South Vs North Challenge, the brainchild of Divya of You Too Can Cook, had completed one year. A big congrats and thanks to Divya for hosting such an innovative event. I am glad to be part of this wonderful group and congrats to all the members for the successful completion of one year. This month, we are free to cook from any of the challenges posted by the South and North team in the last year. It was bit difficult to choose one particular recipe as all of them looked fantastic and tempting. But finally I decided to make this lip-smacking curry from Priya's blog, which I had been longing to make for quite sometime.
When I saw this Chettinad Pakoda Kuzhambu recipe, I had immediately bookmarked it as the kuzhambu looked so delicious and irresistible. The Chettinad cuisine is one of South India's well known cuisines and the flavors and aroma of Chettinad food are really tantalizing. The food is spicy and the use of variety of herbs and spices really tickles one's tastebuds. The gravy tasted best with some hot rice and papad. It also goes well with dosa and idli. Thanks Priya for the wonderful recipe.
CHETTINAD PAKODA KUZHAMBU RECIPE
For the pakodas:
½ cup chana dal / kadala paruppu
3 dried red chillies
1 tsp fennel seeds
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
For the gravy:
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 medium tomato, finely chopped
6 garlic pods, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Few curry leaves
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
2-3 sprigs of coriander leaves, chopped
For the tempering:
1 inch cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds
4 tbsp grated coconut
6 cashew nuts
1 tbsp roasted channa dal / pottukadalai
To make pakoda:
1. Soak the chana dal and red chillies for two hours. Drain the water. Grind the dal, red chillies, fennel seeds, salt together to a coarse paste with little water.
2. Heat oil for frying. Once the oil is hot, take a golf sized ball of grounded mixture and pinch gently a small quantity of this mixture as shapeless pakodas and drop into the hot oil.
3. Fry the pakodas in medium heat until they turn golden brown. Drain the excess oil on a tissue paper. Set aside.
To make the gravy:
1. Grind poppy seeds, coconut, cashew nuts and pottukadalai to a fine paste with enough water. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a kadai, add the spices for tempering. Fry till they give out a nice aroma.
3. Then add garlic, green chillies, curry leaves and fry for a minute. Then add onions and fry till they become soft. Now add the tomatoes and fry till they soft.
4. Add the ground coconut masala and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilly powder and fry for a minute.
5. Now add 4-5 cups of water, salt and mix well. Close and cook for 5-8 minutes. Keep the gravy watery and add more water if required.
6. Once the oil is separated from the gravy, add the pakodas. Do not stir. Bring the gravy to boil once and then remove from heat. Garnish with coriander leaves.
1. Once the pakodas are added, they will absorb the gravy, so keep the gravy watery and add more water if required.