Karamani Kara Kuzhambu


Here’s something hearty and healthy for these cold wintry days. Usually or mostly Black eyed peas makes us think of a sundal recipe or quick salad recipe. But they pair well with gravies too. They are real friendly with most common veggies like brinjal, bottlegourd and drumstick. Moreover you don’t have to break your head about pre-soaking overnight, these are softer dried peas and require just about 10 minutes of soaking time. Here’s a light version of kara kuzhambu recipe made with black eyed peas and drumstick which when accompanied by plain rice and appalam will complete a full course meal.

Kuzhambu / Kulambu / Kaaramani / Thatta Payir Kuzhambu / Kongu Samayal / Puli Kuzhambu

15 nos Sambar Onions
1 no Tomato
4 cloves Garlic
1 no Green Chili
¼ cup Black eyed peas
5 nos Drumstick
¼ tsp Mustard seeds
½ tsp Cumin seeds
5 nos Curry leaves
¼ tsp Asafoetida powder
¼ cup Fresh grated coconut
1 tsp Fennel seeds
3 tbsp Oil
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red Chili powder
3 tsp Coriander powder
1 marble Tamarind
1 cup Water(for pressure cooker)
½ cup Water(for gravy)
1 cup Water(for cooking drumstick)
¼ cup water(for soaking tamarind)
1 ½ tsp(or as per taste) Salt
1 tsp Sambar / Puli Kuzhambu podi (optional)


Grab a handle full of black eyed peas. They also go by these names… Cow peas / Field peas / Thatta  Payir / Karamani.

Soak them in some water for about 10 minutes. The main reason behind soaking is to minimize gas,  preserve nutrition and cleanse.  Soak  a marble size tamarind separately in some water and get the extract.

Cut the sambar onions/ pearl onions into lengthwise. Chop the tomatoes., slit open the green chili and gently crush the garlic.  Drumstick needs to cooked in some water over the stove or microwave for 2 minutes.

Wash and rinse the soaked peas and pressure cook with 1 cup of wate for just 2 whistles. Let cool and drain all the water and keep the cooked peas aside.

In a pan, heat oil and splutter mustard, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Sprinkle asafoetida and add the cut onion, green chili, garlic and saute until soft. Now add the tomatoes and cooked drumstick along with turmeric powder, red chili powder, dhania powder and salt.

Fry these for few minutes until the oil separates.  Keep an eye and saute these over low flame as it has a tendency to brown quickly.

At this stage add the tamarind extract, some water and cooked black eyed peas. While it simmer, grind the coconut and fennel seeds with some water and make a thick paste.

Add this to the gravy and mix. For more colour and additional flavour, you can include a teaspoon of sambar power or puli kuzhambu powder if you wish. This is purely optional.

Bring it to a rolling boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until the gravy thicken to desired consistency.

Adjust with water for a thin consistency. Garnish with some curry leaves.

We had this kuzhambu with pipping hot rice, pan fried potato and appalams.

Yield: 3 Adult servings.

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