This is a delicious dish that can be made with Ash Gourd, Winter Melon, Bottle Gourd, Green Squash, Pumpkin, drumsticks or a mix of vegetables. It includes brown chickpeas (kala chana) cooked with toor dal for both silky smoothness with the chunky chickpeas. It is a dish from Tamil Nadu.
Or browse all of our Kuzhambu recipes.
Indian Melon and Tamarind Kuzhambu with Brown Chickpeas | Kadalai Puli Kuzhambu
100g brown chickpeas (kala chana), soaked overnight
1 cup toor dal
500g of vegetable either 1 of, or mixed: Ash Gourd, Winter Melon, Bottle Gourd, Green Squash, Pumpkin, drumsticks
1 piece tamarind, soaked and pulp extracted, or use a tamarind concentrate (not sweet syrup)
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
8 – 10 curry leaves
1 Tblspn chickpea flour (optional)
pinch of gur, palm sugar or brown sugar
3 Tblspn grated coconut – frozen or dried is Ok to use
2 Tblspn coriander seeds
2 Tblspn chana dal
2 Indian dried red chillies
0.5 tspn brown mustard seeds
1 tspn urad dal
pinch asafoetida powder
1.5 tspn ghee
Cook the soaked brown chickpeas with the toor dal until very tender.
Prepare the vegetables, peeling if necessary, and chop the vegetables into cubes or, for drumsticks, 4 cm lengths. Cook with 1 cup salted water until tender.
While the vegetables are cooking, dry roast the coriander seeds, chana dal and red chillies until just turning golden brown. Add the grated coconut and continue to roast until the coconut is golden brown. Be careful not to burn the coconut or spices. Grind the spices and coconut to a fine powder.
Add the cooked chickpeas and dal with their cooking water, the tamarind, turmeric and spice powder to the cooked vegetables and simmer for 5 mins.
If the dish needs thickening, mix the chickpea flour with water to a smooth paste, and stir into the kuzhambu. Keep stirring until the gravy thickens slightly.
Add a pinch of gur or brown sugar to balance the spices.
Make a tadka by heating the ghee and popping the mustard seeds. Add the urad dal and asafoetida. When the dal is golden brown, pour onto the kuzhambu.
Wet crush the curry leaves and add to the dish, and serve.
recipe notes and alternatives
Use 2 Tblspn pitlai powder with toasted grated coconut instead of the ground spices.
Omit the grated coconut and add a little coconut milk to the dish.
Add an additional dried red chilli if desired.