The Kitchen is a-hum with activity this week. But first things first, a perspiration generating, hot hot dish of green chillies.
Some kuzhambu dishes are like gravies, perfect to eat ladled over rice. This one is a perfect for rice, and very hot, lunch.
Green Chilli “Soup”
Oh goodness, Meenakshi Ammal up’d the heat scale with her Green Chilli Soup from Cook and See Part 1. It almost frightened me when I read the recipe, given the number of chillies, but in the end I thought I just have to cook it and see. So I did. Her recipe is again a maze of confusing instructions — here is my best interpretation.
She labels this a “soup” but we know that South India does not have traditional soup dishes in the Western sense. Neither is it a rasam, as it is thickened and does not have the other properties of rasam. My initial instinct was that it is a kuzhambu, and confirmed this after a long discussion on Facebook, debating whether it was one of a variety of dishes. You might like to read Sambar vs Kuzhambu as well.
It is surprising that she calls it a soup, as many of her other recipes retain the original names. The final clincher came from a facebook contact who sent through this link for Green Chilli Kazhambu — Pacha Milagai.
I have to say that the end product is very delicious — it is great as part of a traditional Sth Indian meal, such as with curd rice (thayir sadham). You can also use this as a side dish for Idly and Dosa. Also in my Indian-Australian fusion mind, I can imagine it with tangy green salad, finely chopped tomatoes and ghee rice.
This makes about a cup (250 ml), so is designed to be eaten in small amounts, unlike most Western dishes which are designed to eat copious quantities thereof.🙂
Green Chilli Kuzhambu | Pacha Milagai
Ammal says to take 8 – 10 chillies. Next time I cook it I will perhaps use 4 chillies, and then increase it gradually each time I cook it until I find the right heat level. Remove the seeds from the chillies and roughly chop.
Take 3/4 tspn fenugreek seeds and pinch asafoetida. Dry roast them until the fenugreek just starts to darken, then grind to a powder.
Soak a lime sized piece of tamarind in some hot water. (or use tamarind paste for ease)
Heat 4 tspns ghee in a pan (this seems quite a lot, but the end result is very good. Reduce the amount of ghee if you wish). Saute the chillies in the oil till blistered a little, then add 50ml (1/5th cup) of tamarind juice. Add 1.5 tspn salt and cook the chillies.
Soak your tamarind again, and add up to 4/5 cup (200ml) tamarind juice. Mash the chillies (I used an immersion blender).
Pop 1/2 tspn black mustard seeds in 2 tspn ghee and add to the chillies with 2 tspn 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 and eat cautiously!!! It is HOT.
Do more of what makes you happy.
Sambar and Kuzhambu Series