Soak the tamarind in warm water for about half-an-hour.
Heat about a teaspoon of oil and roast all the ingredients (chillies, pepper, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dals – in that order) till you start getting the aroma.
Add the roasted ingredients in the blender along with the soaked tamarind and grind to a smooth paste. Add the salt, asafotida, and curry leaves and grind well. transfer the mix to a pan and add water to make a thick fluid.
Heat oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds. When it starts spluttering pour the mix in the mix and let it thicken on low heat till the mix starts boiling. Add the jaggery when the mix is boiling. Serve hot.
Kept in the refrigerator, this can stay good for 10 days.
If you do not want a thick kuzhambu, extract the pulp from the tamarind instead of grinding it with the masala.
Soak the rice and dal in a bowl in a small amount of water for 30 min.
Peel the potatos and cut them into 2″ pieces.
Add the following in the blender and and make a nice paste of the same: Jeera, chillies, curry leaves, soaked dal and rice, pepper corns, coconut, sliced pieces of ginger. Make a puree of curds, add to the ground masala and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard. When the seeds start spluttering add 1/3 cup or less water. Add the potato pieces and turmeric powder. When the potato starts cooking add the ground masala paste in curds, rinse and add more water (depending on the thickness), add salt and asafotida and bring it boil on slow fire.
When the mix starts boiling switch off the flame and transfer to a bowl.
Cook’s note: You can add boiled pumpkin (white/yellow), okra, beans in place of potato for variations.
Soak the tamarind in hot water and get a thick pulp of the same.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter add crushed fenugreek seeds and the sliced radish rings. After sauteing for a few minutes, add the tamarind pulp, sambhar powder, salt and jaggery.
Let the mix boil on low flame till the gravy thickens and the volume is reduced by 40% or so.
Mix the rice flour in 2 spoons of water to make a paste and add it to the mix. Boil for a minute nad remove from fire.
Cooking tip: In case the kuzhambu is thick enough no need to add the rice flour paste. Corn flour can also be used in place of rice flour.