Restuarant Style Karakuzhambu - A coconut based spicy and tangy kuzhambu. This dish is a part of the Tamil Nadu restaurant style Thali.
Kuzhambu is one of the main courses served in the Tamil cuisine. In a traditional Tamil (South Indian) meal, kuzhambu is served as a first course along with steaming white rice followed by Rasam, also served with rice and then Yogurt/buttermilk (mandatory to finish the meal).
The word kuzhambu in Tamil translates means mix, in this context, a mix of something It is a spicy dish usually made with tamarind as a base. Quite simple to make and
Kuzhambu is naturally Vegan and Gluten free
I cannot stress enough the fact that Indian cuisine, especially the South Indian cuisine, is a good option for having meals that are naturally gluten free and most cases, vegan as well. People with the diet restrictions can find something that suits them without having to modify/substitute any ingredients!
See here for more Kuzhambu varieties.
Cowpea or Black eyed bean is an excellent source of fiber and potassium and iron. It is low in fat and cholesterol and sodium. Therefore a must have for people with High B.P. and Cholesterol. This is native to south Africa and it grows mostly in the semi arid tropical region.
Lentils and beans in the Indian Cuisine
Lentils and pulses are a big part of the Indian cuisine. Channa Masala, Dal Makhani Rajma, lauki Channa Dal, Sundal and many more that uses various pulses as the main ingredient. These provide the sufficient protein quantity for the vegetarians.
Beans are also quite popular in the western world, especially in the Italian and African kitchens where they make various kinds of stew. Mostly the recipes include meat in it but there are quite a few vegetarian options like Kik alicha served with injera, Kenyan Maharagwe, Vegan Italian white beans stew, Tuscan Bean stew, Greek Fasolda. While they are mostly had as a soup or along with a bread, you can also have it with steaming white rice.
- 1 Medium sized Onion finely slice
- 1/4 Cup Karamani soaked for about half an hour
- 1 tsp concentrated tamarind paste
- 1 Tbsp Channa dahl
- 1 Tbsp Dhaniya
- 1/4 tsp Jeera
- 1/2 tsp Sombu | Fennel seeds
- 2-3 no's Red chillies
- 3 Tbsp Grated coconut
- 4-5 no's Small onions
- 1 Medium sized tomato chopped
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp Jeera
- Few curry leaves
- 1 no's Red chilly
- 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder if needed
- Pressure cook the karamani for 3 whistles and keep it aside.
- In a pan, heat oil. Add the ingredients one by one and fry them until they become brown. Cool and grind it to a smooth paste.
- In another pan, heat oil. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and chillies. Once they splutter, add the Onions and fry until they become translucent.
- Then add the tomatoes and keep stirring until it softens. Add a cup of water, cooked karamani, tamarind paste and bring it to a boil.
- Once the raw smell of the tamarind paste goes off, add the ground paste. Check for spice and if needed, add red chilli powder.
- Once again, let everything come to a boil. Check for salt and adjust.
Serving: Serve this with steaming white rice and a dollop of ghee. Notes: This kuzhambu is generally served in restaurant as a part of the Thali menu. This recipe is close to what I have tasted at restaurants.