Monday, January 26, 2009

Poritha Kuzhambu

As long as I was in India, I used to love this dish whenever my Mom makes it. This dish is made with moong dhal and my Mom says moong dhal is good for health and that it cools the body if overheated :-). This can be made with murungaikkai (also called drumstick) or spinach or any leafy vegetable or a mix of all.

Ingredients (about 3 servings):

Murungaikkai - about 15 three inch pieces
Moong dhal - 3/4 cups using a measuring cup
Sambar powder - 1/2 table spoon
Salt to taste

To fry in 2 teaspoons of oil and grind:

Dried red chillies - 3
Urad dhal - 3 teaspoons
Grated/powdered coconut - 4 teaspoons

For seasoning:

Cooking oil - 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Urad dhal - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves (optional) - a few


1. Fry dried red chilli, urad dhal and grated coconut in oil, separately, one after the other and add them to a blender. The coconut should only be fried for about 20 seconds just to bring out the flavors. Grind them to a paste and set aside.
2. Pressure cook murungaikkai or spinach or a mix of both together with moong dhal, sambar powder and salt.
3. Add the ground paste and asafoetida to the pressure cooked mixture and bring it to a boil. Turn off the stove after 3 minutes.
4. In a pan, add oil and after it gets heated, add mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter. Immediately after the mustard has spluttered, add urad dhal and fry till it turns light golden brown in color. Turn off the stove and transfer the contents of the pan to the cooked mixture from step 3.
5. Garnish with curry leaves. Poritha kuzhambu is ready :-).

This goes very well with rice as well as chappathi. It is very nutritious and easy to cook as well.

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