Thenga aracha kuzhambu recipe is a traditional South Indian dish prepared in Tamil Brahmin homes. Also known as thenga aracha kootan in some places this is a gravy dish made using coconut gratings.
A similar, and quite famous dish prepared in kerala is pulisherry prepared using coconut gratings. This dish is very similar to pulisherry, however I haven’t seen many making this dish.
• The specialty of kuzhambu recipe, is that unlike sambar where lentils ( toor daal) are used, this recipe doesn’t use lentils at all. Therefore, it is called as kuzhambu.
• The other speciality is that it is very easy to make, and wont take more than 15 minutes to prepare.
Note: There are 2 important things required if you have to prepare this dish. A mixer, and coconut grater.
Now that I have cleared that information out of the way, let me show you how to prepare this recipe.
1. Grate ½ portion of coconut and keep it aside.
2. Take one small round of tamarind. Put it in warm water and squeeze it to make tamarind juice.
3. Cut the vegetables into 2 or 3 parts of medium size. I have used lady’s finger, cucumber and drumsticks here.
4.On a small frying pan pour oil. Keep a low flame and add the fenugreek seeds.Break the red chilly (into 2 halves) and add into the pan along with the fenugreek seeds.
Note: I have used 8 redchillies here and to me this recipe was medium spicy. For a safe bet, you can add minimum 6 redchillies and depending on your preference.
6. Once the red chilies and fenugreek seeds have turned brown keep it aside.(Ensure to fry them in low flame so that the tempering mix doesn’t turn black)
7. Grind the red chilies, fenugreek seeds and coconut gratings in a mixer into a thick semi solid paste.
Note: While mixing, add water to make it into a paste form. Check consistency and add more water if required
8. Add up to 2-3 glasses of water in a pan and let the vegetables boil in it for 5 minutes.
8.a) Now, add tamarind juice, turmeric and salt and let the vegetables boil for some time.b) Add salt as per taste. For this dish, I added 1 ½ tea spoon of salt.
9. Once the vegetables are well boiled add the semi solid coconut mix into the vessel.
10. Simmer the flame and let the mixture boil for 3 minutes. Turn the flame off once done(Take care to not boil for too long as coconut mixtures taste may go bland)
11. In the small frying pan heat oil and splutter mustard seeds and karipatha leaves and add it to the mix.
12. Thenga aracha kuzhambu recipe is ready now. Pat your back and savor this wonderful dish along with your friends.
Note: Additional ingredients (Optional)
• One ingredient you can add to this dish would be carrot. You can probably take one full carrot.
• Cut them into rectangular pieces of medium size and add it to the mix.
• You can also cut them into medium round pieces but it would take a little more time to boil compared to the rectangular ones.
• This is really my favorite ingredient I would love to have in this mix.
• You can take one full drumstick, cut into 6-7 pieces and add it to the mix.
• One precaution you need to take is to boil the drumstick along with other vegetables. Boil it in the first up itself to remove the raw taste of drumstick.
• A friend of mine almost wanted to kill me for ruining a very good sambar dish because I added drumstick at last. He still mentions it every time he gets a chance. So I just wanted to put that up front so that you don’t get mauled over.
• Food is something you make out of love, out of need to eat something tasty and homely. So do it with all your love and it will taste good.
• Try this recipe and do post comments or give me feed backs. I would love to help you.
Let me summarize the menu for you.
Palakkad Style Kuzhambu: This is a variant of the thenga aracha kuzhambu, where jaggery is also added to the mix.
Thenga aracha Kozhambu: This preparation is where roasted fenugreek seeds are added along with your tempering mix.