July 7, 2007

Poondu Kuzhambu (Garlic Sambar)

Among Tamil cuisines, I have been exposed to mostly Tamil Brahmin cooking and know very little about other Tamil cuisines. I spent two years at a hostel in Pondicherry and did get a little bit of exposure, but I don't think what we got was anything but the chef's cuisine. All our food was loaded with onions, fennel, chana dal and coconut, so much so that we hardly could identify what vegetable we were eating. For most of my time there, my lunch used to be garlic rasam, rice, papad and curds. To ensure I ate veggies, I made a salad each night. I found a shop in the main town where a lady was willing to sell me 1 carrot, 1 cucumber, 1 tomato and a small piece of cabbage everyday for a fixed price.

One of the things the "chef" made well was kara kuzhambu. I hope to find the recipe to that somewhere. At a Chettinad restaurant in Madras, I once had poondu kuzhambu. I have not hunted for the recipe, but decided last weekend to make it my way. In between police interrogations and visits from fingerprinting experts, I made this dish and we made it a complete meal by eating it with paruppu podi, a salad and curds.


5-6 Garlic Pods, crushed

1-2 Red Chillies

1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds

1 tsp Mustard Seeds

1/2 tsp Asafoetida

1 tbsp Toor Dal

2 tbsp Tamarind Paste

1 tsp Oil

7-8 Curry Leaves

1 tbsp Sambar Powder

Salt to taste

Heat oil in a vessel and add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, toor dal and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves and the chillies. Add the crushed garlic and fry for a minute. Add the sambar powder and fry for another minute. Add the tamarind paste, salt and a cup of water. Bring to a boil. Enjoy this with hot rice and appalams.

This is my entry to Weekend Herb Blogging, started by Kalyn and hosted by Kalyn herself. I found this site that talks about the health benefits of garlic.


Kalyn Denny said...

Sounds good and spicy! I love anything with tamarind.

Helene said...

This sounds yummy indeed, as a friend of Indian cuisine, I´ll try it this autumn. :)

FH said...

OH YUM!! I love Garlic flavor i anything!:)

Raaga said...

Thanks Kalyn. A lot of the south indian cooking uses loads of tamarind.

Raaga said...

@Maria Helene: If you like stuff that sour and spicy all at once, then this recipe's a keeper!

Raaga said...

@Asha: Me too... like the taste of garlic :-)

sami said...

I want to try this recipe today..