Chettinad Puli Kuzhambu

Chettinad cuisine boasts of simple and hearty flavours. These are lesser known as it is everyday food. Puli Kuzhambu (Kolambu / Kulambu) is a tangy spicy gravy or 'curry' with a burst of flavours that is totally different from Sambhar or Masala Kuzhambu. The vegetables are simmered until it absorbs the flavours of the spiced tamarind extract.

The staple being rice, variety is thus brought in by varying the type of the gravy served. The popular combination would be drumstick, brinjal and potato. Sweet potato or jackfruit seeds are optional.
The Kulambu will be delicious with Idli or Soft Dosa. We generally carry over the Kulambu for dinner. As this does not have tur dal, it is ideal to carry while travelling.
Drumstick - 1, cut into 2" pieces
Potato - 1, cubed
Jackfruit Seeds - few, halved
Brinjal - 2, quartered
Small Onions - 6, halved
Tomato - 1, cubed
Curry Leaf - 1 sprig
Oil - 3 to 4 teaspoons
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Urad Dal - 1/2 teaspoon
Saunf - 1/4 teaspoon 
Asafoetida - a pinch
Turmerric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Sambhar Powder - 2 teaspoons
Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Corriander Powder - 2.5 teaspoons
Tamarind - size of a marble. Soak in water.
Rock Salt - 1 teaspoon

Chop the brinjal and drop them in salted water to avoid discoloration. Cook the Jackfruit seeds, Potato and Drumstick. Keep aside with the water in which it was cooked.
Heat oil and splutter mustard, and urad dal. Add Saunf and asafoetida; and then onions, tomato and curry leaf.
Saute for a minute and then add turmerric powder. Stir fry on high flame and add the vegetables.
Saute for a minute.
Then add the chilli powder, dhania powder and sambhar powder. Stir to mix evenly. Add in tamarind extract and salt. Mix gently. Bring to a boil and then simmer the flame.
Simmer cook, adding water as needed for the vegetables to be cooked through. Check for salt to taste.
Once it thickens and the vegetables are cooked through, take off heat.
Makes a tasty and simple lunch with rice, poriyal and appalam.


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