Thursday, November 5, 2015

Kovil Kadambam



Kadambam is a very traditional one pot meal. It is often made in our homes. It is quite filling and a crowd pleaser. It is made with very simple vegetables. Often this is a temple (Kovil in Tamil) prasadam (offering to God). We went to Nathan Kovil (aka Nandipura vinnagaram, a vaishnavite temple in a small village in the outskirts of Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu) on a trip. It was kind of temple closing time. The kids were hungry and we were thinking about the distance we need to travel to find a restaurant. Reaching Nathan Kovil is not easy as there is no good roads or bus services (going in a group tour or so is better). After we finished our prayers, the temple priest gave the kadambam, which was offered to God. Many times, we really need to be gifted to get madapalli (temple kitchen is called madapalli) prasadams. When the priest gave the kadambam, each and everyone of us felt so happy counting our blessings. What a taste! flavor! aroma!. The priest gave us more food after he learned that we had been on the run travelling to many temples that day.  The prasadam was quite special. We can't forget our trip to that temple. We had a great dinner. We were blessed to get the temple prasadam that day else we had to travel hungry for quite some time to the nearest town for food. Even today we talk about it and we named the kadambam that we make as Nathan Kovil kadambam.



Ingredients:

Serves 4

Rice - 1/2 cup
Toor dhal - 1/4 cup
Turmeric - 1/8 tsp

To make sambhar podi

Oil - 11/2 tbsp
Channa dhal - 1and 1/2  tbsp
Urad dhal - 1 tbsp
Pepper - 1/8 tsp
Fenugreek - 1/8 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Red chilli - 4 or 5
Coconut - 3 tbsp


For sambhar

Tamarind - 1/2 tbsp
water - 2-3 cups
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
salt - 3/4 tbsp.

Vegetables for sambhar

Ash gourd - 1/3 cup
Parangikai/ pumpkin - 1/3 cup
Sweet potatoes - 1/4 cup
Chayote squash - 1/4 cup
Cluster beans - 10, chopped to 1" long pieces
Okra - 10, chopped to 1" long pieces
Eggplant - 2, chopped
Plantain - 1/3 cup, chopped 1" long pieces (optional)
Jackfruit seeds - 8 (optional)

To season sambhar

Oil - 2tbsp
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaf 2 sprigs
Asafoetida- 1/8 tsp


Garnishing seasoning

Ghee - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaf - 2

Method:

Cook rice and dhal in pressure cooker and keep aside. Add water to tamarind and extract its juice. In a pan, heat oil and roast the sambhar spice powder ingredients. Cool, grind and keep aside.




Heat 2 tbsp oil and do the seasoning for sambhar. Add the chopped veggies fry for a couple of mins and add the extracted tamarind juice.






Let it simmer till the veggies are cooked but not mushy. Add turmeric powder, ground sambhar spice mix, salt and simmer for a few minutes. The freshly ground sambhar spice powder gives an immense aroma and flavor.



Mash the cooked rice and dhal a little and add it to the simmering sambhar mix. gently fold in and mix thoroughly. Let it simmer for 5 min. till everything is mixed thorughly and a nice aroma lifts you up.




If it is too thick, just add a little amount of water. Adjust salt if needed. Heat a pan add ghee and oil. Add the ingredients from garnishing seasoning and add it to the rice mix. The kadamba sadam - temple style is all ready. Dig in! Its great with fried vathal or appalam (papad).








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