Poondu Kuzhambu – a very healthy tamarind based gravy which is a must in our home every week. My mom makes the best poondu kuzhambu and no looking here and there, I just blindly follow her recipe… for any kara kuzhambu or puli kuzhambu… all purpose kuzhambu thool is a must! You may use homemade or store bought but make sure you use it, as it gives the required thickness to the gravy and also the best taste and color.
I have already shared our home style Kuzhambu thool recipe which has got proportions for a small batch as well as bulk… you may try it or simply buy a pack of achi or sakthi kuzhabu podi before you proceed.
- Garlic – 10 cloves (a few crushed)
- Sambar onions – 15 (chopped)
- Tomato – 1/4 cup (chopped)
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
- Red Chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
- Kuzhambu Thool – 2 tablespoons (See notes)
- Tamarind – 1 marble size (soak in water and get the pulp)
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste)
- Jaggery – 1/4 teaspoon
Ingredients for tempering
- Oil – 3 tablespoons (preferably sesame oil)
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
- Split black gram – 1/2 teaspoon
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Asafoetida – 1/4 teaspoon
- Curry leaves – 6
Lets see how to make this Poondu kuzhambu..
Heat oil in a kadai / pan.. season with mustard seeds, fenugreek, split black gram, cumin seeds and curry leaves. ( sesame oil preferred) Sprinkle little asafoetida.
Followed by chopped onion, garlic … (use more whole garlic cloves and and a few crushed) and saute well in oil. The onions should turn lightly crisp.
Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook them well until it gets mushy. Add in turmeric powder and red chilli powder at this stage. (I have added red chili powder to give more color and to make it spicy- you may skip )
Now this is more important – adding Kuzhambu Thool (this is a blend of red chillies, coriander, dal, cumin fenugreek, black pepper and mustard) if you don’t have this then go for the following options
- 1 teaspoon spicy red chili powder + 2 teaspoons coriander powder + 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder + 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
- Use Sambar powder (either store bought or homemade)
- Get a pack of vatha kuzhambu podi (Achi / Sakthi brands are good) use about a tablespoon.
Most kuzhambu podi or sambar powder includes paruppu / dal powder which gives thickness to all the puli kuzhambu. I recommend you buy a ready made pack if you can’t make it at home 🙂
Saute this well until it browns a bit. should look like this…
Now add kosher salt (kallu uppu) plus a little jaggery.
Now add in thick tamarind pulp. Try our Kathirikai Murungakai Kara Kuzhambu
Now add in 1 cup of water and let it simmer covered for 10 minutes.
Once done, the oil will start to separate and float on top. Its all ready, switch off! Try it with Potato Masiyal on the side.
- Serves 4
- Making it with chinna poondu (mini garlic) will be very tasty.
- Please use small onions (sambar onions) for this recipe.
- Kuzhambu thool is a must for this recipe… pls make or buy a pack.