Puli Kuzhambu Recipe | Mango Tamarind Curry

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Puli Kuzhambu Recipe | Mango Tamarind Curry

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Adjust Servings:
10 pieces Drumstick, chopped
3 counts Eggplant, slit cut
8 pieces(medium size) Raw mango, chopped
8 count Shallot onions
3 pods Garlic
1 count Tomato, chopped
1 tbsp Mustard seeds
½ tsp Urad dal / black gram
⅛ tsp Fenugreek seeds
1 strand Curry leaves
1 count Green chili
⅛ tsp Turmeric powder
1½ tbsp Homemade/Readymade kolumbu / curry powder
Lemon size tamarind ball(small)
2 tbsp Coriander leaves
1½ tsp Salt
1 tbsp Oil

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  • Lunch
  • 35 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Medium




What is it?

This Puli kuzhambu recipe otherwise called mango tamarind curry is an absolute dish for tangy lovers. Not all of our tongue taste buds are same, some love sweet, some love spicy and some love sour up till a six tastes. Honestly I’m not sure how many cuisines have similar kind of recipes but if you are a rice lover, this is one of the best combination to go for especially during pregnancy time as the craving to eat sour, tangy is high. It would call the main ingredients are garlic, mango and additional specialities are drumstick and eggplant. Just without those additional ingredients the taste of this recipe is great as the mango brings the sour taste but with the tamarind will bring the taste of tangy.

Though there is no season in particular to cook for, during summer I make a lot as its the season for mango.  Mango in particular generally grows in tropical regions which needs full sun, hot weather and a drained soil. There are different varieties of mango and especially the raw ones are used here. When making this recipe make sure you have rock solid green mango not the ripe or sweetened. This can easily be identified by using thumb impression. If you see it drop it down. The nice smell of mango indicates sourness of the fruit. Honestly I have tried varieties of mangoes when I started cooking and have failed to bring that taste due to my poor selection of mango. But again by experience taught me to select fine fruit.  There are other variations for this tamarind curry using okra, eggplant, drumstick etc.

As mango has several nutrients one of it is vitamin C. In general unripe raw mango is hot in nature eating too much of it may not be good. Do not add too many mango pieces to the curry as it can be filled only with sour.  The next veggie is drumstick my all time favorite is from the family of moringa and several health benefits and with this just one moringa tree there are several dishes can be made. There’s no limit in adding to the curry as it will not spoil the taste. When buying drumstick, make sure to get thinner or to medium size as the taste differs slightly to the older ones.

 Puli Kuzhambu Recipe

What it taste like?

An elevated tangy taste of mango and tamarind.

Unlike other most of the recipes which has a balanced taste of ingredients , puli kuzhambu recipe is definitely pops up with the tangy taste and that’s why I call this one as tangy lover’s recipe. For this recipe I have added few other vegetables though often I use either of the one. Fortunately this time I had my favorites like drumstick, eggplant and mango and decided to make this in combination. During South Indian festivals or on auspicious days it is consider to eat just the vegetarians and have seen a lot of times people serving this dish along with other curries. There is one small tip while eating, do not mix whole of curry to rice to avoid excessive sour or tanginess. Take in little portion and adjust accordingly to your taste buds.

Goes well with?


Enjoy eating this tangy curry over warm rice with sides of fritters, papads. Want to try something little different with this puli kuzhambu recipe? Try adding a little of tamarind curry over yogurt rice, you can absolutely feel the cooling effect of yogurt with tanginess. This is my personal habit to try different taste while eating finger full of rice. The left over rice and curry are used for next day or for travel by mixing all together to have like a mango tamarind rice. I can’t think of another other food that can compliment to this recipe other than rice. One big tip I wanted to mention here is adding excess of tamarind will spoil the dish completely due to the nature of its sourness. So now you know how to adjust. Other suggestion is while having tamarind curry followed by rasam and yogurt, it doesn’t go very well with lentil curry like sambar, vegetable kurma or non vegetarians.

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Take a small lemon size tamarind and soak with ½ cup of water


Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, urad dal / black gram, fenugreek seeds to it. Let it splutters


Now add garlic, green chili, curry leaves and fry for a minute. Then followed by chopped shallots and saute until it turns soft and translucent


Then add the chopped tomatoes to it. Cook and cover with a lid until it turns soft and mushy


Now add the chopped vegetables(drumstick, eggplant, raw mango) to the onion tomato mixture


Cover the lid to cook the vegetables by adding the little water and salt to it


Followed by adding turmeric powder and homemade or readymade kolumbu/curry powder to it and mix well


Furthermore add the tamarind extract. Let it cook for 10 minutes until the raw smell goes, the gravy becomes thick and turns aromatic


Finally garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.


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