Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Poondu-Milagu Kuzhambu (Garlic & Pepper in Spicy Tangy Gravy)

My parents were here with me for a few days and I had a whale of a time - shopping, temple hopping,talking endlessly,reminiscing & getting nostalgic about those good ol' times - the fun was endless. Samyu & Sreeni were pampered to the hilt and are buzzing with the happy memories not to mention the bagful of goodies they were showered with ! After getting married and now becoming a mother of two, I respect the value of their parenting daily. Oh I love them so much & feel bad that their vacation was for a very short time, nevertheless these moments will be etched in our memories forever. 
My mom had happily donned the Chef Cap dishing out all my favourite food and yours truly binged on the succulent delights unabashed ! One of her many dishes I totally freaked out was Garlic-Pepper Kuzhambu (gravy) which is loaded with a whole lot of goodness. It is one of the 'Pathiya Saapadu/பத்திய சாப்பாடு /Saathvik Khana, a food that is sans fat and at the same time healthy & very digestion friendly.The dish can be given to lactating mothers too as garlic is said to help babies ingest more milk ! Besides this, the dish  helps in cleansing the body naturally thus detoxifying it  and also helps in reliving  abdominal disquiet & listlessness.

I almost forget to mention that the dish tastes best with rice and the perfect accompaniment to go with it is Paruppu Thogayal (Lentils Chutney). The gravy can be refrigerated and used up to a week. Frankly speaking the kuzhambu vanished in a day !

The health benefits of garlic & pepper is well known and the dish packs a punch.

what's in it:-
  • Garlic - 15 to 20 pods
  • Tamarind - a lemon sized or if using paste 1 tbsp 
  • Sambhar Powder - 1 tsp - (store bought) - optional
  • Salt- to taste
  • Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
  • Sesame Oil - 1 to 2 tsp
  • Mustard - 1 tsp for tempering
  • Black peppercorn - a fistful
  • Toor Dal - a fisful
  • Cumin Seeds - a fistful
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Red Chillis - 1 to 2 - to taste
  • Coriander Seeds - a fistful
  • Asafoetida - a pinch or two

In a skillet add little oil &  stir fry all the ingredients highlighted in blue till golden. Let it cool for a while and pulp it to a (not so fine- not so coarse) powder.

In the meanwhile extract pulp from the tamarind and add 2 to 3 cups of water and set aside. In a thick bottomed vessel, add sesame oil and as it warms up let the mustard seeds crackle. Now add the garlic pods and saute it for a few seconds. Add the tamarind water with salt & turmeric powder and bring it to a boil. Now add the sambhar powder (if using) and let it simmer in the tamarind water till the raw smell evaporates. Now add the ground powder and let the gravy cook till it thickens.

Adjust the seasoning & serve hot !

For the Paruppu Thogayal:-
  • Toor Dal- 1 cup
  • Red Chillis - to taste
  • Sesame Oil - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
Roast the lentils & the chillis in little oil to a golden brown. Grind it with adequate water to a thick paste like consistency. Season it with salt & asafoetida.

Serve with Gravy & steaming hot rice ! Enjoy !


  1. This is a wonderful kozhumbu Priya...one of my friend's mom made it and gave to me..I always wanted to make this...So nice that you all had a great time with ur parents.

  2. Nice to hear that you had a wonderful time with your parents.Garlic pepper corn curry and parippu thogiyal looks delicious.

  3. both the thogayal and gravy is absolutely my kinda dishes ..spicy and tangy...love it

  4. I often make this kuzhambu, love after a day simply with papads and rice, thogayal makes me drool..

  5. The kuzhambu looks so welcoming and loaded with the flavors of gralic... too good to resist..loved the thogayal too..

  6. Poondu kulambu is my all time favourite :-) The flavour and taste are heavenly!! :-)

  7. Definitely my kinda gravy... All i need is a bowl of steaming rice to go with this..

  8. So divine, I want some! So tasty and delicious! Well explained and great pics. In particular I loved the rice mixed with the garlic gravy the toot dal thugayal looks so yummy! Easy to make, will try soon and let you know.

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  10. My fav kuzhambu looks delicious with thogaiyal.

  11. looks delicious and yummy ......

  12. Say, this is some terrific "gravy" to put atop rice.

    Thank You.

  13. குழம்பும்,பருப்பு துவையலும் சூப்பர்ர்ர் காம்பினேஷன்....

  14. me super jealous pri :P - so you guys had a rocking time without me :( and ofcourse i can imagine the gossip and food delicacies you must have enjoyed...

  15. I love the pic of rice with that yummy garlic gravy ~ sounds like such a comfort food! I have to try it :)
    US Masala

  16. Poondu kuzhambu looks flavourful and mouthwatering
    South Indian Recipes

  17. Delicious and testy tangy gravy.......

  18. Super super super.... ennaku romba piditha kuzhambhu... arumai..:)

  19. Yum, a great gravy for rice, love the spiciness in it :)

  20. Fantastic gravy..sure must have tasted great

  21. fantastic, mouthwatering combo! inviting myself over -

  22. Looks awesome,mouthwatering here..

  23. Nice n healthy combo priya! Parents are always special! :)

  24. So glad you had a wonderful time with your parent. This is really awesome packed with health benefits..


  25. Looks delicious... What a wonderful combination.... More similar to how my mom and grandma prepares..

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  26. pepper garlic tamarind oh this is divine reminds me of mum food...amazing!!

  27. Reading this post itself is making me drool I am sure this is a yummy curry.

  28. First of all I am envious of you..being pampered by Mom in your own home is just something else !..this dish is totally new to me..looking fwd to try it in my kitchen.