Garlic pepper kuzhambu

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A little less than two years ago, our lives took a totally different turn and we landed up in a different country to start a new life. We left behind the life we had known and most of what we had owned. With 2 suitcases packed with some new clothes and some old vessels, I crossed the oceans to start everything from scratch.

I loved two things here immediately : lots of greenery and secondly, abundant parking space :-). But everything else was difficult. My family was back home, my friends were back home, my ‘home’ was back home. I was living one day at a time and slowly – very very slowly -things started improving. I still miss home and I miss some of my friends in particular, but on the whole, life is good now.

Now, why am I talking about home all of a sudden? Because I was going through my drafts folder and came across this old post sitting there, patiently waiting for its turn. It was taken when I was in Chennai and everything there in the frame just took me back home. That’s my favorite wooden board there with all the white ceramic set I collected from the multiple trips to Currimbhoys store in Adayar :-). Yeah, among the other big things, I miss my food props too .

From just two suitcases of things I owned, I now have an apartment full of stuff. I have whole new food props, wooden backgrounds and cloth napkins. Am I happy? Yes, of course. But a part of my heart will always miss my home and all I had there. …so far away and yet so close!

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Recipe source : Always Hungry 

For the ground masala paste : In a pan over low heat, heat 1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil. Add 4 red chillies (or per taste), 1 teaspoon chana dal, one teaspoon urad dal. Saute until the dals turn slightly brown. Now add 2 Tablespoon coriander seeds, 2 teaspoons black peppercorns and 2 teaspoon raw rice. Saute until the rice changes color and puffs up a bit. Take off the heat and once its cool, grind with a little water to get a smooth paste.

In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and once they crackle, add 1 teaspoon fenugreek(methi) seeds. Let it change color a bit. Toss in 6-8 (or more) garlic cloves.

Follow the garlic with one medium sliced onion. Saute it till pink. Add 2-3 cups water, salt as needed and 1 teaspoon tamarind paste. Give a good stir to combine everything and let it come to a simmer.

Its time to add the ground paste. Mix well and let it boil for 7-10 minutes. Taste test, adjust seasonings and take off the heat when done. Serve with rice and chips.

Ingredients:

For the ground masala paste:

  • 1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal
  • 4 red chillies
  • 2 Tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons raw rice

For the gravy:

  • 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
  • 6-8 cloves garlic (or more if you prefer)
  • one medium onion, sliced (or shallots/pearl onions)
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • salt

Method:

  1. For the ground masala paste : In a pan over low heat, heat 1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil. Add 4 red chillies (or per taste), 1 teaspoon chana dal, one teaspoon urad dal. Saute until the dals turn slightly brown.
  2. Now add 2 Tablespoon coriander seeds, 2 teaspoons black peppercorns and 2 teaspoon raw rice. Saute until the rice changes color and puffs up a bit. Take off the heat and once its cool, grind with a little water to get a smooth paste.
  3. In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and once they crackle, add 1 teaspoon fenugreek(methi) seeds. Let it change color a bit.
  4. Toss in 6-8 (or more) garlic cloves. Follow the garlic with one medium sliced onion. Saute it till pink. Add 2-3 cups water, salt as needed and 1 teaspoon tamarind paste. Give a good stir to combine everything and let it come to a simmer.
  5. Add the ground paste. Mix well and let it boil for 7-10 minutes. Taste test, adjust seasonings and take off the heat when done. Serve with rice and chips

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