BM #125 Week 2 Day 1 - 

This week I shall continue with the A-Z series of Tamil Dishes. The starting letters this month are P, Q and R. For the letter P, I used the word Poondu, which in Tamil means Garlic.

This kuzhambu is a Garlic Lover's Paradise. To accommodate my likes I have reduced the use of garlic in the seasoning but I am sure the more the merrier here!

This variation of Kuzhambu is very popular in the Chettinad Cuisine. The lunch platter features Plain Dal, Poondu Puli Kuzhambu, Cluster Beans Poriyal and Proso Millet

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Tomato, chopped 1/2 cup
Onion, chopped (Optional)
Tamarind small lemon sized
Salt, Jaggery and Turmeric as needed
Seasoning (Sesame Oil 1 Tbsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Methi seeds 1/4 tsp, Curry leaves few, Asafotida 1/8 tsp, Garlic chopped  1 Tbsp)
Fry and Grind - Kuzhambu Masala
Sesame Oil  1 tsp
Dry Ingredients - 
Peppercorns 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Coriander Seeds 1 tsp
Chana Dal 1 Tbsp
Dry Red Chilies 2-3 (I used Guntur Chilies)
Curry leaves few
Wet Ingredients - 
Garlic Cloves 3-4
Onion Sliced 1/2 cup
Tomato chopped 1/4 cup

Method Of Preparation -

Soak tamarind in hot water ahead of time and extract the tamarind pulp. Add as little water as possible. and set aside.

To prepare the kuzhambu masala - 
Prepare the Dry ingredients - 
In a heated pan, add about 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil, fry the peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds until they are aromatic. Remove onto a plate.

Continue frying the chana dal, red chilies and curry leaves. After the chana dal changes to a golden brown color, remove them to the plate with the fried pepper-cumin-coriander seeds.

Prepare the Wet ingredients - 
Add a teaspoon more of sesame oil to the same pan and fry chopped garlic, onions. After the onions are golden brown, add the chopped tomatoes and let them cook well. Remove and set aside in a plate.

Grind the Fried Dry ingredients first and add the cooked wet ingredients and make a fine paste adding as much water as needed. 

Set the Kuzhambu masala aside.

In a heated pan add oil and the seasoning ingredients (Mustard seeds, Methi seeds, Curry leaves, Asafotida, Garlic). After the mustard seeds pop and the garlic is golden brown, add the onions (If using) and tomatoes.

After the tomatoes are mushy, add the tamarind water, salt, turmeric, and jaggery. 

Add the kuzhambu masala and adjust the consistency by adding more water.

If the kuzhambu is too runny, make a slurry of 1 tablespoon of rice flour and 2 Tablespoons of water and mix into the simmering gravy.

Serve it as part of a meal.


Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 4-5
Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, August 10, 2021


  1. Srivalli Says:
  2. When Nisha had shared all her varieties, I so wanted to try them all, this one is surely so flavoursome and tastes out of the world!

  3. Radha Says:
  4. Yum yum! This is full of addictive flavors. I like the simple and easy step by step instructions. Loved this kuzhambu with rice.

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