Kaaramani Kathirikkai kuzhambu(Black eyed peas and Eggplant spicy curry)

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The past few days in Seattle have been so very cold, and we’ve had a misty fog that hung over the city for almost a week. With such a weather, we were longing for something warm and comforting and also hearty and filling. This kuzhambu is a perfect candidate and I made this for our weekend lunch. With a couple of vegetable sides and served over freshly steamed rice, it made for a wonderful lunch.

Kaaramani is the tamil name for black eyed peas. You can use the fresh black eyed peas if you can get it, or if you can’t feel free to use the dried version, liked I did. You can also substitute red chori beans in the same kuzhambu, it would taste pretty much the same. My mother used to make it with fresh beans, both red and white, as it used to grow in our grandma’s home in the village. The fresh ones taste best and the taste even now lingers in my mouth.

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Ingredients:
1 cup dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight and cooked
5 small Indian eggplants, sliced
1 medium red onion chopped
1/4 cup pearl onions/shallots, peeled and left whole
6-8 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 small golf ball sized tamarind, soaked in warm water.
2 tbsp gingelly oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp methi seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
salt to taste

Method:
Grind the grated coconut and the cumin seeds into a smooth paste, set aside.

Extract the tamarind water from the soaked tamarind, set aside.

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Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the mustard seeds, let it splutter. Add the methi seeds and the curry leaves. Add the chopped red onion, shallots and the garlic saute until translucent. Add in the tomatoes, salt and turmeric powder. Cook until soft and pulpy. Add the sliced eggplants, saute it for a couple of minutes and put a lid on the pan. Let the eggplant cook in the sauce. Add in the chilli powder and coriander powder. Add 1 cup of water. Cover with the lid and let the curry cook until the eggplants are soft and the raw smell of the chilli/coriander powder is gone. Now add in the cooked black eyed peas, extracted tamarind and the ground coconut paste. Thin the kuzhambu to a consistency of choice. Let this come to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, or until oil floats to the top. Serve hot with rice!

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Verdict: This is a hearty and nutritious kuzhambu. The cumin and the garlic added aid in digestion and the tangy gravy is awesome with rice. This kuzhambu can be eaten as a side for idly, dosa as well.

Sending this delicious kuzhambu to:
Taste of the Tropics – Tamarind
Walk through Memory Lane – January
Favorite Recipes:Lentils/Legumes/Beans
Healthy Appetite

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