Vendakkai Thengai Puli Kuzhambu


When I was in college my Amma was out of station and my neighbour aunt offered to give lunch for me. First I told her I will cook, but Aunty convinced me and gave this kuzhambu and potato fry for lunch. While eating I realized its different from Amma’s kuzhambu. Amma doesn’t add onions in vendakkai kuzhambu, also there is no grinding step. I got so addicted to Aunty’s preparation, till my marriage whenever she prepares this kuzhambu in home, she sends me some. My Amma learnt this recipe and started cooking at home for me, also she wrote this recipe in a notebook for my reference.


Ladies Finger – 10 – 12 (depending on the size of ladies finger)

Onion – 1, chopped

Tomato – 1, chopped

Tamarind – 1 lemon sized ball

Sambar powder/ chilli powder – 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp ( I used Sambar powder)

Jaggery – 1/4 tsp (optional)

Salt – to taste

To temper:

Sesame Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp

Curry leaves – 1sprigg

To grind:

Coconut grated –  1/4 cup

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

Onion – 2 tbsp, chopped

Tomato – 2 tbsp, chopped



  • Soak tamarind in 1 cup of luke warm water and keep aside for 5 – 10 minutes, and extract the juice
  • Add oil to the pan. When oil is hot add ‘to temper’ ingredients and let them splutter. Add onion and sauté till the onion is translucent. Add tomato and cook till they become mushy
  • Add ladies finger and sauté till they are cooked
  • Add sambar powder and cook for a minute
  • ladiesfingervethakuzhambuAdd the tamrind juice, 1 cup  + 1/2 cup of water, salt  and cook till the raw smell goes off


  • Grind the items listed under “to grind” with little water. Add the grind paste and jaggery; cook for 4 – 6 minutes and switch off


  • Serve with rice and poriyal / chips

Checkout my other rice Accompaniments,


My Notes:

  • Brinjal can be used instead of ladies finger
  • Adjust the Kuzhambu consistency according to your desire
  • Jaggery was not in the original recipe, but I added as I got use to the jaggery flavor in puli kuzhambu
  • Though onions and tomatoes are added raw, they won’t have raw taste in Kuzhambu as they are boiled

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36 thoughts on “Vendakkai Thengai Puli Kuzhambu

  1. Bouesso March 28, 2015 at 8:12 AM Reply

    Very delicious your Puli Kuzhambu!

  2. Charanya March 28, 2015 at 6:21 AM Reply

    Yum ❤ I have never had this either. I feel less 'Tamil' when you post such authentic recipes 🙂

  3. MyKabulKitchen March 27, 2015 at 3:52 PM Reply

    I love how some dishes bring back such sweet memories 🙂

  4. Padma March 27, 2015 at 2:38 PM Reply

    I love vendakai and when it is combined with tangy and coconut tastes out of the world:)…Thanks for sharing and reminding me:)

  5. Amanda | What's Cooking March 27, 2015 at 12:29 PM Reply

    What a lovely story. I’d make this just because of that. But it also looks so delicious, healthy and flavorful. Yum!

  6. Sundari March 27, 2015 at 9:16 AM Reply

    lip-smacking kulambu!! Would love to have with rice and papad!!

  7. smitha kalluraya March 26, 2015 at 11:38 PM Reply

    love anything from bhindi..i know this tastes yummy

  8. March 26, 2015 at 9:35 AM Reply

    Looks incredibly flavorful ❤

  9. farin ahmed March 26, 2015 at 7:48 AM Reply

    lipsmacking and delicious kulambu da..

  10. Vasun March 26, 2015 at 6:25 AM Reply

    my grandpa loves this dish.

  11. coconutcraze March 25, 2015 at 9:51 PM Reply

    Looks good. I like curries with tamarind because it is extra tangy.

  12. Madraasi March 25, 2015 at 9:23 PM Reply

    No words for comments, all your dishes are rocking :). Happy to have a blogger like you in my circle.

  13. srividhya March 25, 2015 at 9:00 PM Reply

    yummy I like this very much… This is one among the dish that I like from my hostel menu. 🙂

    • Traditionally Modern Food March 26, 2015 at 3:57 PM Reply

      🙂 Sri, you have fav from hostel menu? Guess ur college canteen is awesome

      • srividhya March 27, 2015 at 10:27 AM

        The food was so different pa.. Tirunelveli style of cooking naa. As it was new I liked it. I hate the breakfast menus but lunch was ok. 🙂

      • Traditionally Modern Food March 28, 2015 at 11:57 PM

        Nice:-) I know one tirunelveli dish very well,halwaaaaa

  14. Aruna Panangipally March 25, 2015 at 7:09 PM Reply

    Lovely recipe, Vidhya. Your Kuzhambu has a lovely Color.

  15. Malar March 25, 2015 at 6:57 PM Reply

    This is common in chettinad style, I have tasted only in marriages, but I never do it at home 😛 Gotta try this version some time soon…Looks so inviting dear 🙂

  16. Chitra Jagadish March 25, 2015 at 5:22 PM Reply

    My mom does similar kind of Kuzhambu- looks yummylicious V… 🙂

  17. Francesca Trucco March 25, 2015 at 5:13 PM Reply

    I appreciate that you don’t only provide us with recepits but also with some details of your memories. Thanks for that, this makes me emotional sometimes 🙂

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