How to make Inji Kara Kuzhambu (ginger in spicy tamarind sauce)
On a cold rainy day, many of us crave for some spicy comfort food. Our morning started with snowflakes, changed into sleet & then rain. So, I decided to make this recipe from my recipe diary ( a recipe noted from a TV show years ago). The lady mentioned that the recipe was originally from Pondicherry(Puducherry), located in the southern part of India.
Serve it with hot steamed rice, and appalam/papad or chips and you have a zesty meal to make you feel warm & fuzzy on any given day. It is a spicy dish, so go easy & drizzle some sesame oil on your rice to make it even tastier.
Servings: about 4
nalla ennai/sesame oil - 2 tbsp
poondu/garlic - 5 pods
perungayam/asafoetida powder- 1/4 Tsp
manja thool/turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Puli/Tamarind - 1" sized ball soaked in water & strained with minimum amount of water
vengaya vadagam - 1 tbsp
karivepilai/curry leaves - 1 sprig
salt to taste
vellam/jaggery - 1 tbsp, powdered (optional)
coriander leaves - optional
Ingredients for the masala:
milagu/black pepper - 1tsp
Jeerakam/cumin seeds - 1 tsp
milagai/dry red chilies - 5 no:s
poondu/garlic - 5 pods
inji/ginger - about 2 inches, sliced
For the masala -
- Heat a pan/kadai with a tsp of sesame oil, add group one ingredients & saute in oil until crisp & aromatic. Transfer contents to the mixie/blender jar & let cool for a couple of minutes.
- Reheat the pan, add group 2 ingredients & saute on medium-low heat until well roasted & soft.
- Powder roasted group 1 ingredients finely & then add sauteed group 2 ingredients & run the mixer/blender for a couple of seconds to make a coarse paste.
To make the kuzhambu -
- Heat oil in a kadai/pan, add asafoetida powder, vengaya vadagam & let it fry until crisp. Add few curry leaves & garlic pods - saute until garlic is golden brown & cooked soft.
- Using a little water, wash the mixie/blender & add the ground masala to the kadai, pour the strained tamarind water, add turmeric powder, salt & jaggery(if using). Let simmer for a few minutes on low heat.
- Check seasoning, drizzle some sesame oil on top and turn off the heat.
- Serve with steamed rice & papad/chips. Can also be eaten with paruppu podi or Karivepillai podi.