Venthiya Keerai Kara Kuzhambu

How was your weekend. Ours disappeared in a jiffy. We were packing, in between did some India shopping for my in-laws and again did some packing so that we can move over the long weekend. Last 2 weeks were ridiculously suspense. We were keeping our fingers crossed for the mortgage approval. Atlast we got a go ahead from the bank to close. Sigh. We were supposed to move in October and it got delayed by almost 3 months now. Initially the delay was from the builder and then it was from the bank. Earlier it was a piece of cake to get a loan approval. After the recession, banks have become more stringent in issuing loans. I will tell this is Good, but it is bad too. It shot our blood pressure levels and gave us sleepless nights. Though it seems to be over now, I will feel more relieved when we officially close and get the keys of our first home.  Okay, let me go back and pack my stuffs. Meanwhile let me present you another recipe from my Mother in law. Kara kuzambu is a staple curry in most of the homes in Tamilnadu. It is normally prepared with different vegetables and greens of their choice. Now just scroll down to drool on this tangy, spicy and slightly bitter Venthiya Keerai Kara kuzhambu.  Slurrppp.. Some of you asked me if I can write a post on my weight loss journey and the SBD menu. Sure I will. Meanwhile, I am introducing  a new column  in my post. It is ‘ South Beach Diet adaptable‘ (*whenever it is applicable). This will tell you how you can adapt my recipe to fit into your diet. You can find it before ‘A glimpse from my kitchen’ header in each post. Give me a shout if you like it or if you would like to see some changes. How it tasted? Your mind gives signals to your taste buds as soon as you start mixing this curry with  piping hot rice. You start drooling even before you start eating it. When you have the first bite the tanginess from tamarind, bitterness from fenugreek leaves along with the spices explode and you feel wholesome. Aww did you hear that loud Slurp sound. Heheee.. it was from me.  You will definitely love this if you like tamarind base gravies. My mother in law has made this curry more than a half a dozen times in last 2 months. It is so simple to make and doesn’t require grinding of spices. Just pull the ingredients from your pantry and start making it. Let me tell ya, it is that easy.
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Category:
Servings: 6 yield(s)
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Ingredients
  • Fenugreek Leaves / Venthiya Keerai – 1/2 cup packed
  • Garlic / Poondu – 5 , chop it finely
  • Tamarind / Puli – size of 1 gooseberry / nellikai
  • Water – 1 1/2 cup for soaking tamarind + 1/2 cup
  • Shallots / Chinna vengayam – 7 , chop it finely
  • Tomato / Thakkali – 1/2, chop it finely
  • Green Chili / Pacha molaga – 2
  • Fenugreek seeds / Venthiyam – pinch
  • Mustard seeds / Kadugu – 1/8 tsp
  • Red chili powder / Molagai thul – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder / Malli thul – 3/4 tsp
  • Black pepper powder / Milagu thul- 1/4 tsp
  • Jaggery / Vellam , shredded – 1/2 tsp
  • Sesame Oil / Nalennai or Canola Oil – 1/2 tbsp or less
  • Asafoetida / Perungayam – sprinkle
  • Curry leaves / Karuveipilai – 6
  • Salt / Uppu – as per your taste
  • Turmeric Powder / Manjal thul – 1/8 tsp
Instructions
    Method
  1. Wash fenugreek leaves thoroughly in running water to remove any soil.
  2. Pluck the leaves discarding the stem. You will need around 1/2 cup packed.Soak tamarind in 1 1/2 cup of water for 30 minutes.
  3. Squeeze and discard the tamarind flesh. Strain the tamarind water to remove any impurities.In a kadai, add oil.
  4. When it is hot add mustard seeds and let it splutter.On a medium flame, add fenugreek seeds,  hing.
  5. When garlic starts changing color add finely chopped shallots, garlic, curry leaves, green chili.
  6. Saute until it becomes translucentAdd fenugreek leaves and saute for a minute.Then add  tomato and saute until it gets mushy.
  7. Simmer, add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder and saute for 2 minutes.Add tamarind water, salt, jaggery and bring it to boil.
  8. Add water, close the lid and let it cook on a low flame for 10 minutes or until 1/8 of water has evaporated.Remove from heat, close the lid and let the  flavors marry each other for 15 -30 minutes.
  9. Serve it hot with piping hot rice and teaspoon of ghee (optional)
  10. Notes
  11. Sesame oil can be little strong in flavor.
  12. So replace it with regular oil of your choice if you are not comfortable.
  13. Adjust salt and chili powder as per your taste buds.
  14. Add more water if required.If you are not so garlicky, reduce the amount of mince it before sauteing.
  15. South Beach Diet Adaptable
  16. Make it SBD friendly by serving this curry with 1/2 cup of cooked basmati or brown rice and your choice of simple vegetable stir fry like Asparagus Usili, Cabbage Poriyal, Spring Onion Egg fry, White pumpkin pachadi.
  17. Serve this curry with 1 cup Quinoa Pilaf for a twist.
  18. A glimpse from my kitchen
  19. Wash fenugreek leaves thoroughly in running water to remove any soil. Pluck the leaves discarding the stem. You will need around 1/2 cup packed.