Kuzhambus are those South Indian spicy and tangy gravies that can be eaten over rice. Distinctively South Indian, they form an important part of the Tamil cuisine. This Kuzhambu is a very simple one, you can whip it up in no time. No grinding, no vegetable chopping and cooking, just spices and tamarind. It is perfect for the end of the week when you are running out of vegetables yet want a tasty home cooked meal.
Add some vatral to any leftover kuzhambu for the next day.
You can find recipes for the other Kuzhambus here, including Green Chilli Kuzhambu, Fenugreek Kuzhambu, and Masala Kuzhambu with Gram Flour Vadai. If you are looking for Sambar Recipes, they are here. (The list includes Kuzhambu Recipes.) Or explore our Indian dishes here and here. Other Winter recipes can be found here and here.
A Simple Seasoned Kuzhambu
Source : interpreted from Seasoned Soup without Sambar Powder in Cook and See Part 1, by S. Meenakshi Ammal
Cuisine: South Indian, Tamil
Prep time: about 3 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 2 – 3 people depending how you are using it. It makes 2 cups.
Tamarind – enough to make 2.5 cups juice. Use concentrate or traditional tamarind
4 tspn ghee or Indian Sesame Oil (much lighter than Chinese Sesame Oil)
3/4 tspn black mustard seeds
1/4 tspn fenugreek seeds
1 tspn red gram dal (toor dal)
6 – 10 dried red chillies, the end pinched
1.5 tspn salt
1 tspn rice flour
Prepare 2.5 cups tamarind juice.
Heat the ghee or sesame oil in a pot on the stove. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop, adding the fenugreek seeds, pinched red chillies, red gram dal and asafoetida. When the red gram dal is golden add the curry leaves. After a few moments add the tamarind juice and the salt to the spices.
Boil well and reduce to 2 cups. Then thicken with the rice flour mixed with a little cold water — stir it into the kuzhambu and stir continually until it thickens. Bring back to the boil and remove from the heat.
Serve with rice, maybe a vegetable curry or a simple green salad and some pappad. And some Indian pickles if they are to your taste.