Stop fidgeting with that I’ve got you fresh turkey berry / sundakkai Where did you get fresh berries? I got it from a friend who grows this at home That’s lovely Can we make raw turkey berry kuzhambu / curry? Yeah Sure. We can Do you know how to make it? No. Which is why I want to learn from you. Haven’t you seen me making this? ‘Seeing’ is different from actually learning to make it The cleaning of these berries is one of the most important processes in this recipe You cannot cook them as is My grandmother always asked me to bring her the ‘aazhakku’ (a measure for rice) when we made this back then The aazhakku was made of iron as opposed to today’s stainless steel You need to pound these berries using the iron aazhakku This was a chore she gave me before I left for school I love that job Ma I’d tell her, I am getting late for school and she’d say – if you do all this kitchen work, your studies are a given. Get me that mortar and pestle This is a miniature one This mortar is closest to a grinding stone we used back then Since we do not have an iron aazhakku, I am using this iron ulakkai / rod Why does iron need to be used for pounding? It removes toxins in the berries The iron takes away the toxins We never asked our elders, so I assume that is the reason You cant cut these berries in two and cook it. I am certain our ancestors fairly knew the know how behind all of this Normally these berries are sun-dried and made into a kuzhambu Also, crisps Maybe this process of pounding, reduces the bitterness you think? Taste a berry, it wont be bitter Is it? The flavour is umami in nature, so not really bitter It is not bitter at all Yes, definitely not bitter I don’t really have a word to describe this taste There is an after taste of bitterness Similar to that of gooseberry Notice the colour of the water after rinsing This is a reaction to the iron rod The toxins are out is what I would think The turkey berry has cooked well Add some turmeric Sambar powder Alter sambar powder to suit your spice levels How good does that smell? You can now add the tamarind water What is the quantity of tamarind to use? Tamarind the size of a medium to large size lemon Is this kuzhambu/ curry too sour? Not really. If the proportions are right, then the kuzhambu automatically balances the taste itself You don’t need too much oil too The consistency should be just right The curry should neither be too thin nor thick Yes, that’s when it is a well-done kuzhambu/ curry This has to boil until the raw tamarind smell fades away When this kuzhambu/curry is almost done, we will finish it with coconut milk (first coconut milk) It has a wonderful aroma You can add more coconut milk Switch off stove when it comes to a boil immediately Boiling for too long may curdle the kuzhambu because of the coconut milk How does that smell? How does it taste? It is an emotion I am automatically transported to my childhood, for I’ve been eating it all these years The flavours are bang on the sourness from the tamarind the smell of the fresh coconut milk combined with the cooked turkey berries is magical The way to eat it is by pouring ghee (clarified butter) over steaming hot rice and mixing dhal (lentils) You pour this turkey berry / sundakkai kuzhambu / curry on the side of the dhal rice Cooking dhal is an art –the lentils need to be individually cooked like leaves and not mushy Adding some asafoetida and ghee to the dhal/lentils enhances the flavour and taste Making dhal rice is an art too Never too mushy, but just the right mix of rice and dhal The combination of eating this kuzhambu and dhal rice is match made in heaven Can we now devour this for lunch? Thanks Ma!