Its been a hot day.. Man..!! the sun is so strong today,, temperatures have soared up to 24 degrees.. & damn how I miss having a ceiling fan or an air-conditioner.. Phew..!! have sweat trickling down my forehead & its getting unbearable.. too hot to even have a decent nights sleep.. 😦 I know it may sound funny coming from someone who has lived all her life in India, moreover in that part of India which has the tropical climate … Guess the lack of pollution here makes it worse.. as the sun just hits you so hard.. You would not believe when I say that I’m wearing sunscreen in the house.. because I feel like soaking in a tad bit of the sun but get burnt so quickly..
Typing out this recipe took longer than I expected. The heat has made me drink water constantly & I keep running to the toilet to relieve myself & then wash my face…This is my grandmothers recipe. If you have been following my blog or read “About Me” page in my blog, you would know that I have some a lot of Tamil influences in my cooking. My mum & her side of the family were born & brought up in Tamil Nadu. Takkali refers to tomatoes in Tamil and kolumbu is a curry..
Since the weekends around the corner & I associate this dish with the weekend.. I thought this post was best to be posted today.. Most of you busy bee’s may cook dosa’s or idli’s for breakfast over the weekend .. & you may want to try out this new accompaniment…
The aroma of this kolumbu will draw you towards the kitchen & make you stand beside your wife/mum with a plate, waiting for the dosa/idli’s to be ready & dig a piece of your dosa/idli into the steaming hot bowl of the takkali kolumbu… 😉 Yes, I’m describing myself.. & I bet you would do this too once you have tasted this.
To be exact.. when I was young & in school, sunday’s were the days when I was allowed to sleep till late in the morning..On those sunday’s when my mum would begin preparing this… she did not have to try waking me up .. the aroma of this simmering in the pot would just make me hungry & I would just be drawn to the bathroom, brush & sit at the table for breakfast.. (waking me up was a huge task.. my poor parents had to go through every the ordeal every morning during my schooling days…; not that I’m any better now.. still the same most days.. 🙂 now it’s poor K)
My mum usually prepared to be accompanied with Idli/paniyaram’s/dosa’s. Very very different from the usual sambar or any other dip you would have had with dosa’s before. Chutney is also a favourite but this one tops the list for me. The spices added add a lovely flavour to it & can beat any chutney hands down.. I love to pour this kolumbu all over the idli or paniyaram, soak it a bit & then enjoy.. 🙂
Ingredients: (Serves 4) Preparation Time: 15 – 20 mins
Tomato – 1 large, chopped
Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely diced
Green Chilli’s – 2, slit
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs, about 10-12, roughly torn
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Cooking Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
For the paste:
Coconut – half of a medium-sized coconut, grated
Pottukadalai / roasted gram – 2.5 tbsp
Dry red chilli’s – 5-6, the use 4 of the spicy variety & 2 of the ones used to add colour
Garlic – 2 cloves
Ginger – 1/2 inch piece
Clove – 2 in number
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
Heat oil in a pot, when hot, reduce heat to medium, add the mustard seeds & let them splutter, next add the curry leaves. Next add the green chilli’s & fry for minute or 2 so that the spice gets induced into the oil. Now add the onions & add a pinch of salt to that so that the onions fry faster.
While the onions are frying, add the ingredients mentioned for the paste into a blender a jar & blend it to as smooth a paste as possible. Add a wee bit of water to help grind.
Once the onions are translucent, add the chopped tomatoes & fry. Fry the tomatoes till they loosen up. Next add this freshly ground coconut & spice paste & mix. Add about 200 ml water & bring the kolumbu to a boil. Once you see the first few bubbles appear add a pinch of turmeric & mix. Add salt to taste.
Add more water if the kolumbu gets too thick for your taste & liking. If you do end up adding water, adjust the seasoning. Turn off the heat once you the kolumbu has bubbled well for about 3 minutes & you have achieved the consistency you like. Remember the kolumbu is not supposed to be very runny, it should be thick & a wee bit runny.
Garnish with some additional curry leaves before you serve.
As mentioned earlier, this is a best accompaniment for Dosa/Idli’s/Panniyarams.. Enjoy them soaked in the kolumbu or on the side as a dip.. 🙂
Note: If you have any leftover kolumbu, do not forget to refrigerate it. Since coconut is one of the main ingredients.. it turns bad if left outside for more than 5-6 hours…..
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