Araipuli Kuzhambu - Brinjal and chickpea cooked in a simple spicy tamarind sauce. Serve it with rice and ghee.
We always strive to achieve grand things in life that we don’t allow ourselves to be simple. We are fixated that being simple means frivolous and unimportant. We conveniently forget that these basic things are the ones that give us the utmost pleasure, rejuvenate us and give us a sense of satisfaction in this overgrowing competitive and chaotic world. If you love what you do, even the regular routine becomes interesting. And, for falling in love with something that has become completely mundane is to develop a curiosity for it again. Things lose their flare when we do them just for the sake of getting them done. Cooking is a classic example of this situation that can easily become a chore when you don’t love it. We get bored easily if we keep preparing/eating the same things again and again. We strive to vary our palate and look for unusual and fancy.
So my theme for this month is simple - “Find Joy in the Ordinary”. Plain and simple day-to-day meals of the Tamil Iyers, the everyday comfort food that we crave when we miss home. Ill be showcasing our family recipes - the ones that H and I separately enjoyed growing up and the ones that we call "our favourites" post marriage. My ancestry is from the Thnajavur / Nagapattinam region whereas his is from the Toothukudi / Tirunelveli districts. Some might be the popular ones and some pertaining to our family. The curiosity to know about my heritage and ancestry piqued my interest even more. The more I researched and the more I am amazed at the depth and range that my humble cuisine has. As the series progress, I will also talk about the value of the heritage that we have inherited in terms of food and the customs associated with our tradition.
I chose this theme so that I could also update my series which I left halfway through. The very first post in the series is a Kuzhambu, one of the most quintessential things in our daily meal. I have tried to document most of the kuzhambu varieties in this A-Z series, the main theme for our Mega marathon. For those letters that I could not find one, I have non kuzhambu recipes. Hope you all enjoy the series!Update: Thanks Valli, I completely missed out this section on my post.
This recipe is very similar to Vatha kuzhambu. Actually, it is the same recipe with a slight variation in the amount of tamarind and spice. Araipuli means half the tamarind quantity and this is a mildly sour and mildly spiced gravy than vathakuzhambu. When mom makes this, it is simply kathrikai kondakadalai kuzhambu and after sitting on the research for the series I found this dish had a proper name. 🙂 Mostly yam, potato and brinjal (eggplant) are used in this gravy. There are so many variations to this recipe in the net. You can substitute chickpea with karamani (black eye pea) and some have added sundakkaivathal instead of veggies. But as you all know every dish gets adapted according to one's family.
- 3 tablespoons oil, divided
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds (kadugu)
- 2 red chillies (vatha milagai) broken
- 4-5 curry leaves ( karivepilai)
- 1 tablespoon Bengal gram (channa dhal)
- ½ teaspoon black gram (urad dahl)
- 3-4 fenugreek seeds (venthayam)
- ¼ cup brown chickpeas ( kala channa)
- 1 tablespoon sambhar powder
- 3-4 medium-sized Brinjal (kathirikai) 1
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste in 2 cups water 2
- ½ tablespoon rice flour (arisi mavu)
- Salt to tase
- Few scrapes of Coconut
- Soak channa overnight and pressure cook. Keep aside. It should be soft and slightly mushy.
Keep the chopped brinjal in water so that it does not turn black.
Mix the tamarind paste in about 2 cups of water.
Heat oil in a Kadai | Pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the red chillies, curry leaves, channa dahl, urad dahl, and fenugreek seeds. Fry for a second.
- Add the cooked chickpeas, brinjal and sambhar powder. Mix well. (3)
Then add the tamarind water and salt. Let it boil until the raw smell of the tamarind goes off and the brinjal gets cooked.
- Mix half a tablespoon of rice flour in half cup of water and pour it in the kuzhambu. Allow it to boil for another couple of minutes and switch it off.
- If the kuzhambu becomes very thick, add some more water. Serve it with hot rice.
- Keeping chopped brinjals in water until you use it helps in retaining its colour. If it is kept as such, the flesh turns black in colour. In the recipe, I have mentioned tamarind paste measurement as I use only that. You can use a gooseberry sized tamarind for the above amount. But always keep in mind the sourness of the tamarind
- In the recipe, I have mentioned tamarind paste measurement as I use only that. You can use a gooseberry sized tamarind for the above amount. But always keep in mind the sourness of the tamarind varies a lot. Trial and error is the best way to gauge the exact amount.
- For this recipe, the amount of tamarind is less than what we use for Vatha Kuzhambu.
- Some veggies tend to take a long time to cook in tamarind water (because of acidic nature). If so, then after step 3 add plain water and par-cook the brinjal. After that add the tamarind water.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63 here.