I wish all my readers a very Happy, Prosperous and Fun-filled New Year 2016!
2015 was a perfectly normal year with things going as smoothly as it can until I received a dreaded phone call one afternoon in early December. This phone call completely shattered my life and it is never going to be the same. I have lost my best friend, my guide, my mentor, my sister – My Mother. She was the pillar for our small family and now we have lost her. I have acquired most of my skills, cooking and otherwise from her. It is almost a month now since she has left us, but the wound is still very fresh.
I am having a hard time doing any of the normal routine and that is when my husband insisted that I should start cooking and blogging as that is something that totally helps me calm down. My greatest critic was my mother, who would check my new blog entry as soon as I publish it. She would call me right after she sees the recipe and comment on how the picture looks, or how I could have altered the recipe.
My mother loved to cook and eat. She was open to trying out any new recipe from any cuisine and that is how I was exposed to different cuisines right from my young age. To continue the legacy and to keep her alive in my thoughts I am going to be cooking as much as I can and remember her in every step.
My ever supportive group, Blogging Marathon steps into its 60th edition this month and I definitely did not want to miss being a part of it. I had an ACL Replacement surgery end of November and hence I had asked Srivalli to choose some theme for January randomly as I was not in a position to do so myself. My theme for the first week that she had chosen is Family recipes, which has come in an apt time. This is a meal that my mother makes quite often on weekends after a good oil bath.
I made Milagu kuzhambu, Paruppu Thuvayal and Thakkali pachadi along with some rasam and steaming hot rice this weekend. I have never made Milagu kuzhambu myself before and every time my mother would visit me here, she would make it as often as possible and also would make a big batch of it, to store for later. The kuzhambu stores quite well outside for 2-3 days and for weeks when refrigerated. It is really refreshing to have it after a good oil bath and is very healthy. My mother always makes the pachadi to help calm down the spiciness.
Preparation time -10 minutes
Cooking time – 30 minutes
Difficulty level – easy
Ingredients to make Milagu Kuzhambu – Makes about 1 ½ cups of kuzhambu
- Tamarind – a small lemon sized ball
- Gingelly oil – 3 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Asafetida – 1/8th tsp
- Curry leaves – few
- Jaggery – a tiny piece
To fry and grind –
- Red chilies – 4
- Coriander seeds / Dhania – 1 tsp
- Channa dal / Kadalai paruppu – 2 tsp
- Tuvar dal / Tuvaram paruppu – 2 tsp
- Urad dal / Ullutham paruppu – 1 tsp
- Whole black pepper / Milagu – 3 tsp
- Cumin / Jeera – ½ tsp
- Oil – 1 tsp
Procedure to make Milagu Kuzhambu –
- Remove seeds, if any from the tamarind and soak it in half a cup of hot water to allow the tamarind to soften a bit.
- In a small pan, heat 1 tsp of oil and fry the coriander seeds, channa dal, toor dal, urad dal and red chilies until light brown. At the end add the pepper and cumin and fry for about 15 seconds. Do not fry longer after you add the pepper and the cumin as it becomes bitter. Let the mixture cool down a bit.
- Grind the cool mixture to a coarse powder and then add the soaked tamarind along with the water into the mixer and grind it into a smooth paste. Add about 2 cups of water and mix it well.
- In a pan, heat 3 tbsp of gingelly oil (or any cooking oil). Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Now add the asafetida and curry leaves and let it fry for about 10 seconds.
- Slowly add the ground mixture and add salt needed. Let it come to a gentle boil and then add the jaggery.
- Simmer the kuzhambu for about 20 to 30 minutes or until it thickens and the oil starts leaving the sides of the pan. Make sure you stir it every now and then so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Serve the kuzhambu with hot rice and ghee. I made paruppu thuvayal and tomato pachadi along with Milagu kuzhambu to make it a meal.