Appala Kuzhambu

In my quest to prepare traditional recipes for this week's theme of Blogging Marathon, I ventured east,west and North in search of recipes. I cruised through several cuisines and though I got loads of traditional stuffs to try from, I was not satisfied.

Then it dawned to me that there are several traditional recipes that are in my 'to-do' list and one of them is this Appala Kuzhambu.

I asked mom to make it for me this weekend and mom was more than happy to cook this for me.

Appala kuzhambu is a Tamil Brahmin recipe that is really very flavorful. It is a gravy type side dish on the tangier side served with the lunch menu. It is had mixed with steamed rice with a drizzle of gingelly / sesame seed oil.

This dish is especially handy when we run out of vegetables. Yes, veggies are not used here! Appalam / pappad is used instead of vegetables.

While mom was making this dish, I remembered the Rajastani Pappad ki sabji. In this curry too, pappad is used instead of vegetables.We may be divided by geographical boundaries but aren't  we all united by food!!

So coming to today's traditional recipe from the TamBram cuisine is this very tasty Appala Kuzhambu....

Each family has a special way of making this dish and here is mom's version...

Mom uses...

Plain urad dhal pappad - 3, large ones
Tamarind  - lemon sized ball
Curry leaves - a few
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Uraddal-1 teaspoon
Gram dal- 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Jaggery powder- 1 teaspoon
Sesame oil-11/2 tablespoon
Green chillies- 2, slit
Salt to taste [see note below]

Roast with a little oil and powder

Gram dal- 1 teaspoon
Urad dal- 1 1/2 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Peppercorns - 1/4 teaspoon
Asafetida powder- a pinch
Sesame seeds- 1 tablespoon
Roasted gram dal - 1 tablespoon [ used as a thickening agent]
Red chillies- 2

  1. Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract thick juice and keep aside.You must have approximately 1 cup extract.Keep adding water and squeeze out the extract.Keep aside.
  2. In a pan, add mustard, gram dal,urad dal,curry leaves,green chillies.
  3. When it splutters ,add the tamarind extract, turmeric power and salt.Bring to boil. Let it simmer till the raw smell of tamarind  goes off and the tamarind extract reduces a little.
  4. Dissolve the powder in a little water and pour into the pan.
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes and add jaggery.Let it cook for a couple of minutes.
  6. While the kuzhambu is simmering, roast the pappad on a open flame. It can be done on the stove top or over live charcoals.
  7. Remove from  gravy from heat after it thickens a little.
  8. Lightly crush the roasted pappad and add to the gravy. Mix well.
Serve as a side dish with steamed rice.Be sure to drizzle a little sesame oil over the piping hot rice :)

The most suited side dish is the paruppu thuvaiyal or lentil chutney or a raita

 Note :

Roasted pappad is best suited for this. Pappad fried in oil does not give the authentic taste....

Take a look at the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#27

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Bon Appetit...

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