I am feeling nostalgic as I write this post today. I have spent a fair part my life in my native where summer heats are clammy and pose the biggest challenge. While different parts of world celebrate various seasons with summers, autumns, spring and monsoons, I crib, it's only this part of the world that has seen only 2 seasons. The oppressive humid summers that last 8 long months and the terrific rains lasting meager 4 months. Unfair. It's no joke. And it's for these summers, tamblis would bring respite in form of food. I wouldn't be doing justice if I do not post this recipe here.
I can't stop smirking when I think of how I would often sneak into kitchen even in the brief absence of my mom to quench my coveted thirst for various delicious tamblis prepared by amma for those sultry afternoon meals. I am no better even today!
Tambli is a much loved, uncooked, coconut blended curry revered in the coastal belts of Karnataka. It's a pleasure to serve this with a helping of steaming hot rice and a drizzle of this cool and soothing yogurt based curry. With simple and very basic few ingredients, this does all the justice for the hot summer days.
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp fresh/frozen coconut
1 cup yogurt
3 red chillies
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
A sprig of curry leaves
Lightly fry the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and red chillies till you get the roasted aroma from them. Don't let them brown a lot as they will turn bitter and lose the taste. It takes about a min or two. Cool and grind them with coconut. Lightly beat the yogurt and this paste to it. Tamblis are usually thin and a little runny in consistency. So adjust by adding extra water if required to bring it to thinner consistency. Add salt to taste.
Temper the Tambli by seasoning it well. Heat a tsp of oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. As they begin to pop, add in the curry leaves. Let the curry leaves fry for half a minute or less. Pour this seasoning over the Tambli. Serve it cold over steaming hot rice.
My mom adds a tad bit of jaggery to this for that hint of bitter-sweetness. I like to leave that out. Apart from being are excellent coolants in summers, they are good for patients suffering from fever as they are simple and easily digestible. Enjoy this traditional meal with some palya, uppinkai and happala!
I vouch this for one of those ancient recipes that have been passed on from generation to generation, from grandmas to mothers, from mothers to daughters and probably their daughters in future ;). It's one of those kinds which has been preserved, seeing little or no changes.