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Monday, February 25, 2013

Pumpkin (Parangikkai) Ketti Kuzhambu & Paruppu Thovayal

Ketti Kuzhambus are famous through out Chettinad and are of many varieties. Very often you will this featuring in the menus of  everyday cooking in a Chettinad House.  It is one of the very must items in a menu prepared for a function.  What do you mean by ketti kuzhambu?  It means it is a thick kuzhambu, not watery like a sambar or rasam.  It has a lot of flavor and is mostly spicy.  

Out of all the Ketti Kuzhambus, I luv Red Pumpkin (Parangikkai) ketti kuzhambu.  Since it is a ketti kuzhambu it has the spiciness and tanginess.  But because of the Red Pumpkin it gets a sweet taste too. It is my mothers "signature dish".  If she makes it, everyone keeps licking their fingers. I bet, you try it and you will also keep licking your fingers.

I my house we all prefer to have Paruppu Thovayal with Ketti kuzhambu.  Its a superb combination.  With all the spiceness and the tanginess of the Kuzhambu, the mild Paruppu Thovayal goes very well. When I am in no mood to cook elaborate meals I make this simple combination of Ketti Kuzhambu and Paruppu Thovayal.

So here goes the recipe

Parangikkai (Red Pumpkin) Ketti Kuzhambu

Red Pumpkin (Parangikkai) - 1/4 Kg
Onion - 1 medium
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Garlic - 6 - 7 pods
Tamarind - a small lemon size ball (soak it in little warm water)
Salt - as per taste
Sambar Podi - 3 - 4 tb.sp heaped
Curry Leaves (karuvepillai) - 10 -12
Mustard Seeds (kadugu) - 1 t.sp
Split Urad Dal (ulundham paruppu_ - 1 t.sp
Fenugreek Seeds (vendhayam) - 1 t.sp
Asafoetida (Perungayam) - 1/4 t.sp ( or a pinch)
Oil - 4-5 tb.sp


Deseed, peel and wash the Pumpkins. Cut them into little bigger pieces (about 1 inch cubes).

Heat oil in a kadai / pressure pan.  When the oil is hot enough add the mustard seeds, urad dal and fenugreek seeds.

After the mustard splutters, add the Curry leaves.

Once it has stopped sizzling, add the Asafoetida and immediately toss in the peeled and diced onions Also add in the peeled and cut Garlics.  Just cut the garlic into half thats enough.

Saute for a minute and add finely chopped tomatoes.  Saute.  Add half of the salt at this stage.  This will help the tomatoes to cook faster without drying out. Keep the gas on medium heat.

Once the tomatoes are fully cooked add in the chopped Pumpkins.  Saute for a minute.  Now add the Sambar Podi and the rest of the salt, mix well.

Add the tamarind extract and some water.  Just till the pumpkin is covered.  Cover the pressure pan with its lid and cook for about 2 whistles.

Once the pressure is released.  Open and with the back of a ladle smash few of the pumpkins. Keep the rest as it is.

 Turn on the flame and let it boil for about 5 minutes. By this time you should be able to see the oil coming out slightly.  That means it done.

Serve hot with hot steaming rice and Paruppu Thovayal.  Paruppu Thovayal is the best combo for ketti kuzhambu.

How to make Paruppu Thovayal?  Very simple. All you need to do for this version is Grind all the ingredients together.

Paruppu Thovayal

Pottu Kadalai (Roasted Channa Dal) - 1/4 cup
Fresh Coconut grated - 1/8 cup
Red Chillies - 2 to 3
Garlic Pods - 1 to 2

Grind all the ingredients together and serve.


While buying Red Pumpkins try to choose a good, nice orange coloured Ripe Pumpkin.

The kuzhambu had to be little thick in consistency, so add water carefully.  If you have added more water then let the kuzhambu boil till the it reaches the right consistency.

If the Pumpkins are having a thin skin, you also cut it along with the skin.  Cooking it along with the skin gives it a nice crunchiness.

Smashing the pumpkins and again allowing it to boil is an important step, do not skip it.  This helps in making the kuzhambu thick and the flavor of the pumpkin also gets mixed up with the kuzhambu because of this.

Parangikkai Ketti Kuzhambu is going to the "Tried and Tasted : Chettinad Cuisine".  For more info on Tried and Tasted Event please have a look here.

This also going to Abraham Chako's 29 days Challenge event.

Also sending it to the event "From our mom’s Kitchen" hosted @Pure Vegetarian Bites
Also sending it to the event Winter Foods 30 min Challenge Event conducted by Sizzling Tastebuds.  Eat Healthy. Love life.

.Also I need guest hosts for the future "Tried and Tasted Event". If you are Interested in guest hosting the event please mail me at kitchenchronicles1(at)gmail(dot)com or leave me a message in the comment section below.You can here more details about the event.


Raks said...

Looks so tempting, my favorite, both!

Unknown said...

Thank you Rajee.

Minu said...

Mouth watering...

abraham said...

new to me.. but seriously this combination of pumkin curry and fried lentils looks beautiful.. a must try

Unknown said...

Thanks Minu Aachi and abraham.

Priya said...

Looks so yummy Lakshmi!