Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pongal Kuzhambu

This is a dish that is very easy to prepare and tastes heavenly with the simple cooked rice...It is usually prepared during pongal when fresh lentils and vegetables arrive at the market.There are various methods of cooking this dish..The one that I had mentioned is the one that my mom makes specially during pongal.She also repeats making it often after pongal as we love this kuzhambu..
This dish specially calls  for 5/7 types of vegetables.Each vegetable gives a special taste to the dish.The remaining kuzhambu we keep it overnight and it tastes still more tastier, when it is heated again...Sunda Pongal kuzhambu tastes excellent with a simple appalam...
For the recipe please press READ MORE below...


Serves-3 to 4
Cooking time:20 -30 minutes

2 Nos of Brinjal
1/2 cup of chopped all types of kizhangu(Sembu,pidikarunai,sweet potato-sakkari valli kizhangu)
2-3 pieces of cubed senaikizhangu(Yam)
1/2 a plantain(Vazhaikaai)
4 nos of Broad beans(avaraikaai)
1/2 Cup of freshly peeled mochai
1/2 Cup of karamani(Black eyed pea/Lobia)
4-5 cubed ash gourd(White gourd)
2-3 pieces of cubed pumpkin/Parangikkai
Lemon Sized Tamarind
1 Cup of finely chopped onions( 2 big onions)
1/2 cup of finely chopped tomatoes(2-3 tomatoes medium size)
1-2 Tbsp of red chilli powder
2-4 tbsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of turmeric powder
For tempering:
1 tbsp of oil
1tsp of mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of urad dhal
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
2 strands of curry leaves
2-3 nos of dry red chillies
A pinch of asafoetida
coriander leaves to garnish
Chop all the vegetables..Chop it into little bigger size.
I had used fresh mochai and karamani.If u are using the dry one then soak it for 2-3 hours
Use only naatu(village) vegetables.
Don't add too much of sakarai vallikizhangu.Add only a small piece of it .It gives a nice pinch of sweetness to the gravy.
Any combination of vegetables can be used..But all should be nattu kaais

Traditionally this gravy is prepared in a mud pot.But I had used a pressure cooker.
Add all the vegetables,Onion,Tomato,chilli powder,coriander powder,turmeric powder,salt and pressure cook it for one whistle.

Don't cook it too much too as the vegetables will get mashed up.Chop the vegetables a little bigger size than the usual.

After one whistle the vegetables would have cooked 3/4th.
Then add tamarind water taken from the lemon sized tamarind to the cooked gravy.
Allow it to boil for 5-10 minutes till the gravy turns thick.

Add oil in a tempering pan.Then add items mentioned in "For tempering " in the ingredients list.
Add it to the gravy and serve it with cooked rice.

The gravy stays well for 1-2 days as we had not used any coconut in it.It tastes well when it is reheated and had the next day!!

Handy Tips:

  • 2-3 garlic pods can also be added
  • Instead of chilli/coriander powder sambhar powder can be added
  • Various combinations of vegetables can be used.
  • Finally  grinded coconut n jeera can be added to gravy.But this will not taste well if we reheat it again and again
  • If sweet potato is not available then instead add a small piece of jaggery to enhance the taste