Thursday, January 25, 2007

'Daughter in the Kitchen' and Thattapayar Kathrikkai Kuzhambu

Cowpeas (a.k.a Black Eyed Peas) and Brinjal in a Spicy sauce

I learned most of my cooking from cook books and seeing friends cook. Thanks to friend G who taught me how to cook sambhar and rasam, once I learned those the rest came easy. Back home I hardly stepped in the kitchen even after repeated appeals from my mom to learn cooking to which I hardly paid any attention or just plain ignored them. I had to learn it the hard way. But now whenever I see my mom, grandmom or for that matter anybody cook I pay a lot more attention. So it is really astonishing and also a source of pride when my daughter tells me that she wants to help in the kitchen. There are certain dishes you can learn from cookbooks but there are certain others that can be learned by watching someone else. Thattapayir Kuzhambu is one such, I have never come across this recipe in any cookbook. I learned it by watching my mom make it. Thattapayir is also one thing that I never forget to bring back with me from India. It is roasted a little bit so it won't get any bugs.

When I mentioned about the Little Chefs In the Kitchen event hosted by TRS of The Spice Who Loved me (what a neat idea!) daughter was mightly pleased. She loves to cook the Chappathis as I am rolling them. She draws a stool close to the stove and helps me cook chappathis all the time yakking away, you know how eight years olds are. Everything has to be analyzed to the last detail. My fond hope is to teach her as much of Indian cooking as possible so she can enjoy cooking good food.

Thattapayir Kathrikkai Kuzhambu

1. 3/4 Cups Thattapayir (cowpeas) cooked to one whistle in a pressure cooker and drained (should not be mushy)
2. 6-8 small purple brinjals slit in 4 but ends intact
3. 1/2 onion chopped
4. 1/4 cup tamarind pulp
5. seasonings curry leaves, mustard and cumin
6. Oil and salt

1. 1/2 red onion + 20 pearl onions
2. 1 1/2 tbsp Corriander powder (Original recipe use corriander seeds and cumin)
3. 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
4. 3-4 red chillies

Saute the onions in a little bit of oil and when they are brown add the red chillies let them brown add corriander and cumin powder mix well turn off the heat cool and make a paste.

1. Heat oil in a pan, add the seasonings, cumin, curry leaves and mustard and when the mustard starts to pop add the onions and saute till translucent
2. Add the brinjals and saute till the skin starts to blacken,
3. Add the thattai payir and mix well.
4. Add the Paste and the tamarind water and salt, check for salt cover the lid and cook till the brinjal turns soft. Should not be too watery or too thick so adjust water accordingly

Serve with rice and a little bit of ghee. The ghee brings out the taste like no other.


  1. Hi ISG,
    I tasted this kuzhambu in my friends place in CBE. Now I can try with your Recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  2. How wonderful you must feel that your daughter is showing an interest at such a young age... thank you,for your entry. Cowpeas and eggplant recipe looks wonderful, something new for me to learn! Many thanks to your daughter for participating.

    All the best,

  3. HiI ndo
    Your 8 year old is a genius. She can do chapatis...wowwwwww
    It's good you know, it gives you some mommy-daughter time too. What about the 2 year old, does she come in too ?

    What exactly is Cow Peas ? The curry looks rich and delicious but is there an equivalent to it here ?

  4. MT you are welcome, give it a try.

    Trupti thanks she was also surprised that they had these events in the blogworld. Looking forward to showing the roundup to her.

    Samdeepa the 2 year old will break garlic and try to peel but she is a little too hyper to sit still, the older one is more mellow and responsible. I should have mentioned it in the post Cowpeas also goes by the name of Black eyed Peas,I used not the frozen kind but the dry one. The ones we get in India are slightly smaller than the ones we see here.

  5. Great to see your daughter in the kitchen Indo!They are a great help if you let them!My son does it without fuss but my daughter..OYYY!!:D

    I love both dishe,will save it.Did you see my son cooking in 'Aroma' blog?

  6. Good to see that kids are getting into the kitchen more often. Nice recipe.

  7. This is very nice recipe. What is tattai payir ? Do you know its name in Hindi ? Its so good to see your daughter showing interest in cooking.

  8. Ok. got it. it is lobia/black eyed peas

  9. Hi ISG - love the photos with your daughter making the chappatis --what a great helper she is! The kuzhambu looks so delicious. I can always count on you for a spicy eggplant dish, and this extra healthy too with black eyed peas. Thanks for sharing :)

  10. hi isg

    u got a good girl..nice daughter wants to do that but i am afraid to let her to the stove..ur daughter is a brave girl..hugs to her..
    kuzhambu is looking great..

  11. i have my son yakking away, making snowmen out of the dough. very cute that she helps out . hope that lasts and doesn't turn the other way when she turns preteen. love ur black eye recipe.

  12. Asha, that is true we have to let them it is partly our fault trying to protect them too much I guess. I did visit the Aroma blog and see the lovely waffles both of you made.

    RP yup you are the expert though, you do a lot with your kids.

    Krithika yup black eyed peas. Lets see how long the interest lasts.

    Linda yup she is a great helper. I know I have this love affair with eggplant.

    Swapna, she is older now so she knows she has to be careful near the stove.

    Shaheen that is cute of your son, actually the older and the younger one still love to play with the dough. The deal is she will help me and I will give some of the dough to play with. Her aunt gave her a small chappathi board and rolling pin which she plays with.

  13. oh thnk u very much for the friend`s mom-in-law once gave me these red cow peas..i truly donno any recipe with them...u helped me....recipe looks delicious ..will try tomorrow!!!

  14. Oh! Thats a good combination. Need to try definitely.

  15. I see lots of your recipes are very similar to ours. Looks like it appears that you hail from Erode,Salem or Namakkal District. Is it true?


  16. today i tried your receipe...really great receipes...lookin forward for more such kongu receipies...

  17. Yaay - three cheers for thattai payir, kaththirikkaai kozhambu - my favorite. As also is mochai payirum kaththirikkaai kozhambu.

    PS: Reached your blog by googling for arisiyum paruppu choru (saatham). You have a great collection of Kongu nadu recipes.

  18. Tried this last week.. this was a super hit @ home. Thanks much :)

  19. delicious kuzhambu.....yummmmm :-)


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