Bottlegourd Cowpea Curry – Suraikai Thattapayaru Kuzhambu

Suraikai Thattapayaru Kuzhambu
Here is the video of how to make suraikai thattapayaru kuzhambu – bottlegourd cowpea curry. சுரைக்காய் தட்டைப்பயறு குழம்பு. Recipe with video.

Thatta payiru / cowpea or black eyed pea is an ingredient very common in the Kongunadu region. Lentils like horse gram, green gram and black eyed pea is predominantly used everyday in regions around Coimbatore (Kongunadu). Cowpea is perfect for cultivation in poor dry conditions and it makes it an important crop for arid and dry regions where many other crops fail to grow. A seed can consist upto 25% protein making it a very important grain in the region. Its also a rich source of folic acid.

This is a Kongunadu special curry recipe that is served for lunch with rice. The secret to this creamy kuzhambu – a little bit of cooked cowpea is ground and added along. This makes the kuzhambu very rich and velvety.

Here are some of the things you can buy online for making this recipe
Thaalippu Vadagam
Kuzhambu Milagai Powder
Black Clay Pot
Heavy Duty Indian Mixie
Wooden Chopping Board
Coconut Opener

Here is the video of how to make சுரைக்காய் தட்டைப்பயறு குழம்பு | Bottlegourd Cowpea Curry | Kongunadu Special Lunch Recipe Served With Rice

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Bottlegourd Cowpea Curry – Suraikai Thattapayaru Kuzhambu

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Here is the video of how to make suraikai thattapayaru kuzhambu – bottle gourd cowpea curry. சுரைக்காய் தட்டைப்பயறு குழம்பு. Recipe with video.

  • Total Time: 90m
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x



For Cooking Cowpea

1/2 cup thattapayaru – cowpea
1/2 teaspoon rocksalt
1.5 cups water to cook thattapayaru

For Masala Paste

2 tablespoon Indian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
10 cloves country garlic
15 Indian shallots – small onions
1 sprig curry leaves
2 country tomatoes
1 teaspoon rock salt
3/4 cup fresh shredded coconut
1 ladle cooked cowpea***
1 cup water to grind

Prepping Tamarind

1 small lime sized tamarind
1 cup hot water

Other Ingredients

3 tablespoon Indian Sesame Oil (divided)
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon dry thaalippu vadagam
3 dried red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
15 Indian shallots – small onions
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon kuzhambu milagai powder
2 tablespoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon jaggery
1 cup water for cooking
1 medium sized bottle gourd


Cooking The Cowpea
We will be using brown cowpea for this recipe. The white ones doesnt work well for this recipe. Wash and soak the cowpea for one hour. After soaking the cowpea for the said time, drain the water and add it to a pressure cooker. Add 1/2 teaspoon of rock salt and 1.5 cups of water to the cooker. Cover the cooker and cook for 4-5 whistles. It will take about 10-12 minutes. Let the pressure settle before opening.

Prepping Bottlegourd
Wash and peel the bottle gourd. Cut the gourd into quarter and remove the soft seedy part in the middle. Discard the soft part. Dice the bottlegourd and set aside.

Prepping Tamarind
Soak the tamarind in hot water for 20 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind to extract the pulp. Discard the seeds and the pith. Set aside.

Masala Paste
Add sesame oil to a pan. Add in the cumin seeds and the fennel seeds. Add in the country garlic and the Indian shallots. If you cannot source country garlic (small garlic), you can use regular garlic. Add in the curry leaves. Saute for a couple of minutes till the onions are soft and starting to brown.
Add in the chopped tomatoes and the rock salt. Mix well to combine. Cover the pan with a lid and cook till the tomatoes are mushy. Once the tomatoes are mushy, add in the coconut and the cooked cowpea. The cooked cowpea when ground will make for a velvety curry.

Grind the mixture to a fine paste. You can add little water while grinding. Make sure that the masala is ground to a fine paste.

Making The Curry
Heat 2 tablespoon of Indian sesame oil in a clay pot. Add in the fenugreek seeds, vadagam, and dried red chillies. Add in the curry leaves. Add in the Indian shallots and sauté everything for couple of minutes. If you cannot source vadagam, just add half a teaspoon of mustard seeds and proceed with the recipe. But vadagam gives a fantastic aroma and taste to the kuzhambu. You can source them easily online and I have provided the links for the same above.

Add in the turmeric powder, Kuzhambu milagai powder, coriander powder and asafoetida. Roast the dry masalas for a few seconds. Do not roast for long as the masalas will burn.

Add in the tamarind pulp to the pot. Add in the bottle gourd and mix well. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes till the bottle gourd is cooked tender. Feel free to add little water mid way while the bottle gourd is cooking. Add upto a cup of water for cooking the bottle gourd.

Add in the ground masala. Wash the mixie with a cup of water and add it back to the pot. Add jaggery. Cover the pan with a lid and let the curry simmer for five minutes.

Finally finish the curry by adding a tablespoon of Indian sesame oil. Serve hot with rice.

  • Author: Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 60m
  • Cook Time: 30m

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