Jiraka Kuzhambu / Spicy cumin gravy

by - January 15, 2014

     சீரக குழம்பு / Seeraga Kuzhambu

     Jiraka Kuzhambu is a aromatic gravy usually served with steamed rice and vegetable. Since cumin has lot of medical  benefits, it has been used widely in Indian cooking and as well Middle Eastern countries.  I still remember, my Mom used to prepare medicine/ lagheeyam out of it, to treat stomach upset and flatulence. 
    Study evaluated the antioxidant content found in Cumin is more effective than other common antioxidants including Vitamin C.  Due to it’s high antioxidant content, some lab research has even found that it might have a role in fighting cancer. 

      And also increases insulin sensitivity, thus beneficial for diabetics. Due to its anti-asthmatic properties, it works as a brochiodiator and can help asthmatic patients too.  Now let see the recipe..
Seeraga Kuzhambu / Spicy  cumin gravy
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 ~ 25 minutes
yield: 5 ~ 6
Source: sarasyummybites                                                                                                                                Print here                                                                                                      
For Seasoning:
2 tbsp sesame oil 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 ~ 2 string curry leaves

Dry roast and grind:
1 1/2 ~ 2 tbsp cumin

For Gravy:
8 ~ 10 garlic pods, crushed
2 medium size onion, chopped finely
2 medium size tomato, chopped finely
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 ~ 2 tbsp curry powder / Kuzhambu Milagai tool or to taste
1 1/2 ~ 2 tsp red chilli powder & coriander powder each*
Small lime size tamarind
water as needed
Sat to taste


1. Heat the pan and dry roast the cumin seeds.  Stir continuously to roast uniformly. Soak tamarind  in two cup of warm water.
2. In the same pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds, allow it to splutter. Throw in fenugreek seeds,  when it slightly change its color add curry leaves, chopped onion and crushed garlic. Fry onion till it become soft and transparent. Then add chopped tomatoes and fry till it become soft.
3. Add turmeric powder and curry powder. Saute for a minute in low heat, mean time extract juice   from tamarind.
4. Dilute thick tamarind juice with 1 cup or more water to required consistency. Filter and add the  juice to masala mixture. Mix and bring the gravy to boil.  Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes. Adjust salt to taste.
5. Grind the roasted cumin seeds in to coarse powder. When gravy thicken or reduced to required  thickness, add ground cumin powder and mix well with out any lumps. Add 1 tsp of oil to the gravy and continue to cook for 2 ~ 3 minutes. 
6. Enjoy with hot steamed rice with keera kootu.

( * use either kuzhambu milagai thool or red chili powder and coriander powder)

     சீரக குழம்பு / Seeraga Kuzhambu

This recipe is off to Tamilar Samaya Tuesday hosted by Nalini Suresh.

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