Venthaya Kuzhambu is a healthy quick preparation amma makes over the weekend after a month when I come home from the hostel. I would return home hungry for home cooked food and amma would pamper me with simple Venthaya Kuzhambu. Its quick, easy and utterly delicious. Since the main ingredient is only methi (fenugreek) the final taste is completely different from the regular preparations.
I remember fenugreek to be a very important ingredient for my grandfather who had blood sugar. Madurai amma would soak a poon of methi every night in water and he would drink it first thing in the morning. That helped to a large extent to keep his blood sugar at a controllable level. Fenugreek is also supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties and is also used in the treatment of reproductive disorders in women.
In this recipe you would be amazed at the flavour bursting out of a preparation with so few ingredients. ….Here it goes…
1 1/2 – 2 cups tamarind juice extracted.
3-4 red chillies
1 spoon of bengal gram.
1 1/2 spoons of methi seeds.
Salt according to taste.
A spoon of cooked toor dhal (Optional)
A spoon of rice flour.
- Dry roast the fenugreek on a medium low flame on a kadai, until you smell the aroma of the seeds. Do not allow to brown too much. Powder in the mixer to a coarse powder and set aside.
- In a kadai, add 2-3 spoons of oil and when its hot, add bengal gram, and 3-4 red chillies and allow to roast for a couple of seconds.
- Now add the mustard and when it splutters, add the crushed curry leaves and immediately the tamarind juice.
- Add salt, turmeric, ground methi seeds powder, hing and allow to slowly boil on a medium low flame.
- After about 20 minutes or so, when the gravy has been reduced, and becomes a little thick, reduce the flame.
- Mix 1/3 cup of water in the spoon of rice flour and mix briskly to dissolve clots. Also add the spoon of cooked toor dhal to bring it to a smooth homogenous consistency.
- Pour this in to the kadai and mix well and allow to boil for a few more minutes. (Consistency should be as shown in the pic.)
- Delicious Venthaya Kuzhambu is ready to be served with Pavakkai Fry and Appalam.
Venthaya Kuzhambu is served mixed with steaming hot rice, adding 1 spoon of ghee or gingely oil to enhance the flavours of the gravy, already spiced to perfection. Best with Appalam and Alu Fry or Pavakkai Fry. I always feel it tastes best the next day as the spices have soaked in te tamarind gravy all day long!!!