As part of Divya's South Vs North Challenge, this month Priya (akka) from Priya's Versatile Recipes challenged us to cook Chettinad Pakoda Kuzhambu. It was the first time i heard the name. but once i cooked it, i realized i had eaten it several times in our Chennai mess. they used to cook it really well and i always ended up over-eating whenever it was served. I however didn't know the curry by this name. we used to call it the south Indian pakoda curry which (i learnt from wiki) is what Pakoda Kuzhambu translates to in English.
While it is a fairly straight-forward recipe to cook through, it took me two long kitchen sessions to get this curry right. while the gravy tasted wonderful, i wasn't very happy with the way the pakodas had turned out when i cooked it the the first time. they were dense and hard. so i asked Priya akka if she had any tips to share. almost instantly she asked me if i had fried it too long.. yes i had. well, while frying vadas/pakodas(which i almost never do) i always have this phobia that the interiors will remain uncooked and so i tend to over-fry them (as a consequence make them rock-hard)... anyway the second time i was more careful with the pakodas and they worked out fine.. weren't perfectly porous... atleast not the slightly bigger ones but so hard either. the smaller ones were better in every way and i think the Pakoda Kuzhambu would have been perfect had i stuck to the smaller pakoda size and not rushed through the recipe by dropping larger chunks of the lentil mixture in the oil. anyway those are just notes for me for next time...
now the recipe....
Chettinad Pakoda Kuzhambu
Recipe Source : Priya's Versatile Recipes
what i did
We enjoyed the Pakoda Kuzhambu that night with rice, yogurt and papad. It was such a treat !!
Many thanks to Priya (akka) for the challenge and the tips and a big thanks to Divya for starting the South Vs North Challenge.
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