Grated Coconut Masala Kuzhambu | Thenga Aracha Kuzhambu | S. Meenakshi Ammal.

A Kuzhambu with Coconut.

Thenga Aracha Kuzhambu | Grated Coconut Kuzhambu | A Life (Time) of Cooking | Autumn

Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See Part 1 has a Coconut Masala Kuzhambu recipe. Kuzhambu’s are soupy or gravy based dishes which are made without lentils. There isn’t any English equivalent, so any description is not going to be accurate. The are often said to be gravy-like, designed to eat over rice with some vegetable accompaniments.

See this post, Kuzhambu vs Sambar โ€“ what is the difference? It will help explain this type of dish which has no real equivalent in Western/English style cooking. Kuzhambus are meant to be eaten with rice, and perhaps a vegetable dish, some chutney and pickles.

You can find more Kuzhambu recipes 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.

Thenga Aracha Kuzhambu | Grated Coconut Kuzhambu | A Life (Time) of Cooking | Autumn

Tenga Aracha Kuzhambu | Grated Coconut Masala Kuzhambu

Source:ย  Adapted from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See 1
Cuisine: Indian

Prep time: 20 mins or so to make the pastes and saute the eggplant
Cooking time:20 mins approx to assemble the ingredients and cook out the kuzhambu
Serves: 4ย  people, depending how you use it. Makes 2 cups.

ingredients
Masala Paste
6 cloves
6 Cardamom pods, cracked open
1 tspn black poppy seeds
1cm or so cinnamon stick
2 tspn Indian Sesame Oil (do not use Chinese Sesame Oil – it is a different and heavier oil) or use ghee

Roast these ingredients separately in a pan on the stove until golden or releasing their aroma. Watch that they don’t burn. Now grind them together. You can use a little oil to roast them, or dry roast them (which I prefer). I add the oil to the spices towards the end of their grinding, to make the paste.

Coconut Paste
2 tspns Bengal Gram (Channa Dal)
4 tspns coriander seeds
8 red chillies (or to taste)
1 cup grated coconut (I use frozen, available from Indian grocers)

2 tspn Indian Sesame Oil (do not use Chinese Sesame Oil – it is a different and heavier oil) or use ghee

Roast these ingredients separately in a pan on the stove until golden or releasing their aroma. Watch that they don’t burn. Now grind them together. You can use a little oil to roast them, or dry roast them (which I prefer). I add the oil to the spices towards the end of their grinding, to make the paste.

After grinding the two pastes, wash the grinder out with some water, and reserve the water to add to the dish.

Thenga Aracha Kuzhambu | Grated Coconut Kuzhambu | A Life (Time) of Cooking | Autumn

Eggplants
1 medium sized tender eggplant, cubed or cut into long pieces
4 tspn
Indian Sesame Oil (do not use Chinese Sesame Oil – it is a different and heavier oil) or use ghee

Saute the eggplant in the oil or ghee until browning on each side. Set aside.

Talimpu and Assembly
1 tspn black mustard seeds
1 tspn black gram dal (split black urad dal)
pinch asafoetida (optional)
10 or so curry leaves

3 tspn Indian Sesame Oil or ghee
2 cups tamarind water, made with tamarind paste, or with dried tamarind soaked and strained
Salt to taste, about 2 tspn

Heat the oil inย  a pan and add the sesame seeds. Allow to pop before adding the black gram dal, asafoetida and curry leaves. Shake the pan for a few seconds, 10 or 20, but don’t let the spices burn. Add the tamarind water and the reserved liquid from cleaning the spice grinder.

Add the salt, the masala paste and the coconut paste. Bring to the boil, stirring well.

Now add the sauteed eggplants and continue boiling until the eggplants are cooked.

Remove from the heat and serve with rice and another vegetable dish, simple salad, Indian pickles and/or Indian chutneys.

Thenga Aracha Kuzhambu | Grated Coconut Kuzhambu | A Life (Time) of Cooking | Autumn

recipe notes
This recipe is towards the thicker end of Kuzhambu recipes, delightfully thickened with ground spices.

Amma (Meenakshi Ammal) suggests that only brinjal (eggplants) be used for this recipe, although she admits that onions would also be Ok in the recipe. However, a search of the web reveals a variety of vegetables cooked with similar spice blends, so you might want to experiment. I like to stick to Amma’s suggestions as they are the traditional ways of making and serving the dishes.

This recipe in her book is as complex a maze as any other in her book. I have done my best to trace a path through the maze, emerging at the other side with something that appears to me (at least) to be the essence of her intent.

I have cut down on the oil substantially in this recipe. Feel free to increase it. Amma recommends between 17 – 23 tspns oil (the total is a little ambiguous).

Author: Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.

8 thoughts on “Grated Coconut Masala Kuzhambu | Thenga Aracha Kuzhambu | S. Meenakshi Ammal.”

    1. I so agree Aruna. An accidental find in an Indian Grocery that was getting rid of their books cheaply, I love their wealth of traditional cooking methods and recipes. I love her sambars – they are divine.

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