Saturday, July 12, 2008

Verkadalai (Groundnut) Kuzhambu

I chanced upon some fresh groundnuts in the market and bought a bunch wanting to make a kind of salad that my dad used to make when we had potluck dinners with our neighbours up on our terrace under the soft moonlight. I have such fond memories of those dinners. My father loved to have moonlight dinners and somedays we would just take our usual fare of chapathis and sabzi or dhal and go to the coolness of our "roof-top garden" which he would've prepped by watering it earlier that evening so it was nice and ready. We would eat and then just lie there and chat until late... This soon moved to a larger scale operation where our neighbours joined in as well and soon we had the best of dishes from each house and lots of fun, games and music followed.

But after all this hype about that peanut salad that my dad made, I wasn't able to give a call and find out from him the recipe... but I remembered that my mom also made a kuzhambu using this so opted to make that since I remember that it tasted quite similar to her mochai kuzhambu recipe. The resultant was a very yummy gravy with melt-in-the mouth eggplant pieces and smooth, tasty peanuts floating.


Fresh groundnuts - 1 to 1.5 cups, (after being pressure cooked & shelled)
Onion - 1 small to medium sized one, chopped finely
Chinese (long) eggplant - 1, cut into 2 inch pieces
Tomato - half of a small one, chopped
Garlic - 6 to 7 cloves, whole
Tamarind - small lemon sized, soaked in warm water and juice extracted
Sambar Powder - 3 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Salt, to taste

To Grind
to a smooth paste:
Coconut - 3 tbsp
Jeera (Cumin seeds) - 1 tsp
Splash of water, as needed

Gingelly Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Jeera (Cumin seeds) - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Asafoetida (hing) - pinch

1) Pressure cook the unshelled groundnuts with some salt and about 1/2 cup water for 3 whistles. Then shell them to get the soft groundnuts inside.
2) Heat 2 tsp of oil and season with mustard, urad dhal, jeera and curry leaves. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Saute this until golden.

3) Now add the eggplant pieces and when they soften a bit, add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric and sambhar powder. Stir and cook for a few minutes before adding the tamarind juice.

4) Allow this to boil for about 5 minutes before adding the cooked groundnuts. Add salt to taste, if necessary.

5) Let this cook until the raw smell goes away, the veggies have softened and thickens slightly.

6) Add the ground coconut-jeera paste. Let this boil for 5 more minutes before serving.

We had it with vazhakkai roast and butternut squash erissery.


  1. Looks like a great idea, Laavanya! Have never tried this, but it's sure tempting! :)

  2. Did u made like mochai kozhambu, looks so yummy, nice idea !

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  4. Very new Recipe dear..lovely post...

  5. That looks good! I've never used groundnuts like that. Your mom's recipe is nice; dad's salad recipe next.:D
    You ate on a banana leaf? What were u celebrating?

  6. Looks awesome Laavanya! Very new recipe to me. We used to have similar moon-light dinner at our dinners in our childhood. Your post reminded me of those good (g)old days!

  7. Verkadalai kuzhambu is new to me. I am sure it must hv tasted divine. I have some fresh groundnuts to try ur recipe.

  8. moonlight picnic reminds me of when us kids decides to have a picnic at 2 in the morning when he adults were asleep, and the tiffin boxes with goodies just would not open. we went to the bathroom and started banging them on the floor to open them.

    that woke everyone up and we got a good scolding. that was the end of our moonlight picnics.

  9. wow, i have never boiled nuts like that. sounds interesting. you re an inventive woman ... Btw. T&T round-up is up and running, so is July´s challenge. Hope to see you there ...

  10. Thats a new dish to me laav! Looks nice & yummy - Served on Plaintain leaf.. Whats special? Heys wheres the payasam & Papadam on the leaf????
    "A" are u hearing me, you can complain now it was an incomplete meal :-)

  11. Just to get u envious I still do the terrace diners once a week :D

    Never made anthing out of peanuts except eat them as it is..urs sounds good to try

  12. I am goin' to make this today. Lovely dish, looks yummyyyy. Very nice recipe!!!

  13. Laavanya..i have tried this once..almost forgot i have to give a try again!!

  14. this looks great ...good ....looks yummy dear...

  15. this looks delicious and tasty.....Gr8 recipe.....

  16. eating on the terrace fun!!...aren't those fun times...and the kuzhambu looks should ask ur dad for his recipe and post it the next time....

  17. Never had groundnuts in a curry, very good idea... And I am waiting for that salad recipe... :)

  18. I have never heard of this kozhambu, Laavanya. The picture with the dishes served on the banana leaf is mouthwatering! I wish I could just sit cross legged and start devouring! Will try this:-)

  19. what a lovely idea!! does this work with normal raw peanuts as well or just the ones u get with the shells?

  20. A very unique preparation! Looks delicious :)

  21. looks like the work of a pro. this is new to me, but it looks delicious! :-)

  22. Thank you Kalai. It's been ages since I had it so thoroughly enjoyed the meal.

    Yes Cham I did.. since that's how I remembered and later my mom confirmed that she follows the same method too.

    Thank you Ramya :)

    TBC, sure.. need to get my hand on some more fresh peanuts and give my dad's recipe a shot. A friend grows these in her backyard so give me a nice big leaf - no celebration.. :)

    Thank you notyet100.

    Sujatha, those were truly fun days.

    Jayasree, I hope you get a chance to try it. We loved it...

    Bee, haha.. you had to break open the boxes to get at the food? :D It would've been great if the adults had joined in on the fun too instead of just dismissing your group to bed.

    Zlamushka, we often just boil and eat them just like that as a snack. I did check out the great round-up. thanks!

    Seema, thank you. It was just a weekday dinner but since a friend had given the banana leaf (she grows them), I decided to use them.. so no payasam or appalam... :D

    Rachel.. you lucky gal. I am envious now.

    Madhavi, did you try? Hope you liked it. Thanks.

    Thanks you Lavi, Suma and Sireesha.

    Rajitha, yes I plan to try my dad's salad soon. Those were good times. Thanks.

    Thank you Sig.

    Shreya.. :) Thank you so much for your sweet words.

    Thank you A&N and JZ.

  23. that looks very tempting laavanya ..

  24. wow, what a beautiful kuzhambu! new recipe to me! love the last pic with the plantain leaf.

  25. Laavanya-

    verkadalai kozhambu looks so good. Loved your presentation with the eriserry.

  26. sounds really good.. thanx for the idea!

  27. In maharashtra we make brinjal in ground nut gravy, its all spicy, but we dont add tamarind....urs looks equally luring

  28. That dish looks good, but the late night dinners on the roof sound even better :)

  29. oh, that looks so delicious lav. i have spotted fresh peanuts in asian stores recently but they were not as good as they seemed. i hope to get hold of really freshones soon. and moonlight dinner sounds really good:)

  30. ohh curry with groundnuts lovely looks delicious .

  31. ur reciepes and photos... look good...

    do visit my blog when u find time and leave ur comments and suggestions

  32. If I ever I invite myself to your house (oh oh), I have no doubts that I would enjoy every bit of your cooking, Laavanya. Its so close to my heart, and my tastebuds too :)


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