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Mochai-Vazhakkai Karuvattu kuzhambu / Onakkumeen curry

A wonderful Chennai dry-fish curry which would make your mouth water.

Mochaikottai – 1 cup (soaked overnight)
Vazhakkai / raw banana – 1 (peeled, quartered and diced to half inch thick pieces)
Karuvadu / Dry fish – any kind (1 cup if small variety, 2 if big variety, cut into squares)
Small onion / Shallots – 1 cup (peeled and sliced finely)
Tomatoes – 2 (diced)
Green chilies – 4 (slit)
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Garlic cloves – 10 (peeled)
Ginger – 1 inch piece (chopped and crushed)
Kuzhambu milagai thool – 4 tsp
:- you can substitute this with 4 tsp sambar powder and 2 tsp coriander powder.
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Jaggery – ½ tsp (optional)
:- Adding jaggery gives a wonderful flavor to the curry.
Garlic cloves – 4 (crushed with skin)
Black pepper – 10 (crushed slightly)
Tamarind – 1 medium lemon size (soaked in 1 cup hot water and pulp extracted)
Salt to taste
Gingili oil – 1 tbsp

For Tempering:
Gingily oil – 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry vadam – 2 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 tsp

Method of preparation:
1.Cook the soaked mochaikottai in 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker with a little salt for about 5 whistles. Once the steam settles by itself open the lid, filter and keep the mochaikottai aside and save the cooked water.
2.Heat 3 tbsp oil in a Kadai. Add the tempering ingredients and saute till nice aroma arises from the curry vadam.
3.Add the chopped onion, green chilies, curry leaves, peeled garlic and ginger and saute till onion turns light brown.
4.Add the tomatoes and cook covered on low heat till the tomatoes turn pulpy.
5.Once the tomatoes blend with the mixture add the mochaikottai, vazhakkai pieces and pour the mochai-cooked water.
6.Add the kuzhambu milagai thool, turmeric powder, jaggery and salt to taste, and cook covered till vazhakkai is cooked.
7.Now pour in the tamarind pulp and cook covered for a few minutes.
8.Then add the dry fish and cook till the curry reduces to the desired consistency stirring occasionally without breaking the fish.
9.Add the crushed garlic, pepper and 1 tbsp gingili oil and give it a stir. Remove from heat and keep covered.
10.Serve hot with rice.

Happy cooking :)


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