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Karuveppilai Poondu Kulambu Recipe

Karuveppilai poondu kulambu with video & step wise photos. It is vegan and gluten free & tastes great when served with rice or as a side dish with idli or dosa.
2 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 4


  • Curry leaves – 2 cups loosely packed
  • Sambar onion or Shallots - 1 cup
  • Garlic pods – 1/2 cup
  • Tamarind – 1 lemon size
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Vengaya Kari vadagam – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Sesame Oil – 4 tbsp

To Roast and Grind:

  • Whole dry red chillies – 10 to 12
  • Channa dal – 2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 3 tsp
  • Black pepper corn – 1-1/2 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Oil – 1/2 tsp



  • Soak tamarind in hot water and extract juice. Discard the pulp.
  • Peel the skin of shallots and garlic. If you have a mortar and pestle pound both together till they are coarse else pulse in a mixer jar till coarse. Keep aside.

For the paste:

  • Heat a pan with oil. Add all the ingredients mentioned under “To Roast and Grind”.
  • Roast over low flame till golden brown and keep aside to cool.
  • Take the roasted ingredients in a mixer jar and powder finely.
  • Add curry leaves and grind to a thick, smooth paste using little water. Keep aside.

Make karuveppilai poondu kulambu:

  • Heat sesame oil in a pan.
  • Add vengaya kari vadagam and let it crackle.
  • Add coarsely pound sambar onions (shallots) and garlic.
  • Saute over low flame till the onions turn pink. Keep mixing often to prevent them from sticking to the pan.
  • Add the ground karuveppilai spice paste and mix well.
  • Cook over medium flame till the raw smell goes off and the oil separates from the sides.
  • Add tamarind extract, salt, turmeric powder, water (1/4 cup approx.,) and mix well.
  • Close the pan with a lid and let it cook over low flame for 5-7 mins till it becomes frothy on top and the oil separates.
  • Karuveppilai poondu kulambu is ready.
  • Serve hot with rice to which a dollop of ghee.



For an authentic taste use sesame oil but if you are not comfortable with the flavor use any vegetable oil.
After switching off add 1 or 2 tsp of grated jaggery to help balance the taste. This step is optional.