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Kathirikai & Murungakai Kara Kuzhambu

Kathirikai and Murungakai Kara kuzhambu is a main course dish made of tamarind juice. It’s a hot and spicy dish, and goes well with hot steamed rice.  Kara kuzhambu is usually gravy made with tamarind pulp, few varieties of vegetables and a perfect combination of few spices.

These spices differ to each state and households in South India. Some use coconut milk and in a few households, they add a small quantity of jaggery to this variety of dishes to balance the sour and tangy taste of tamarind. I have prepared the way my mother in law use to make. Usually, kuzhambu varieties will taste better the next day than the day it is prepared. This is because; the more the tamarind is soaked along with the spices the more will be its taste. This dish can be made with varieties of vegetables.

I have prepared with Kathirikai/brinjal and Murungakkai/drumstick. I love the taste and aroma of this dish. Come on let’s try this!


  • 1medium size onion
  • 1 medium size tomatoes
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of asafoetida powder
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 3 teaspoons of (homemade)chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
  • Tamarind size of lemon
  • Cooking oil 5 teaspoons
  • Salt to taste
  • To Garnish - Few Curry leaves.



  1. Soak tamarind in water for 15min (it will be easy to extract the juice)
  2. Take a kadai with 5 teaspoons of gingelly oil and add mustard, asafoetida powder, urad, cumin and fenugreek seeds.
  3. Once they splutter, add some chopped onions and garlic cloves.
  4. Sauté well until they turn translucent.
  5. Add a little bit of salt in this stage, so the onions will be cooked evenly and quickly.
  6. Next add the tomatoes and saute it well.
  7. Add the chopped Kathirikai and Murungakai and saute it well.
  8. Add 3 teaspoons of chilli powder, 1 teaspoon of coriander powder and ½ teaspoon of cumin powder.
  9. Add required salt and let it cook for a minute.
  10. Add some water to it and let it boil in low flame for 10 minutes.
  11. Check if the vegetables are cooked well.
  12. Add the tamarind juice extract to it and let it boil for few more minutes till the raw smell goes.
  13. Garnish it with curry leaves.


Spicy and tasty Kathirikai and Murungakai Kara kuzhambu is ready!


Tips / variations: 

  • Adding shallot will enhance the taste of the dish.
  • Spicy lovers can use plain red chilli powder.


Shelf life:

  • Using gingelly oil will enhance the taste and extend the shelf life of the dish.
  • It can be stored for more than 3 days if refrigerated.


Nutrients value:

  • Onions are very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol.
  • Murungakai are a rich source of many nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Vitamin E.
  • Brinjal are rich in fibre and polyphenols, both of which may help to reduce blood sugar levels.