Spicy, tangy Karuveppilai Kuzhambu made entirely with curry leaves is as tasty as it is healthy. This step-wise preparation of South Indian curry leaves kuzhambu/gravy goes really well with hot rice and is so delicious!
Curry Leaves a.k.a Karuveppilai are used as condiment and flavoring agent in pretty much anything that we make in South India. It is a blasphemy to not have a tempering made with mustard seeds and curry leaves in our cuisine. Growing up, I hated the sight of curry leaves. Like all things in life, I knew the importance of curry leaves only after having my own kitchen – both health wise and flavor-wise. Although curry leaves are added just for the flavor, they work really well as main ingredient too – proof: this awesome Karuveppilai Kuzhambu.
These days I buy Karuveppilai/curry leaves in bulk. They are turned into this delicious Karuveppilai Sadham or curry leaves chutney powder – both simply out of the world. And then, one fine day while talking to amma I was discussing how delicious it would be to make Karuveppilai Kuzhambu – we discussed a few options and the next day I had made it for lunch! I was spell bound for words, it turned out quite delicious.
This Karuveppilai Kuzhambu is a cross between Puli Kuzhambu and Pulikachal – both tamarind based gravies and with the awesomeness of curry leaves. This is one of the best ways to sneak in those nutrient powerhouses into our everyday food. Guess what?! This stores really well for over a week in the fridge and I can tell you that the flavor enhances with the longer it stays. Serve this with hot rice and some ghee/sesame oil for a fulfilling meal. Also tastes best with idli/dosa.
How to make Karuveppilai Kuzhambu | Curry Leaves Kuzhambu –
Detailed step by step picture recipe of making Karuveppilai Kuzhambu | Curry Leaves Kuzhambu –
1. In a thick bottomed pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal and chana dal. As they begin to splutter and turn golden brown, add asafoetida and finely chopped garlic. Fry for few seconds.
2. Add finely chopped onions and fry until translucent and golden brown.
3. Next add turmeric powder, sambar powder and fry for 2-3 mins.
4. Meanwhile thoroughly wash curry leaves 2-3 times, drain off extra water and put them in a blender.
5. Grind into a smooth paste by adding little water.
6. Add this ground curry leaf paste to the cooked onions.
8. Let this gravy boil on low flame until the raw smell of the curry leaves is gone.
9. Add salt as needed along with tamarind extract or tamarind water. Mix well.
10. Again boil the gravy for another 10-12 mins on low flame. As the oil oozes out from the edges, remove from heat.
11. Serve hot with rice and ghee/sesame oil and a side of fryums. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for longer shelf life.
- This recipe can be made without onions and garlic – skip them and follow the rest of the procedure.
- The longer the gravy cooks, the better it tastes and stores – cook for long time on low flame.
- If sambar powder is not available, use 1.5 tsp of red chilli powder, 1 tsp of coriander powder and 1/2 tsp of jeera powder.
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