chettinad-thakkali-kulambu in a black bowl

Chettinad Thakkali Kulambu / Kuzhambu, Tomato kulambu

Chettinad Thakkali Kulambu or Kuzhambu is a very versatile and tasty gravy. It goes well with hot plan rice. Not difficult to make, this gravy is very yummy.
Course Indian Vegetarian
Cuisine South Indian
Keyword chettinad recipe, thakkali kulambu
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 99kcal
Author Fareeha


For the paste

  • 1/2 cup small onions / sambar vengayam chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds / methi dana
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 whole dry red chilli
  • 1/2 cup coconut cut into small pieces

For the gravy

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 4 - 5 tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • lemon sized ball tamarind soaked in water
  • 3 tbsp coriander leaves / cilantro finely chopped


Making the paste

  • Add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, whole red chili, onion, and coconut. Cook till a nice aroma emanates from it and the coconut lightly changes it's color.
  • Switch off the flame and allow it to cool. Add some water and blend to make a paste.

Making the gravy

  • Heat oil and add mustard seeds. Fry till it splutters.
  • Add the curry leaves and tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes are soft and pulpy.
  • Throw in the turmeric powder, salt and the blend paste.
  • Add the tamarind paste and stir well to dissolve. Add required amount of water.
  • Bring it to a boil and add coriander leaves. Cook on low flame for 5 more minutes.
  • Remove from stove and serve hot with some plain rice and papad.



  • Use small onion if you find them. Otherwise, even the normal onions will do fine.


Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.3g | Protein: 1.7g | Fat: 7.3g | Saturated Fat: 2.6g | Sodium: 369mg | Potassium: 278mg | Fiber: 2.3g | Sugar: 4.4g | Calcium: 2% | Iron: 12%