Here is a fantastic tasty recipe for poondu kuzhambu. The base recipe is from Sri Ranjini of 'To Indulgence'. She has posted a wonderful recipe for Poondu Kuzhambu in her blog. I took the masala part of it and tried the same in my style. Thank you Sri Ranjini, your masala for kuzhambu is very tasty. We all loved it.
Garlic pods (peeled) - 1 cup
(please use quarter cup garlic if using garlic in India as Indian garlic is much stronger and pungent than the garlic we get in the US)
Gingily oil - 2 tablespoons
Mustard seeds - half teaspoon
Turmeric powder - half teaspoon
Asafoetida powder - a pinch
Curry leaves - a strand
Tamarind concentrate - half teaspoon
(If using tamarind, use one small lemon size and soak in water. Squeeze and extract the pulp. Remove the seeds)
Water - 2 cups
Salt as required
Dry roast and grind the following:
Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds – 1 ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Channa dal – 1tsp
Toor dal - 1 tsp
Urad dal - ¼ tsp
Red chillies – 1 or 2 as per your taste
Heat one and half tablespoons of oil. Add the mustard seeds, when it pops, add the peeled garlic pods and curry leaves.
When the garlic turns light brown, add the tamarind and two cups water. Bring it to a boil.
While it's boiling, add the asafoetida powder, turmeric powder and salt.
After a couple of minutes add the ground masala powder little by little whisking at the same time as as to avoid lumps.
Allow the content to boil for atleast 10 minutes at low heat. The content will start thickening. If you added more water and it takes a longer time to thicken, you can add a tablespoon of besan flour and whisk it in half cup water and pour it in the gravy and stir well. This will thicken the gravy in no time.
Finally turn of the heat and add the remaining half tablespoon of gingily oil for an extra flavor.
You can serve this hot kuzhambu with steaming hot white rice. Serve with pappad for a delicious wholesome lunch or dinner.