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Thakkali kuzhambu recipe

by Jeyashri suresh

Thakkali Kuzhambu | thakkali kurma – South Indian tomato gravy recipe – with detailed step by step pictures.

Thakkali kuzhmabu is in my to do list for a long time. Though I have heard about this and tasted in friends houses during my school days, never tried it on my own. There are many variations to this recipe. People make it to suit their family’s preference and taste. This tastes similar to kurma and personally love this with dosai.

Kongu nadu – Coimbatore region is very popular for this kuzhambu recipe. Also the Chettinad Thakkali kuzhambu is also similar to this and it is with the addition of coconut milk. Usually it is a popular gravy made as an accompaniment for rice. My sister shared this recipe sometime back and I tried it at home. The addition of fennel seeds and coconut gave a wonderful flavour to the gravy.

You can check out other Popular South Indian kuzhambu recipes


Thakkali kuzhambu

  Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 20 Mins |   Serves : 4-5


     Tomato    2
     Small onion  7
     Garlic  3 pods
     Ginger 1 small piece
     Fennel seeds| Sombu  1/2 tsp
     Grated Coconut    1 tblsp
     Oil   2 tsp
     Red chilli powder   1 tsp
     Coriander powder    1/2 tsp
     Turmeric powder  1/4 tsp
     Salt   As needed
     Mustard seeds    1/4 tsp
     Curry leaves   few        

  • Take out the skin of onion and and cut them into small. Chop the tomato finely.
  • Take out the skin of garlic and ginger.
  • In a pan add 1 tsp of oil and add the chopped onions, garlic and ginger.
  • Add in the fennel seeds. Switch off the flame and add the coconut.
onion+garlic roast
  • Saute the chopped tomatoes till it turns mushy. Allow this to cool.
cook-tomato tomato
  • Grind the onion mixture and tomato mixture into a fine paste.
to grind grind-paste
  • In a pan add oil and add in the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add the ground masala and add 1 to 2 cups of water. Add turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder and coriander powder.
  • Allow this to boil for 10 minutes in a medium low flame till the raw smell of the powders disappears. Switch off the flame.
thakkali-kuzhambhu thakkali - kuzhambhu
  • Serve hot with  plain rice.


  • You can skip the step of grinding the tomatoes and grind only the onion, garlic mixture. Since i don’t like the tomato chunks i ground the tomatoes.
  • You can add pattai, cloves,bay leaf and one elachi while tempering the mustard seeds.
  • You can replace fennel with cumin seeds too.

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Kaveri Venkatesh November 7, 2014 - 11:06 am

Looks absolutely delicious Jeyashri. .would love to have with some rice

AparnaRajeshkumar November 7, 2014 - 12:07 pm

Love to have it wth curd rice

vidhya srinivasan November 28, 2014 - 5:38 pm

Such a mouth watering recipe..love the colour..

Subarna Murugaraj May 18, 2015 - 6:01 am

Love it..... wanna try

Akila Dilip December 30, 2015 - 2:52 am

Can we do this kozhumbu without garlic

Kapil Subramani May 30, 2016 - 10:08 am

Super simple recipe... did it today. Thanks Jeyashri!

Settai Murugan June 6, 2016 - 3:22 pm

Today this is our side dish for poori.. wonderful and yummy....

Jemil Victoria August 1, 2016 - 5:32 pm

Superb dish I had it with rice it was excellent...

Deepa Rangarajan March 19, 2017 - 6:24 am

I may have to avoid garlic. Will be good with idlis also I guess!?

jeyashri suresh March 20, 2017 - 2:49 am

yes you can avoid but do not skip the fennel seeds.


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