Tamarind Curry

Puli Kuzhambu or Tamarind Curry is a spicy tangy traditional curry prepared with garlic & shallots. Garlic & shallots are considered to be very good for heart health as they reduce hypertension and control cholesterol. Also they help in removing toxins from our system. Besides garlic has antibacterial, antiviral & antifungal properties too. You can also check this link from American Institute for Cancer Research to find out how garlic can lower cancer risk: http://www.aicr.org/enews/2016/11-november/enews-4-reasons-eating-garlic-for-good-health.html


Puli Kuzhambu used to be served with paruppu sadham or keerai sadham for lunch. It tastes delicious with curd rice too. If we serve idli or dosa with this left-over curry next morning, it tastes heavenly. This curry can be kept for 2 or 3 days without being refrigerated and can be used for 15 days if refrigerated. I recommend you to prepare this curry and use it in the next day for lunch.

Time Taken: 30 min


  1. Garlic – 4 bulbs
  2. Shallots – 30 Nos.
  3. Tamarind – gooseberry sized
  4. Sesame oil – 2 tbsp
  5. Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  6. Curry leaves – 3 sprigs
  7. Salt – 1 tsp

For curry masala:

  1. Sesame oil – 2 tsp
  2. Pepper corns – ½ tsp
  3. Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Rice grains – 1 tsp
  5. Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  6. Red chillies – 6 Nos.
  7. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  8. Garlic – 6 pods
  9. Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

Mise en place:

  • Peel garlic & shallots and keep aside.
  • Soak tamarind in hot water for 5 min. & extract tamarind juice using 500 ml water.
  • Prepare curry masala as below:
  • Heat a pan with one tsp oil in medium flame, add peppercorns and remove from pan when they stopped spluttering.
  • In the same pan roast  red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds & rice grains and remove them from pan when they start changing the color.
  • Add 1 tsp oil in the same pan, fry ginger, garlic & sauté till they become soft.
  • Add curry leaves, sauté for 10 sec and remove them from pan.
  • When these roasted ingredients reach room temperature, grind peppercorns, red chillies, cumins, coriander seeds & rice into a coarse powder.
  • Add ginger, garlic & curry leaves and grind without adding water.
  • Add water into the jar and grind into a fine paste and set aside.

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Cooking Method:

  • Heat a pan with oil in medium flame; add fenugreek and roast them, add garlic & shallots and sauté till they become translucent.
  • Add curry leaves and sauté for 10 sec.
  • Add ground masala and mix them well.
  • Pour tamarind juice and bring them to a boil in high flame.
  • Close pan with a lid and simmer for 10 min or until garlic & shallots become soft.
  • Add salt & bring to a final boil.
  • Puli Kuzhambu is ready to serve.

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Tamarind curry can be taken with plain rice, lentil rice (paruppu sadham) or Greens rice (keerai sadham).

Suitable accompaniments for rice with tamarind curry are:

Please Note:

  • I always like to add powdered jaggery to any pungently spiced curry as it elevates its taste; you can also try adding 1/2 tsp jaggery (along with salt) in this puli kuzhambu.
  • A teaspoon of rice grains is added in curry masala as a thickening agent.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Ei Gi Chakhum says:

    Sounds tempting Megala! Keeping the recipe link in my must try list. Thanks for a lovely recipe share.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Megala says:

      Glad that you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My Real Dish says:

    I’m obsessed with curry. I want to try this because I’ve been using a jar sauce! This helps so much!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Megala says:

      Glad that our traditional curry recipe is useful to you too!


  3. Nancy says:

    This is just one of your many recipes that I want to try! Sounds delicious!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Megala says:

    Nice to know that.


  5. Paru says:

    Correct measurement of ingredients gave extraordinary taste than random measurement which i used to do before..v really enjoys tangy tastes…adding jaggery at the end gives classic taste for the dish..

    Liked by 2 people

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