Murungakkai Puli Kuzhambu – Kulambu – Drumsticks in Tamarind Gravy

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu

Recipe for Spicy South Indian Tamlinadu Style Murungakkai Kara Puli Kuzhambu. Drumsticks in tamarind gravy.

When I was young, me and my friends would never play near a drumstick tree. We were all made to believe that the tree hosts ghosts at night time. We would just never go near them. This is a very widely believed superstition all over Tamilnadu. It is also believed that eating drumsticks increases libido in men. This belief was popularized in a Tamil movie called Mundhanai Mudichu and it caught up with the masses.

Tamarind curries are an all time favorite for all South Indians. Its spicy, tangy and oh so perfect with rice. The flavor of drumsticks cooked in tamarind water is unbeatable. This is how we do Murungakkai Puli Kuzhambu – Drumsticks in Tamarind Gravy Taminadu style.

Soak a big lime size tamarind in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Once the tamarind has been soaked, squeeze it between the fingers to release all the juices. Strain the juice and set aside.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-tamarind

The important thing about this curry is the addition of the ground masala paste. Here is how we do it. Heat oil in a pan and add in the urad dal and the chana dal and fry till lightly brown. Frying the dal till brown on a low flame is very important. So go low and slow.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-lentil

Once the dal has been fried and lightly brown, add in the tempering ingredients. Add in the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies, black pepper, coriander seeds (dhania), cumin seeds (jeera) and curry leaves. Fry in low flame until the seeds splutter and the curry leaves are crisp.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-fry

Add in the onions and fry till they are soft.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-onion

Once the onions are soft, add in the tomatoes, salt, asafoetida (hing) and turmeric powder. Fry till the tomatoes are mushy.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-tomato

Once the tomatoes are mushy, add in the fresh shredded coconut and fry briefly for a minute to combine. Remove off heat and let it cool.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-coconut

Grind the fried masala mixture to a smooth paste adding up-to 2 cups of water. Set aside.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-paste

Now the curry!
Heat oil in a pan until hot. We need to use sesame oil (gingely) for this recipe. Add in the mustard seeds and the dry red chillies. Let the mustard seeds splutter. Add in the onions preferably shallots (small onions) and the curry leaves. Fry for a couple of minutes until the onions are soft.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-tempering

Clean the drumsticks and roughly peel their thick outer skin. Cut into 2 inch pieces. Add it to the pan. Add in the tamarind pulp. Add a little salt and let the drumsticks simmer in tamarind mixture for 15 minutes on low flame.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-drumstick

Once the drumsticks are soft, add in the secret ingredient – Jaggery. There is an untold rule in Tamilnadu style tamarind gravies. Wherever tamarind goes in a gravy, a tablespoon of jaggery also goes. It rounds out the flavor and enhances the taste.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-jaggery

Add in the ground masala to the pan. Check for seasoning. Add more salt if required.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-simmer

Simmer the curry on low flame for 15 minutes covered with a lid.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-final-simmer

Stir once in 5 minutes to avoid scorching at the bottom.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-curry

Remove off heat and enjoy with hot rice.

Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-recipe

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Tamilnadu-Murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu-recipe

Murungakkai Puli Kuzhambu – Drumsticks in Tamarind Gravy

Recipe for Spicy South Indian Tamlinadu Style Murungakkai Kara Puli Kuzhambu. Drumsticks in tamarind gravy.

  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the Tamarind Pulp

  • Big lemon size tamarind
  • 2 cups water

For the Masala Paste

  • 2 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 5 dry red chillies
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds (dhania)
  • 2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh shredded coconut

For the Curry

  • 3 tablespoon sesame oil (gingely)
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 Dry red chillies
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1012 shallots (small onions)
  • 23 drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon jaggery

Instructions

  1. Soak a big lime size tamarind in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Once the tamarind has been soaked, squeeze it between the fingers to release all the juices. Strain the juice and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add in the urad dal and the chana dal and fry till lightly brown. Add in the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies, black pepper, coriander seeds (dhania), cumin seeds (jeera) and curry leaves. Fry in low flame until the seeds splutter and the curry leaves are crisp.
  3. Add in the onions and fry till they are soft. Once the onions are soft, add in the tomatoes, salt, asafoetida (hing) and turmeric powder. Fry till the tomatoes are mushy. Once the tomatoes are mushy, add in the fresh shredded coconut and fry briefly for a minute to combine. Remove off heat and let it cool.
  4. Grind the fried masala mixture to a smooth paste adding up-to 2 cups of water. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a pan until hot. Add in the mustard seeds and the dry red chillies. Let the mustard seeds splutter. Add in the onions, preferably shallots (small onions) and the curry leaves. Fry for a couple of minutes until the onions are soft.
  6. Clean the drumsticks and roughly peel their thick outer skin. Cut into 2 inch pieces. Add it to the pan. Add in the tamarind pulp. Add a little salt and let the drumsticks simmer in tamarind mixture for 15 minutes on low flame.
  7. Once the drumsticks are soft, add in the jaggery. Add in the ground masala to the pan. Check for seasoning. Add more salt if required.
  8. Simmer the curry on low flame for 15 minutes covered with a lid. Remove off heat and enjoy with hot rice.

Notes

I use Idhayam brand sesame oil.

  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Curry
  • Cuisine: South Indian

murungakai-curry-nl

 

23 thoughts on “Murungakkai Puli Kuzhambu – Kulambu – Drumsticks in Tamarind Gravy”

  1. Vishnu Priya

    Always your recipes comes out so yummy even my picky eater(daughter) loves it. Thank you and keep up your great work






  2. Today I tried out and everyone in home tasted and aroma is so good.. thank you sis 😍






  3. Hai akka,
    Myself Ancy ,i am from kerala,but my hubby born n brought up in chennai..So he prefer tamil foods.. To make curries of his choice,i searched a lot, read english version of tamil cook books..No way I cannot make it out..Suddenly one day I came to see ur blog..I think it’s about 4yr i am following you..From there to here I can cook authentic tamil curries better than my mom in law😚.My hubby s a great fan of my curries..All credits goes to you akka..U narrate each simple point so that any beginner can do it in a perfect way…So u r a second mother to me..While reading ur blog i feel like u stand beside me to give instructions as an eldee sister do..Love you so much akka..U help me tovstrength the love bond between me n my hubby..xoxo






  4. Omg… its finger licking good…. I have made it for second time and everyone loves it…

    Thank you so much for the recipe.

  5. Hi the curry was nice. Can we use shallots in grinding also? We usually make other kulambu varieties like that.

  6. Hi,
    I have tried this murungakkai-puli-kuzhambu today. It’s is very nice. Got appreciated in home too πŸ™‚
    Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

  7. wow! it tasted heavenly! i have never got puli kulambu this tasty..this is going to be my all time recipe for puli kulambu..thank you πŸ™‚

  8. Vidhya Shanmugam

    Many thanks for this authentic Coimbatore based murungakai puli kulambu which my patti used to make but without jaggery. I tried the exact amount of ingredients except for dry chilies (only I added 3). Came out very well.. My daughter liked it very much asking for repetitions..

    Will come back after trying your other recipes too… πŸ™‚

  9. really awesome recipe.. and ur blog is fantastic.. way to go.. u could start a restaurant.:)






    1. Hi Jay, First I am really sorry you could not handle the spice. All tamarind based gravies are generally eaten spicy. But you can always reduce the amount of chillies used according to your taste. I have mentioned 5 chillies for the recipe. You may use 2-3 next time.

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