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Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu

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Experience the vibrant flavours of Chettinad with Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu. This spicy and tangy curry showcases the essence of this iconic South Indian cuisine.

Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu, a culinary masterpiece from the vibrant region of Chettinad in Tamil Nadu, is a fiery and aromatic curry that will tantalize your taste buds. Bursting with robust flavours and fragrant spices, this traditional recipe showcases the essence of Chettinad cuisine. The combination of freshly ground spices, tangy tamarind, and a medley of vegetables or meat creates a rich and complex spicy gravy. The secret lies in the unique blend of spices like black peppercorns, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and curry leaves, which infuse the dish with their distinct Chettinad flavour.

Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu is a perfect harmony of spices, heat, and tanginess, making it an absolute delight for spice lovers and those seeking an authentic South Indian culinary experience. This recipe pairs exceptionally well with steamed rice, idli, dosa, or even appam, allowing you to relish its intense flavours. The robustness of the curry makes it an ideal choice for pairing with plain rice or traditional Chettinad staples like Kuzhi Paniyaram or Vellai Paniyaram.

Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu

Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu

Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu
5 from 1 vote

Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu

Experience the vibrant flavours of Chettinad with Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu. This spicy and tangy curry showcases the essence of this iconic South Indian cuisine.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Chettinad, Tamil Nadu


  • 1 cup Tamarind Extract
  • 10 Sambar Onions (Shallots)
  • 10 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 to 3 tsp Chettinad Sambar Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds roasted and powdered
  • 1 cup Red Pumpkin (or Brinjal) unpeeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • as per taste Salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp Jaggery Powder
  • 1 tsp Rice Flour

For Tempering:

  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Saunf
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal
  • 1/4 cup Curry Leaves


  • Heat oil for tempering in a large pan.
  • Add the tempering ingredients and fry.
  • When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the sambar onions and garlic.
  • Saute for a minute.
  • Add sambar powder and powdered coriander seeds.
  • Saute for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the pumpkin and saute for a minute.
  • Add the tamarind extract and salt.
  • Bring it to boil.
  • Lower heat, cover pan and simmer for about 15 minutes or till pumpkin is tender.
  • Add jaggery and mix well.
  • Add the rice flour with 1/4 cup of water.
  • Pour this into the kuzhambu and simmer uncovered till it thickens.
  • Serve hot with plain rice.

Frequently Asked Questions about Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu

What is the level of spiciness in Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu?

Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu is known for its fiery and bold flavours. It is a spicy curry that packs a punch of heat. The spice level can be adjusted according to personal preference. If you prefer milder flavours, you can reduce the amount of red chilli powder or use a mild variety. However, if you enjoy the heat, you can increase the spice level by adding more red chilli powder or fresh green chillies. The balance of spices, tanginess from tamarind, and adding coconut helps temper the heat to some extent. Still, overall, Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu is a dish that is meant to be spicy and flavorful.

Can I make Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu with meat?

Absolutely! Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu can be prepared with meat to add a delicious and savoury element to the dish. Traditionally, chicken or mutton is used in Chettinad cuisine to make Kara Kuzhambu. The meat is cooked in a rich blend of spices, tamarind, and coconut, producing a flavorful and aromatic curry. The spices infuse into the meat, creating a hearty and satisfying dish. The succulent pieces of chicken or tender mutton complement the spiciness of the curry, resulting in a delectable combination. Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu with meat is a must-try if you enjoy meat-based curries. Serve it with steamed rice or alongside traditional South Indian bread like dosa or appam for a complete and satisfying meal.

Can I store Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu for later use?

Yes, you can store Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu for later use. Once prepared, let it cool completely and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate the kuzhambu, which can be stored for 3 to 4 days. The flavours deepen and develop over time, making it even more delicious. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, reheat it on the stovetop or microwave until piping hot. You may need to add a splash of water if the kuzhambu has thickened in the refrigerator.

What are some suitable side dishes or accompaniments for Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu?

Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu pairs exceptionally well with steamed rice, as the flavours of the curry infuse into the grains, creating a delightful combination. You can enjoy it with traditional South Indian accompaniments like dosa, idli, or appam. For a complete Chettinadu meal experience, you can serve it with side dishes like Poriyal (vegetable stir-fry), Coconut Chutney, or Thayir Pachadi (yoghurt-based side dish). The cooling effect of yoghurt-based dishes complements the spiciness of Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu. A simple salad or papad can add a refreshing and crunchy element to the meal.


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