My 104th recipe, "Karamani Kuzhambu (Black-eyed Bean Gravy)", a Chettinadu style kuzhambu. My love for dry beans and South Indian gravy continues. I cannot seem to have enough of dry beans for lunch. There are so many varieties of dry beans available and countless delicious dishes that could be made from them. Hence, it has become one of my favorite ingredients to work with.
While I had posted gravies made with mochakottai and chana earlier, now it is the turn of my other favorite, the black-eyed bean / Karamani. These beans are a subspecies of cowpeas and are extremely high in protein. Especially for vegetarians like me who are missing on the protein from animals, such dry beans are a blessing and an absolute must. However I would draw a blank if asked to chose my favorite among these beans.
I love each one of them and with the variations in the gravies made with them, I can never get bored of them. My mom used to make this gravy very often, but adding yam along with it. It used to taste so wonderful. Since I do not find fresh yam here, I am forced to make this Karamani kuzhambu without the yam. But still it tastes good and one of my favorites to have with white rice along with a teaspoon of ghee 🙂
- Dry Karamani (Black-eyed bean) - 1 Cup
- Tamarind - 1 Big goose berry size
- Salt - 2 tsp (adjust as needed) + 1 small pinch
- Ripe tomato - 1 large
- Turmeric - ¼ tsp
- Asafoetida - ¼ tsp + 1 small pinch
- Sambar powder - 2 tbsp ( Red chilli powder - ¾ Tbsp + Coriander powder - 1 ¼ Tbsp)
- Onion - 1 Medium (Finely sliced)
- Brinjal - 3 Medium
- Potato - 1 Large
- Oil - 3 Tbsp
- Mustard - ¼ tsp
- Broken urad dal - ½ tsp
- Fenugreek seeds - ¼tsp
- Jeera - ½ tsp
- Curry leaves - 1 Sprig
- Garlic - 5 Cloves (Skinpeeled and crushed)
- Coconut - ¼ Cup (Roughly chopped)
- Coriander seeds - ½ tsp
- Fennel seeds - ½ tsp
- First wash and soak the bean for atleast 30 minutes. Then pressure cook the bean for 3 whistles with sufficient water along with a pinch of asafoetida and salt (one small pinch). Once done keep it aside. The bean should be ¾ cooked.
- Also, Grind the ingredients listed under "To grind" with little water into a smooth paste.
- Also in parallel, soak the tamarind in warm water along with salt (about 2 tsp) for atleast 15 minutes. Then extract the tamarind juice and make it to measure five cups by adding sufficient water. Add the whole tomato, turmeric, asafoetida, sambar powder to the tamarind extract and mix nicely with your hands. Crush the tomato, making sure that the tomato gets mixed well with the tamarind extract.
- Now heat a pan with oil, add the mustard and once it splutters, add all other ingredients listed under "To temper" in the given order. Saute until the garlic turns golden brown. Then add the onion and saute until the onion turns golden brown. Add the brinjal and potato and saute for 2 minutes.
- Now add the prepared tamarind mixture, give a nice stir and bring it to a boil. Now add the cooked bean along with the water used for cooking. Turn the flame to medium and let the kuzhambu keep cooking until the veggies are ¾ done.
- Once the veggies are ¾ done, add the ground paste and stir well. Keep cooking until the bean and veggies are fully done. By this time the kuzhambu would have slightly thickened and the raw smell of the masala powders would have gone. Turn of the flame and transfer to the serving bowl.
- Enjoy hot with rice, idli, dosa.