Friday, August 1, 2008

Milagu Kozambu - Black Pepper Gravy


The medicinal value of black pepper is well known. Milagu kozambu or Black Pepper Gravy is a welcome change after one has been subjected to rich food continuously. It is very good for digestion, and has an appealing taste as well. Taste buds tend to hibernate, leaving a bad taste in the mouth as a result of over eating or indigestion. Milagu kozambu activates the taste buds and induces hunger. It alleviates biliousness, mouth watering and bitterness in the tongue.
My sister shuns Milagu kozambu during dinner. She is terrified by the affliction of hunger pangs which would wake her up in the middle of the night. If you take a liking to the colour, taste and flavour of milagu kuzambu, you could savour it with hot rice and ghee, just like any other kozambu. A mixed vegetable salad, roasted papad, or a pachhadi (yoghurt dip) can make a delicious combination.
Hot milagu kozambu and rice, is often served after Yennae kuliyal or a traditional oil bath. An 'oil-bath' begins with a full body and head massage with warm sesame oil, and a bit of castor oil for the eyes, nose and navel. This is then followed by a rub down with freshly ground turmeric - natures best medicine for the skin. The oil is then washed away with Shikakai powder and other natural fragnant cleansers, and lots and lots of very hot water, as hot as you can you can take! (The picture alongside shows water getting boiled for a yennae kuliyal in our village! ) A meal that includes a course of hot milagu kozambu rice, after an oil bath leaves one feeling light and detoxed, and is truly a heavenly experience.

Black pepper - 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds – 2 tbsps
Tur dal (Red gram dal) - 2 tbsps
Dhania (Dry coriander seeds) – 2 tbsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Curry leaves – a handful
Dried red chilly – 1
Salt – 2 tsps
Tamarind - a small lemon sized ball of tamarind
For Seasoning:
Sesame oil – 2 tsps
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Urad dal (Black gram dal) – ½ tsp
1. Heat ½ tsp of oil. Add  asafoetida and pepper and roast.
2. Next add cumin seeds, coriander seeds, tur dal, and red chilly and roast till the pepper cracks and the dal becomes golden in colour.
3. Add curry leaves and roast till it splutters.
4. Add the tamarind and remove from flame.
5. Allow the ingredients to cool, and then grind them finely. Add a 1 cup of water and salt and grind into a paste and set aside.
6. Heat oil in the now empty pan and add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
7. Add urad dal and roast it till golden in colour.
8. Now add the ground paste with 1 more cup of water and salt.
9. Boil till the kozambu thickens and the aroma triggers off your digestive juices.
10. Remove from flame and serve with piping hot rice and a dollop of ghee.

15 Post your Comments:

ushaprashanth said...

Lovely recipe! If had in a rainy day....hmmmmm

YOSEE said...

Great recipe. Why wait for oil-baths or cold-and-cough conditions to savour it ? Its welcome anyday, anytime......Some sauteed garlic pods added to it makes it a yummy side dish just like any masala gravy. ( or, a little garlic ground with the pepper paste adds flavour)

Anonymous said...

After our weekly oil bath on Saturday, and a nice lunch, all that my cousins and I could do thereafter was go to sleep! Those were the days...! :)

Sunshinemom said...

My daughter loves Molagu Rasam which is identical, whether or not she has cold! I like it with paruppu thogayal or pappadam best!

Anonymous said...

Liked the recipe very much. Bookmarked it to try. Thanks for sharing.

Dibs said...

Wow, its so nice to get so many comments within a day of posting!

Usha - add crispy vadams to the menu on the rainy day! :-)

Yosee - Garlic sauteed in ghee...yum!

Shyam - agree with you ...those were the days... sigh! We did oil bath on Saturdays too. Wonder why not Sunday!

Sunshinemom - Kids normally dont like molgau anything! Great your kid does!

Roma - do try and let me know how it turned out!

Unknown said...

Hi This is my first visit to your blog,you have a very very nice one:)
This is a very nice post,brought back memories of the good old days!

FewMinute Wonders said...

YUmmmmmm! i love it. Chitra, you have an award waiting for you in my site.

Unknown said...

Hi Dibs,there is a surprise for you at my blog,please check it out :)

Unknown said...

I love this kuzhambu..heard alot abt it..

Deepthi Shankar said...

lovely kozambu .. we too make it in a similar manner

Dershana said...

Hi Dibs,

My first visit here. My grandmom (who is no more) used to make delectable Milagu kozhambu. I dont have her recipe and milagu kuzhambu kind of faded from my memory. thanks a bunch for reviving my taste buds :-)

Do visit me at

Anonymous said...

My name is lakshmy.snakeguord kozhambhu looks very yummy,especially the snakeguord in black pepper gravy. But you have not mentioned in the recipe about snakeguord. Please tell me when we should add snakeguord in the milagu kozhambhu.


Chitra Amma's Kitchen said...

Dear Lakshmy, Thank you for the nice comment.Add chopped snake gourd after the mustard splutters and the dal is roasted.Saute till the vegetable becomes tender sprinkling a little water if needed.Then add the ground gravy ingredients.Cook till it thickens and the raw smell disappears. Chitra.

Anonymous said...

oh Thanks a lot.Iam going to prepare this soon for sure:)