The masalas when made were simple affairs with very minimum of ingredients. Kara kuzhambus were usually cooked with brinjals,okras mostly or other green vegetables and rarely if ever with beans like I tend to do a lot. Back home rice was pretty much the staple and wheat based breads like chapatis, rotis or parathas were not very common, whereas in my kitchen wheat based breads are eaten more than rice which necessitates the need for spicy gravies since they tend to go well together.
Adding tamarind pulp is a variation to this dish. Coconut is generally blended separately and used but I saute it a bit and add it together with the onions and blend. If using a pressure cooker it is a good idea to blend the coconut separately and add at the end, otherwise it tends to separate in the cooker.
Tomorrow we will look at an exotic gravy (to me it is) which uses a different set of ingredients but has now become a favorite in the house.
Kara Kuzhambu - Spicy gravy with Canary beans
1. 2 Cups of soaked Canary beans (substitute with any vegetable of choice)
2. 1/4 onion chopped about 2 tbsps
3. seasonings: mustard, curry leaves, methi seeds a few and cumin seeds
4. salt to taste
For the Paste
1. 15 small onion or a 1/2 cup of chopped red onions
2. 1 tbsp coriander seeds
3. 1 tsp cumin seeds
4. a few pepper corns
5. 6 red chilies
6. 2 tbsp grated coconut (blend to a paste separately if desired or if using a pressure cooker)
Saute the onions first till translucent, then add the rest of the ingredients other than the coconut and saute for a few minutes. Add the coconut towards the end saute for a few more minutes, cool and blend.
1. In a pressure cooker or a heavy bottomed pan add a tsp of oil and add the seasonings followed by the onions and saute till translucent.
2. Add the soaked beans and mix well.
3. Add the blended paste, enough water to cook the beans and let cook for 10-15 minutes till the beans are soft. Add salt.
Note: If you are using pressure cooker, cook for one whistle, let cool add the coconut paste and salt and let cook for 2 minutes more.
Serve with rice or with parathas.