Keerai Thandu Puli Kuzhambu & Paruppu Thogayal

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Puli Kuzhambu

Keerai Thandu Puli Kuzhambu is a popular gravy for those of you who like tamarind based gravies. The Thandu/stem of the Amaranth leaves takes center stage in this spicy gravy. Puli Kuzhambu is the one of spiciest gravies in Tamil cuisine. The spicier gravies are mostly tamarind based and the Dhal based are subtle. Contrary to what I mentioned , I found the Amaranth leaves ( green variety) in the local Indian grocery store recently. I used the stem in the kuzhambu, the stem when cooked absorbed all the tanginess and spice and tasted wonderful.

Puli Kuzhambu is typically served with Paruppu Thogayal and Appalam. I have given the Paruppu Thogayal recipe below.


  1. Keerai Thandu cut into pieces
  2. Big lime sized tamarind
  3. ¼ cup grated coconut
  4. teaspoon red chilli powder
  5. teaspoon coriander powder
  6. ½ turmeric powder
  7. salt to taste
For Seasoning:
  1. 2 tablespoons oil (preferably Gingely oil)
  2. ¼ th of vadagam or ½ teaspoon mustard & 3 to 4 fenugreek
  3. ½ cup diced shallots or onions
  4. ¼ cup sliced garlic
  5. few curry leaves
  1. Separate the thandu/stem from the keerai. Wash the thandu/Stem and break them into pieces like you would a drumstick or beans. (The thread like strings need to be removed).
  2. Grind coconut to a fine paste and set aside.
  3. Extract pulp from the tamarind, strain and add coconut paste. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a kadai/pan. Add the Vadagam or mustard & fenugreek, when they splutter add the shallots, garlic and curry leaves.
  5. Add the thandu once the onions turn soft. Mix well for few minutes and add all the powders and salt
  6. Now add the prepared tamarind paste.
  7. Bring to a boil and simmer until the thandu/stem gets cooked.
Serve with Rice, Thogayal and Appalam.
For the Thogayal:
Heat a teaspoon oil in a kadai/pan, add 2 red chillies and immediately add ½ cup Toor Dhal/Thuvaram paruppu. Simmer and keep stirring for few minutes. ( make sure not to change the color of the lentil ie do not brown them).
Cool and dry grind to a fine powder along with required salt and a tiny piece of garlic. Transfer to a container, add enough water so that it does not turn into a liquid. thogayal is supposed to be thicker than chutney. Mix well and serve as shown below.
Paruppu Thogayal


  1. what a wonderful combo and the clicks makes me more tempting.

  2. Looks yum n interesting ..nice pics

  3. Wow... long time since I had thandu kulambu.. authentic combo...

  4. We always make sambar with keerai thandu, but puli kuzhambu sounds like a nice idea! Paruppu thogayal with puli kuzhambu is an classic combo!

  5. both r looking delicious!!perfect combo!!

  6. puli kuzhambhu and thogayal lovely it with some hot rice...yum..

  7. what an awesome and yummilicious combo.
    indu srinivasan

  8. We usually do keeraithandu poriyal. Kulambu is new and must give a try. Thogayal came out perfect. Love the combination.


  9. Healthy n yummy sidedish for rice...looks very tempting

  10. First time here. Looks like an interesting recipe.

  11. This looks like a nice recipe to try out, healthy too... I too love cilantro, use it a lot in my cooking. Well, nice to meet you.
    Karen Xavier.


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