Milagu Kuzhambu


Milagu Kuzhambu,Resam,Vendaya keerai thuvaran,Cheppankizhangu Kari, Betroot salad , Parruppu, Ghee and curd.

Milagu Kuzhambu

Milagu means black pepper.This the most favourite of my MIL. She loves cooking it and serving it to the family. We will enjoy this dish especially when it is raining or when we have cold.

Before going into the recipe – let me give an overall idea about all the south Indian Kuzhambhu varieties.

The most popular is the Sambar.

The ingredients are,

  • Cooked Tuvar dhal.
  • Cooked vegetables.
  • Tamarind extract.
  • The dhal and vegetable is mixed with some spices (this spice mixture when powdered is called the sambar powder/masala), They are,
  • Chana dhal / kadalai parrupu.
  • Red chillies.
  • Dhaniya whole.
  • Seasoning.

Vatha Kuzhambu

Sometimes, we feel like eating a light meal. At that time, the same sambar is made without dhal and vegetables. Without dhal and vegetables means it will have tamarind, sambar masala and seasoning. This variation of sambar is called the Vatha Kuzhambu. Sometimes we may add vegetables (onion or pumpkin or ladies finger or beetroot or carrot) to this or some sun dried vegetables (kothavarankai (cluster beans), Bitter guard, ladies finger, manathakalli, sundakkai) are also added. The step is,

  1. Add seasoning (oil, mustard, methi seeds (optional normally added for vendaya kuzhambu), redchilly whole, Hing (perungayam) and curry leaves.
  2. To this seasoning add the sambar masala. Also add turmeric and salt.
  3. Add the tamarind extract.
  4. Boil till it thickens.
  5. Can add rice flour or wheat flour paste into the mixture for thickening. But I use parruppu podi as the thickening agent.

Watch this video.

Vendaya Kuzhambu

In the same above vathakuzhambu if we add methi seeds in the seasoning and add the roasted methi powder (roast methi seed on a dry kadai till dark brown and powder it) in the end while removing from the flame. It is called vendaya kuzhambu. To this only fresh vegetables are used and the sun dried vegetables are not used.

Milagu Kuzhambu

May be when it is raining or when we have cold we will like to have a light and spicy meal. At that time the same vathakuzhambu is made with some sambar masala and black pepper. This is called the Milagu Kuzhambu. No vegetable is added to this.

The ingredients are,

  • Seasoning.
  • sambar masala.
  • Black pepper powder.
  • turmeric.
  • Salt.
  • Tamarind extract.
  • Make a paste of parruppu podi and add it to thicken it.

I make it this way.

You can also roast dhaniya, redchilly, channa dhal, urad dhal (used for thickening the kuzhambu), black pepper. Make a fresh masala and add it. In that case – the parruppu podi is not required as urad dhal will thicken the kuzhambu.

Roasting and making is sometime cumbersome. So the alternative is to use sambar masala, black pepper and parruppu podi. Even this way I see no compromise on taste.


  • Add til oil / sesame seed oil – 2tbsp
  • Add mustard – 1 tsp.
  • Redchilli whole – I used 4 because I am not breaking it and mine is a non spicy one. Use as per your spice level.
  • Add the powders – Sambar masala – 2 tsp, black pepper pwd – 2tsp and turmeric – 1 tsp. I have used sambar masala and black pepper equally. But you can use 1 tsp sambar masala and 3 tsp black pepper.
  • Add this to the oil.
  • Add curry leaves.
  • Don’t worry it will not burn. Keep it in the low flame and fry for 45 seconds.
  • Take 3 tsp of parruppu podi and make it a paste and add it to the oil + masala. If you don’t have parruppu podi can roast moong dhal (without skin – yellow) or arhar dhal and make a powder. This can be made in small batch and stored.
  • Add the tamarind extract – I have used a lemon size tamarind. Soaked in water and the pulp is extracted. You may have to use as per your taste of sourness.
  • Add salt. I used 2 tsp.
  • Allow it to boil till it thickens.


I have still kept it in a running consistency as I am going to consume it in a day. This kuzhambu can be kept it in the fridge and consumed for atleast 10 days. In that case, Allow it to boil till it becomes a paste. Frankly, I don’t like the paste form and I prefer this way.

Kara Kuzhambu

There is also something called kara kuzhambu. I have tasted this in Saravana Bhavan (a popular South Indian restaurant)  meals. For this,

  • Add Oil – til oil 2 tbsp
  • Add Green chilli – 2 to 3 nos
  • Add onion – 1 to 2
  • Fry till cooked
  • Add tomato – 2 nos
  • Curry leaves
  • Fry till tomato cooks
  • Add vegetables like ladies finger, brinjal, drumstick or any choice of your vegetable.
  • Cook well.
  • Add red chilli powder. Normally red chilli powder is used but some people use sambar powder.
  • Add hing
  • Add Tamarind Extract.
  • Salt.

Note :

  • There are some people who will add a small piece of jaggery to these kuzhambu’s. I don’t personally like that. The choice is yours. Try it.
  • Use parruppu podi for thickening any kinds of sambar instead of rice flour or wheat flour.
  • If we are sick then we will eat this kuzhambu and resam with the roasted papad.
  • For the other family members we make a vegetable with dhal as there is no dhal in this kuzhambu. Because they are not sick. If they eat only pepper kuzhambu their body heat will be increased. That will be off set by the other side dishes.
  • Normally as per Ayurveda – every meal should be accompanied by a soup (resam), greens, vegetable and salad.

The recipes of the other items will follow shortly…………………


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