07 June 2012

Poondu-Milagu Kuzhambu (Garlic-Pepper Relish)

Along with the mango, the wedding season is also here. Indian weddings are always about food and much less about the wedding itself. In a typical south Indian one, the feasting lasts for almost two whole days. The last meal of the celebration always consists of a Milagu Kuzhambu (Pepper Broth). This dish is made with all good things to settle one’s stomach after so much feasting. Even otherwise this dish is something, that one can have throughout the year and it just takes few minutes to make.

Garlic peeled – 25grams or 15 cloves
Pepper – ½ tbsp.
Red chilli – 1
Tamarind – small lemon size
Tur/Arhar dal (split pigeon peas) – 1 tbsp.
Jeera (cumin) – 1 tsp
Mustard – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Curry leaf – ½ cup
Sesame oil – 2 tbsp.
Jaggery (molasses) – 1 tsp
                                                                                         Salt – to taste

In ½ tbsp. oil fry the tur dal, pepper, red chilli, jeera, 4 garlic cloves, curry leaf and tamarind. Cool this mixture and grind it into a paste. Heat the remaining oil, add the mustard seed and let it splutter. Then add the remaining garlic pods, turmeric powder and ½ cup water. When the garlic is ¾ cooked, add the ground paste and salt. This mixture will thicken and then add the jaggery. Serve this with steamed rice. If garlic is not such a favourite, it can be replaced with Hing (asafetida).


  1. Innikku en samaiyal. paNNida poren...

  2. Thanks Anne!!! This version I made, is kind of a hit recipe among my people.

  3. Naakku chappiNdu saaptudhugaL en kozhandhaigaL, especially your nephew who considers vatthakuzhambu to be magic potion.

  4. Oh wow! Thank you,thank you!Good to know the kids loved it and i always think kids are the best judge to anything one cooks.