Poondu Kuzhambu/ Garlic Kozhambu


Kuzhambu is a famous South Indian gravy made with the broth of tamarind. I have never been a big admirer of kuzhambu since childhood because I used to find it pretty spicy. But after being married to a spice loving family, I have got acclimatized to spice to some extent and most surprisingly, now I have become a fan of kuzhambu!

One of it’s variety is the Poondu Kuzhambu with garlic as one of the primary ingredient. It is an ideal way of incorporating garlic in your diet.

It’s garlicky and oniony flavor blend with the tanginess of tamarind enhanced with zesty spices is definitely tantalizing!

Poondu Kuzhambu



Garlic pods peeled – 3/4 th cup (chop into halves or 4 for huge pods)

Onion – 1 medium sized chopped into medium slices/ 10-12 Shallots

Sambar powder – 2-2 and 1/2 tbsp

Tamrind – 1 Gooseberry size/ 1 tbsp concentrated tamarind paste

Salt – as per required

For seasoning:

Sesame oil – 2-3 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 2 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp

Asafoetida (Hing/ Perungayam) powder – 1/4 th tsp

Curry leaves – 4-5 medium sized

  • Soak tamarind in hot water for 15 mins and extract the entire pulp adding more and more water till you get no pulp at all. You will need 2 and half to 3 cups of water.
  • In a saucepan, heat the oil then add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds, let the mustard seeds sputter and then add asafoetida powder and the curry leaves.
  • Now sautée the onions and garlic in the oil and cook till soft and light brown.
  • Now add the extracted tamarind pulp, sambar powder and salt and let it reduce to a thick gravy on medium flame. This could take around 15-20 mins.


Serve this aromatic, zesty gravy with hot rice or with idlis and dosas.


  • Sesame oil gives the best result compared to the other cooking oils.
  • If you are using readymade concentreated tamarind paste, add 2 and half to 3 cups of water.
  • Add or lessen the amount of sambar powder depending on its spice level and your spice palate.
  • If you find your kozhambu too spicy, add some jaggery powder at the final stages of cooking. Or add it even if you like a mild sweet taste to your gravy.
  • If you find the gravy very watery even after cooking for 20 mins, add 1 tbsp rice flour to thicken. For this, mix the rice flour with little water to make a thick paste without lumps. Add this paste to the gravy and cook for another 5 mins. I like mine a little watery as it is easier to mix with rice. But you can make it as thick as you prefer.
  • Try preparing the kuzhambu few hours ahead before serving. The longer it soaks, the better it tastes.
  • It stays good for 3-4 days if refrigerated.






2 thoughts on “Poondu Kuzhambu/ Garlic Kozhambu

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s