Kaarakozhambu, is a south Indian specialty and this particular dish is from Chettinad, a small district in Tamilnadu. I learnt this recipe from chef Maruthavanan (Mantra resorts, Kumbakonam) and I have made changes to the original recipe.
Before I explain the recipe I need to tell you a couple of things about this dish:
This dish is onion and garlic based and I usually don’t add vegetables, but if you want to use veggies, then try okra or potato or drumstick. In that case adjust the proportion of garlic that you use. You can also make this with shrimp or fish.
Tamarind: I use tamarind concentrate because I’m too lazy to make tamarind juice from scratch. But if you have the time, then I highly recommend making juice from freshly soaked tamarind.
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serving size: 3-4
Shallots: (6-8 medium size) Peel off the skin and cut it into thin slices.But if you get small onion from the Indian store you can use upto ½ kg. If you don’t have shallots don’t worry, just use regular onion cut into thin slices.
Garlic: I use around 20-25 pods of garlic. Peel off the skin and split it lengthwise. Or just buy peeled garlic from the store.
(The ratio of garlic to onion depends the amount of garlic you can handle 🙂 I use equal proportion of both or sometimes 3:2)
Tamarind – If you use concentrate, add a spoonful of the concentrate and make it upto half litre with water.
But if you use fresh ones then use a small lemon size ball (soak it in a cup of warm water and extract the juice)
Coriander Powder – 1 tablespoon
Chilly Powder – 2 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Fennel powder- 2 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – few
Salt – to taste
Gingely Oil – 3-4 tablespoon (anything other than olive oil works)
1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
2. Once the mustard seeds start splattering, add the shallots and garlic and sauté it until it turns golden brown. (Usually takes about 5-7 minutes)
3. Add coriander, chili, turmeric and fennel powder and continue cooking the spices with onion and garlic.
4. Once they are cooked (when oil separates out) add the tamarind juice and salt and let it cook until desired consistency is reached (I usually like it if its thick and so I let most of the water evaporate).
Serve it with rice!Enjoy!