Happy Sunday everyone! My favorite part about Sunday is amma’s super delicious lunch menu. It includes authentic south Indian dishes which are flavorful yet simple. Usually a combination of dry vegetables, a chutney, a keerai (spinach) dish and the gravy usually includes a kozhambu (tamarind gravy) and rasam. Out of all the different combinations my favorite ones are:
- Poondu kozhambu (Garlic tamarind gravy).
- Paruppu thogayal ( Dhal/Lentil chutney)
- Sepankazhangu dry curry (Arvi fry)
All these dishes go very well with rice.
When I woke up this morning I felt terribly homesick so I decided to make some of my favorite comfort food and recreate our Sunday lunch experience. Here is my amma’s recipe and I hope you give this a shot.
Poondu Kozhambu (Garlic tamarind gravy)
For the paste:
Whole black pepper – 1 tsp
Rice – 1 tsp
Red chilli – 6-8 (depending on your spice level)
Urad dhal – 1 tsp
Coconut – 2 tsp
Curry leaves – 6-7
Tamarind paste – 3 tsp
Tomato – 1 large
Garlic – 3 whole garlic
Salt to taste
Oil – 1tsp
1. In a sauté pan, add 1 tsp oil and add pepper, red chilli, rice and urad dhal. Saute untill the mixture turns golden brown. At this stage add the grated coconut and curry leaves and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Now take the pan off the stove and let it cool.
2. In the mean time, sauté garlic cloves in a pan adding a little bit of oil. This helps the garlic cook faster and releases a lot of flavor. Once garlic turns golden brown take it off the stove and keep it aside.
3. Now add the spice mixture from step 1 in a blender along with 3 tsps of tamarind and grind it into a smooth paste.
4. Take a stock pot, add the paste in and add 3 cups of water. Add salt to taste. Eventually when the gravy simmers down the amount of water will be reduced to half to yield a super nice thick rich gravy.
5. As the gravy begins to boil add the garlic and chopped tomato. Now let the gravy nicely reduce (low flame).
This goes very well with rice.
Parupu thogayal (Dhal/lentil chutney)
Toor dhal – 4 tsp
Coconut – 2tsp
Red chilli – 1
Salt to taste
Asafetida – one pinch
- Add half tsp oil and fry toor dhal and red chilli until it turns golden brown.
- Now grind the fried ingredients, coconut and asafetida.
- Serve with rice
Sepankazhangu curry (Arvi fry)
Frozen Arvi – 500 g (I usually don’t use frozen arvi but this time I could not find fresh ones so had no other choice. But I recommend using fresh ones. It tastes a lot better. If you use fresh ones cook whole Arvi with skin in a pressure cooker. Once cooked you can peel the skin off and cut it into cubes and saute it with spices)
Turmeric – ½ tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Urad dhal – ½ tsp
- Add 1 tsp oil and add mustard seeds and urad dhal. When mustard seeds start splattering add the thawed arvi and cook it. Add the turmeric, red chilli powder and salt and continue cooking for about 7-8 minutes. If you want it crispy continue sautéing it a little longer.