Kozhambu, is a common dish in South Indian cuisines and is a gravy based on a broth made with tamarind and vegetables. It is usually eaten mixed with rice and eaten as as a one pot meal. There are umpteen numbers of variations in making Kozhambu. The ingredients will vary from one variation to another.
Let us look at making one such tangy gravy using Black eyed beans (Karamani), Eggplant and Tamarind.
Brinjal (medium sized) – 4 (cut into four pieces- lengthwise)
Black Eyed Beans (Karamani /Lobia) – ¼ cup
Tamarind – one small lemon sized ball
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard Seed – 1 tsp
Urad Dal – ½ tsp
Fenugreek Seeds – 1/8 tsp
Shallots (Sambar Onion) – 10
Curry Leaves – from 1 twig
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Coriander Seed Powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/8 tsp
Tomato – 1 (finely chopped)
Salt to taste
Grated Coconut – ¼ cup
Cumin Seed – ½ tsp
Soak the Tamarind in warm water for 10 minutes, squeeze and extract the juice. Keep aside.
Dry roast Karamani for 2 to 3 minutes. Take it in a vessel, add required water. Place it inside a pressure cooker and pressure cook them in medium flame for 3 to 4 whistles till the Karamani become soft.
Grind the grated Coconut together with Cumin Seeds into a fine paste with little water.
Heat the Oil in a pan. Add Mustard Seed, Urad Dal and Fenugreek Seeds. Allow them to splutter. Add Curry Leaves. Stir fry for a few seconds.
Add the skinned Shallots and continue to stir fry till the Shallots become translucent.
Add the Brinjal, Red Chilli Powder, Coriander Seed Powder and Turmeric Powder. Continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the Tomatoes and Salt. Stir cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the boiled Cow Peas, Tamarind Water and mix well. Add 1 to 1 ½ cup of water. When it comes to a boil, cover the pan with a lid and simmer 4 to 5 minutes in medium flame.
Add the ground Coconut paste and stir well.
Allow it to boil for 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with steamed Rice.