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.
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 in 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.