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Murungakkai Puli Kuzhambu – Drumsticks in Tamarind Gravy

  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x


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



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


  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.


I use Idhayam brand sesame oil.

  • Category: Curry
  • Cuisine: South Indian