February 4, 2018

Inji Kara kuzhambu

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:

nalla ennai/sesame oil - 2 Tsp

Group 1
milagu/black pepper - 1tsp
Jeerakam/cumin seeds - 1 tsp
milagai/dry red chilies - 5 no:s

Group 2
poondu/garlic - 5 pods
inji/ginger - about 2 inches, sliced

Stovetop method:

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.
Sharing this tangy recipe with my fellow bloggers at SriValli's CCC Feb #53 -- Week 1.

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