Friday, June 25, 2010

Apple vattal kuzhambu - Sun dried apples in tamarind gravy


I was wondering not knowing how to use the sun dried apples which my cousin had brought from Kashmir. My son said that my daughter - in - law used sun dried apples (Apple vattal ) to make a 'trail snack' along with nuts, chocolate chips and other dry fruits. This snack he said restored energy during their trekking expeditions.
As I was just getting ready to mix a trail snack my aunt called up and said that her ' vella pachadi ' and ' vattal kozhumbu' with apple vattals had turned out very good. With a little hesitation I prepared this novel vattal kuzhambu, but my family enjoyed the new dish very much.

Sun dried apples ( cut into small pieces ) - 1 cup
Tamarind - 1 lemon size ball
Jaggery - 1 lemon size piece
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder ( Unroasted spice mix) - 2 tsp
Rice flour - 2 tsp
Gingelly oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Broken red chillies - 2
Curry leaves - a few

1. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
3. When the mustard splutters add fenugreek seeds and then the bengal gram dal.
4. When the dal becomes golden in colour add red chillies, curry leaves and the apple pieces.
5. Lower the flame and quickly add asafoetida, sambar powder and rice flour and stir.(Take care not to burn the sambar powder).
6. Add the tamarind extract, salt and jaggery.
7. Boil the vattal kuzhambu until it reaches a sauce like consistancy, stirring now and then.

Enjoy the pleasant flavour of apple in your delicious vattal kuzhambu. It tastes heavenly with hot rice topped with a dollop of ghee. You can also enjoy it with pongal, upma, dosai, adai or chapati.