A Simple Seasoned Kuzhambu

This is a very simple dish, you can whip it up in no time from spices and tamarind.

Kuzhambu dishes 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.

Try some other Kuzhambu recipes – Lentil Balls in a Spicy Gravy, Green Chilli Kuzhambu, or Yoghurt Kuzhambu.

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.

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Thakkali Paruppu Rasam | Tomato Lentil Rasam | A spicy tomato based broth

A definite favourite, and one of my first rasam experiences.

We struggle to describe Indian food in Western terms. Rasam isnt really a soup, but it would be the closest term that we have to describe it. It is a spicy “soupy” “drink” that is often eaten as part of a meal in Sth India, particularly Tamil Nadu.”Broth” is a good term. That would be close. Served in a metal cup, it can be sipped from that cup, or poured over rice or other parts of the meal to moisten drier curries. It is truly a delicious and very versatile part of an Indian meal.

Rasams may or may not involve lentils. The most simplest rasams are water, chillies and spices, perhaps some tamarind. I love to make them from the top water when I am cooking lentils for a dal – ie remove the water on top of the lentils when they have cooked, before you turn the lentils into a dal. Use that wonderfully flavoured water to make a rasam.

At the opposite end of the scale are rasams that are based on lentils. Today’s recipe is one such recipe, made with red gram dal.It is quite different to this Tomato Rasam which I first made some years ago.

You may be wondering what a Rasam is – read about Rasam here. You might like to browse other Rasam recipes here, including Kottu Rasam, Pepper Rasam, and Tomato Rasam. Or explore our Indian dishes here and here. Other Winter recipes can be found here and here.

 

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Masala Lemon or Lime Rice | Masala Elumichai Sadham | A South Indian Tamil Recipe

A tangy kuzhambu with lime or lemon

Masala Lemon Rice is perfect when your body feels under the weather on a wet and cold day – it will spark up your energy levels. Another Meenakshi Ammal recipe, it is a bit of a maze to work out instructions. But this is what I love about Amma’s books. You do need to be a bit of a detective to make sense of them.

In Indian recipes  lemon often refers to our lime. However, I have found that they are reasonably interchangeable: although the tastes will be different depending on whether you use a lemon or lime, the recipes will work with either one.

You might also like to try Urad Dal Garlic Rice, Peppered Rice, or Mango Rice. All our rice recipes are here and here. There are several ways to cook rice – Absorption method, Steaming or Oven Finished Rice. You can see them all here. Or explore our Indian dishes here and here. Other Winter recipes can be found here and here.

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Tamarind Rice | Puliyodharai Saadham

A popular Indian rice dish

Never have there been cuisines that do such a variety of special and wonderful things with rice as many of the Indian Cuisines. The variety is endless. This recipe is for Tamarind Rice. The Iyengar community in Tamil Nadu specialises in this rice and the dish is famous among South Indians. There must be many thousands of variations of this recipe.

Are you after other Mixed Rice recipes? Try Carrot Rice, Urad Dal Garlic Rice, Peppered Rice, and Mango Rice.

What about Tamarind in recipes? Try Kottu Rasam, a Tamarind and Lime Dressing, and Amaranth Soup with Tamarind.

Browse all of our Mixed Rice dishes, and all of our general Rice dishes. Checkout all of our Tamarind recipes too. Explore our Indian recipes here, or be inspired by our Late Winter recipes.

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Race Kuzhambu | Anjara Petti Kuzhambu | A Traditional South Indian Gravy

A tangy tamarind based kuzhambu with okra, drumsticks or eggplant.

No one really knows how Race Kuzhambu got its name, but we have a theory that it is a mis-spelling of rice. This recipe uses a little rice to aid in the thickening of the kuzhambu gravy.

A Kuzhambu is a gravy like dish, sometimes thin, sometimes thicker, intended to be eaten over rice. Read more about Kuzhambu here.

It is also called Anjara petti kozhambu, meaning Spice Box Kuzhambu. In this dish, a range of ingredients in the home spice box are used to make the masala which is then cooked in tamarind liquid.

Browse our Kuzhambu recipes here, including Green Chilli Kuzhambu, Fenugreek Kuzhambu, and Masala Kuzhambu with Gram Flour Vadai. If you are looking for Sambar Recipes, they are here. Or explore our Indian dishes here and here. Be inspired by our Winter recipes here and here.

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Cooking Focaccia on the BBQ

The scent of bread wafting from the covered BBQ.

There is something so special about the scent of bread cooking – and when it is cooked in the BBQ the aroma floats from our balcony over to  our neighbour’s. I am sure they wonder what we were up to.

Cooking bread in the BBQ does produce a different texture than when you cook it in the oven, but it is gorgeous and so good and easy. Cook the focaccia first, and when you take it out, cook your other dishes in the BBQ as the bread cools.

You might also like to try other BBQ dishes, including Baked Pears on the BBQ and Bananas on the BBQ. You can also make Stuffed Mushrooms on the BBQ, Fennel with Lemon and Parmesan, and Grilled Cheese on Sourdough Toast, all on the BBQ. Find inspiration in our Winter recipes here and here.

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Arai Puli Kuzhambu | A Mildly Sour Wet Soupy Curry | Eggplant and Potato in a Spicy Gravy

A luscious kuzhambu of brinjal (eggplant) and potato. Enjoy!

Meenakshi Ammal has the habit of calling Kuzhambu as a soup in her English translations of her recipes. They are not really soups, but it speaks to the difficulty of translating some of the traditional Indian dishes into something that has meaning to the Western world. Indian authors try to find hooks that have some meaning to non Indian readers, likening dishes to risottos, pancakes, pesto’s, red and green curries, clarified butters. I do it too, resorting to words like broth and gravy.

My personal opinion is that we should respect and maintain the tradition as much as possible, and not find Western-accepted terms to describe dishes. But that is difficult with a dish like Kuzhambu. The best I can call it at this stage is a wet curry or a spicy gravy. It is neither a soup or a gravy, although it has qualities of both. Sometimes it is more gravy like, and sometimes more soup like, but it is neither. It is a beautiful balanced dish, flavour wise, with a wonderful balance of sour (tang), heat (chillies), warmth (spices) and an undefined specialness.

This is one of my favourite kuzhambu dishes.! Enjoy!

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.

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Plain Kuzhambu | Kottu Kuzhambu | South Indian Vegetables with Spicy Gravy

This plain kuzhambu is milder than some others, but is anything but plain.

Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See books, has a Plain Kuzhambu (Kottu Kuzhambu) in Book 1 of her 4 book series. The Plain Kuzhambu is milder indeed, but is anything but plain. It is a gravy like dish without the toor dal, and with the addition of vegetables. I used pumpkin. Kottu, meaning plain, indicates the presence of vegetables but without cooked lentils.

This recipe is very similar to Vatral Kuzhambu, but uses fresh vegetables instead of dried ones (vathal).

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 traditional Sambar Recipes, they are here – the list includes the Kuzhambu Recipes. Or explore our Indian dishes here and here. Other Winter recipes can be found here and here.

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Lemon or Lime Rasam | Sweet, Sour, Hot, Delicious

A simple yest satisfying broth-like addictive Kuzhambu.

This Rasam recipe ticks every box – quick to make, easy, tasty, light, satisfying, amazing, addictive. It takes no more than 10 minutes. It is a very thin dish, and perfect to ladle over rice.

Similar recipes include Kottu Rasam, Pepper Rasam, and Tomato Rasam.

You may be wondering what a Rasam is – read about Rasam here.

Browse all of our Rasam recipes here. And explore our Indian dishes. Other Winter recipes can be found here and here.

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BBQ Roasted Pears, Strawberries, and Grapes

Make these in the oven or on the BBQ, they are delicious!

A BBQ is tremendous, even in winter, even in the cold. We use it more than in non-summer months than in the heat.

If you haven’t see it already, take a look at Part 1 of this BBQ series to see Grilled Fennel with Lemon and Parmesan and Grilled Broccoli with Preserved Lemon and Part 2 of this BBQ Series to see Roasted Carrots with Pomegranate Molasses, Melty Cheese and Baked Bananas. You can also browse the complete BBQ Series of recipes, including Baked Garlicky Eggplant, Baked Apricots, and Hot Tomato Salad. Find inspiration in our Winter recipes here and here.

You might like to browse these – Pear recipes are here and here, Strawberry recipes are here and here, and Grape recipes are here and here.

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Quince Jam | Quince Jelly

Deeply flavoured with hints of spices.

It is quince season, and friends with Quince trees bring buckets of quinces.  Each year we make Quince Jam.

We have other Quince recipes too. Try Quince Paste, Indian Quince Pickles, and Slow Cooked Sweet Spiced Quinces.

Or browse all of our Quince recipes, and you might like to read about Autumn Preserving. Our Jam recipes are here and here Also, explore our Mid Autumn collection of dishes.

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Quince Aachar | Quince Pickle

A hot, sour, oily, bitter Indian pickle, Punjabi in style.

Aachar is a spicy Indian pickle. It varies from place to place, from home to home. If you check  your local Indian grocery you can see a multitude made from almost everything that you can imagine. You will have heard, no doubt, of mango pickle or lime pickle — these are very popular. But take any ingredient of the plant variety and I guarantee that there is a pickle made from it.

Quince (our hard sometimes gritty, always sourish fruit) is not well known in India, as far as I can judge. The Indian Quince is quite a different fruit altogether.

Recently given a wealth of quinces, jam was made, and two batches of quince pickle. It is hot, sour, oily, bitter — that lovely combination of Ayurvedic tastes — and is sort of Punjabi in style.

We have other Quince recipes too. Try Quince Jam/Jelly, Quince Paste, Afghani Quinces with Split Peas, and Slow Cooked Sweet Spiced Quinces.

You might also like to try Pickled Cumquats, Pickled Cumquats, or Ginger-Garlic Paste. Some others to try are Pickled Lemon Slices, Semi Dried Tomatoes with Pomegranate , Tomato and Chilli Jam, or Zucchini Pickles in Oil.

Or browse all of our Quince recipes, and Pickle recipes, and you might like to read about Autumn Preserving. Browse all of our Indian recipes. Also, explore our Mid Autumn collection of dishes.

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Drumstick Kadhi | Yoghurt Curry with Drumsticks

Yoghurt Curry with Drumstick Vegetables

After being given some drumsticks, home grown by a friend, Drumstick Kadhi was on the menu.

Kadhi is a slow cooked yogurt or buttermilk dish, thickened with besan (chana flour, chickpea flour) which is later tempered with spices. In Indian recipes the terms “curd”, “buttermilk” and “yoghurt” are used almost interchangeably.

You can use Western buttermilk especially if you are after that little sour tang that buttermilk provides. If you are using yoghurt, look for unsweetened natural yoghurt, eg Greek Yoghurt or yoghurt from your Indian grocery, and thin it a little.

You might like to browse the collection of yoghurt recipes here. and here. A favourite is Thick Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs. Browse all of our Indian recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Winter dishes here and here.

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BBQ’d Carrots with Pomegranate, BBQ Melty Cheese Toast and BBQ’d Baked Bananas

BBQs are great, even in Winter.

Beautiful wintery days continue, clear skies, sunshine, happy moods. And it is perfect for weekend cooking on the BBQ in a no-fuss, not too much washing up, sort of a way.

Use baby carrots or normal carrots for this dish. Best cooked in a foil tray to minimise dishes and washing up, you could also cook it directly on a BBQ hot plate.

If you haven’t see it already, take a look at Part 1 of this BBQ series to see Grilled Fennel with Lemon and Parmesan and Grilled Broccoli with Preserved Lemon. You can also browse the complete BBQ Series of recipes. Find inspiration in our Winter recipes here and here. Continue reading “BBQ’d Carrots with Pomegranate, BBQ Melty Cheese Toast and BBQ’d Baked Bananas”

BBQ’d Pumpkins, Potatoes, Broccoli and Fennel

A new BBQ brings lots of cooking.

These recipes use a BBQ with a cover, so you can grill or bake or roast. I use a Weber Q, along with its vegetable basket, a hotplate for things like onions and haloumi, and a pizza stone.

**I am not compensated for mentioning this brand of BBQ in any way.

You might like to browse our complete collection of BBQ recipes. Our favourite is Pizza on the BBQ. Or browse our Winter recipes here and here.

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