A combination of odd number of vegetables (excluding onions, garlic and okra) used in the preparation of kozhambu is what is known as thalatha kozhambu or Thalagam. It is served with the kali ( a sweet roasted and powdered rice mixed with jaggery) for a south Indian festival called Arudhra Dharshan. It is a festival that falls between December 15-January 15 in the Tamil month of Margazhi on a full moon and is celebrated on Shiva's birth star of Thiruvadhirai. On this day Lord Shiva takes the form of Nataraja and performs his cosmic dance which is the source of all energy in the universe. I loved this combination of sweet with tangy kozhambu and looked forward to it every year as a child. Here is the recipe for the thalatha kozhambu that I prepared this morning.
Heavy Bottom Stock Pot
Vegetables - ( 2 potatoes pealed, 2 Raw Banana, 1/2 egg plant, 2 Carrots, 1 cup white pumpkin, 1 cup yellow pumpkin, Edema beans - 1/2 cup, peas - 1/2 cup, Beans - 1 bunch cut into 2 inch pieces ( 9 different kinds of veggies)
Tamarind - lemon size ball
Water - 5 cups or more to cover the veggies
Sambar Powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander Seeds - 3 tbsp
Channa Dhal - 1 tbsp
Red Dry Chillies - 2
Coconut - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves - a few
Asafoetida - 1 peas size ball or 1/2 tsp powder
1. Wash and cut all veggies into small chunks and soak the tamarind in 2 cups of water.
2. Heat the oil in stock pot. Add asafoetida and curry leaves. Then add the veggies, salt and mix well and allow to cook for a few minutes.
3. Add the sambar powder and mix well for 2 minutes. Then add the tamarind water and the rest of the water enough to cover all the veggies. Cover the pot and allow to cook for 10 minutes until all the veggies are cooked.
4. While the veggies are cooking, heat the seasoning with 1/2 tsp of oil. Add the channa dhal, dry chillies, coriander seeds and roast until the channa dhal turns golden brown. Add coconut and mix well. Transfer into a blender and blend into a fine powder.
5. Once the veggies are cooked ( test to see if the potatoes are done) then add this mixture to the veggies and allow to simmer for a few minutes and serve with the kali.