all I knew of south Indian food was idly, dosa, vada and uthapam along with sambhar and coconut chutney ofcourse and I could have happily spent my life eating those :) I have always had a thing for south indian food. But when I moved to Bangalore let me admit it I was disappointed the food was not what I thought it would be... you see we in North are more used to of eating the Chennai style sambhar rather than the slightly sweet one that is served in Karnataka... and when I moved here is when I realized that idly, dosa and sambhar is not the only thing they eat down south... (see I am admitting now don't throw brick bats my way) and but I almost came to know there is lot more to south indian food than that and a lot more good that is... I slowly started to fall in love with akki roti, the hot and pipping rasam, the various variety rices and the good old Andhra meal served in Bangalore with my super favorite Gongura pickle
And than as luck would have had it I married a South Indian ;-) half tamil half telegu I was exposed to many new cuisines now, though at home my mil usually prepares the routine pappu and dry vegetable I have slowly fallen in love with tamil food... love the spices they use, love the taste that comes out and love the way the house smells when u are cooking...
Last month I went to a friends house who had made Vetha Kuzhambu and I loved it... though I was sweating left right and center because of the spiciness of the gravy it didn't prevent me from eating more than I should have and there it was decided that I have to make this at home, I came home and asked my mil that does know how to make it but alas she said she doesn't know too much of Tamil food and this one she certainly doesn't, just when I was thinking of calling my friend and asking her for the recipe Nags did a post mentioning one of the blogs she loved and what do I see in that post the recipe of Onions Vetha Kuzhambu ofcourse :D
I was almost jumping in joy trust me and the pictures she had posted looked so droolworthy but I was so scared in my heart to try it, hubby is almost a police when it comes to tamil food... he wants it perfect the way it should be... I had to make my rasam 10 times till he said yes thats a good rasam ;-) but nonethless I had to try it and damn it was yummy... so heres presenting to u Onions Vetha Kuzhambu made in my kitchen
For the spice powder
- Dry roast all the ingredients for the spice powder till they are just about brown and leave a lovely aroma, cool them a little and grind to get coarse powder.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add mustard seeds to it, when they start spluttering add curry leaves and garlic to it. Fry for about a minute or so till the garlic starts turning brown.
- Add the peeled onions (she has a tip for peeling onions but me I bought the ready peeled ones ;-) ) Mix well and add salt to it. Fry for one minute and than add the sambhar powder to the same.
- Add one more 1 tbsp of oil to it and let it fry for sometime. According to Mriganayani "etha Kuzhambu was derived from the word Varutha Kuzhambu - which means the veggies used in the kuzhambu was fried in the sambar powder first".Interesting.
- Add the ghee at this stage, she mentioned in her post that one would smell heaven here and I think she was wrong... heaven is anunderstatementhere. I just can't begin to describe how nice it smelled... yummmm.
- When you get over the smell (though take care not to burn it by smelling for too long) add the tamarind pulp and some more water to it. Let it boil for about 10 minutes till the raw smell disappears.
- And after this be prepared for your house to be taken over by a waft or aroma that just can't described, it can only be felt. Please add the spice powder to the curry, relish the smell for about 2 minutes till you start on the next step :)
- At this stage make a paste of 1 tsp of rice flour and some water and add to the curry to thicken it up. Boil for about 5 minutes so that rice flour gets cooked.
- Serve hot with hot steaming rice, my mil tells me that roasted papad is a great combination for this.. next time I will make that too.
and yes the inhouse critique approved of what I made and gobbled up a whole plate of rice and Kuzhambu without uttering a word and while going for a second helping I had to stop him and take feedback ;) he said the yummiest he has had :D :D And I am sending this to Celebrating Regional Cuisine being held by Sujana
And I am sending this to Celebrating Regional Cuisine being held by Sujana