Wednesday, February 15, 2012

VHD 2/12 - Arachu Vitta Kaara Kozhambu (From Hema)

Here's our first guest post for the Valentine's Heart Drive. We are pleased to introduce our readers to our guest contributor, Hema Srinivasan, who lives in LA and is passionate about all things FOOD! Here is the post in her own words.

When Anuja asked me to contribute towards the Valentine's Heart Drive, Italian was the first cuisine that came to mind. But then I thought, why not Indian. In fact South Indian, only because there is no other better way to win my sweetheart's attention! Heart healthy was sure an option, but I'd say its safe to take this exception, cause it sure was worth it :)

So, my first contribution here is a Arachu Vitta Kaara Kozhambu (spicy stew made with a ground paste). As a foodie, I have always loved South Indian cuisine in particular and kaara kozhambu has always been a top favorite. I researched online quite a bit and also took recipes from a friend.  I am yet to make that 'Perfect' Kuzhambu in my books, but safe to say this recipe is sure on its way there. After a 8hr flight across the coast it was a treat for my husband and I guess it did win his HEART!

Arachu Vitta Kaara Kozhambu
Inspired by Kaara Kozhambu featured on Samai
Makes about 4 cups

1.       Onion - 1  big sized
2.      Tomato – 1 big sized
3.      Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
4.      Green Chili – a few
5.      Turmeric powder - 1/4 tbsp
6.      Tamarind -1 medium ball
7.      Mustard seeds and Urad dal - 1/2 tbsp
8.      Curry leaves – about 10
9.      Sugar (or) Jaggery – to taste
10.   Salt - to taste
11.    Oil - as required (Sesame oil is preferred)- I’d make it on the slightly oilier side, given it’s a Kuzhambu and that way you can store it for a few days.

The ‘Magic’ paste :)

1.       Dry Red Chilies – 4-5
2.      Coriander seeds - 1 ½ tbsp
3.      Cumin seeds - 1/2 tbsp
4.      Fennel seeds - 1/4 tbsp
5.      Peppercorn - 1/4 tbsp
6.      Toor dal (thuvaram paruppu)- 1/4 tbsp
7.      Fenugreek seeds (vendhayam) - a pinch
8.      Curry leaves - 10
9.      Coconut - 1 tbsp

Note: I tried to stick to the proportions for this paste to make sure the taste came out just right.

1.       Cut onion, green chili, tomato into small pieces.
2.      Soak tamarind in water for 15 minutes. After that extract a cup of tamarind juice from it.
3.      Roast all ingredients for the ‘Magic' paste in 1 tsp of oil, allow it to cool, add some water and grind it into a fine paste.
4.      Heat about 4tsp of oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds and urad dal, once it splutters add curry leaves, onion and green chili, fry till they are golden brown.
5.      Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes away. Add tomato and mash it with the spatula.
6.      Add turmeric powder, Magic paste from Step 3 and fry it for a few minutes.
7.      Add tamarind juice, 1 cup of water, salt and sugar (or jaggery) to it.
8.      Bring this to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium.
9.      Cover the kadai with a lid and cook for 10 minutes until the stew becomes thick.

Serve it with hot rice, a splash of ghee and a curry on the side would be great. I tried it with okra roast but am guessing urulai (potato) roast would be a perfect marriage!

1 comment:

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