Kuzhambu is a South Indian dish with infinite varieties. They are gravy-like dishes intended to eat over rice, and form an important part of daily meals in Tamil Nadu. Read more about Kuzhambu dishes here.
Orange Kuzhambu – made from the peel only – can also be made with lime or lemon peel (even Meyer lemons). Even mandarin peel can be used.
You can see the genesis of this dish in making food stretch, in the “top to tail” eating, vegetarian style, of people for whom sustenance and deliciousness was the requirement, whatever food was at hand. Perhaps it is “root to leaf” eating.
You can find recipes for the other Kuzhambus here. 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.
What else do you do with Orange Peels?
Make a chutney from them, or throw them into teas/tissanes. They dehydrate very well so in winter dry various citrus peels. These will last into summer for teas and icy drinks.
I would love to hear what else do you do with them.
Orange Kuzhambu | Narathankai Kuzhambu
Source : interpreted from Narathankai Kuzhambu in Cook and See Part 1, by S. Meenakshi Ammal
Cuisine: South Indian, Tamil
Prep time: about 5 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 3 – 4 people depending how you are using it. It makes about 3 cups.
4 – 8 green chillies
3/4 tspn fenugreek seeds
3.5 cups tamarind juice, made from lime sized piece tamarind (or use concentrate for ease) mixed with water
4 tspn ghee
0.5 tspn black mustard seeds
1 branch curry leaves
2 tspn jaggery
1 tspn rice flour
the peel of one orange or other citrus, peeled thinly and chopped. I chopped very finely but you can leave the peel in bigger chunks for texture.
Dry roast the fenugreek and asafoetida powder until the fenugreek just starts to darken, then grind to a powder.
Heat 4 tspns ghee in a pan. Add the black mustard seeds and allow to pop, then add the curry leaves. Add the green chillies and the orange peel pieces. Saute them for a few moments, then add the tamarind juice. Cook for 15 – 20 mins, watching carefully, until reduced to about 3 cups and the orange peel is cooked.
Add the jaggery and the fenugreek and asafoetida powder. Stir while simmering until it is all mixed.
Add 1 tspn rice flour dissolved in a little water to the dish and boil until it thickens. Add more rice flour if you desire a thicker consistency.
Serve in the traditional Indian manner, or with rice, a salad made of greens, an Indian chutney and/or pickle. Pour it over the rice to eat, or you can eat it more like a soup.
browse some of the Sambar and Kuzhambu recipes
- Classic Seasoned Sambar Method Three
- Moru Sambar (Buttermilk Sambar)
- On the Making of Sambar Powder
- Vatral Kuzhambu with Onion Vadagam