Saturday, November 26, 2011
Karuveppilai kuzhambu ready mix powder
I usually make a few 'almost ready to eat' type of dishes for my husband whenever I travel. He finds it hard to eat out every meal. Earlier he may not have wanted to cook for himself, but lately he is happy to have rice with a simple rasam or upma and such. My refrigerator door will be filled with 'post it strips- instructions' for him. I partly cook some dishes and freeze in individual packs like stuffed parathas, roast the vermicelli, onions and microwave the vegetables and so on.
Likewise my mother and one of my aunts have lot more 'pack and carry to wherever you live' ideas for us. For instance, I find it hard to buy fresh curry leaves off the grocer sometimes. My mother's garden has an abundant supply that people in our street just walk in and take bunches for their needs.
Amma would pluck them, clean and dry in shade for me to pack with my other groceries. I store that in bottles and use them. Though this might not match the taste of fresh leaves' they are good enough. The Egyptians will store mint in a similar fashion. Hence my pantry stocks up such leaves too, and my deep freezer will always have a supply of few cut and boiled vegetables for emergencies.
When my daughter started her own cooking in the university, along with rasam powder, paruppu podi etc., my sister's mother-in-law prepared this kuzhambu podi also. It is so easy to make karuveppilai kuzhambu with this powder; just mix in warm water and bring to a boil with some oil added in the start of the process and the kuzhambu is ready to eat.
That recipe is what I am sharing here. The regular recipe for making karuveppilai kuzhambu with fresh curry leaves and spices can be read in an earlier post.
This makes about 200 ml powder which might last a while for you only need two teaspoons for one cup (200ml) of water which will boil and reduce to about 170ml kuzhambu.
2 cups Fresh curry leaves
100 -120 grams Urad dhal
50 grams Thoor dhal
15 Dry red chillis
1 tablespoon Black pepper corns
2 teaspoons Cumin seeds
1 big lemon size ball of Tamarind
3 teaspoons Sea salt (if using table salt, adjust accordingly)
1 teaspoon Asafoetida powder
1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 tablespoon powdered Jaggery
2 teaspoons Oil
Dry roast separately the two dhals until golden in colour and an aroma wafts from the roasting.
In the hot pan add the salt and roast it until very warm. Tear the tamarind in small bits and toss it n the same pan with the salt for about 5-7 minutes.
Heat the oil and roast the red chillis, pepper and cumin.
Remove these and add to the roasted dhals and the other roasted ingredients.
On a low flame, toss the curry leaves until they wilt and become brittle.
Allow all the roasted ingredients to cool.
Transfer the ingredients, saving the curry leaves and the jaggery to the bowl of the spice grinder and pulse until they are coarsely powdered.
Add the curry leaves and grind further until a fine powder is achieved.
Finally mix the jaggery in this.
Cool well and store in clean glass jars.
To prepare kuzhambu:
In one cup of very warm water dissolve two teaspoons of the powder and mix well without lumps.
Heat 2 tablespoons of gingely oil in a pan. Add some mustard seeds and allow to crackle.
Pour the above mix and cook until the mixture boils and simmer for a further few minutes.
Serve with hot steamed rice, dosais or arisi upma kohukkattai and paruppu adai.
I made this now because I am on a longer holiday with my daughter and my husband gets back to work in order to accommodate his colleagues who are heading home for Christmas.