Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Everyday Simple Recipes, South Indian

Milagu Kuzhambu / Spicy Pepper Gravy for Rice

A spicy and tangy kozhambu (gravy) just right for the winter / rainy season. Especially good to treat common cold and chest congestion. Ingredients may be many but the method is very simple and easy. You will definitely get hooked to its taste.

Ingredients:
Tamarind – one big gooseberry size ball
Jaggery – 1/2 tsp
Water – 1 cup, adjust as needed
Turmeric a pinch
Salt to taste

For Roasting and Grinding:
Peppercorns – 1-1/2 tsp
Urid dal – 1 tsp
Chana dal – 1 tsp
Coriander seeds – 1-1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds / Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Hing/Asafetida powder – 1/4 tsp
Dry red chilies – 1 or 2
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Sesame oil – 1 tsp

For Seasoning:
Sesame oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

IMG_2826Method:
Add a teaspoon of sesame oil to an iron pan. Add peppercorns, urid dal, chana dal, dry red chili, and coriander seeds.
Stir continuously and roast the ingredients. When the urid dal starts turning color, add fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, hing powder, and curry leaves. Stir fry until jeera seeds start spluttering and the dals have turned red.
Turn off the fire, transfer to a bowl or plate and let this cool.
When the roasted ingredients have cooled down, pulse this in a mixture to make a fine and smooth paste. You may add small quantities of water also.
Add a cup of lukewarm water to tamarind and soak it for 2-3 mins. Extra the tamarind juice and remove and discard the pulp.
Heat a pot and add a teaspoon of sesame oil and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start spluttering, add curry leaves.
Now add the tamarind juice to the pot. Add turmeric powder. Bring to boil.
Add the required amount of salt.
Add jaggery powder, mix, and bring to boil.
Add the smooth paste of the roasted ingredients into the boiling tamarind. Stir well. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, or jaggery as per taste.
Boil until the gravy thickens and oil starts appearing on top of the gravy.
You can serve this as a gravy with rice or mix this with cooked rice to make milagu kuzhambu sadam.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANote:
1. If you boil until the gravy thickens, you can store this gravy and mixed it with desired quantities of cooked rice to make instant milagu kuzhambu sadam, which is like a one-pot meal that can be served with papad or some stir fried vegetables. The gravy can be stored in refrigerator up to 15 days.
2. To make another version of this gravy, you can add sauteed shallots or garlic when boiling the tamarind.
3. It is important to use sesame oil to make this kuzhambu to get the authentic taste and flavor.