My 286th recipe, “Poosani Vendhaya Kuzkambu (South Indian Pumpkin Fenugreek Gravy)”, a healthy and delicious South Indian gravy perfect for the Summer. South Indian gravies are usually enjoyed along with steamed white rice and a veggie stir fry or kootu on the side. This Vendhaya Kuzkambu is no exception and a perfect accompaniment to have for lunch.
Whether you blame it on global warming or it is just another year in the life of Earth, but the fact remains the same. The summers are getting hotter in most places on Earth. Especially many places in India has been setting record summer temperatures year after year. While the latest inventions like soda, ice creams, etc. do a good job during the summer, but all they do is to quench your thirst. They do a very bad job when it comes to cooling down your body and helping prevent heat related ailments like heat stroke, etc.
However, our ancestors knew better than we do when it comes to tackling the issues with the body by means of food. They cleverly listed down ingredients which has the general tendency to cool down your body from inside. And during the hot summer months, they made sure to include ample amount of such ingredients in their diet to keep themselves hale and healthy. Fenugreek seed is one such ingredient. When included as part of your diet, it is believed to create a cooling effect on the body. That it is the reason why it was included as part of many South Indian recipes. Just to name a few Idli, chutney, buttermilk, etc. Among all these options, buttermilk is my mom’s favorite. She used to prepare a large glass of buttermilk and added fenugreek seeds to it and leave it to soak overnight. And in the morning, on empty stomach she used to make us drink the buttermilk along with the fenugreek seeds. It was indeed a very healthy start to the day.
While buttermilk with fenugreek is an excellent option, RK doesn’t like it and calls it to be too bitter for him to have it early in the morning. Since it is increasingly difficult to convince him, I have to device other ways. This vendhaya kuzhambu is one easy way to include fenugreek seeds as part of our diet. This vendhaya kuzkambu is rich with fenugreek flavor and aroma. It is well balanced in the taste department as well and is slightly tangy, slightly spicy and slightly sweet. While you are at your liberty to add any suitable vegetable like potato, brinjal, etc. to this gravy, I decided to make it using pumpkin. For one, pumpkin is a really healthy veggie and also it adds a subtle sweetness to the gravy. Mix a couple of spoons of this vendhaya kuzkambu to hot white rice and taste a spoonful. It would surely be among one of those most delicious foods you have ever put in your mouth 🙂
Poosani Vendhaya Kuzkambu
- Roasted Fenugreek Powder - 1 1/4 tsp
- Oil - 3 Tbsp
- Mustard - 1/4 tsp
- Fenugreek Seed - 1/2 tsp
- Jeera - 1/2 tsp
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig
- Onion - 1 medium (sliced)
- Tomato - 1 small (chopped)
- Pumpkin - 2 Cups (diced)
- Salt - 1 1/2 tsp (adjust per taste)
- Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
- Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
- Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
- Coriander powder - 1 tsp
- Tamarind - 1 small lime sized (Soak in water and prepare extract measuring 1 1/2 Cups)
- Water - 2 Cups
- Jaggery - 1/2 tsp
- Coriander leaves - for garnish
- First dry roast some fenugreek seed in medium flame until it is slightly golden. Turn off the flame and bring it to room temperature. Grind it in a mixi/blender to a coarse powder. Measure 1 1/4 tsp of the powder and keep aside for use.
- Then heat oil in a large pan and add the mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add the fenugreek seeds, jeera and saute until the jeera starts to change color. Add the curry leaves, onion and saute until the onion turns translucent. Add the chopped tomato and saute for about 30 secs.
- Add the diced pumpkin and saute for about 2 mins.
- Then add the salt and all the masala powders (turmeric, chilli, asafoetida and coriander) and mix well. Saute well until the oil starts to ooze out.
- Meanwhile, add the tamarind extract to the veggie. Add an additional 2 Cups of water and mix well. Leave it to cook in medium flame.
- The gravy will continue to boil and thicken. Once it is almost reduced to half the original quantity, add the roasted fenugreek powder (from step 1) and jaggery. Mix until the jaggery is dissolved. Turn off the flame and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.
- Enjoy hot with white rice.
- - Do not roast the fenugreek seeds until dark brown. They will taste bitter.
- - Instead of pumpkin, you can also use other veggies like potato, brinjal, drumstick,etc.