Seeraga Kulambu ~ Spicy Cumin Gravy
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: South Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 to 4 servings
  • Tamarind – 1 small lemon size
  • Sambar powder – 3-4 tsp
  • Garlic pods – 25 to 30
  • Vengaya kari vadagam – 1 tsp
  • Sesame oil – 5 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
To Roast & Grind:
  • Cumin seeds – 3 tsp
  • Tuvar dal – 1 tsp
  1. Soak tamarind in some warm water and keep aside.
  2. Heat a pan with 1/2 tsp oil. When the oil is hot simmer the flame completely, add cumin seeds and roast it till you get the aroma and the color changes slightly. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Next add tuvar dal and roast again over low flame till you get the aroma and the dal changes color. Transfer to the same plate and let them cool down completely.
  4. Transfer to a mixie jar and grind to a coarse powder.
  5. Add soaked tamarind, 3/4 th of the garlic pods and grind to a smooth paste using the water used to soak tamarind.
  6. Add the remaining garlic pods and pulse just once.
  7. Add the remaining oil to the pan and when hot add vengaya kari vadagam for seasoning.
  8. Add the ground paste, ¼ cup water and mix well.
  9. Add sambar powder, salt mix well and let it come to a boil.
  10. Close the pan with a lid and let it boil over low flame for 5-7 minutes.
  11. Seeraga kulambu is done when the oil starts to float on top.
  12. Switch off the flame and drizzle more 1-2 sesame oil on top if preferred and close the pan tightly with a lid and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  13. Serve seeraga kulambu with hot rice along with a dry curry or roasted pappads or chips.
Recipe by Tickling Palates at