Thengai Araitha Kuzhambu

March 27, 2008

Today I felt like preparing another variety of kuzhambu, the preparation of which is more or less similar to that of Pulingari. The main base is a mixture of tamarind and coconut and the vegtables used are usually brinjals, ladies fingers, and especially raw bananas, which give it a special flavour and taste. This recipe was handed over by my husband’s grandma and so we fondly call it “patti kozhambu” in our family.


  1. 1 or 2 of the above mentioned vegetables – 200 grams, washed and cut into 2″ pieces.
  2. Tamarind (washed and soaked)- equal to that of a medium sized lemon.
  3. Coconut gratings – 2 tablespoons or 1/2 cup approximately.
  4. Thuvar dhal – 1 tablespoon.
  5. Fenugreek (methi) seeds – 1 teaspoon.
  6. Red chillies -5 to 6 or according to taste.
  7. Hing – 1 piece of the size of a pea, or 1/2 tsp if powdered
  8. Turmeric powder- 1teaspoon.
  9. Salt – to taste.
  10. Curry leaves -3 to4 twigs.

For seasoning:

Cooking oil- 2 spoons.
Mustard seeds – 1 Spoon.


  1. Heat a frying pan and pour 1 spoon of oil and fry ingredients 4 to7, ie Thuvar dhal, methi seeds, hing and chillies,till the dhal and methi seeds turn golden brown emitting a nice flavour. Allow to cool.
  2. Cook the cut vegetables in a vessel by adding just sufficient quantity of water and the turmeric powder.
  3. Wet grind the fried ingredients except the coconut gratings with water to a chutney like consistency. Add the coconut gratings, and run the mixer for a few seconds so that the gratings mix well with the other ingredients. Keep aside.
  4. Extract juice from the Tamarind by adding about 2 cups of water  and keep aside.
  5. When the vegetables are half cooked, add salt and the curry leaves, followed by the ground masala, and finally add the tamarind juice. Stir well to avoid lumps and allow to boil for 2 to3 minutes .
  6. Heat the frying pan, add the remaining oil and the mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add the curry leaves and saute for 1 minute and pour into the boilng liquid. Remove from fire and allow to set before serving.

This goes well with rice. For a traditional taste, coconut oil can be used. The tamarind juice is to be added only in the final stage to retain the special flavour and freshness of the dish.



March 9, 2008

After quite a long gap, I am here to post one more Kuzhambu variety known as Pulingari, frequently prepared in our family.The name itself suggests that it’s main base is puli, or tamarind.This can be prepared in combination with vegetables like brinjals, drumsticks, ladies finger (okra) or even muli (radish) and onions. I made it with a combination of radish and brinjals in an earthern pot today.


  1. Tamarind- quantity of a medium sized lemon.
  2. 1/4 k.g of any one or two of the above mentioned vegetables cut into 1 ” sized cubes.
  3. Turmeric powder- 1 tea spoon.
  4. Curry leaves -2 to 3 twigs.
  5. Mustard seeds-1 teaspoon.
  6. Salt -to taste.
  7. Water needed- 5or 6 cups.

Ingredients for Masala:

  1. Thuvar dhal- 3/4 tablespoon.
  2. Bengal gram dhal- 3/4 tablespoon.
  3. Dhania- 2 tablespoons.
  4. Red chillies-5to6 or as per taste.
  5. Asafoetida-1 small piece of the size of a peanut, or 1/4 tea spoonful, if powdered
  6. Fenugreek (methi/vendayam) seeds- about a teaspoon.
  7. Coconut gratings- 2 to 3 tablespoonful.
  8. Cooking oil -1 tablespoon.


  1. Heat the frying pan and pour 1teaspoon of oil.
  2. When hot, add the masala ingredients from 1 to6 mentioned above, starting from hing followed by dhals one by one and fry till the dhals turn golden brown and emit a nice aroma.
  3. Allow to cool for some time and grind these items in a mixer for 1 minute without water and then add the coconut gratings and grind after adding water to a chutney consistency and keep aside.
  4. Wash and soak the tamarind in 1 cup of water. Cook the cut vegetables in a vessel with two cups of water and turmeric powder.
  5. Extract tamarind juice by adding 1/2 cup of extra water and add the juice to the ground paste and mix thoroughly.
  6. Add salt to the vegetables now, and continue to cook. Pour the ground paste (with tamarind juice) mixture. Add  few curry leaves and continue to  cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Heat the frying pan, pour the remaining oil and when hot,  add the mustard seeds. When they splutter add one red chilly and few curry leaves and saute for one minute . Pour into the boiling vegetable and  remove from fire.

Note: The vegetable should not be cooked  for too long after adding the ground mixture, lest  the flavour will be lost. Tamarind paste can also be used in place of juice in case a very limited quantity is needed.

Can be served with hot rice and ghee or gingelly oil when fresh. Can be preserved  for two days at least  and  goes very well with curd  rice.

Avaraikkai Milagu Poricha Kozhambu

February 1, 2008

This is the season of Avaraikkai , available in Bengaluru in plenty. Apart from the usual Mocchai kai or Avarekalu, special to Kannadigas, who use only the beans for cooking, the other two flat and tubular types of this vegetable are used along with the outer skin by Tamil Iyers. This preparation is ideal for the cold winter season and can go very well with rice. I reproduce the procedure as taught to me by my mother.


  1. Avaraikai- ¼ k.g cut into half inch square pieces
  2. Moong dhal – 1cup
  3. Grated coconuts-1cup
  4. Cumin seeds- 1teaspoon
  5. Red chilly powder- 1teaspoon
  6. Pepper powder- 1teaspoon
  7. Turmeric powder-1teaspoon
  8. Curry leaves-2 or 3 twigs
  9. Cooking oil to season – 2 or 3 spoons
  10. Mustard seeds -1 teaspoon
  11. Urad dhal – 1 spoon
  12. Salt 1 1/2 tsp or to taste


  1. Pressure cook moong dhal in 1 cup of water with half a teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  2. Boil the remaining powders in 2 cups of water for 2 to 3 minutes to remove the raw smell of the spices.
  3. Add the cut vegetables and few curry leaves to it. When the vegetables are half cooked, add the required salt and cook until soft.
  4. Keep aside one tablespoon of the coconut for seasoning and grind the rest with cumin seeds into a fine paste with required quantity of water.
  5. Mash the cooked dal nicely and add it to the cooked vegetable. Add the ground coconut paste, stirring thoroughly till all the ingredients blend together into a semi liquid form. Reduce the fire to minimum. You may add water if you want the dish diluted.
  6. Heat oil in a frying pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter, add urad dhal. When urad dal turns golden yellow, add curry leaves and coconut gratings.
  7. Pour the seasoning into the vegetable mixture. Remove from fire and serve hot with rice.

Pulikutthy poricha kozhambu

January 30, 2008

We brought brinjals and ladies finger from the market. Immediately I remembered about the pulikutthy poricha kozhambu that my mother used to prepare . It is a long time since I prepared this delicacy in recent days. This is a vegetable preparation of semi liquid consistency, to accompany rice in place of the usual sambar prepared in many South Indian house holds. This is how my mother used to prepare it.


  1. Brinjals cut into cubes – 1cup
  2. Ladies finger cut into half inch thick pieces – 1cup
  3. Grated coconuts – 1cup
  4. Red chillies 5to 6 or according to taste
  5. Tamarind -1 lemon sized ball.
  6. Thuvar dhal- 1cup
  7. Hing 1 piece (soaked) or powdered 1/2 tsp
  8. Curry leaves
  9. Oil to season
  10. mustard seeds
  11. Urad dhal
  12. turmeric powder 1teaspoon
  13. salt to taste.


  1. Wash and pressure cook the thuvar dhal with half teaspoon of the turmeric powder.
  2. Clean the brinjals and ladies finger and cut into pieces as above. Cook in 1 cup of water after adding the remaining turmeric powder, in a different vessel.
  3. Set aside1 spoon of grated coconut and grind the remaining part and the chillies into a fine paste while the vegetables are cooking.
  4. Extract the juice of the tamarind into a reasonably thick consistency and pour into the vegetables which are being cooked. Add few curry leaves into it along with salt to taste. Allow to cook for three to five minutes.
  5. Now remove the cooked dhal from the cooker, mash it nicely into a paste, dilute and pour into the boiling tamarind and vegetable mixture. Add hing, reduce the fire and continue to cook.
  6. Heat two spoons of cooking oil in a kadai , add mustard seeds. When the mustards starts spluttering add the urad dhal and curry leaves. when the urad dhal begins to turn into golden yellow colour, put the grated coconuts into it and fry a little.
  7. Pour into the boiling kozhambu and remove from fire.

This can be used with rice, and with chappathies instead of sambar and dhal. Hope you enjoy this.