Friday, November 14, 2008

Thengai Paal Kuzhambu

My mother made this on Sundays when she and my dad would cook up an elaborate brunch - their one opportunity to eat a hot lunch as opposed to packed lunch on other days they carried to work... so they would go the whole nine yards and make atleast 3 to 4 different vegetable curries, appalam & a more induldgent kuzhambu like this one.

This kuzhambu's base starts off like a puli kuzhambu with a tangy tamarind base but the creamy coconut milk that is added at the end takes it to a whole new level along with the flavours of garam masala. It tastes divine with rice and is even better when served the next day, with spongy, soft dosais.
Today marks my parents' 31st Wedding Anniversary so wanted to post this special kuzhambu as a tribute to them :)

Drumstick (Murungakkai) - 1, cut into 2 inch pieces (I use frozen instead)
Potato - 1 medium, boiled & peeled

Small purple brinjal - 2 or 3, cut into 6 segments
Shallots/Pearl onions (chinna vengayam) - half cup, peeled
Garlic - 6 to 8 cloves, peeled
Coconut milk - 1/3 to 1/2 cup, thick
Tamarind - big gooseberry sized, soaked in warm water & juice extracted
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 3 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - half tsp
Urad Dhal - half tsp
Aniseed (Sombu) - a pinch
Curry leaves - 10 to 12
Coriander leaves - for garnish

1) Heat oil in a thick pot and season with mustard seeds, urad dhal, sombu - once the mustard splutters, add curry leaves, garlic and onion and saute till golden.

2) Then add the veggies (drumstick, potato, brinjal) and fry for another 3-5 minutes. To this add salt, chilli & coriander powders and after a minute add water and allow the veggies to cook till almost done.

3) Now add the tamarind water and allow to boil well till the raw smell disappears and the veggies are soft.

4) Add the garam masala and the coconut milk and simmer on low heat till heated through. Remove from the stove and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.


  1. never tated this before but sure will like since there is coconut milk in it..:)

  2. Convey my Wishes to Your Parents!!
    Coconut Milk Smbhar is my family's favourite recipe..[people who love thengai paal should have named their daughter as lavanya]

  3. Happy anniversary to your parents and seeing your description I am toomuch tempted,I have tried 4 or 5 recipes from ur blog...everything were hit and no misses...and for sure I am going to try this!

  4. I have never had this, but am going to make this without drumstick ( don't get them)
    This looks really yumm and the fact that it taste better the next day is good as i can prepare ahead.

  5. Happy Anniversary wishes to your parents!

  6. Happy Anniversary wishes to your parents Laavanya! There could be a better way to express love other than by creating their favorite dish.

  7. best wishes to your parents..and teh recipe is very interesting..

  8. wow, 31st anniv..that is something to celebrate. happy anniv to your parents!

  9. My warm wishes to ur Parents... The kuzhambu is very new for me..

  10. Convey my wishes to ur parents... KUzhambu loooks yummmmmmmmy & awesopme..

  11. Convey my wishes to ur parents...kuzhambu makes me hungry Laavanya..looks simply delicious..can guess the aroma of the gravy..

  12. Happy anniversary to your parents dear... Kuzhambu looks awesome and nicely prepared tempting and finger licking...

  13. Wow, gal.. this looks terrific! I am a big fan of authentic tamil recipes and this one sounds so good! Never tried this one.. I'm so tempted to try it this weekend.. :)

  14. yummm looks very creamy and mouth watering ,lavanya

  15. Wishes to ur Parents! Kuzhambu sounds amazing! This is my family's favourite recipe too!

  16. yummy! this is such a unique recipe and how nice that your parents cooked it together..happy anniversary to them!

  17. mmm. that looks so delicious.

    Please visit my place for a treat:

  18. My dad would not lift a finger to help my mom (in the kitchen) if he could help it. Both my sis and I thought it was o.k. for us too to do the same.:-)
    My poor mom!

    The kuzhambu looks wonderful. Please convey my anniv wishes to your parents.:) My parents' anniv too is this month.

  19. My mom also used to make this often. She used to add grated coconut instead of coconut milk, I should try your version with coconut milk...Please check my blog, I have something for you :)

  20. My fav one! my mom makes this very often..rice + this gravy + papadam - lovely combo!

    Anniversary wishes to ur folks girl!

  21. hey it is quite new to me.will surely try.Wishes to ur parents.

  22. This is a new dish for me...but looks appetizing..will try it soon

    A lovely surprise is waiting for you collect it from my blog!!!

  23. small treat to share with u..check my blog..

  24. Thank you smn.

    Lavi, that's such a cute coincidence.. :) Thanks for your wishes.

    Raks, that's awfully sweet of you to say... Am so glad that the recipes worked out for you. Hope you get to try and enjoy this too.

    Happy Cook, it should be perfectly fine to not include drumsticks. Let me know how you like it.

    Thank you Sra, Sowmya, Manasi, Cham and Red Chillies.

    Thank you Srikar, Priya & Ramya.

    Thanks Sujatha.. hope you do get to try it.

    Thank you Sagari, Malar, Uma & Veggiebelly.

    TBC, I never helped my mom when either.. but my dad would help her quite a bit... Thanks for your wishes too :)

    Gita, oh i haven't tried the version with ground coconut but am sure that is yummy too.

    Vij, that's true.. appalams are a perfect accompaniment to this.

    Thank you Jeyashri.. let me know how you liked it after giving it a shot.. :)

    Thanks Purva.. will be sure to check out your blog.

  25. thats great lavanya that still u hve interest to cont...anyways same pinch because our taste is a bit same :)

  26. Different kuzhambu recipe..Nice one.

  27. this is such a yummy kozhambu. any dish that has coconut is a winner. good to know that both ur mom and dad cook together during weekends.

  28. This one is new to me! Looks spicy and tangy:)

  29. hi

    having bookmarked the recipe for a long time, i finally tried it out today using potato. it was really good and yummy. served with idlis.

    Thank you very much for posting.


  30. Hi Sangeeta, thank you so much for trying out this recipe - easily one of my favorites.. so glad you liked it too.


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