Coriander seeds have a health-supporting reputation that is high on the list of the healing spices. In parts of Europe, it is considered as a anti-diabetic plant and in India it has been used for its anti-inflammatory properties for ages. This 60 year old recipe from Meenakshi Ammal’s “Cook and See Part 2″ only proves that even when people had no access to the internet and formal education in India, they ate a very healthy diet. A variation of this soup/kuzhambu with curry leaves used to be on our menu while growing up at least once in 2 weeks. This tastes best with rice and a dollop of ghee.
1/4 cup coriander seeds
6 dry red chilies ( I used 3)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
3 teaspoons oil ( I used sesame oil)
1/2 teaspoon asafetida powder
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
5 curry leaves
1. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan. Add coriander seeds, dry red chilies, black peppercorns and fry for 3-4 minutes on medium flame till the coriander seeds turn light brown. Remove from flame and set aside.
2. Grind the above along with tamarind paste and salt into a smooth paste by adding little water.
3. Take the ground paste in a saucepan, add 2 cups of water, mix well and let it sit on medium flame.
4. Take 2 teaspoons of oil in another pan and when its hot, add mustard seeds and fry till it starts popping. Add asafetida powder, curry leaves and mix well.
5. Add the above to the ground paste mixture.
6. Let it come to a boil and sit on medium flame for 15-20 minutes until it reduces in quantity to about 1.5 cups of soup/kuzhambu.
7. To make curry leaves soup, use 2 cups of curry leaves instead of coriander seeds and follow the same recipe. If you want to add shallots or garlic, fry them along with curry leaves or coriander seeds and grind to a fine paste.