When I first moved to Chennai, there were a lot of new cuisines we tried out. My husband and I love eating out and we would do a lot of it then ( particularly as he was a carnivore then). We once went out on a busy Saturday night with friends without a reservation. Not a table to be had anywhere. After trying about 4 or 5 places, someone suggested that we try a Chettinad restaurant. Not having ever tried that particular cuisine, and having heard that it is predominantly non-vegetarian I was a little nervous going in. But no choice by then, so we bravely marched in for my first taste of Chettinad food.
Well, I have to be honest here and own up that I was very boring and ordered just appams. Someone else ordered a bunch of things one of which was Poondu Kozhumbu. When it came to the table and was served to me, I cannot even begin to describe the aromas wafting out of it. It just looked so delicious and with browned garlic peeking out of this spicy tangy gravy. Then with the first mouthful, this bunch of incredible tastes just burst on my tongue and tickled my tastebuds. It was " HOT ". "Spicy HOT". But still left me craving for more. Amazing is the only word I can use to describe the memory of eating that. I am very partial to garlic but that was only icing on the cake.
Everytime I wanted to eat this, I would send someone out for it to buy it at the restaurant. Then I saw this months Think Spice hosted by Sunita was focusing on garlic. Immediately said " why not try out Poondu Kozhumbu?" I like the dish and want to eat it often, so why not learn it. Right?
Googled the title and got bunch of recipes. But I knew what I wanted out of it. So chopped and changed and combined and deleted and came up with this recipe. It turned out great ( even if I have to say so myself).
Now for the recipe...
1 cup Garlic cloves peeled
2 medium sized onions diced finely
2 tomatos diced finely
10 curry leaves
Lemon sized ball of tamarind soaked in 1 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
1/4 teaspoon hing powder ( asafoetida)
1/2 teaspoon jaggery
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal
3-4 tablespoons Oil to fry
2 tablespoons Coriander seeds ( dhania)
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds ( jeera)
1 teaspoon poppy seeds ( Khuskhus)
1/2 teaspoon peppercorn
4 red chillies
2 inch piece ginger
1 teaspoon oil.
Heat 1 teapoon of oil. Lightly fry the garlic till light brown. Keep aside
Extract the tamarind juice from the soaked tamarind discarding the seeds and the skin of the tamarind.
Heat another teaspoon of oil in the same kadai and lightly fry the paste ingredients. Then grind to a smooth paste using about 2 tablespoons of water.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and urad dal. Fry till they crackle.
Then add the chopped onions and fry well till translucent.
Add tomatos and cook the whole thing till very mushy.
Ad chilli powder, haldi, hing and mix well for a few minutes.
Add the paste and cook really well.
Now add the tamarind juice along with half cup of water and cook till the oil separates.
Add the fried garlic and serve hot as an accompaniment to a meal.
This is my entry for Think Spice Think Garlic hosted by Sunita of Sunitas World