February 28, 2012



This recipe if from my friend R who is great at cooking traditional South Indian food. The thing is I have not tasted her Karakuzhambu, but I asked her for this recipe since I knew that it would be good. Well, her other dishes are, so I made sure this was on my blog :)
I have this strong attraction for South Indian food these days, that all these traditional cooking is taking main stage in everyday food. I am so glad R shared the recipe with me, this is one of the best kuzhambu I have tasted. Somehow reminded me of the "Grand Sweets" Karakuzhambu that they have in Chennai. Only even better.
She asked me to add either manathakkali or sundakka vathal, but I added both since I had it. The "Grand Sweets" version has both too. This recipe calls for a lot of heat, so if it does not suit you, then you may adjust it according to your palate.




Small onion - 1 cup
Garlic cloves - about 12
Curry leaves - A sprig
Red chillies - 3
Mustard - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds -1/2 tsp
Manathakkali vathal - 1 tbsp
Sundakka vathal - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Chilly powder - 1 tbsp(more if you can take more heat)
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Sesame Oil - 3-4 tbsp
Tamarind extract taken from a lemon sized ball
Salt - To taste


In a pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds.
Once the mustard starts to splutter, add the red chillies and curry leaves. Add the sundakka and manathakkali vathal. After they get roasted, add the small onion and garlic cloves.
Then add salt, coriander powder and chilly powder.
When everything starts to get nicely sauteed, add the tamarind extract of about 4 cups taken from a lemon sized tamarind. You could alternatively used tamarind extract, but it may not give the same result.
Let the kuzhambu boil down and reduce a little in volume. It took me about 10-15 min on medium flame.
Add the asafoetida finally and boil for a minute more. Turn off heat.


Serve with hot steaming rice. It tasted even better the next day.



  1. My mouth is watering looking at this post. I am already dreaming about making some for dinner. Lets see if I have all the ingredients.

  2. love the curry !! forgive me for my ignorance what is sundakka and manathakkali vathal ?

  3. Delicious looking curry. Wonderfully prepared.
    Hamaree Rasoi

  4. @Turmeric n Spice, Sundakka and Manathakkali are sort of berries. They are used in its dry form in gravies like this. You should be able to find them at any Indian grocery store.
    We also roast them in oil and eat with curd rice. It is divine!

  5. Divya,
    I am not able to find the vathal here. I would love to make the Kuzhambu. Looks very delicious & tempting!

  6. Wow....superb and mouthwatering kuzhambu...love this..tempting.

  7. @Cilantro- Mayuri and Apna Bazaar have it I think. You could use either one.

  8. Wow, that looks spicy and delicious!

  9. wowo, awesome color. mouthwatering :)

  10. A marvelous dish! I’d love to eat a bowl of that now.

    Online Takeaway


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