Generally any tamarind based gravy with a main ingredient is referred to as 'Kuzhambhu' and it forms an integral part of any Tamilian Menu. This one is prepared with the Masala vadai as the main ingredient. The paruppu vadai soaked in the tamarind gravy is a delicacy and its such a favorite at our home.My mother makes this as a special dish, whenever we have some vegetarian guests for lunch.
You dont have to make any side dish or veggies, just some papads will fulfill the entire meal, because I am sure that your guests will not reach out for the rasam or curd to end the meal.
For the Masala Vadai:
1 cup Channa dhal
1 green chili
1 tsp sombu/fennel seeds
1 medium onion
Soak the channa dhal for atleast 3 hrs.
Grind the dhal along with sombhu and salt, without adding water.
The mixture should be coarse in texture.
Slice the onion thinly and add to the dhal mixture.
Add the finely chopped chilli and curry leaves.
Mix well and make equal sized balls.
Heat oil in a pot, flatten each ball and deep fry them in medium heat.
The vadai's should be thick and soft inside, not thin and crispy.
For the Kuzhambhu
Lemon sized tamarind
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped tomato
1 green chilli
1 inch ginger finly chopped
few curry leaves.
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dhal
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
11/2 tsp chilli powder
3 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
Soak tamarind in 1 cup of water
Extract the pulp completely and add 3 more cups of water to it.
To the extract add all the dry powders and salt.
Take 2 tblsp of oil in a wide bottomed pot.
Add mustard, urad dhal, fenugreek, and curryleaves.
When the mustard pops, add the thinly sliced onion, ginger, green chilli and fry till translucent.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till mushy.
To this add the tamarind mixture and close with a lid.
let it boil for approximatly 10 mins or until the raw smell goes.
Reduce the heat to minimum and add all the vadai's.
Switch of the stove after 2 mins. Close with lid.
Let it sit for an hour before serving.
If the kuzhambhu is watery, crush one or two vadai's to help thicken the gravy.
Check for salt before adding the vadai's.
You can also use 3tsp of sambhar powder instead of chilli pwd and coriander powder.