Tamarind Curry

Puli Kuzhambu or Tamarind Curry is a traditional south Indian curry prepared using garlic & shallots. We can enjoy its taste to the fullest only when the flavors of all the spices are completely infused into the curry. So this curry can be used for 2 or 3 days without being refrigerated (used for 15 days when refrigerated). Puli kulambu tastes divine when served with soft idli or spongy dosa/ uthappam/ appam the next day.

Poondu-kuzhambu Tamarind Curry

Generally puli kuzhambu is made suing sambar vengayam (shallots) & poondu (garlic), and served with paruppu sadham, keerai sadham or thayir sadham.

img_5023 Tamarind Curry

Health benefits : Garlic & shallots are considered to be beneficial for heart health as they help to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. They are also useful to eliminate toxins from our system. Besides garlic has antibacterial, antiviral & antifungal properties too. You can also find out how garlic can lower cancer risk published by American Institute for Cancer Research .

Now lets prepare traditional puli kuzhambu:

Time Taken: 30 min


  1. Garlic – 4 bulbs
  2. Shallots – 30 Nos.
  3. Tamarind – gooseberry sized
  4. Sesame oil – 2 tbsp
  5. Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  6. Curry leaves – 3 sprigs
  7. Salt – 1 tsp

For kuzhambu masala:

  1. Sesame oil – 2 tsp
  2. Pepper corns – ½ tsp
  3. Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Rice grains – 1 tsp
  5. Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  6. Red chillies – 6 Nos.
  7. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  8. Garlic – 6 pods
  9. Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

Mise en place:

  • Peel garlic & shallots and keep aside.
  • Soak tamarind in hot water for few min. & extract tamarind juice using 500 ml water.
  • Prepare kuzhambu masala as below:
  • Heat a pan with one tsp oil in medium flame.
  • Add pepper when they begin to burst remove from pan.
  • In the same pan roast red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds & rice grains.
  • When they start changing the color remove them from pan .
  • Add 1 tsp oil in the same pan, add ginger & garlic and sauté till they become soft.
  • Add curry leaves, sauté for 10 sec and remove from pan.
  • Grind pepper, red chillies, cumin, coriander & rice into a coarse powder when they cooled down to room temperature.
  • Add ginger, garlic & curry leaves and grind into a fine paste after adding 50 ml water.

Cooking Method:

  • Heat a pan with oil in medium flame.
  • Add fenugreek and fry for 5 sec.
  • Add garlic & shallots and sauté till they become translucent.
  • Add curry leaves and sauté for 10 sec.
  • Add ground masala and mix well.
  • Pour tamarind juice and bring to a boil in high flame.
  • Close pan with a lid and simmer until garlic & shallots become soft.
  • Add salt & bring to a final boil.
  • Now puli kuzhambu is ready.

How to serve : Pulikuzhambu may be served with plain rice along with paruppu or keerai.

Suitable accompaniments for rice with pulikuzhambu are:

Please Note:

  • I like to add powdered jaggery to any pungently spiced curry as it elevates its taste; you may also try adding 1/2 tsp jaggery (along with salt) in this puli kuzhambu.
  • A teaspoon of rice is roasted for making curry masala for the beautiful aroma and also as a thickening agent.
  • Pulikulambu may be prepared using other vegetables, tubers, or legumes shown below:
pulikulambu-veg Tamarind Curry

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  1. Correct measurement of ingredients gave extraordinary taste than random measurement which i used to do before..v really enjoys tangy tastes…adding jaggery at the end gives classic taste for the dish..

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