• Preeth C.Vijay

Marundhu Kuzhambu

My mom used to give a thick black garlicky gravy while was breast feeding Izna. It was believed that the gravy helps in increasing the milk supply and also acts as an immune booster. This recipe is more or less the same except for the usage of more pepper and tamarind.

The pepper, long pepper, and dry ginger have lots of medicinal properties. A ladle of this gravy in a bowl of rice, with a dollop of ghee or sesame oil will tell you how flavorful this simple dish is. The dry turkey berry and black night shade berry acts as an important ingredient which helps in indigestion and gastric problems. The amount of pepper can be adjusted as per your taste, but do not compromise with the amount of garlic and shallots as that gives the crunch when you take a bite.


Garlic 20 to 25 cloves

Shallots 15 peeled

Manathakkali Vathal 1 teaspoon

Sundakkai Vathal 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon

Tamarind Extract 1/4 cup

Jaggery 1 teaspoon

Salt as needed

For Marundhu Powder

Pepper 2 teaspoons

Long pepper (thipili) 10

Dry ginger (sukku) 1 inch piece

Coriander seeds 2 teaspoon

Fenugreek seeds 1/4 teaspoon

Chana dal 1 teaspoon

Cumin seeds 2 teaspoon

Manathakkali Vathal 2 teaspoons (dry blacknight shade berry)

Sundakkai Vathal 2 teaspoons (dry trukey berry)

For tempering

Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon

Urad dal 1/2 teaspoon

Gingelly oil 1/4 cup

Curry leaves one sprig

How to Start

Dry roast everything given under " For marundhu Powder" one by one, until nice aroma arises. Let it cool and grind them together into a fine powder.

In a kadai heat gingelly oil, add mustard seeds and urad dal. Once the mustard starts crackling, add curry leaves, shallots and garlic. Let the onions and garlic turn light golden brown, now add the manathakkali vathal and sundakkai vathal. Let it get roasted well in oil.

Add the tamarind extract along with one cup of water and allow the mixture to boil. Once the mixture starts boiling, add the finely ground marundhu masala powder, and mix well without forming any lumps.

Let it cook on low heat for 20 minutes, mix well in between. Add jaggery and switch off the flame once oil floats on top.

Serve along with steaming hot rice and some fryums.


The marundhu powder can be ground in large quantity. You can store it in refrigerator for 2 months and use it when needed.

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