Generally I prepare omam kuzhambu when we return home from a vacation, or after attending a wedding ceremony for few days. I make omam kuzhambu and serve with hot steaming rice & roasted papad (sutta appalam), when we crave for a home-cooked food that soothes our stomach.
Health Benefits: Omam (ajwain / carom seeds / Bishop’s weed) are tiny seeds resembling cumin seeds of distinctive flavor & bitter taste. It contains thymol, a substance found in thyme seeds and has same medicinal properties like anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, etc. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine mainly to treat stomach ache, indigestion, gastritis & flatulence; its decoction treats nausea & headache; its vapour acts as a broncho-dilator and relieves chest & nasal congestion.
How to include omam seeds in our daily food: While cooking these seeds its bitter taste needs to be masked by adding ingredients that are sweet or sour. You can use omam in some of the recipes as below :
- Roti, paratha, bread, or cookies – sprinkle few seeds into the dough.
- Oma podi, bajji (gram flour fritters) – powdered seeds can be added into water while making the dough.
- Any curry, gravy, or kuzhambu – omam may be added while tempering or mixed into the gravy in powder form.
Now let us look into the recipe for omam kuzhambu:
Time taken : 30 min
Yields : Approx. 400 ml
- Drumstick (murungai) – 2 Nos.
- Brinjal (katharikai) – 1 No.
- Tamarind – gooseberry sized
- Sesame oil (nallennai) – 1 tbsp
- Fenugreek seeds (vendhayam) – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder (manjal thool) – 1 tsp
- Powdered jaggery (vellam) – 1 tsp
- Salt – ¾ tsp
- Sesame oil – 2 tsp
- Red chillies – 6 Nos.
- Pepper corns – ½ tsp
- Carom seeds (omam) – 1 tsp
- Coriander seeds (dhania) – 1 tbsp
- Shallots (chinna vengayam) – 8 Nos.
- Ginger – 1″ piece
Cooking Method :
- Preparing masala: We need to roast pepper (medium flame), chillies, coriander seeds & omam (low flame) in 1 tsp oil, saute shallots & ginger in 1 tsp oil & grind them into a fine paste as shown below.
- Tamarind can be soaked in hot water or microwave for 1 min before extracting its juice (about 500 ml) and keep it aside.
- Heat the pan with oil & add fenugreek seeds, drumstick & brinjal.
- Add turmeric powder & saute the veggies until they are coated with oil.
- Add tamarind juice & ground masala and bring it to a boil.
- Close the pan with a lid and simmer until veggies cooked soft & are infused in the masala .
- Add salt & jaggery and cook for 2 min in low flame and remove from heat.
- Serve omam kuzhambu after adding the tempering.