Monday, September 9, 2019

Kariveppilai Kuzhambu (Curry Leaf Sauce W/Tamaraind)

Tangy/spicy Kariveppilai Kuzhambu is delicious with the aroma of fresh curry leaves which are the stars rather than a garnish or an afterthought! It is wonderful with rice and simple veggie dishes especially after enjoying rich festival fare. Curry leaves (kariveppilai) are considered medicinal and healthful so it is often prepared for women after childbirth and convalescents.

Kariveppilai Kuzhambu is nicely spicy but not necessarily hot even though there are red chiles and black pepper in the line up; they add flavor and a nice kick. You can increase them if a hotter sauce is required.

I have used tamarind CONCENTRATE here; if using regular tamarind paste, more maybe needed. If using dried tamarind, use a lime-sized ball (about 2 Tablespoons) and soak in 1/2 cup of warm water for about 10 minutes, knead well, and strain the juices. Add 1/4 cup water to the pulp and knead again. Squeeze out the pulp, fibers, and seeds and discard the solids; add the juices to the first batch.  


Toast together:
1/2 tsp Oil
1 Tbsp Urad Dal
2 dried Red chilies
1/2 tsp whole Peppercorns
1 large bunch fresh Curry Leaves
1 pinch Asafetida (Hing)

1 small marble sized lump Jaggery
2 tsp Tamarind Concentrate + 1/2 c Water
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Turmeric

1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 stem fresh Curry Leaves


Heat the 1/2 teaspoon oil in a small skillet or kadai and toast the urad dal, red chiles, and peppercorns until the dal begins to color. Stir in the curry leaves and keep stirring and toasting until the leaves are crispy. Remove from heat and stir in the asafetida (hing). Pour onto a plate and let cool. When cool, grind into a smooth paste with just enough water to make blending possible using a blender.

In a kadai or pan heat the oil and add mustard seeds. When they dance and pop, add the curry leaves carefully and stir.

Pour in the tamarind water mixture and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the ground paste; add a couple of tablespoons of water to the blender jar to gather any remaining spice paste and add to the pan.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.

Serve hot or warm with freshly cooked hot rice accompanied by simple veggie dishes like cabbage or green beans thoran and fried or roasted papadams.


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