Kwik Fix Series # 9 - Okra hot & sour gravy

Don't get perplexed by the post title. The recipe is 100% South-Indian and I have just renamed vendaikka(okra) puli(sour/tamarind) kozhambu (soup/gravy), thus for the benefit of non-Tamils.

This is a real hot and tangy kozhambu to go with hot-hot rice and a papad/quick curry. Ideal for the people in Northern hemisphere, now, with the advent of winter. This is a such a quick recipe and bachelor friendly meaning, it uses common ingredients from your kitchen and does not require any special kitchen appliance including mixer/blender.

The typical iyer vetha kozhambu is also prepared in the similar way except that, there are no tomatoes/onions in a typical vetha kozhambu and we add some sun-dried fries like sun-berries.
You can also make it with just drumstick/onion/egg plant/bitter gourd. Sometimes, a teaspoon of toor dhall is added while seasoning to compensate for the lack of lentils ( like in sambar).

Kara kozhambu is also similar to this and a little coconut milk is added as a last step and boiled for a min.

Puli kozhambu/vetha kozhambu/kara kozhambu, all refers to this simple gravy sans lentils.

I have added onions, tomatoes and okra in my kozhambu.
You can add brinjals in the place of okra, shallots in place of normal onions or replace everything by just drumsticks. Really lip smacking for cold weathers.


Onions - cut length wise, a handful
Tomato - 1, blanched, skin removed and mashed. Or, you can simply chop them, fine.
Okra- cut into 1.5 '' pieces
Tamarind pulp extracted from lemon size tamarind or 2 tsp tamarind paste dissolved in 1 cup water.
Red chilli powder or sambar powder - 1 tsp ( I used kashmiri chilli powder for a bright color)
Red chillies 2 broken into pieces
Curry leaves - a few
Salt to taste

For seasoning:
Fenugreek/vendayam/methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Sesame oil 1 tablespoon (Tastes best with sesame oil)
Hing a pinch

1) Take a thick bottomed vessel, heat the oil, season the ingredients. When the mustard pops, add onions and red chillies. Fry till light brown.
2) Add okra and fry for 2 min. Add the tomato pulp or chopped tomatoes.
3) Cook for a min and add the tamarind extract. Add salt, chilli powder and curry leaves.
4) Boil till the oil separates and serve hot with rice.

1. If you think it is watery, mix a little rice flour in a tsp of water and add to the kozhambu.
2. If you wish to add coconut milk, add as a final step and boil for less than a minute.
3. This gravy has a way too much oil, chillies and tamarind which is not a very healthy option.
So, don't eat this often due to the simplicity of the recipe. As a healthier variation, you can cut down the tamarind paste a bit and add a little lime juice at the end.


Divya Vikram said...

Vidya, this curry looks tangy and perfect with rice! And yeah you could substitue cocoa powder iwth choc syrup..Let me know how it turns out.

Anonymous said...

ayyo..vethakuzhambunu nenachaley nakkellam ooruthey.

jeyashrisuresh said...

vatha kulabbhu looks yummy that with okra wow my fav one.But adding coconut milk is new to meWill try next time.

Rohini said...

Vatha Kozhambu, Sutta Appalam..! Wow perfect combo.. Nalla pasiya kelapi vittutiye pa!! :)
Coconut milk option is new! Will try it soon

lata raja said...

hey you could have kept the suspense oing to the end. Thengai paal to pulikuzhambu?? sounds good! Smack!!!

Naarya said...

hahhaaa ...title paarthu i was a lil perplexed!
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Anonymous said...

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SriLekha said...

looks delicious!

vidhas said...

Mouthwatering kolambu, i love this combo. Great click.,

kitchen queen said...

nice and tasty yummy kuzhambu.

Priya said...

Delicious okra curry, looks prefect for me..