I hail from Kumbakonam, a small and beautiful town in Southern India home to the Mahamaham. It is an important pilgrim destination with more than ten Vaishnavaite and Shaivaite temples.The town, of course has its own unique contributions to south Indian cuisine. Its most famous for its filter coffee and beetle leaves. But thats not all! A mouthwatering, and one of my personal favorites is a spicy entree called the “Kumbakonam kadappa”. It tastes a lot like kurma because of the whole spices and fennel seeds, but adding moong dhal balances the flavor.
Onion – 1 cup (thin slices)
Potato – 2 medium sized
Green chilli – 3
Moong dhal – ½ cup
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 4-5
Corriander leaves – garnish
Oil – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Coconut – 2 tbsp
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Poppy seeds – ½ tsp
Garlic – 2 pods
(Grind these into a smooth paste with water)
Cloves- 2 -3
bay leaf – 1
cinnamon – ½ inch stick
- Pressure cook moong dhal along with potatoes. Once cooked mash the dhal-potato mixture. Make sure you don’t completely mash the potatoes, leave some chunky pieces.
- In a pan add 2 tsp of cooking oil (either canola or vegetable oil) and add cumin seeds along with all the whole spices and curry leaves.
- Now add sliced onion and green chilli and saute till onion turns golden brown
- Add masala paste (grind coconut, garlic, fennel and poppy seed into a smooth paste) and cook for about 4-5 minutes.
- At this point throw in the diced tmatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add moong dhal and potato mixture along with 2 cups of watera and allow the potato to incorporate all the spices.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and squeeze in a dash of lime at the very end.