Venthaya kuzhambu is a south Indian gravy that is usually had with white rice (and rarely with idli or dosa). I learnt this dish from my MIL. She is my go-to source for all traditional south Indian (especially Tamilian) recipes. Venthaya kuzhambu is very much like puli (tamarind) kuzhambu except for the fact that we use only fenugreek seeds (venthaiyam/methi) in the recipe.
Venthayam/Methi/Fenugreek is a healthy spice especially for new moms (for milk production) and also used for digestive problems. Fenugreek seeds in general are bitter in taste. Hence be cautious in the number for fenugreek seeds you use for the preparation of Venthaya kuzhambu. Personally, I have cooked Venthaya kuzhambu only for two, so, I use very little amount of fenugreek seeds (half in that I fry and the rest I add as is in the gravy).
Like all those dishes that tastes better as they get older (pizza, fish gravy etc), Venthaya kuzhambu tastes excellent as it gets older. As I had mentioned above, you can have this gravy with white rice or as a side dish for curd rice, yummy! Try this healthy (for all those new moms) and tasty recipe in your home and as always let me know your comments and thoughts.
- Shallots,chopped – 6 nos
- Garlic cloves, chopped – 4 nos
- Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp ( 5 to 6 nos )
- Tamarind – big gooseberry size
- Sambar powder – 1 tbs
- Grated Coconut – 1 tbs
- Gingelly oil – 2 tbs
- Salt – as required
- Soak tamarind in water for half an hour and extract the juice. Add sambar powder to the tamarind extract, mix well and set aside.
- Grind the coconut along with one chopped shallot and little water in to a fine paste.
- Dry roast the fenugreek seeds in a hot pan until golden brown. Allow them to cool. keep half of them aside and blend the remaining half to powder.
- Heat a pan with oil and add the shallots. Sauté until the onions turn translucent.
- Add garlic and sauté well.
- Add tamarind extract and the dry roasted fenugreek seeds.
- Now add the coconut paste and bring it to boil. Add the fenugreek powder. Mix well and cook until the gravy is thick and dark brown. Switch off the flame.
- Serve venthaya kuzhambu along with white rice and egg podimas or fryums on the side. Enjoy!