Araipuli Kuzhambu - Brinjal and chickpea cooked in a simple spicy tamarind sauce. Serve it with rice and ghee.
We always strive to achieve grand things in life that we don’t allow ourselves to be simple. We are fixated that being simple means frivolous and unimportant. We conveniently forget that these basic things are the ones that give us the utmost pleasure, rejuvenate us and give us a sense of satisfaction in this overgrowing competitive and chaotic world. If you love what you do, even the regular routine becomes interesting. And, for falling in love with something that has become completely mundane is to develop a curiosity for it again. Things lose their flare when we do them just for the sake of getting them done. Cooking is a classic example of this situation that can easily become a chore when you don’t love it. We get bored easily if we keep preparing/eating the same things again and again. We strive to vary our palate and look for unusual and fancy.
So my theme for this month is simple - “Find Joy in the Ordinary”. Plain and simple day-to-day meals of the Tamil Iyers, the everyday comfort food that we crave when we miss home. Ill be showcasing our family recipes - the ones that H and I separately enjoyed growing up and the ones that we call "our favourites" post marriage. My ancestry is from the Thnajavur / Nagapattinam region whereas his is from the Toothukudi / Tirunelveli districts. Some might be the popular ones and some pertaining to our family. The curiosity to know about my heritage and ancestry piqued my interest even more. The more I researched and the more I am amazed at the depth and range that my humble cuisine has. As the series progress, I will also talk about the value of the heritage that we have inherited in terms of food and the customs associated with our tradition.
I chose this theme so that I could also update my series which I left halfway through. The very first post in the series is a Kuzhambu, one of the most quintessential things in our daily meal. I have tried to document most of the kuzhambu varieties in this A-Z series, the main theme for our Mega marathon. For those letters that I could not find one, I have non kuzhambu recipes. Hope you all enjoy the series!Update: Thanks Valli, I completely missed out this section on my post.
This recipe is very similar to Vatha kuzhambu. Actually, it is the same recipe with a slight variation in the amount of tamarind and spice. Araipuli means half the tamarind quantity and this is a mildly sour and mildly spiced gravy than vathakuzhambu. When mom makes this, it is simply kathrikai kondakadalai kuzhambu and after sitting on the research for the series I found this dish had a proper name. 🙂 Mostly yam, potato and brinjal (eggplant) are used in this gravy. There are so many variations to this recipe in the net. You can substitute chickpea with karamani (black eye pea) and some have added sundakkaivathal instead of veggies. But as you all know every dish gets adapted according to one's family.
- 3 tablespoons oil, divided
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds (kadugu)
- 2 red chillies (vatha milagai) broken
- 4-5 curry leaves ( karivepilai)
- 1 tablespoon Bengal gram (channa dhal)
- ½ teaspoon black gram (urad dahl)
- 3-4 fenugreek seeds (venthayam)
- ¼ cup brown chickpeas ( kala channa)
- 1 tablespoon sambhar powder
- 3-4 medium-sized Brinjal (kathirikai) 1
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste in 2 cups water 2
- ½ tablespoon rice flour (arisi mavu)
- Salt to tase
- Few scrapes of Coconut
- Soak channa overnight and pressure cook. Keep aside. It should be soft and slightly mushy.
Keep the chopped brinjal in water so that it does not turn black.
Mix the tamarind paste in about 2 cups of water.
Heat oil in a Kadai | Pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the red chillies, curry leaves, channa dahl, urad dahl, and fenugreek seeds. Fry for a second.
- Add the cooked chickpeas, brinjal and sambhar powder. Mix well. (3)
Then add the tamarind water and salt. Let it boil until the raw smell of the tamarind goes off and the brinjal gets cooked.
- Mix half a tablespoon of rice flour in half cup of water and pour it in the kuzhambu. Allow it to boil for another couple of minutes and switch it off.
- If the kuzhambu becomes very thick, add some more water. Serve it with hot rice.
- Keeping chopped brinjals in water until you use it helps in retaining its colour. If it is kept as such, the flesh turns black in colour. In the recipe, I have mentioned tamarind paste measurement as I use only that. You can use a gooseberry sized tamarind for the above amount. But always keep in mind the sourness of the tamarind
- In the recipe, I have mentioned tamarind paste measurement as I use only that. You can use a gooseberry sized tamarind for the above amount. But always keep in mind the sourness of the tamarind varies a lot. Trial and error is the best way to gauge the exact amount.
- For this recipe, the amount of tamarind is less than what we use for Vatha Kuzhambu.
- Some veggies tend to take a long time to cook in tamarind water (because of acidic nature). If so, then after step 3 add plain water and par-cook the brinjal. After that add the tamarind water.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63 here.
veena krishnakumar says
That is a lovely theme Nisha. Vibha may land up at your doorstep read this:)
Delighted to find you in the A-Z challenge! Looking forward to learn how to cook Indian with you! By the way, I'm also doing food and recipes for the A-Z 🙂 vegetarian with some fish
Chef Mireille says
I always find it so interesting to find traditional recipes and researching your own heritage - I am addicted to the show - Who Do You Think You are - anyway this looks great and looking forward to learning more
Nalini's Kitchen says
Nice theme and looking forward to the interesting Tambrahm recipes.Arai puli kulambhu sounds inviting.
Saraswathi Tharagaram says
OMG irresistable. Looks tempting. Nice clicks...My Favorite kuzhambu.
Harini-Jaya R says
I love that you are digging into the authentic and traditional recipes. I love such recipes. This is such an interesting take on the concept of Kuzhambu I know of.
Smruti Shah says
Lovely recipe and amazing pictures Nisha. Loved this post!
Priya Suresh says
Interesting theme Nisha, well done and am so eager to see your dishes. Btw the serving bowl looks amazing and this kuzhambu is inviting me.
Ruchi Indu says
that bowl looks lovely. Where did you get it Nisha.... Waiting for more iyer cuisines since I Also love most of them.
Priya Srinivasan says
Wow nisha love the theme dear!! Lip smacking kuzhambhu!!
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan says
Great and same pinch. I am doing TN recipes and day to day ones Nisha. Totally agree with you on this, "Cooking is a classic example for this situation that can easily become a chore when you don’t love it"
Loved your intro. Looking forward to other recipes.
Suma Gandlur says
As you mentioned, the food we grew up with becomes the ultimate comfort food and nothing can beat it. The theme you picked up is interesting and looking forward to your Kuzhambu recipes this marathon. Love the setup.
Sapana Behl says
Very nice theme Nisha.I always feel that simple everyday food is the best comforting food and we should showcase it often in our posts.Love your set up and presentation.
Pavani N says
Lovely post Nisha and I love your theme as well. So simple -- everyday meals, I'm sure I'll be bookmarking a lot of the recipes from here 🙂
Kuzhambu with eggplant & chana looks so delicious.
Though I read the writeup, all I want to comment about is bowl you served the kuzhambu in. I have been eyeing similar bowl for some time and I guess I can't wait any longer after seeing it in your pictures.. I am getting it next time I go shopping 🙂 Nice setup and beautiful pictures.
Looking forward to your daily recipes all this month. As you said, sometimes simple food is comfort food.
Sandhya Ramakrishnan says
Wonderful theme Nisha and lot of everyday simple Iyer recipes are getting lost too quickly. Amma makes araipuli kuzhambu as well and I love it because it has less tamarind. Wonderful presentation and looking forward to the rest in the series 🙂
Thoothukudi meets thanjavur :)) u got my interest already lady !! :)) mine is similarly themed : with everyday dishes making an appearance on the blog ;))
The props r so inviting ! Great start, Nisha 🙂
Padma Rekha says
Nice theme Nisha and loved all your props, beautiful pictures.. Looking forward to your all interesting recipes...
Padmajha PJ says
Nice theme Nisha and love the dish it is served in. Beautiful clicks 🙂
vaishali sabnani says
Very interesting theme ! Loved reading your post , and awesome presentation Nisha.
The Pumpkin Farm says
love ur pics Nisha and missed seeing them for a long time...so happy to see u back...i expected u do german cuisine, but this is even better simple and everyday classic....looking forward
Gayathri Kumar says
Very nice theme Nisha. We will be learning a lot about Tambrahm cuisine from you this month. The kulambu looks so tasty. I am a huge fan of tamarind based gravies..
Amara Annapaneni says
Feel in love with your story and how you picked the theme Nisha.. Kuzhambu looks delicious and can't wait to see the rest of your favorite dishes:)
Such an interesting theme Nisha..looking forward to read them..love your setup, so nicely done...btw what's the meaning of the dish name?..would help others if they know what the name refers too..:)