This Poritha Kuzhambu is made using the third of 3 methods outlined by Meenakshi Ammal in her 4 volumes of Cook and See. It sautees the spices before grinding them to a paste and adding to the dish. This deepens the flavours and adds a toasted overtone.
Poritha Kuzhambus are very delicious. These recipes are without tamarind and with coconut added for a beautiful sense of the tropical South of India. Beautiful indeed.
You might like to find out more about Kuzhambu. We suggest that you read The Difference Between Sambar, Kuzhambu and Kootu. Also have a look at the other methods of making Poritha Kuzhambu. The differences are minor, but they do change the flavours significantly. The first uses Sambar Powder, and the second replaces that with a few individual spices.
Similar recipes include Amaranth Leaves Coconut Kootu, Puli Keerai, Plain Masiyal of Amaranth Leaves, Beetroot Vathakuzhambu, Green Chilli Kuzhambu, Fenugreek Kuzhambu, Green Amaranth Soup with Tamarind, and Race Kuzhambu.
Are you looking for the recipes of Meenakshi Ammal? They are here. She certainly is my guru of Tamil Brahmin cuisine.
Meenakshi Ammal, author of the Cook and See series of books.
Simple Poritha Kuzhambu | Method Three
The best vegetables to use are Snake Gourd, Chow Chow, Drumstick, Country Runner Beans. Also Amaranth Leaves and Drumstick Leaves.
You can also use Ridge Gourd, Eggplants, Cluster Beans and Amaranth Stems.
It is best to choose only 1 vegetable rather than mix them.
0.75 cups of either red gram dal (toor dal) or green gram dal (mung dal)
0.75 tspn salt
0.5 tspn rice flour
3 dried red chillies
1 tspn black gram dal (urad dal)
2 – 3 tspns of grated coconut (frozen grated coconut is Ok)
2 tspn ghee
0.5 tspn mustard seeds
0.5 tspn black gram dal (urad dal)
few curry leaves
Cook the dal until quite mushy/pastey. This will take around 30 mins unless the dal is old and drier – then it will take longer. When it is cooked, you can partially blend it with an immersion blender if necessary.
Prepare the vegetables and cut into suitable sized pieces. Cook in 0.5 cup of water, adding more if necessary, with the salt. Cook the vegetables well.
Meanwhile, toast the chillies and urad dal in a pan on the stovetop until they darken but don’t burn, and then grind with the coconut to a fine powder. You can add a little water to make a paste if desired.
Add the cooked dal and the spice powder or paste to the vegetables. Add more water if the mixture needs to be thinned. Then let the mixture boil well.
Dissolve the rice flour in a little water and add to the dal. Stir for a couple of minutes as the rice flour cooks out and the gravy thickens slightly.
Turn off the heat. Garnish with the curry leaves.
Make the tadka by heating the ghee in a small pan, adding the mustard seeds and allow to pop without burning them. Add the urad dal and fry for a moment or two, then pour the ghee and all over the curry leaves and dal.
Cover with a lid and leave for 2 mins to allow the flavours to infuse. Serve and enjoy.