“Arachuvita Kuzhambu”, this phrase always kindles my taste buds. Even though amma makes the most aromatic Sambar podi which enhances each dish she makes with it these fresh ground pastes are podis are always a treat.
Chef Dhamaodaran is one of a person whom I adore so much. This man never looked or cooked like all professional people around here but I am sure his dishes were simply divine. The way he works with the ingredients, handles the vessels will resemble a skilled mother handling a mischeivios child at home. It will look like as if he had tamed every single thing in the kitchen and they’ll listen to him so obediently. Unfortuantely all these days I have never tried any of recipes.
Few weeks ago he has written in a weekly tamil magazin Kunkumam about a “Arachuvitta sundaikai kuzambu”. He has said that he tasted it in a small hotel in a remote village in the south Tamilnadu and got the recipe from the old lady who was the cook there. I tried it the next day and it was so lip smacklingly delicious and I was waiting to make a Kathirikai (Brinjal) kuzhambu with the same procedure. And this is the recipe!
From a remote corner of a small village let the humble old lady’s divine recipe reach the whole world!
Tamarind – 1 small lemon sized (soaked in 5 cups of water with 1 tea spoon of salt)
Brinjals – 1 cups cubed to 1 inch size
Tomato – 1/2 cup chopped
Small onions – peeled 200 gms
Garlic – 10 cloves
Gingelly oil – 1/4 ltr (don’t oanic. Its worth the amount)
1 handful Coriander seeds
1 handful Toor dal
6 dry red chillies
1 teaspoon black pepper a pinch of asfoeitda 1 teaspoon Fenugreek
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Roast all the above ingredients in 1 T gingelly oil and grind it to a fine powder.
How to make it?
Squeeze the tamarind in the soaked water well and drain it in a colander. Preserve the liquid.
Take a wide skillet and add the remaining oil. Let it heat up and add the onions. Saute till they turn pink and now add the tomatoes. Let it cook till it turns mushy. Now add the cubed brinjals and saute till their skins wilt. Now add the spice powder, the tamarind liquid and check for salt and add if required. Let the whole mix boil until oil separates from the kuzhambu.
The fragrance would fill your kitchen and ofcourse your soul too. Serve it with piping hot rice with a drizzle of ginglely oil with papad. You must be walking on the clouds now ;)