Fenugreek is known as vendhayam in Tamil and methi in Hindi. It’s bitter in taste, very aromatic and generally used in small quantities in cooking. Fenugreek seeds are good sources of fibre. It helps in reducing body heat and in maintaining blood glucose levels.
I learnt this recipe from my dear sister in law, Indhu manni. I found the recipe to very interesting, specially when she mentioned that inspite of using a good amount of vendhayam, the Khuzhambu does not turn bitter. She said that it was a huge hit with her family.
The Khuzhambu was indeed very delicious and aromatic. It was a big hit with my family too:)
Vendhayam ( methi/ fenugreek seeds)- 5 tbsps
Tamarind – small lemon sized
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Shallots ( sambar onions)- 12-15
Tomato – 2
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Green chilies – 1-2
Chopped coriander leaves- 2 tbsps
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
For the spice powder
Red chillies – 6-8
Coriander seeds ( dhania)- 2 tbsps
Chana dal ( kadala paruppu/ Bengal gram)- 1 +1/2 tbsps
Oil – 1/2 tsp
For the coconut milk
Grated coconut – 1+1/2 cups ( tightly packed)
Water – 2 cups
Wash and soak vendhayam overnight or 6-8 hrs. Drain and keep it aside.
Peel, wash and slice the shallots.
Wash and chop tomatoes.
Wash and slit the green chilies.
To make the spice powder
Roast all the ingredients mentioned in a oil. Cool and grind to a powder.
To make the coconut milk
Add 1 cup of lukewarm water to the grated coconut and let it rest for 10-15 mins.
Blend well and strain the coconut to get the first thick coconut milk. Keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard. When it starts spluttering, add green chillies and curry leaves. Sauté for a second and then add the sliced shallots.
Sauté till the shallots turn pink. Now add the chopped tomatoes, soaked vendhayam, turmeric powder and sauté for few mins.
Add the tamarind extract and salt to taste and let it boil well for few mins till the raw smell of tamarind goes away.
Add the spicy powder and mix well. Add the second coconut milk and mix well. Check for the seasonings. Let it come to a boil.
Now reduce the flame and add the thick coconut milk and let it simmer for few mins.