Indian Melon and Tamarind Kuzhambu with Brown Chickpeas | Kadalai Puli Kuzhambu

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.

Similar recipes include Curry Leaf Kuzhambu, Beetroot Vathakuzhambu, and Poritha Kuzhambu with Tamarind.

Or browse all of our Kuzhambu recipes.

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Arachuvitta Vathal Kuzhambu with Sundakkai and Drumsticks

If you have eaten South Indian Tamil style Arachuvitta Kuzhambu, then you will know that there’s nothing quite like the aroma and taste of freshly ground spices in a dish. Arachuvitta means freshly ground in Tamil. It is very common in households in South India and is exceedingly delicious.

Arachuvitta is a very common style of making Sambar, Kuzhambu and related dishes. The spices are roasted in a little ghee or Indian sesame oil until golden and very aromatic, and then ground to a thick, smooth paste. This is added to the spicy broth and cooked with the dish. The alternative is to reach for pre-ground sambar powder, but this does not have the same aromatic qualities and fresh flavours.

Fresh Sundakkai berries (also called turkey berries) are soaked in a salt-buttermilk mixture for couple of days and then dried. They are sauteed in ghee or oil before incorporating in dishes. Their taste is addictively salty and somewhat tart. They are easily available in Indian groceries or online.

Similar dishes include Melon and Tamarind Kuzhambu, Sundakkai Vathal Sadham, Uppadam, and Sundakkai Vathal Podi.

Browse all of our Kuzhambu recipes, our Sundakkai and Sundakkai Vathal dishes, and Drumstick recipes

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Curry Leaf Kuzhambu | Karuveppilai Kuzhambu

Kuzhambu is made daily in Tamil households, and has hundreds of varieties. It is basically a spicy broth that can but might not include vegetables and it is spooned or poured over rice as it is eaten.

This Kuzhambu is one that is tamarind based and is strongly flavoured with curry leaves.  There are many different recipes for this dish – I hope you enjoy this one.

Similar recipes include Rasam with Curry Leaves, Green Tomato Sambar with Crushed Curry Leaves, and Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice.

Browse all of our Curry Leaf dishes and all of our Kuzhambu recipes.  All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Murungakkai Vendhaya | Drumstick and Fenugreek Kuzhambu

How we love drumsticks, those funny long thin pod-like vegetables that grow on spindly trees in South India. Whenever we see them in the shops we bring them home to freeze for later dishes. Rasam, Sambar and Kuzhambu are three of our favourite ways to use them.

Today’s recipe with drumsticks is a kuzhambu that includes fenugreek. Actually the recipe can be made without any vegetables (we have a version here), but we like the addition of drumsticks or eggplant. You can also use okra, small onions or shallots, or Indian broad beans.

Similar recipes include Curry Leaf Kuzhambu, Aamti with Drumsticks and Coconut, Vendhaya Kuzhambu, Drumstick Sambar with Curry Leaves, and Pitlai.

Browse all of our Drumstick recipes and all of our Kuzhambu dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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South Indian Amaranth Leaves Soup with Tamarind

Amaranth is loved across India (and features strongly in a range of Asian cuisines). All parts are used – the seeds are well known outside India, and at the moment they are fashionable and quite popular. But in India the leaves are also used, and the young, tender stems as well.

Amaranth leaves are available in Asian shops so keep an eye out for them. There are different varieties – some are green, but others often contain a tinge of red. Beautiful indeed.

Meenakshi Ammal in her cookbooks Cook and See mentions Amaranth leaves and stems a lot in her sections on sambars and kuzhambu recipes. This recipe she calls (in English) Greens Soup with Tamarind and it sits in the chapter of Poritha Kuzhambu. It is an unusual name given that soups are not traditionally part of the Tamil cuisine (although they are popular more recently). I wonder if the name in Tamil is quite different. However, she certainly got the colour correct!

This recipe is a cousin to this one of the same name. While that one uses Pitlay spices but not a tadka, this recipe uses sambar powder with a tadka. Both are pretty special and you should try them both. This one is closer to this Poritha Koottu with Tamarind.

Similar recipes include Amaranth Leaf Masiyal, Poritha Kuzhambu dishes and Poritha Kootu recipes. Try Plain Masiyal of Amaranth Leaves, Moar Kuzhambu, Lentil Balls in a Spicy Gravy, and Vatral Kuzhambu.

Some popular Indian Soups include Indian Potato and Tomato Soup, South Indian Cauliflower Soup, Two Gentle Mung Dal Soups, and A Light, Summery Tomato Soup.

But why not browse all of our Kuzhambu recipes, and all Indian Soups? Or explore our Amaranth dishes, and our complete Indian Recipe Collection. Or take some time to check out our easy Early Autumn dishes.

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Curry Leaves Tamarind Kuzhambu | Karuveppilai Kuzhambu

It is early Spring and I’ve pruned the curry leaf tree back, so to use some of the trimmed leaves we are making Curry Leaf Kuzhambu with Tamarind. It is another gorgeous kuzhambu, designed to be eaten like a gravy served over rice or other grains.

Similar recipes include Curry Leaf Kuzhambu, Okra Kuzhambu, Coconut Milk Kuzhambu, and Green Chilli Kuzhambu.

Browse all of our Curry Leaf recipes and all of our Kuzhambus. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Beetroot Vathakuzhambu

This is a delightful dish made with beetroot cooked with freshly ground spices to form a gravy that is delicious with rice or poppadom. It is really easy to make, especially if you have pre prepared the spice mix.

Vathal Kuzhambu is a dish that is prepared with Vathal (dried vegetables) like Mangai Vathal (Raw Mango), Sundakai Vathal (Turkey Berry), Manathakkali Vathal (Black Night Shade), or with fresh vegetables such as Eggplant, Beetroot or Okra. It is often made with sambar powder, but it is best to avoid using purchased sambar powder for this recipe – prepare the spices fresh for this recipe by roasting and grinding spices to make vathakuzhambu podi.

Similar recipes include Curry Leaf Kuzhambu, Curry Leaf Tamarind Kuzhambu, Uppadam, Vathal Kuzhambu, and Moar Kuzhambu.

Browse all of our Kuzhambu dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Poritha Kuzhambu

This Poritha Kuzhambu is made using the third of 3 methods outlined by Meenakshi Ammal in her 4 volumes of Cook and See. It sautees the spices before grinding them to a paste and adding to the dish. This deepens the flavours and adds a toasted overtone.

Poritha Kuzhambus are very delicious. These recipes are without tamarind and with coconut added for a beautiful sense of the tropical South of India. Beautiful indeed.

You might like to find out more about Kuzhambu. We suggest that you read The Difference Between Sambar, Kuzhambu and Kootu. Also have a look at the other methods of making Poritha Kuzhambu. The differences are minor, but they do change the flavours significantly. The first uses Sambar Powder, and the second replaces that with a few individual spices.

Similar recipes include Amaranth Leaves Coconut Kootu, Puli Keerai, Plain Masiyal of Amaranth Leaves, Beetroot Vathakuzhambu, Green Chilli Kuzhambu, Fenugreek Kuzhambu, Green Amaranth Soup with Tamarind, and Race Kuzhambu.

Are you looking for the recipes of Meenakshi Ammal? They are here. She certainly is my guru of Tamil Brahmin cuisine.

All of our Sambar and Kuzhambu dishes can be browsed here. Or have a look at all of our Indian recipes. Or you may like to explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Uppadam | Okra Kuzhambu with Sundakkai Vatral

Uppadam is an older recipe, one which people recall their Grandmothers or perhaps Mothers making, but which seems to have lost favour in the current generations. It is generally made with okra, and, as Uppadam means something that is preserved, with vatral, sun-dried vegetables, as well. Manathakkali vatral is traditionally used, and I searched high and low for it. It is difficult to obtain here, it seems, so Sundakkai is the recommended alternative. Sundakkai is sun-dried Turkey Berry/Pea Eggplants.

There are a few ways of making Kuzhambu style dishes with okra, but I particularly like this way. It has that sense of connecting one with past generations of women cooking in the kitchens of South India, or directing the making of similar dishes with a specialist’s hand. The okra is cooked with spices and the vatral, before tamarind and a paste of toasted rice, fenugreek, and chillies is added. This thickens the dish, so it is half way between a Rasam and a Sambar. Meenakshi Ammal has a similar recipe to this one.

Roasting the rice will interest you. It releases more moisture that you thought possible, and the grain itself therefore changes somewhat. Roast until it is aromatic.

Similar dishes include Arachuvitta Vathal Kuzhambu with Sundakkai and Drumsticks, Sundakkai Rice, Whole Okra with Onions and Garlic, Beetroot Vathakuzhambu, Green Chilli Kuzhambu, Fenugreek Kuzhambu, and Vatral Kuzhambu.

Browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Kuzhambu recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Sundakkai Puli Kuzhambu | Turkey Berry Kuzhambu | Pea Eggplants in Spicy Gravy

Turkey Berry is also called Small Thai Eggplant, Wild Eggplant, Pea Eggplant and Sundakkai (in Tamil). It is a slightly bitter, tiny pea-sized vegetable very common in Thailand and in parts of India. You can add Turkey Berries to your list of slightly bitter foods that have so many health-giving properties – fenugreek, bitter gourd, pomelo, radicchio, Belgian endive, Escarole and other chicory greens. But don’t be afraid, they have only a slight bitter backnote and it is delightful.

The Turkey Berries first need to be picked from their stems. This is the sort of job that is similar to shelling peas or peeling broad beans – best done while watching your favourite show on TV or sitting outside in the sunshine. Then rinse them well in cold water.

This dish, Puli Kuzhambu, is a quick Kuzhambu, a gravy-style dish that is generally eaten with rice. It has such a wonderful flavour! Deep and rich. In this recipe the Turkey Berries are stir fried with spices before being added to a tamarind gravy. You will love it.

Similar dishes include Arachuvitta Vathal Kuzhambu with Sundakkai and Drumsticks, Sundakkai Rice, Okra Kuzhambu with Vathral, Green Chilli Kuzhambu, Coconut Masala Kuzhambu, and Simple Seasoned Kuzhambu.

You might also enjoy Sundakkai Sambar, and Sundakkai Vathal Podi.

Check here to see other Turkey Berry recipes. Browse all of our Kuzhambu dishes and all of our Indian recipes. Or take some time to explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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