Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu | Coimbatore Style Vegan Tomato Curry

Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu is a delicious side dish served with Idli, Dosa, uttapam, rice in the Kongunad region of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Yes I know it is difficult to understand the meaning of the first 3 words in the title for my non south Indian friends and so is it for me. Kongu/Kongunad is a region in Combatore. Thakkali means tomato and Kuzhambu means a watery based dish. It can be watery like a broth or thick like a gravy.

Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu | Coimbatore Style Vegan Tomato Curry

Varities of Kuzhambu

There are a number of varieties of kuzhambu and each state in the south or I would say each house having its own variety. Kuzhambu can be made with or without dal. There are varieties of kuzhambu such as paruppu (dal) kuzhambu and pattani kuzhambu that contains lentils but a vast majority does not contain dal beyond a small quantity used for tempering. (Source Wiki)

Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu | Coimbatore Style Vegan Tomato Curry

Preparation of Kuzhambu

The preparation of kuzhambu vary greatly with the type of kuzhambu prepared but the basic preparation is more or less same. The basic preparation method includes the tempering of curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red pepper and dal in coconut oil or sessame oil. If it has vegetables, they are cut and shallow fried along with shallots, garlic and tomatoes. Salt and spices are added next and the dish is cooked for 15-20 minutes and usually served with idli, dosa or rice.

Why Kuzhambu?

So for this month we are virtually travelling to Tamil Nadu for our group Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge. I was being paired with Priya Vijaykrishnan woh blogs at Sweet Spicy Tasty. She has a wonderful collection of typical south Indian recipes. She prepared this delicious Thiruvaadhirai Kootu with the 2 secret ingredients I gave to her, turmeric and lentil of her choice.

Now it was a tough job to be paired to a South Indian for a South Indian Cuisine :-). She gave me 2 secret ingredients Coriander and cumin seeds and was kind enough to even change if I need it. Thank You Priya for the verstaile ingredients, I was able to recreate a new dish.

Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu | Coimbatore Style Vegan Tomato Curry

However I did accepted the challenge and had a few ideas in my mind. But in some it was coriander and some cumin. I wanted a mix of both and something which will slip in my daily food and is easy to cook with easily available ingredients. I know at times I make it difficult for myself but at the end I get a easy and a delicious recipe for myself and my readers.

Searching for recipes lead me to multiple sights having different Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu recipes. So what I did was a mix of multiple recipes to adapt to what I had in my pantry and to please our taste buds. Since I make idli often and have gotten bored with the usual Sambhar, Chutney or Podi on the side. I decided to make this easy and lip smacking Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu.

Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu | Coimbatore Style Vegan Tomato Curry

I would say the flavour does intensify after a few hours. So in the evening when I asked my husband to try even he liked it. I was very doubtful of this as the curry has shallots in it and my dh does not like much of onion. But in all the flavours were infused nicely and we enjoyed some on its own as a soup and some with rice.

What goes in Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu

As said earlier, the recipe is quite simple. It first involves a tadka in mustard seeds, curry leaves, dal, red chilly and shallots. The shallots are then cooked till they are soft and translucent. Chopped tomatoes are being added next, cooked further for 5-6 minutes until mushy. Then goes in fresh coconut and everything is pureed to a fine paste once cooled. Water is added to desired consistency. The curry then cooked further for 15-20 minutes.

Fennel seeds in the curry here gives a nice flavour and the gram dal a nice texture. I have not used any tamarind here but one can add a bit of it if you need it more on the sour side.


So here goes the recipe for Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu

Ingredients

To saute and grind

  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp Chana (gram) Dal
  • 1-2 Dry Red chilly
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Sambar Masala
  • 8-10 Curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 3-4 Tomatoes
  • 2-3 Shallot Onions
  • 1/2 Cup fresh coriander
  • salt to taste
  • 3-4 cups water

For Tempering

  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 shallot onion roughly chopped

Preparation

To saute and grind

  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Once hot add in the channa dal, dry chillies, curry leaves.
  • Saute for a few seconds.
  • Now add in the fennel seeds, cumin, pepper corns and coriander seeds and give a quick stir.
  • Stir fry this on low until aromatic.
  • Now add the chopped onions and shallow fry until it is translucent.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and salt.
  • Cook this on slow until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  • Now add the freshly grated coconut and cook it further for 5 mins.
  • Switch off and let this cool.
  • Once cooled, grind it into a smooth paste with enough water.

Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu | Coimbatore Style Vegan Tomato Curry

  • Heat oil in a large wok or a pot.
  • Once hot add in the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • Let it crackle. Now add in the shallots and stir fry again until translucent on slow.
  • Once done add in the paste and 2-3 cups of water or as desired.
  • Let the mixture come to a boil. Then let this simmer on low for 10-15 minutes until the raw flavour goes.
  • Garnish with coriander and serve it with rice or Idli.

Notes

  • Tamarind can be added if one likes the curry to be on the sour side.
  • Again red chillies can be adjusted to taste.
Making of Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu


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5 from 14 votes
Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu | Coimbatore Style Vegan Tomato Curry
Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu | Coimbatore Style Vegan Tomato Curry
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Cooling Time
15 mins
 
Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu (Vegan Tomato Curry) is a delicious side dish served with idli, dosa, uttapam, rice in the Kongunad region of Coimbatore, Tamilnadu.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Tamil Nadu
Keyword: Gluten Free, Shallots, Tomato, Vegan
Ingredients
To saute and grind
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp Chana (graDal
  • 1-2 Dry Red chilly
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Sambar Masala
  • 8-10 Curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 3-4 Tomatoes
  • 2-3 Shallot Onions
  • 1/2 Cup fresh coriander
  • salt to taste
  • 3-4 cups water
For Tempering
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 shallot onion roughly chopped
Instructions
To saute and grind
  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Once hot add in the channa dal, dry chillies, curry leaves.
  3. Saute for a few seconds.
  4. Now add in the fennel seeds, cumin, pepper corns and coriander seeds and give a quick stir.
  5. Stir fry this on low until aromatic.
  6. Now add the chopped onions and shallow fry until it is translucent.
  7. Add in the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and salt.
  8. Cook this on slow until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  9. Now add the freshly grated coconut and cook it further for 5 mins.
  10. Switch off and let this cool.
  11. Once cooled, grind it into a smooth paste with enough water.
Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu | Coimbatore Style Vegan Tomato Curry
  1. Heat oil in a large wok or a pot.
  2. Once hot add in the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  3. Let it crackle. Now add in the shallots and stir fry again until translucent on slow.
  4. Once done add in the paste and 2-3 cups of water or as desired.
  5. Let the mixture come to a boil. Then let this simmer on low for 10-15 minutes until the raw flavour goes.
  6. Garnish with coriander and serve it with rice or Idli.
Recipe Notes
  • Tamarind can be added if one likes the curry to be on the sour side.
  • Red chillies can be adjusted to taste.


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Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu (Coimbatore Style Vegan Tomato Curry) is a delicious side dish served with idli, dosa, uttapam, rice in the Kongunad region of Coimbatore, Tamilnadu.


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