|1 tbsp||Black peppercorn|
|1 tsp||Toor dal|
|1 tsp||Split black gram (ullundu)|
|1 tsp||Cumin seeds|
|½ tsp||Fennel seeds|
|1 no||Dry red chili (long)|
|3 tbsp||Coriander seeds|
|3 nos||Shallots (sambar onions )|
|1 tsp||Dry coconut flakes/ desicated / coparai thengai (optional)|
|3 drop||Sesame oil|
|10 nos||Shallots (sambar onions )(use1 big instead)|
|3 clove||Garlic (crushed)|
|10 nos||Curry leaves|
|2 tbsp||Tamarind juice (or thick store bought pulp 1/2 tsp)|
|¼ tsp||Turmeric powder|
|¼ tsp||Mustard seeds|
|¼ tsp||Cumin seeds|
|1½ tsp||Salt (or to taste)|
|3 tsp||Sesame oil (for sauteing)|
For the masala: Heat few drops of oil in a pan, toast red chillies, split black gram, toor dal, black peppercorn, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and coriander seeds until slightly golden. Remove the contents and add few drops of oil and toast the garlic for few minutes and remove. Now switch off the flame and toast the dry coconut for few seconds and remove. Let cool them and grind all the spices first to a fine powder, now add roasted garlic and shallots and grind again to make a paste. Add water if necessary to run the mixie.
For the gravy : If using tamarind soak some in water and squeeze out the juice and keep aside. Quarter the shallots and crush the garlic and keep aside. Now heat oil (table-2), splutter mustard, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add the quartered onions and garlic, fry them till translucent. Add the ground masala paste and tamarind along with turmeric, salt and asafoetida. Pour 1/2 cup water and bring it to one boil and simmer till the oil separates from the gravy. Garnish with finely chopped curry leaves. Serve with plain rice and papadams.
Coconut is not a part of traditional milagu kuzhambu, I’ve included for extra flavour and to reduce the spiciness of the dish. Some may also cut down on the red chilies and include black pepper instead, kuzhambu prepared that way will look slightly blackish. Grinding onions along with masala is to give good consistency and quantity and its purely optional. Why garlic added twice??? Roasted ground garlic gives nice earthy flavour to the dish and thats why its included in the masala. Crushed garlic is mainly added to substitute other veggies and also adds pale white contract to the dark kuzhambu.
Authentic Milagu Kuzhambu is a part of Pathiya sapaadu and is prepared mainly to cure severe cold and does not include any additional veggies except onion and garlic.
Yield: Serves 3 to 4 adults approx.