Monday, April 6, 2009

Vellarikkai Menthya Kuzhambu - Cucumber Fenugreek Tamarind Gravy

Cucumber Fenugreek Tamarind Gravy
Tingalnagavalli is a function celebrated on the 30th day after a wedding. It was customary to have a nalangu or a get together on this day where the bride and groom were fussed all over once again.
On my Tingalnagavalli day, though we did not have any traditional ceremonies, my father-in-law decided to invite all his friends for dinner. My mother-in-law prepared an elaborate and delicious dinner, while I ran around assisting her. My sister-in-law and me served the sumptuous hot meal on the green banana leaves. The guests treated themselves amidst good humour and animated chatters. They praised and blessed my mother-in-law for the delicious and lavish dinner. I was taken aback when I heard my father-in-law’s loud statement – “Thair pachadi was very good!” That dish was my meager single handed contribution for the dinner! When I come across men who keep pecking about even a minute shortcoming in the meal, or the ones who keep a long drawn poker face even if you had served the heavenly nectar on their platter, I always remember my father-in-law for his thoughtfulness and culture. His comment not only made me happy by enriching my self esteem, but it also inspired me to learn more.
He savored my simple vellarikkai menthya kuzhambu with paruppu chutney and roasted papad with the same excitement and relish, as he would the rich and complicated Bisibele Bath.

Cucumber – 1
Tamarind – 1 lime size
Salt – 2 tsps
Sambar powder – 2.5 tsps
Sesame oil - 3 tsps
Asafoetida – ¼ tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Bengal gram dal – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – a few
Red chillies – 3
Rice flour – 2 tsps

1. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice.
2. Scrape (Peel can be retained if preferred) and cut the cucumber into cubes discarding the seeds if they are hard.
3. Add salt and sambar powder to the tamarind juice.
4. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
5. When it splutters add the fenugreek seeds and the Bengal gram dal.
6. When it becomes golden in colour add the asafoetida powder and broken red chillies.
7. Add curry leaves and pour the seasoning into the tamarind juice and boil.
8. When it starts to boil add the cucumber cubes .
9. Cover with a lid and cook on slow fire.
10. When the cucumber is glassy and done make a paste with rice flour and water and add it to the kozhambu.
11. Switch off flame when the kuzhambu thickens giving out a heavenly aroma.
Relish the hot spicy and tangy menthya kuzhambu with hot rice and a spoon of thick ghee.
We've got few enquiries on the versatile sambar powder from this post, which finds uses in so many dishes and recipes in this blog, other than just Sambar! We will do a post very soon on Sambar powder to answer all those questions!

15 Post your Comments:

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

very new to me.. never tried this kozhambu... nice variation to the usual ones.

jayasree said...

I am hearing for the first time about the 30th day function. Is that Nalangu done on the evening of wedding day?

This menthiya kuzhambu is also new to me. Thanks for the recipe.

Jayashree said...

Haven't heard of thingalnagavalli before. Is the present day nalangu a shortened version of that???
Menthya kozhambu sounds spicy and yum....

Uma said...

looks so delicious.

S.R.Ramachandran said...

My father enjoyed V.K.M kuzhambu with roasted appalam. appa

Chutneytales said...

Very creative recipe using cucumber..Sounds delicious.Thanks for sharing :)

Asha said...

Can't wait for your Sambhar pd post. Every home has different tasting powders even though we all use similar ingredients, I love to try new ones!:)

Cucumber gravy looks delicious.

LOL@ "Jism", Dibs. ABCDs are hilarious! HeHe!!

Lakshmi said...

A new dish to try for me. Good One :)

Priya Suresh said...

Looks delicious, lovely n very new combo...

Priya Suresh said...

Looks delicious, lovely n very new combo...

Cham said...

Very different kuzhambu and never heard of the celebration

YOSEE said...

God bless your kind Father In Law's soul !

I particularly like the ice-cube like glassiness of the cucumber pieces in menthiya kuzhambu.

sharada said...

i love any kuzhambu - from the time i have tasted them at my friends place.
The cucumber methi tamarind kuzhambu looks delicious.

Suparna said...

Never knew that cucumber could be used in kuzambu, would love to try it and your podi link is just too good! Thanks for the interesting recipe.

kittymatti said...

Velirikka is a great idea:) will give it a try...