Sunday, October 08, 2006
The original recipe for this is from Kamala Swaminathan, a featured chef on the site Ammas.com. I had printed it off despite not having any curry leaves at that time (about a couple of years back, I guess, when I was a regular on that site), in the hope of getting to make it one day when I had lots of fresh green curry leaves.
Well, that day finally happened. The last time I went shopping for Indian veggies, I bought two packs of curry leaves because for once, they looked fresh. I guess they will never be as fresh as picked fresh off a plant, but at least they werent wilting brown and curling up. Most of the leaves went into the freezer - curry leaves freeze beautifully and as long as they go straight from freezer into pan without defrosting, they dont lose their lovely aroma or turn black.
Anyway, I remembered the recipe I'd downloaded and decided on the spot to make curry leaves kuzhambu. I guess tender leaves are best for this recipe, but I wasnt pushing my luck. Getting them fresh was a near miracle in itself - asking for tender was kind of like looking a gift horse in the mouth! :)
The kuzhambu tasted pretty much like thengai/eruvalli kuzhambu that is popular in Tamil Nadu - except, of course, that it had the added strong wonderful aroma of curry leaves. Definitely a recipe I'll be trying again - especially when I can get freshly plucked karuveppilai!
Recipe for: Karuveppilai (curry leaf) kuzhambu
1/2 cup fresh curry leaves (tender if possible)
1 onion, chopped fine
1 tsp tamarind paste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp fenugreek seeds, powdered
3 tsp oil
3-4 dried red chillies
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder (optional)
Salt to taste
1. Dissolve the tamarind paste in 4 cups water along with the red chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder. Stir well and reserve.
2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a saucepan and fry the curry leaves for a minute, stirring until they turn shiny.
3. Remove the curry leaves from the pan and grind them to a smooth paste with the rice flour, coconut and dried red chillies. Reserve.
4. In the same pan, add another tsp oil and fry the fenugreek powder for a few seconds, then add the chopped onions and cook till they begin to turn transparent.
5. Pour in the reserved spiced tamarind water and let it come to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium high, letting it simmer briskly for about 10 minutes or till the onions are well cooked.
6. Now add the ground coconut paste and mix well. Let the mixture simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.
7. Meanwhile, heat a tsp of oil in a small pan. Sizzle the asafoetida powder in it for 5 seconds, then add the mustard seeds. COver and let them pop, then add the tempering to the kuzhambu. Serve hot with plain rice and any dry vegetable or kootu.
Posted by Shammi at 8:29 am