Kara Kuzhambu and Pitlai:
Both dishes are all round favorites in south India.
The Kara Kuzhambu recipe is from my friend Akila whose cooking I truly admire.
The pitlai recipe is from my mother and mil whose recipes are similar.
1. Sesame oil - 2-3 spoon
2. Mustard, urad dhal
3. Fenugreek seed
Sauté the above and until they splutter and fenugreek seeds golden brown.
Add below ingredients one by one and fry them.
4. Curry leaves.
5. Garlic pods (3-4) , cut into big cubes pieces
7. Mixture of veggies ( I normally use 2-3 of any of the following vegetable combination such as tindora, avaraikai, eggplant, drumstick )
8. Fry until they are half cooked
9. Add 1 tomato and fry until it turn mushy.
10. Add below powders one by one:
11. Chiili powder - 1 tsp
12. Coriander powder - 2 tsp ( you can substitute with sambhar powder)
13. Veggies should be cooked 3/4th
14. Add tamarind extract water ( goose berry size tamarind soaked in water )
15. Boil until the raw smell disappears.
16. Grind the following mixture and add it to the kuzambu.
17. Fresh coconut - 1/4 cup, 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, 10 pepper corns with sufficient amount of water.
18. Pour desired ant of water and cook it in sum until the oil oozes out.
Pavakai- 2 or three cut into small pieces and sauté a little.
Wash in salt water if it is dark green could be very bitter
Other Vegs like eggplant, or sometimes 1 tomato along with pavakai
Other times I will make with eggplant alone
Also sometimes I will add cooked kondakadalai one karandi
Roast in little oil- one or two big tablespoons chana dal,
One teaspoon jeera,
One or two tablespoon Urdu dal
Grated coconut up to 1/4 moodi or more if you like
Red chilies per preference
Black pepper at least 2 tsp as preferred crushed
Tamarind squeezed small lemon size
Toor dal cooked
Little coconut oil
Little jaggery salt as you like
Sauté the vegetables
Boil tamarind water with turmeric salt add sautéed vegetables
Let boil add ground paste add jaggery add hing
Add cooked parupu
Add more black pepper
Do thaalichu in coconut oil if you like it other oil of mustard seeds curry leaves