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Kara Kuzhambu | Kara Kuzhambu with Sundakkai Vathal

Karakuzhambu - spicy and tangy kuzhambu with a combination of different flavours. This hotel style karakuzhambu is one of my husband's favourite kuzhambu served in restaurants for meals. After a few practices, I found the exact flavour and it was a big hit in our home. Tamil Nadu cooking is famous for its varieties of kuzhambu. This Karakuzhambu is one among them. The kara kuzhambu can be  prepared in two ways -  with vegetables like drumstick or brinjal and the other one is prepared with dried vathals like sundakkai vathal etc. Today we are going to see how to prepare hotel style karakuzhambu with dried sundakkai vathal.

Kara Kuzhambu | Kara Kuzhambu with Sundakkai Vathal with step by step instructions - Karakuzhambu - spicy and tangy kuzhambu with a combination of different flavours. This hotel style karakuzhambu is one of my husband's favourite kuzhambu served in restaurants for meals. After a few practices, I found the exact flavour and it was a big hit in our home. Tamil Nadu cooking is famous for its variety of kuzhambu. This Karakuzhambu is one among them. The kara kuzhambu can be  prepared in two ways -  with vegetables like drumstick or brinjal and the other one is prepared with dried vathals like sundakkai vathal etc.



This kuzhambu is prepared with small onions, garlics, tamarind and dried sundakkai vathal. The main flavour for this kuzhambu is the ground coconut paste prepared by roasting the spices like coriander seeds, chana dal, fennel, cumin and red chilly.
Every kuzhambu has a combination of flavours. To bring the perfect balance of flavours, we have to concentrate on every step. Roasting the spices on correct heat and time is very important for this kuzhambu. Because if you do not roast it well until you get a nice aroma from the spices, then there will be no flavour. And also if you over roast the spices until it turns black, then there will be a bitter taste in the kuzhambu.
For these type of karakuzhambu or pulikuzhambu do not load it with too much of ingredients for roasting and grinding because the kuzhambu will be too thick.
For this Kara kuzhambu we add both tamarind and tomato. So add both the ingredients in correct measurement. I prefer groundnut oil for this kuzhambu as it produces a nice flavour to the entire dish. Don't forget to soak the tamarind in hot water and also do not skip the small onions & garlic cloves. I have shared all the points to make a tasty Kara kuzhambu and now we will see how to prepare this in detail.

Check out my other Kuzhambu recipes here


Kara Kuzhambu Recipe Details

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Prep time : 20 minutes
Cook time : 25 minutes
Serves : 4
Category : lunch/kuzhambu
Author : Muthulakshmi Madhavakrishnan

Ingredients
  • 10 small onions
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 1 tomato
  • big lemon sized tamarind
  • 2 tbsp dried sundakkai vathal
  • 2 dried red chilly
  • 2 tsp sambar powder or kuzhambu chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • few curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp urid dal
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek
  • 7 tbsp groundnut oil
  • salt to taste
For kuzhambu masala
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut
  • 6 small onions
  • 1 tomato
  • 6 dried red chilly
Cooking Directions
  1. Soak the tamarind in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes. After 20 minutes, extract the tamarind pulp with 2 cups of water and keep it ready.
  2. Heat a pan and add 1 tsp of oil. When the oil is heated, add the chana dal and coriander seeds. Stir and fry them for a few seconds and add the cumin and fennel. Roast them well.
  3. Next, add the red chillies. Stir it well and add the onions and tomatoes. Saute them well until the onions and tomatoes, turn soft. Then add the coconut and fry them well.
  4. Add the roasted ingredients in a small chutney jar and grind them smooth.
  5. Heat 5 tbsp of groundnut oil in a kadai and add the fenugreek. When it pops up add the mustard and urid dal. Allow them to crackle and add the small onions and garlic cloves.
  6. Add the tomatoes and curry leaves. Saute them well. Add the sambar powder and stir it quickly.
  7. Next, add the tamarind extract and required salt. Mix them well and add the turmeric powder.
  8. Add the ground paste to the tamarind extract and mix them well. Add some more water and close it with the lid. Allow the kuzhambu to boil for 10 minutes on medium heat.
  9. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan and add the dried sundakkai vathal and whole red chillies. Fry them well.
  10. Now add this fried vathal to the boiling kuzhambu. Mix them well. Allow for a gentle boil and turn off the heat.

Kara Kuzhambu with step by step photos 


Take a big vessel and add the tamarind. Pour hot water and soak it for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, extract the tamarind pulp with 2 cups of water and keep it ready.


In the meantime, roast the spices for the kuzhambu. Heat a pan and add 1 tsp of oil. When the oil is heated, add the chana dal and coriander seeds. Stir and fry them for a few seconds and add the cumin and fennel. Roast them well until you smell a nice aroma from the cumins and fennel.


Next, add the red chillies. Stir it well and add the onions and tomatoes. Saute them well until the onions and tomatoes turn soft. Then add the coconut and fry them well. Turn off the heat and allow them to cool down.



Add the roasted ingredients in a small chutney jar and grind them smoothly. Add little water for grinding.


Heat 5 tbsp of ground nut oil in a kadai and add the fenugreek. When it pops up add the mustard and urid dal. Allow them to crackle and add the small onions and garlic cloves.


When the onions and garlic cloves turn golden brown, add the tomatoes and curry leaves. Saute them well. Add the sambar powder and stir it quickly. 


Next, add the tamarind extract and required salt. Mix them well and add the turmeric powder.


Add the ground paste to the tamarind extract and mix them well. Add some more water and close it with the lid. 


Allow the kuzhambu to boil for 10 minutes on medium heat.


Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan and add the dried sundakkai vathal and whole red chillies. Fry them well. (You can also add manathakkali vathal).


Now add this fried vathal to the boiling kuzhambu. Mix them well. Allow for a gentle boil and turn off the heat.


Close it with the lid and serve it after 3 to 5 hours with hot rice, appalam and any vegetable poriyal or kootu. 


To view the recipe in Tamil click here காரக்குழம்பு தமிழில்

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