Avarakai- Vendakai Mendhi Kuzhambu , Broad beans and Okra stir fried in sesame oil with Indian Spices cooked in Tangy tamarind based concoction. The Goodness of the vegetables and the tangy tamarind and Fenugreek seed’s flavors is a marriage made in heaven indeed. My previous post on Manathakkali Mendhi kuzhambu was something using dried herbs as the main ingredient. This is a variant to that kuzhambu , generally you might have come across Murungakai Mendhi kuzhambu or vendakai Mendhi kuzhambu , not many know of this lovely and also deadly combo for a kuzhambu. I’ve used organic vegetables which are available online on Big Basket .
While preparing Mendhi kuzhambu or vendhaya Kuzhambu , if using dried herbs as main ingredient then replace green chillies with dried red chillies.
If using vegetables as main ingredients then add green chillies and not dried red chillies.
Few months ago , I had to go through a big circus like traffic in the market just to buy a kg of tomato and potato . My mother always likes fresh produce for cooking and hence we have the habit of buying vegetables daily. We decide the menu while eating breakfast , we head to the market, buy the veggies , get home , clean the vegetables and start cooking. Since this is an era of ROs and Water purifiers , we have one too. Every time I buy the vegetables I pop them all in a bucket of water and insert the RO machine’s tube into it and wash off its chemicals and impurities.
Instead of going through all this hearse , my nutritionist friend suggested that I buy organic produce , wherein I need not worry about harmful chemicals , ever since her suggestion , I buy organic vegetables and organic fruits online.
This has definitely made my life much much easier. Just imagine , driving through dirty lanes , bargaining with those local grocers , buying vegetables that are inorganic , pricey and sometimes they turn rotten or has insects in them. All these days I was buying 1 kg or 1/2 a kg or 1/4 kg of disease .With the advent of Online grocery shopping , life has become easier and healthier.
Avarakai – Vendakai Mendhi Kuzhambu
For the concoction / kuzhambu
- Wash and de-stem the avarakai / broad beans. Make a small cut at both ends of the avarakai and pull it down , this way you’ll be able to pull out its fibre and cut them into medium sized oblong pieces.
- Similarly , chop of the nosey region of the vendakai / okra and chop into medium sized pieces.
- Chop the green chillies and de stem the curry leaves from its twig.
- Now take the tamarind and soak them in lukewarm water , add about 100 ml of luke warm water to it.
- After 10 minutes of soaking , the tamarind will turn soft. With the help of your hand squeeze the tamarind and take out its extract. Transfer this extract to another cup . Again add water to the tamarind and squeeze it again. This process can be done twice or thrice to a small gooseberry sized soaked tamarind. Keep the extract aside. Throw away the left over tamarind.This will yield about 200 – 250 ml of extract. You can add another 100-150 ml of water to the extract. Otherwise the kuzhambu will turn out very ‘pullipu’ (Tangy and sour).
- Now take a heavy bottomed wok / kadaai , on medium heat , add all the ingredients mentioned under “Tempering”. Saute this until the dals and fenugreek seeds(Methi / mendhyam) turn golden brown and the asafoetida should get roasted.
- Now add the green chillies ,curry leaves and the vegetables . Saute them until both the vegetables turn soft and tender. Do this in medium heat / flame only.
- Now pour the tamarind extract and stir , while doing this keep the flame / heat in low , because when you add any liquid on hot oil , it tends to sizzle and it’ll splutter on you. So care must be taken while adding the extract.
- Increase the heat to high , and stir . Allow this to boil for about 5 minutes, once the concoction boils vigorously add all the Powder ingredients and stir. (Add salt according to your taste. Salt is the only ingredient which I never mention in measurements because the taste differs from person to person. Add salt wisely and in moderation.)
- Let this boil for about 8-10 minutes in medium heat. After about 10 minutes check if the kuzhambu has thickened. Take the ladle and pour it and see. If you feel the consistency is too runny , take a small cup , add a tbsp or two of rice flour and mix it with water(about 3 tbsps should do). It should be like a paste. Pour this paste into the kuzhambu and stir. Within seconds the kuzhambu will thicken to your desired consistency. Kuzhambu should always be in aqueous consistency , i.e. it should not be too runny and not too thick.
- Once this thickens , take it off the heat and serve it hot with plain rice.
Click here for the recipe of Kuzhambu Podi