How To Make Vendakai Puli Kuzhambu?
VENDAKKAI PULI KUZHAMBU RECIPE WITH STEP BY STEP PICTURES- OKRA STEWED IN A TAMARIND SAUCE. VEGAN. GF
Vendakkai Puli Kuzhambu is a regular kuzhambu or stew that is made across many Tamil households. Like all kuzhambu recipes, the recipe for vendakkai puli kuzhambu too differs from home to home. My mother never made puli kuzhambu. It is always the authentic Madhwa style Gojju that is made in my house. And my MIL makes this version of gojju called Kai Rasa, which is another traditional Madhwa recipe. I will try to post both those recipes in the future. But Mr.P is an ardent fan of this puli kuzhambu. It doesn’t have anything fancy. Yet, it makes a delicious, tangy and satisfying meal when served with rice and poppadoms. You can also make the same puli kuzhambu with vegetables like eggplant and drumstick.
I am very partial to this vendakkai puli kuzhambu, the reason being, the addition of freshly grated coconut ground with minimal spices. The coconut paste rounds off the flavors of the kuzhambu nicely and balances the tang of the tamarind. The okra blends well with the paste and the tamarind and also retains a crunch, making it divine to bite into. A fine puli kuzhambu can be achieved only if the amount of tamarind used is right. Too much tamarind will change the color of your puli kuzhambu and make it very tart, which is not very pleasant. And less tamarind will simply dull the other flavors in the kuzhambu and you will have a bad looking puli kuzhambu too. I have often found that beginner cooks find it difficult to make a good puli kuzhambu while they do make great sambar. This is because of the element of tamarind. I decided to post a step by step tutorial for making this vendakkai puli kuzhambu just so that it will benefit beginner cooks.
Shall we now check how to make Vendakkai Puli Kuzhambu step by step? Before we begin, please try to use old tamarind for this kuzhambu. Also, freshly grated coconut works best. You can make this with frozen coconut that has been thawed. But desiccated coconut will not work here.
Step By Step Tutorial For Vendakkai Puli Kuzhambu Recipe
Soak tamarind in 1 cup of warm water for 20 mins. Mash the tamarind well into the water and make an extract. Make sure you discard all strings by straining the water. I never strain the water. I pour the extract through a slotted ladle into the pan directly. Something i learned from Amma 😉 Peel shallots and garlic.Wash and pat dry the okra. Chop them into 2″ pieces. Chop tomatoes finely. You can see bits of coconut here in the plate. I dont bother grating my coconut. I just scrape off the flesh from shell, chop into pieces and use these. Here i have used about 1/4 of a coconut.
Heat a pan with oil. Fry the okra pieces until they begin to brown and drain on a kitchen towel.
In the same pan, add 1 tbsp more oil. Add shallots and garlic and fry till light brown.
Now, to this add the tomatoes and fry till mushy. Once the tomatoes are done, add the spice powders and mix well. Cook for 30 secs. Remove from flame and let cool. Completely. Once cool, combine with the coconut and grind to a smooth paste. I did not use any water for grinding.
Now, in the same pan, add the fried okra along with the tamarind extract and salt and mix well. Add sambar powder to this and mix. Let simmer till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away. This takes about 5 mins on medium flame.
Once done, add the ground paste and mix well. Let this simmer for about 4 to 5 mins on low flame. When the kuzhambu froths up, switch off flame.
Heat a small pan with 1 tbsp. Pop the mustard and add the fenugreek, urad dal and fennel seeds along with curry leaves. Once the dal begins to brown, pour this over the kuzhambu and mix well.
Your vendakkai puli kuzhambu is ready to be served with rice.
Recipe For Vendakkai Puli Kuzhambu
- Okra 10 to 12 washed, dried and chopped into 2" pieces
- Shallots 6 to 7 peeled
- Garlic 4 cloves peeled
- Tomato 1 medium chopped finely
- Tamarind a small marble size soaked in 1 cup of warm water
- Freshly grated coconut 3 tbsp
- Coriander powder 1 tsp
- Red chili powder 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder 1 tsp
- Sambar powder 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Sesame oil ( nalla ennai) 3 tbsp
- Mustard seeds 1 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds 1 tsp
- Urad dal 1 tsp
- Curry leaves 1 sprig
- Fennel seeds ½ tsp
- Make tamarind extract by mashing the tamarind well with water and straining it. Set aside.
- Heat a pan with 1 tbsp oil and fry the okra till it begins to brown.
- Drain and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp oil.
- Add shallot and garlic to this and fry till light brown.
- Now add tomatoes and fry till mushy.
- Next add chili powder, turmeric and coriander powder to this and mix well. Cook for 30 secs.
- Remove from flame and let this mixture cool.
- Once cool, combine the tomato mixture with grated coconut and blend to a smooth paste in a blender.
- In the same pan that you fried the shallots etc, add the okra pieces along with the tamarind and salt and mix well.
- Add sambar powder to this and mix.
- Let simmer till the raw smell of tamarind goes away.
- Once done, add the ground spice paste and mix well.
- Let simmer till kuzhambu froths up.
- Heat a small pan with the remaining oil.
- Pop the mustard and tip in the urad dal, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds.
- Once dal begins to brown, pour the tempering over the kuzhambu.
- Mix well.
- Serve hot with rice.