Parangikai Poondu Kuzhambu/Red Pumpkin and Garlic Gravy

By Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen - Sunday, October 27, 2013

Poondu Kuzhambu brings fresh memories to me always. Most of the sundays during my childhood was spent @ my aunt's place with all my cousins together. My aunt makes awesome poondu kuzhambhu that has that incredible red color, the signature of the kuzhambhu. She makes this kuzhambhu on sunday's for us all to enjoy. Later when i started to cook, i used to wonder why am i not getting that color what she gets?. 
Out of curiosity, i asked her one day what do you add extra to get that color, then she told me the secret and Voila!!! i too get that same color when i make Poondu Kuzhambhu!!! Here is that recipe which i have scribbled in my recipe diary which i brought with me as a new bride, married to a person, whose family eat, talk, walk and breathe Food and to whom there is no such thing as little when it comes to food!!!
I still remember the first time i made this kuzhambhu, a week after our marriage @ my in-laws, my hubby actually asked me keep that last 2 tbsp of kuzhambhu in the fridge for him have with next day's breakfast!!!! :)
1 Cup Chopped pumpkin
1/2 a tomato, chopped
7-8 cloves garlic, peeled 
Gooseberry size Tamarind
2 tbsp of Sambhar Powder
Salt to taste

2 tbsp of Gingely oil/Groundnut oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Methi seeds/Fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp hing
1/4 tsp ajwain
2 sprigs of curry leaves

  • Soak Tamarind in warm water for 10 minutes and extract approximately 3 cups of water. The Amount of  tamarind depends upon the variety of tamarind you are using. Some might be very tangy with small amount, some might be otherwise. So soak and extract accordingly. The Variety i used is very tangy.
  • Heat oil in a Deep pan/Kadai, splutter mustard seeds, add methi seeds/fenugreek seeds, followed by ajwain, hing and curry leaves.Take care not to burn methi and ajwain.
  • Next add garlic and saute till they change color a bit and nice aroma of sauteed garlic emanates. Add chopped pumpkin and chopped tomatoes to this and saute till tomatoes release oil. 
  • Add Sambhar powder to this and mix well. Saute for 2 minutes, add tamarind water,  and mix well. (The Secret to the color)
  • Let this cook in a medium flame for 10 -15 minutes, after which the pumpkin must be 3/4th cooked, add salt now and mix well.
  • Let this be on the stove until the kuzhambhu thickens and oil releases on top. Take it of the stove. Serve hot with Rice and Pappad for an wholesome meal.

  • If you prefer the kuzhambhu to thicken fast, you can a tbsp of rice flour mixed with 1 or 2 tsp of water and add it to the kuzhambhu after adding salt. 
  • You can substitue Pumpkin with Brinjal/Drumstick or even shallots and garlic alone. 

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  1. yummy lip smacking poondu kuzhambu.

  2. that's alot of garlic but with pumpkin season here this is perfect for right now

  3. Never cooking pumpkin sounds good priya

  4. Never made anything with pumpkin sounds good priya

  5. Dang! I just made pumpkin kulambu today and wish I had seen your recipe. Adding poondu would have made a big difference :)

  6. What a delicious kuzhambu. yumm!!

  7. Never tasted garlic in sambar..

  8. pumpkin kuzhambu looks yummy....

  9. Very interesting kuzhambu, definitely fingerlicking..

  10. Garlic n pumpkin good combination. In Marathi cooking we use garlic for pumpkin sabsi.... priya wonderful receipe n mouth watering.

  11. That is a lovely combination. Kuzhambu looks very nice

  12. Very nice one priya..and that's a nice secret..:)

  13. Never tried pumpkin in poodu kuzhmbu!! Will try next time and thanks for sharing the secret..

  14. Pumpkin and poondu is a unique combo...looks nice

  15. We don't use whole garlic cloves in gravies but I love them in pickles. For some reason I feel I will lik ein pulusu which is similar to kuzhambu. Will try it next time. Yes, the color is indeed very inviting.


Thanks a Lot for taking your time out and Visiting my Kitchen!!!!! Your Valuable Comments keep me going!!! Feel free to ask your doubts , i will definitely try reply you back. Good Day!!!