In the food science laboratory of Women’s Christian College, I was taught and used to teach what is known as College Fudge, which is a traditional method of making cocoa fudge. It involved using candy thermometers to judge the stage of the sugar syrup and the cooling of the fudge. After removing from heat, the fudge would be cooled to 40° C and then beaten – a long and cumbersome process, and very difficult to judge the endpoint. Most of the time, it ended in a semi-solid or crumbling fudge. Though I had gained experience in making fudge myself, most students invariably made some error or the other when my back was turned 🙂 After I retired I had more time to experiment, and I arrived at this method, which does not need a thermometer to judge the stage or cooling, and I also ironed out many of the small errors that are likely to crop up when making fudge.
Thuvaram is a kind of a fry or poriyal which is popular in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu. There are 2 varieties of thuvaram: one uses the vegetable and very few seasonings; the other includes a small amount of red gram dhal and coconut ground with garlic and cumin seeds. Pudalankai (Podalankai/Podalangai) or snake gourd is suitable for the first type. Later on I’ll be posting the second variety also.
The Northeast monsoon is expected to commence towards the end of October. That means there will be days when one will not be able to set out shopping. My mother used to make vattral of vegetables (sun dried at home) and also stock dried fish as even my father would not be at home to go shopping. My mother would make this Karuvadu Kuzhambu when it was raining heavily outside and serve it with Urullaikizhangu Pittu (and with white rice).
The vegetarians of Thirunelveli prepare this Ennai Kai Kuzhambu as a speciality dish. The name Ennai Kai is derived from Ennai Kathirikai because the same masala is used. The flavour is very grand and delicious compared to Vendhaya Kuzhambu. It is served only with white rice, though the name may suggest being served with biriyani (biriyani goes better with Khatte Baingan or Sweet and Sour Brinjal Masala). I usually serve this with keerai kootu or Urullaikkizhangu Pittu.