Monday, June 22, 2009

Poondu Kuzhambu / Veluthulli Theiyal

Garlic Cloves cooked soft in tangy and spicy sauce, that would be the easy and the apt description of the curry!..:)

Poondu Kara-kuzhambu is said to be South Indian in Origin, a famous dish in Karaikudi, a village that belongs to the Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu. I’ve seen the kuzhambu being served when one recovers from fever or as a supplementary diet for lactating mothers. The garlic, fenugreek, dhania, pepper and curry leaves, rich in medicinal values facilitate easy digestion and lactation.

The dish is popularly known as Veluthulli Theiyal in God’s own country.

My Amma’s version of the is somewhere between Kerala and Tamil in Cuisine.(my MIL prepares the Tamil way with added channa and urad dal while roasting, which I’ll post later.These are avoided in my mom’s recipe, that follows).

We used Otrai poondu, (Single clove or Pearl garlic) from the farms of Kumbhum, Tamil Nadu which gave the best results.You can substitute with large variety cloves of Garlic.

Otrai poondu or large cloves of garlic- One cup, heaped
Tamarind-a lime sized ball
Salt-to taste

To roast and grind to a very smooth paste
Gingelly seed oil-a tsp
Coriander seeds /Kothamalli/Malli/Dhania- or powder4 tbsps (heap the spoon if you use seeds)
Fenugreek seeds/uluva-1/4 tsp
Red Chillies-8-10
Black Pepper corns-a heaped tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Shallots-1/2 cup
Garlic cloves-2,3
Curry leaves-a sprig

To SeasonGingelly seed oil-1/4 cup
Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
Asafoetida-less than 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves-a sprig

Method:1. Soak tamarind in warm water.Extract pulp.
2. Heat a tsp of oil as mentioned in the “roast and grind” list in a heavy bottomed kadai. Roast the fenugreek and next the coriander seeds, followed by the red chillies in medium flame stirring all the time till the colour changes and the aroma spreads out. (Usage of coriander powder is the easiest way and if you use this make sure not to burn it, and roast along with the chillies stirring all the time until the colour of the powder turns deeper and the aroma spreads out).
3. Turn off the flame.
4. Throw in rest of the ingredients ; the pepper corn, cumin seeds, turmeric powder,
shallots, garlic and curry leaves in order, stirring the mixture heating them all up.The heat of the kadai is enough for this step.
5. Cool and grind to the smoothest paste with just enough water.(Coriander powder grinds well rather than the seeds and hence suggested).
6. In a thick bottomed vessel, we used the traditional Kalchatti, combine the above paste with the tamarind extract.Add salt. Let the curry be watery at this stage.  In the meanwhile, season the simmering kuzhambu by heating the ¼ cup of gingelly oil in the earlier kadai, used for roasting, splutter the mustard seeds, add asafoetida and sauté the garlic cloves till golden brown, throw in the curry leaves and add to the curry.
7. Boil and simmer the kuzhambu well, closed with a lid. Make sure that the garlic pods are cooked until 75% while sautéing/seasoning. The remaining will be cooked in the simmering curry. Also bear in bind that the garlic pods cooks well only in a watery curry in the first stage and will remain uncooked in a thicker tamarind based curry while simmering.
8.Simmer until you get the real flavour of the Poondu Kuzhambu spreading all around the kitchen and the oil separates and attains a smooth and a creamy consistency which coats the back of a spoon.
9. Serves best with boiled rice and pappad.(I love idly or dosa bits dunked in this yummy curry :)).


  1. Lovely flavour..looks very tempting..nice clicks too...

  2. I am sure I would love it. It is more of 'my kind' of curry or whatever it is called. Not sure if I get those single pods, let me try anyway :)

  3. When I first saw ur kuzhambu,I was wondering how come the garlic is seen so much like that!! Then I saw the garlic u have used, and understood:)
    I too have this in my archive,but very different way...
    Looks mouthwatering,with those garlic :)

  4. Another mouth watering authentic recipe from you:)) ….nice recipe... and nice click as always:))

  5. wow...delicious curry...lovely click...nice blog

  6. Another Super Hit Dish from your blog. Is this Malai Poondu in Tamil Bharathy?

  7. Looks quite tempting, i cant try this as i m allergic to garlic :(

  8. I have neve rhad this, it looks so so super delicous.
    I would love to have this with rice and papadom.

  9. this recipe is new to me...looks really delicious!

  10. No wonder they look like potatoes in the pic. Huge it same as malai poondu???. Delicious recipe.

  11. Wow, the garlic curry looks so yummy. its so ironic that how much I love garlic, my grandmom quite contrary hates it. I always tease her with this.


  12. oh my! i am drooling over here! amma's vattipulusu with garlic, out of this world!!

    i love it most two days old with dosa. or better, pendrotta! yummm :)

  13. Gorgeous kuzhambu, Bharathy! I love poondu kuzhambu and you're making me sooooooo hungry! Photos super-a irukku. :)

  14. Hi ...
    curry looks simply great ...but i never tasted this dish ..Will make this soon ..Very nice click

  15. Garlic theeyal, looks absolutley delicious...awesome clicks too. Love this kuzhambu so much.

  16. ur dish looks yumm!! but i must say, im a lil confused..wats the kuzhambu? its not in the ingredients & wats the main ingrdient..are they potatoes?

  17. lovely click bharathy so...tempting i too posted this recently

  18. WOw these garlic i really miss in US.. ilove this so much seeing this it makes me mouthwatering

  19. Hi dear,

    I am shalini from delhi. I simply love any kind of puli kuzhambu and this one has become one of my favs after i tried it last nite.. thnku so much... i have just started my blog after being inspired by urs. can u please help me as my blog is not appearing in the google search list even though i have checked my settings. I would want my blog to be visited too.

    thnks a ton

  20. Hi, it is very yummy, mouth watering................
    I will try it today and see.
    Thanks a lot.

  21. I tried it yesterday.. It was toooooooooooooooooo good... I tried it first time and it was soo super. Thanks for your recipes. Keep posting.
    Thanks a lot..

  22. Hi Dear, you have mentioned that you will post your MIL version of poondu kulambu(with urad, channa roasted) can you please post this version? , thank u very much. -raj

  23. I will do it as soon as possible, raj :) On a break now and please give me some time..ok? :)


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