Saturday, April 16, 2011

Venthaya Kozhambu (Fenugreek Lentil Soup)

April 16th 2011

Now one recipe from my Amma's Kitchen.  This is a south Indian entrée that one mixes with rice. It is in the same family as the sambar but a simpler much easier to make lentil soup. When you are wanting something quick and easy and have no vegetables to use, this is an easy fix. Tastes best with fresh leaves but you can substitute with seeds in case of unavailability. The only time consuming aspect about the whole dish is getting the Venthaya or Fenugreek leaves ready.

Time: 20 min (Preparation), 10 min (actual making)

Difficulty Level: Easy

  • 1 rice cup toor dal cooked in pressure cooker with 3 cups of water
  • little smaller than a lime size tamarind pulp and tamarind juice extracted from that or 1 tbsp tamarind concenterate
  • chilly powder - 1 tbsp
  • fenugreek leaves (a bunch) or just fenugreek seeds - 1 tbsp
  • mustard seeds - 2 tsps
  • red chilly - 3 to 4 nos
  • oil to temper
  • turmeric powder (a pinch)
  • salt to taste
  • curry leaves (2 to 3 nos)

Method de Preparation:
  1. Pressure cook toor dal in a cooker (allow 3 whistles or equivalent) and keep aside. 1 cup to 3 water ratio.
  2. If using fresh fenugreek leaves, seperate the leaves from the stalk, wash and keep aside.
  3. Take a vessel and add the extracted tamarind solution. Extract tamarind juice by soaking it in water, squeezing pulp, and repeat till water no longer turns brown in color. Easy way is to heat the tamarind in water for a  min in the microwave. This softens the pulp and allows you to extract the juice easily. Meaning extract about 1 to 1 1/2 cups tamarind water from the tamarind pulp or the tamarind concentrate in which case just mix it with the water.
  4. Take oil in a vessel.  Season with mustard and when it splutters add the red chillies. (If using fenugreek seeds, add it now before adding the tamarind solution.)
  5. If using fresh fenugreek leaves, at this point add the extracted tamarind solution and allow to boil adding a bit of turmeric. 
  6. When the tamarind extracted has boiled some and the raw smell goes away, add the fenugreek leaves and allow to boil for a couple of minutes. 
  7. Add salt and chilly powder and the cooked toor dal. Allow everything to boil together.
  8. Taste for salt and adjust spices accordingly. Add curry leaves (optional).
  9. Serve hot with rice and appalam.


Priya said...

Slurp, fingerlicking kozhambu,healthy and inviting..

Pasta and Paratha said...

looks yummy..

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