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Plain Tamarind Gravy / Puli Kulambu

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I supposed to post this recipe yesterday. But, nothing came into my mind when I sat to write a recipe. Sometimes it happens to me and I felt that was the worst part of writing a blog post. Though the recipe is one of my favorites I felt bored to write a story. So I skipped the story part (Ahh…I did it already in many recipes :p) and moving to the recipe straight forward. 

This Plain Tamarind Gravy is perfect pair for Urad dal ricealong with black sesame seeds thogayal. This gravy is nothing but the thinner version of the pulikachal. The Urad dal rice can be eaten with vatha kulambu too, but this pair wins in taste.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
Serves: 7-9 persons


For Gravy:

Tamarind – 1 small orange fruit size
Gingelly Oil – 1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons
Mustard seeds and Urad dal – 1/2 teaspoon
Channa Dal – 1/2 tablespoon

Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
Asafoetida – a big pinch
Curry Leaves – 2 strings
Dry red chilli – 2 nos
Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Water – 4 cups

For Masala:

Coriander seeds / Dhania – 1 teaspoon
Whole black pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
Curry leaves – 1 string

1) Soak tamarind in 1 cup of warm water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, squeeze out the juice from it and keep it aside.
2) Dry roast the ingredients given under ‘For Masala’ and allow it to cool to room temperature. Make a powder of it once cooled. Keep it aside.
3) Heat a pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. When it is hot, add mustard seeds, urad dal and allow it to sizzle.
4) Add channa dal and fenugreek seeds. Let it turn to crisp, golden brown and releases nice aroma.
5) Add curry leaves, asafoetida and dry red chilli.
6) Add squeezed out tamarind juice.

7) Add 4 cups of water, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Let it roll boil for 10 minutes. After sometimes, you can see the gravy is reduced in its quantity.

8) Now, Add the prepared ground masala to the boiling gravy. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the gravy. Allow it to boil for another 3-4 minutes.
9) Cover and cook till the gravy leaves out oil to the sides of the pan.

10) Serve hot with hot steamed rice or with urad dal rice.

1) The dry red chillies I used were very spicy and so I limited the quantity to two. Use more or same number of red chillies based on its spicy level.
2) Increase or decrease the tamarind quantity based on it sourness.

3) The same gravy can be cooked till it reaches thick consistency and it is called as Pulikachal.

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this looks wonderful

Nalini's Kitchen

Looks delicious and tempting…


tangy gravy looks so yummy..lovely combination to urad dal rice..

Sangeetha M

Love this kind of tangy n spicy curry, this sounds do simple n easy to make…perfect with hot rice n papad!


Super inviting and tasty one !!


tangy and yummy gravy…
New Post – Fruit Punch Popsicle


Delicious tamarind gravy!! 🙂


Yummy n tangy

chef and her kitchen

simple n tangy gravy


absolutely flavourful and tangy kulambu


wow ..tis looks too good nice kuzhambhu..

Rafeeda AR

such a comforting bowl of curry…


Tempting tamarind gravy..

Vimitha Durai

Tangy and lip smacking Kulambu Uma


never tired plain tamarind gravy uma.. thanks for sharing this recipe..


Lovely so damn food loving it


Mouth watery tamarind gravy.


Super delicious !! looks so inviting !!

Priya Suresh

Never tried plain tamarind gravy, prefect pair for rice.

Divya Shivaraman

Puli kuzhambu looks tangy and yummy


so yumm nd tangy…


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