Thursday, February 20, 2020

Kunukku Puli Kuzhambu - Rice and Lentil Fritters in Spicy Tamarind Sauce

Kunukku , usually prepared out of left over Adai batter is a wonderful snack to munch along with evening tea. The snack can also be made from scratch for its delicious taste. As we were enjoying Kunukku the other day, my sister mentioned about the yummy Pakoda Kuzhambu she had relished during her tour. 'Why not Kunukku Kuzhambu ?' said I and here is Kunukku Puli Kuzhambu ready to tickle your taste buds!


Rice - 1 cup
Tur dal - 1/2 cup
Bengal gram -1/2 cup
Black gram dal   - 2 tbsps
Red chillies - 4
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida -  1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Finely chopped onions - 1/2 cup
Oil for frying

1. Wash and soak rice and all the lentils together for an hour.
2. Drain the soaked ingredients and grind them together with red chillies, asafoetida and salt to a thick and coarse paste.
3. Mix in the chopped onions and curry leaves.
4. Heat oil in a kadai and drop spoonful of batter to make 6 to 8 Kunukkus at a time.
5. Fry the Kunukkus till they are golden brown in colour .
6. Remove them when they are done and drain them on a paper towel.
Tamarind - one lime size ball (Soak in warm water and extract juice - about four cups, which will reduce as the Kuzhambu cooks)
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Powdered jaggery - 2 tbsps
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tbsp
Red chillies broken - 2
Green chillies slit - 2
Fresh ginger slivered - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - a few
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Sesame seeds ( Roasted and coarsely powdered) - 1 tbsp

1. Heat oil in a kadai and splutter the mustard seeds.
2. Add fenugreek seeds followed by Bengal gram dal and fry till they are golden in colour.
3. Add asafoetida, broken red chillies, slit green chillies, slivered ginger and curry leaves.
4. Add turmeric powder and fry well.
5. Add tamarind juice, salt, sambar powder and jaggery .
6. Cook till the Puli Kuzhambu emanates a very pleasant aroma.
7. Blend in the roasted and powdered sesame seeds.
1. Add the prepared Kunukkus to the Kuzhambu and cook for five more minutes.

2. Switch off flame when the Kunukkus turn soft and luscious.

Enjoy a bowl of hot Kunukku Puli Kuzhambu as it is. Or you may relish it as a side dish with rice or any tiffin of your choice.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

" Walk with Pardhis " - A Guest Post by Vidya Murali and the recipe of Guava Chutney !


It is an interesting initiative by The Last Wilderness Organization that helps city bred people to discover the charm and mysteries of the jungle led by members of the Pardhi tribe, who were once forest dwelling nomads of Panna, now relocated to nearby villages.
At the end of a four hour trek, we were treated , with much love and care , to a sumptuous hot lunch served on leaf plates and cups in the adobe house of a headman.
We climbed up some narrow steps into a large attic from the edge of which we could see the kitchen below. Two ladies were making fresh rotis on old fashioned wood stove.
" Tread softly," said the man of the house gently. " or the mud plaster might flake off and rain upon the kitchen below!"

It was a wonderful spread . First came a salad of chopped raw onions and cucumber , with tomato slices and two whole green chillis . Then two varieties of chutnis - Guava and Amla . All raw ingredients , freshly ground on stone mortars . The guava chutni was a discovery . The sweetness of half ripe guavas was set off by the sharpness of green chillies and the rich aroma of coriander leaves , while a hint of garlic and some tang perked up the aftertaste. It was difficult to guess what imparted that very slight sourness - tamarind or lime . With the freshly roasted rotis ( made of a mix of three flours - Bajra , Gehu and jowar ), the Guava chutni tasted heavenly . Amla was also prepared similarly and the tang quotient was much higher . There was a sumptuous bharta , with mashed and roasted eggplant as base for mixed vegetables . Channadal mashed with greens was mild and wholesome and went well with rice . The meal was rounded off with a delicious kheer .

( Vidya Murali is a travel blogger and she blogs at . Her experiences and adventures come alive as she vividly describes even minute details about her sojourns on her return. I enjoy those arm chair travel moments when I visualize the beautiful scenes of strange places, and my ears prick up when the topic steers towards food ! The description of Guava Chutney she enjoyed inspired me to try out the relish immediately. I requested her to write a guest post about the Pardhis' food before posting this recipe. And here we go! )

Koyyapazha Chutney/ Seebehannina Chutney

Guava (Half Ripe ) - 1 big 
Fresh coriander leaves ( Chopped ) - 1 bunch
Fresh ginger - 1'' piece
Green chillies - 3
Garlic ( peeled )- 4 or 5cloves
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Juice of half lime
1. Wash and chop the guava into cubes.

2. Remove the hard seeds.
3. Add all the ingredients into the mixer and blend into a slightly coarse chutney.

Fresh and green Koyyapazha Chutney / Seebehannina Chutney is ready.                                        


Enjoy the Guava relish with rotis, dosas, rice and with a whole list of other dishes.