Karunai Kizhangu is from Yam's family but am not sure about its perfect English name. Its smaller in size (refer the pic below) and creates prickliness in the tongue if not properly cooked but it has lot of healthy benefits. To eliminate the itchiness, this is prepared in a tangy way adding thick tamarind sauce.
I learnt this recipe with DH. Because of the itchy nature, I avoid buying this vegetable but recently I need to rush to office on a weekend for a support and I requested hubby to manage the lunch eating outside but to my surprise he has cooked on that day. When I returned home, he insisted me to taste the kuzhambu and it was simply superb. DH is more concentrated towards Chettinad cuisine as he hails from that region and the addition of right amount of tamarind sauce with necessary spice powders make the dish look more colorful and flavorful. Then next weekend, with his inputs, I prepared this kuzhambu and it came out more than as desired. From then, in a very short interval, I have prepared this dish many times.
Pidi Karunai - 1/2 kg
Peeled small onion - 1 cup
Garlic (optional) - 10-15 pods or as desired
Tomato - 2
Sambar powder - 2 tsp
Chilly powder -2 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Tamarind water (Extracted from pulp)- 2 cups
Salt - as desired
Oil - as desired
Curry leaves - few
Mustard seeds - 1 small tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
1. Pressure cook the vegetable for 2 whistles. Make sure not to overcook as it would turn mushy.
2. Extract the tamarind water from the soaked tamarind pulp.
3. Peel small onions and garlic pods and keep it ready.
4. In a heavy bottomed vessel, add oil as desired and throw in the tempering items one by one (mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves).
5. Add small onions, garlic pod, and tomatoes. Peel the skin of the cooked vegetable (karunai Kizhangu) and cut it in 1 inch size and add it to the mixture and mix well.
6. Add salt, chilly powder, coriander powder, and sambar powder and mix well.
7. Add the extracted tamarind water and let it boil in low flame until everything gets cooked and mixed well. The more the boiling time, the more the taste would be.
8. At one stage, the gravy would thicken with nice color coat over the gravy and oil starts to float on top. Switch of the stove and transfer to a vessel.
9. Enjoy this lip smacking kara kuzhambu with steamed white rice.
I prepared along with spinach kootu and potato fry and it tasted awesome.