Monday, September 25, 2006
Nimmakaaya Kaaram (Lemon Zinger, do we call it?)
Some mornings, idlis or dosas for breakfast would be accompanied by this kaaram. As the years passed, I left home, the cook took over from Grandmom, this recipe got lost, or maybe it so happened that it was never made when I was around. I only remember the lemony taste and grainy texture, which I thought came from poppy seed but as it turns out, comes from a bouquet of ingredients that doesn’t have any poppy seed in it.
What you need:
Juice of five lemons
Channa dal/Bengal gram: 1 tbsp
Urad dal/Black gram: 1 tbsp
5 red chillies
Fenugreek/methi: ½ tsp
Mustard seed: ½ tsp
Curry leaf/karivepaku: A loose fistful
Gingelly (Sesame) oil
Fry everything except lime juice and salt in oil. Allow it to cool. Grind to a paste. Add lemon juice and salt. I think this can even be made with citron (dabbakaaya) juice. For variations, you can add coriander leaves or crushed garlic, I suppose at the time of frying, I’m not sure, really. I added curry leaves as an afterthought. It is a good accompaniment to rice and most traditional South Indian breakfasts but am sure it will taste good on other bland stuff, or rather, food that doesn’t have too many flavors in it already, such as bread. Let me know when you try.
PS: This is my contribution to the You Can Feed a Hungry Child Campaign