Green Chili Thokku (Spicy Chili Reduction)

Srilatha Chutneys, South Indian Leave a Comment

I am not sure what language thokku is in, most likely Telugu, but it refers to any fresh herb/vegetable pounded/ground to a paste with salt, tamarind and jaggery, and reduced in sesame oil. The key ingredients are tamarind, jaggery, and sesame oil. This recipe makes a thokku out of fresh green chilies and is dynamite!

Mixed Vegetable Quick Curry (Kadamba Curry)

Srilatha Breakfast, Sides, South Indian Leave a Comment

A super simple side dish. Sometimes, you have a lot of vegetables – a couple of potatoes, a carrot, some peas, half a cauliflower, but none enough to make a side dish. This is a perfect curry to use up all of those, and make a great curry that’s perfect as a side dish for rotis. This is a great lunch box item, a quick breakfast dish, or an excellent vegetable to go along with a dal, and some rice or rotis.

7 Kari Kootu (7 Vegetable Kootu)

Srilatha Main Dish, South Indian Leave a Comment

This kootu, also known as thiruvadirai kootu is a medley of a minimum of 7 vegetables, made on the day of Arudra darshan in the month of margazhi/December, in honor of lord Shiva. Traditionally it’s accompanied by a sweet rice dish called Kali. It’s made with the freshest produce of the season, which is the winter season, and includes squashes, gourds, and root vegetables. This recipe is sourced from Meenakshi Ammal’s Samaithu Par book. It is a completely balanced dish, loaded with vegetables, protein (dal), fat (coconut), spices and tamarind for sourness. On to the recipe now!

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.