Kuzhambu (Paruppu Kuzhambu)

Srilatha Main Dish, South Indian Leave a Comment

Kuzhambu means a thick mix/slurry. True to its name, this kuzhambu is a spicy thick gravy with a tamarind base, with a few vegetables, and dal. The difference between vathal kuzhambu, kara kuzhambu and this is that this has cooked dal added to it. Then why is it not sambar? Good question. We use a pre-made spice powder to season this dish, whereas for sambar, we freshly roast and grind spices to make the masala. Also, this is a bit thicker than sambar.
So, as far as tamarind based gravies go, there are mainly 3 kinds in Tamil (brahmin) cooking:
Vatha kuzhambu/kara kuzhambu: no dal, limited vegetables, more oil and almost like a pickle
Sambar: Tamarind, dal, vegetables, freshly roasted and ground masala
Kuzhambu: Thick tamarind gravy, premade masala/spice powder, dal, limited vegetables.

Kootu Variety 2 – With Coconut, Jeera And Chilies

Srilatha Main Dish, Sides, South Indian Leave a Comment

“Koottu” is an amazingly simple, nutritious, and wholesome dish and makes a complete meal when eaten with a raita. When my kids were little, they wouldn’t eat it if I said it was kootu. But they loved paruppu saadam with ghee (dhal chawal), and I used to trick them into eating it by mixing it myself, with a generous dollop of ghee on top, and calling it paruppu saadam. They loved it. Now it’s one of their most favorite comfort foods, and I have to make it whenever they come home.
This version is my daughter’s favorite. The other kootu with the toasted and blended spices is my son’s favorite.