I learnt this recipe for Milagu Kuzhambu from my friend Aparna Sitaraman, who is the sister-in-law of the sister of a close friend. We met at some social functions and hit it off instantly. Aparna lives in Dubai and is a source of all kinds of goodies that I don’t get easily in India. (I sometimes think she must dread coming to India because of the list I come up with 😀 :D)
She made Milagu Kuzhambu last month and shared the recipe over Whatsapp. Since then I have been meaning to try this is a hot pepper gravy from Tamil Nadu and finally got the opportunity this past weekend which has been all rainy and gloomy. I was looking for something to cheer me up when I remembered this recipe.
Thank you so much Aparna for this gem and keep them coming!
How to Make Milagu Kuzhambu: The Hot Pepper Gravy from Tamil Nadu
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
- Udad Dal – 2 tsp
- Chana Dal – 2 tsp
- Coriander Seeds – 2 tsp
- Red Chillies – 4 to 6
- Peppercorns – 2 tsp
- Thick Tamarind Paste – 1.5 tsp
- Grated Jaggery – 1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida or Hing – 2 Large Pinches
- Curry Leaves – 10
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Oil – 1 tbsp + 1 tsp (Gingelly or Sesame Oil Preferred)
- Salt to Taste
Method to Make the Paste for Milagu Kuzhambu
- Over medium flame, heat 1 tbsp oil.
- Add the chana dal and udad dal.
- Stir-fry till the dals turn brown.
- Add the coriander seeds, pepper corns, red chillies, and 5 curry leaves.
- Stir fry for 10 seconds.
- Set aside to cool.
- Grind the a smooth paste with 2-3 tbsp of water.
Method to Make the Milagu Kuzhambu
- Dissolve the tamarind paste in 1/2 cup water.
- Heat 1 tsp oil.
- Add mustard seeds an wait till they splutter.
- Add curry leaves, asafoetida, and the tamarind paste.
- Let the mix simmer till the raw smell of the tamarind paste disappears.
- Add the Milagu Kuzhambu paste and mix well.
- Add 3/4 to 1 cup water and salt.
- Bring the mix to a boil.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add jaggery and mix well till it dissolves.
- Serve Milagu Kuzhambu with hot rice topped with Sesame Oil or then as an accompaniment to Dosa or Idli.
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