Karivepplilai Kuzhambu (Curry Leaves cooked In Tamarind Gravy)

Karivepillai Kuzhambu / Curry leaves cooked in tamarind gravya healthy, tangy and flavourful South Indian tamarind based kuzhambu / gravy with the goodness of curry leaves. Curry leaves are one of the quintessential ingredient in South Indian cuisine. Sprigs of curry leaves are in general used while tempering the dish so as to impart a fresh aromatic flavour. But this curry leaves kuzhambu includes a bunch of fresh curry leaves that are roasted and grounded along with few spices and simmered in a tamarind based gravy. This aromatic and nutritious karivepillai kuzhambu can be served with steamed rice with a dash of ghee.


Tamarindsmall gooseberry size
Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon
Hing / Asafoetida1/2 teaspoon
Jaggery (optional)1 teaspoon
Saltto taste
Oil1 to 2 teaspoon
Ghee (for tempering) / (optional)1 teaspoon

To Roast & Grind:

Toor dhal2 teaspoon
Urad dhal1 teaspoon
Black peppercorns / Milagu1/2 teaspoon
Red Chilli1 1/2
Cumin seeds / Jeera1 teaspoon
Fresh curry leaves2 cups

Step by Step Instructions:

  • Soak the tamarind in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Extract about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of tamarind juice from this.
  • To roast & grind – Take a pan and add 1 teaspoon of oil. When the oil is warm enough, add the toor dhal, urad dhal and black pepper corns. Keep the flame low and stir the contents continuously until the lentils slightly change colour. When the dhals become light brown, add the red chillies and cumin seeds and give a quick stir for 30 seconds in low flame. With the flame on low setting, add the fresh curry leaves and stir continuously for 30 seconds until the raw smell of curry leaves goes away. By this time the dhals would have turned golden brown in colour. There should not be any moisture in the curry leaves. Do not roast the curry leaves until it wilts completely. The idea is to retain the aromatic flavours of curry leaves without destroying the nutrients in it. Let the contents cool down. Transfer the ingredients to a blender and grind to a coarse powder first. Now add 2 tablespoon of water and grind it to a smooth paste.
  • Take a wide mouthed pot, add the tamarind extract, turmeric powder, hing and salt. Allow this to boil slightly so that the raw flavours of tamarind goes away. Now add the ground curry leaves masala paste. Mix the contents with a ladle thoroughly so that the masala paste is evenly distributed. Cook the kuzhambu / gravy for about 3 to 5 minutes until it thickens to a kuzhambu consistency. Add 1 teaspoon or more of jaggery and cook for another 2 minutes for the jaggery to dissolve. If the kuzhambu is slightly thin / watery, then make a rice flour paste (1 teaspoon of rice flour and 1 tablespoon of water) and add it to the above. While adding rice flour paste, stir the contents continuously to avoid lumps. Cook for another 2 minutes. Switch off the flame.
  • Heat a pan and add 1 teaspoon of ghee or oil. Add mustard seeds and allow it to crackle. Add this tempering to the kuzhambu.
  • Serve this karivepillai kuzhambu / curry leaves gravy with steamed rice and a dash of ghee.


  • While roasting the ingredients, see that the flame is on low setting. The taste of the kuzhambu very much depends on the way the ingredients are roasted. The ingredients should be roasted slowly to golden brown.
  • I have listed jaggery in the ingredients list as optional. But adding jaggery balances out the tangy taste of the tamarind and the heat from the chillies. So try adding the jaggery if you prefer to.

Check out my other healthy recipe using Curry Leaves:

Curry Leaves powder /karivepillai podi

Check out my other Kuzhambu Varieties:


  1. Do you know Sowmya, there is a similar dish which can be made by Keri (kaccha aam)?

    I like your presentation as always. I wonder, how you find so many recipes for your post.

    Take care.
    Stay happy. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I was wondering if you use tamarind a lot in your food. Tamarind is a new ingredient for me, so I’m still exploring how to use them…Thank you for sharing, dearπŸ’•

    Liked by 2 people

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