Kethandapatti Kaaramani Kuzhambu

“It’s absolutely unfair for women to say that guys only want one thing: sex.

We also want food.” – Jarod Kintz

I grew up in a family that obsesses with food. Family reunions are fun and can get explosive with strong opinions floating around. Mine were no different! One interesting outcome was that secret family recipes passed down several generations emerged.

History as a subject did not appeal to me but a closer look at understanding family recipes made me explore the origin of the recipes. I realized one can gain insights into culture, lifestyle and ancestry by exploring these recipes.

This blog will feature some recipes from the past, some known, some very quaint.


(Black -eyed peas/ lobia in a sweet and sour gravy) – Serves – 6-8 

**Kethandapatti (a small town on the way to Bangalore near Vaniyambadi) is our ancestral village and this recipe originates from there.

Ingredients for the kuzhambu powder: 

  •  Whole  pepper – 5 gms (roughly 15 nos)
  •  Red Chillies long – 5 nos
  •  Asafoetida – 1 tsp
  •  Corriander seeds – 20 gms
  •  Jeera/ Cumin seeds – 1 pinch
  •  Fenugreek seeds / methi seeds – 1 pinch

Add 2 tsp of oil and add all the ingredients given above. Roast till golden brown and/or until you get the strong aroma of the coriander seeds. Remove from flame and set aside to cool. Grind to a fine powder using a coffee grinder.

Ingredients for the Kuzhambu:

  • Karamani (Black -eyed peas/ lobia) – 250gms (soaked overnight)
  • Tamarind – 1 med lemon size
  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Jaggery – 40 gms
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Green chilly – 2
  • Coriander leaves – 1 med bunch (finely chopped)
  • Rice flour – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 10-12
  • Salt – to taste

In a pressure cooker, add oil, green chilies, turmeric powder, curry leaves and karamani. Saute for 5 mins. Add tamarind water (I diluted the tamarind with 300-400 ml of water) into the pressure cooker.The karamani should be covered 3/4ths in the tamarind water. Add salt and jaggery. Cover the lid and pressure cook for about 3 – 4 whistles.

Once the pressure cooker cools, remove the whistle and start boiling the kuzhambu. Add the kuzhambu powder and lots of finely chopped coriander leaves and .Check for salt at this point. This kuzhambu is a little watery. For those who want it slightly thick, can add some rice flour by making a paste with water.

For the average person, this kuzhambu can be a little too sweet. This goes really well with Iyengar Puliyodhorai (tamarind rice) and dosas


About Author

The musings of two Chennaiites seeking to discover the world through food and travel. As they open themselves up to adventure, the accompanying puliyogare, travels well and ensures that the idea of home is never lost


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