Aah.. it is nice to be back blogging ! The cooking solo for 500 event drained me completely and it took me over a week to slip back into normal routine !
Kulambu is a sour stew, usually cooked with tamarind. In more kulambu (buttermilk sour stew), we use yogurt / buttermilk as a souring agent, instead of tamarind. It is a very simple stew and need not even be cooked, though it is normally briefly heated. Konkani Tambli is a version of uncooked More Kulambu. (Note : Yogurt curdles on prolonged cooking). Ash gourd / stir fried Okra are common additives. The north Indian Kadi belongs to the more kulambu family and uses pakodi ( fried gram flour dumplings) in place of veggies. Though not traditional, a variety of fermented milk products from across the world ( Kefir, Viili , Kaymak, sour cream etc) or other yogurts ( goat, mare, camel) can also be used to cook up never before cooked, exotic more kulambu.
This cookbook lists 1000 simplified buttermilk stews, the More Kulambu, cooked in Tamilnadu. Ten bases are combined with ten different additives and ten different flavouring to create a thousand different more kulambu varieties. The building blocks are listed below:
A mixture of coconut , cumin, green / red chilies are blended together with various combinations of roast and groud fenugreek, coriander seeds, soaked / roasted lentils to cook up an array of bases. In an interesting variation, the Devasa ( Death anniversary) More kulambu is ultra orthodox and uses black pepper (native to India) instead of chilies (the ‘foreign’ import).
A variety of fried spices like mustard, curry leaves, fenugreek, red chili, asafetida as listed in column 2 can be used.
Boiled Ash gourd, str fried okra are the most often used vegetables. However almost any vegetable can be used. More kulambu tastes great with cooked stuff ( boiled lentil balls – paruppu urundai, pakodi or even torn papad). (Quick tip : use cut up ready made masala vada as a vegetable substitute).