Chettinad Poondu Kuzhambu, Garlic Gravy

          Wishing all of you a Very Happy New Year, back to blogging after almost a month. It's been a long time, since I had made anything special, in fact, this past month, I haven't even cooked that much. Today's post, Chettinad Poondu Kuzhambu, is something that I had made couple of months back. I had tasted this Poondu Kuzhambu in a restaurant as a side for soft dosas, it tastes spicy, tangy and sweet at the same time and goes very well with both rice and idlis and dosas too. I already have a recipe for Garlic Gravy on my blog, but this one is a little different from that one. I followed the recipe from here, made a few changes and left out the coconut. This would go well with Paniyarams too, in fact we had it with rice in the afternoon and I served it as a side dish for Paniyarams in the evening for dinner, do give it a try, you'll love it..

Need To Have

  • Garlic - 2 whole bulbs, peeled
  • Onion - 1 medium, chopped
  • Curry Leaves - 20
  • Tamarind - lime sized ball
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder - 2 teaspoons
  • Jaggery Powder - 2 tablespoons
  • Urad Dal/Husked Black Gram - 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon

To Grind

  • Garlic - 8 cloves, peeled
  • Onion - 1 medium, chopped
  • Tomatoes - 2 small, tangy ones
  • Curry Leaves - 25
  • Fenugreek Seeds - 10
  • Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper - 1 tablespoon
  • Sambar Powder - 2 tablespoons


          First let us prepare the paste using the ingredients given under ' to grind '. Heat a tablespoon of sesame oil, add the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and black pepper, saute for half a minute, then add the garlic cloves, chopped onion and curry leaves and saute till the garlic cloves turn golden.

          Now add the tomatoes and sambar powder and keep mixing till the tomatoes turn soft, sprinkle some water if the mixture sticks to the pan.

          Remove, cool and grind it into a smooth paste, adding a little water if needed. In the meantime, soak the tamarind in about a cup of hot water for about 15 minutes, then extract the juice, strain and keep.

          Now heat about 2 1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil, add the urad dal and mustard seeds, when the mustard seeds starts spluttering add the 2 bulbs of peeled garlic, onion and curry leaves and saute till the garlic turns golden. Now add the tamarind extract, turmeric powder and coriander powder.

          Add the ground paste, salt and about 2 cups of water, bring it to a boil and then simmer it for about 30 to 40 minutes. Then add the jaggery and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove, drizzle about 1/2 tablespoon of oil and serve.

Use naatu thakkali ( country tomatoes ).
The final consistency of this gravy is thick and the garlic cloves should be soft.
Sesame oil is a must for this gravy/kuzhambu, it gives a unique flavor.


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