I bought this cookbook Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan, after tasting this recipe made by my friend.She had tried most of the recipes, and said they taste like authentic home cooked mom's food. Well, I thought there were some adjustments,most of the recipes are spicy hot.My family likes mild-medium hot food.I always keep that in mind when I make anything from this cookbook.I keep it as a general guideline and adjust recipes according to my tastes.
I chose Karuvepilai kuzhambu for Uraippu(pungent) taste.This is recipe # 5 for the 7 day recipe countdown marathon by Nupur of One hot stove.My version is spice adjusted in brackets and has method adjustments in italics, original recipe from Dakshin.
Recipe #5 Karuvepilai Kuzhambu
red chillies 5-6 (mild use 4)
peppercorn/milagu 1 tsp (mild use 1/2tsp)
asafoetida 1 tsp
ulundu/ whole or split urad dal 2 tsp
raw rice 1 1/2 tsps
tamarind paste 1 full tsp
or Lemon-sized tamarind
Curry leaves 30
salt to taste
sesame oil/nalla ennai 2 tbsp
mustard seeds 1 tsp
fenugreek/menthayam 1/4 tsp
red chilli 1, halved
1. Roast dry the red chillies, milagu, asafoetida, urad dal and rice.Add the curry leaves. Here is where I differ.The author asks to add the tamarind and grind into a fine paste, using little water. I would grind the previous ingredients without the tamarind.
2.Dissolve the ground paste in 2 cups of water, add salt and set aside. I dissolve the tamarind paste in 2 cups water and bring it to boil.A fair amount of acidity is needed to counter the pungency of this kuzhambu.After the raw tamarind smell goes,which is about 5 minutes.Then add the ground paste , while stirring. Add salt. Simmer for 5 minutes until the kuzhambu thickens.
3. Heat 2 tbsps of oil and add the ingredients for tempering. When the mustard seeds sputter. Pour it in the kuzhambu. I add a tiny piece of jaggery at the very end.
4.Serve hot with rice and roasted papad.
Mix a little of this kuzhambu with a greater quantity of rice as it is pungent.Adding ghee or some more nalla ennai to rice makes it more flavorful.
When I serve this kuzhambu to my kids, I give them dal rice (paruppu sadam) with ghee and the kuzhambu to dip. Also, any shallow fried vegetable poriyal or kootu dishes will go good with this.Papads/appalam/chips/vadam are great accompaniments. Susvaad.