Pongal Kuzhambu is a traditional tangy side dish we make for sweet and milk pongal for Pongal festival. Pongal Kuzhambu Recipe with step by step pictures and video. We call it pongal pulicurry in my native and is very popular that we make it often for special ocassions.

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I was waiting to post this Pongal Kuzhambu Recipe, it is a great side dish for pongal and this year got some time to click. It is the best combination with both sweet and milk pongal. Amma says its a custom to add 5 types of country veggies and it can be to our own liking but we add the veggies given below mostly.This is a semi gravy kind of dish, it gets thick on cooling down but perfect as sidedish for sweet and milk pongal.

About Pongal Kuzhambu

This pongal kuzhambu can be a great sidedish for venpongal or even for idli dosa. With the addition of all country vegetables this curry is so flavourful and healthy.

We make pongal kuzhambu slightly thick to accompany with rice and sambar and a bit gravy in consistency to pair itup wth pongal. This chettinad version of pongal puli curry is hubby’s favorite and he loves to have it as main dish too.

Pongal Kuzhambu Ingredients

  • Tempering : First we make a simple tadka using fennel seeds, curryleaves and fenugreek seeds.
  • Vegetables : Apart from onion and toamto we add other vetgetables for this curry which forms the base for this curry / kuzhambu. Traditionally country vegetables are used for this curry. I used Pumpkin(Parangikai) Potato(Urulaikilangu) Raw Banana(Vazhakai) Chinese Potato(Koorka kilangu) Broad beans(Avarai) Field beans(Mochai) Sweet potato(Sakarai valli kilangu)
  • Tamarind extract : Tamarind and water is mixed well to extract tamarind water to add to this curry.
  • Spices : Its a tangy spicy curry so to balanace red chilli powder and coriander powders are added.
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Pongal Kulambu

Pongal Kulambu is a traditional tangy & delicious side dish for sweet pongal and milk pongal. Pongal Kulambu is commonly made on Pongal Festival and made by cooking at least 5 vegetables with spices, onion & tomato. Pongal Kuzhambu is also called Pongal Pulicurry.


  • 3 cups mixed vegetables*
  • 15 nos small onion
  • 2 nos tomato
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 1/4 cup tamarind
  • salt to taste

To temper:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • a sprig curry leaves

*I used Pumpkin (Parangikai), Potato,(Urulaikilangu), Raw Banana (Vazhakai), Chinese Potato (Koorka kilangu), Broad Beans (Avarai), Field Beans (Mochai) and Sweet Potato (Sakarai valli kilangu)


  • Get your vegetables ready. Chop into bite sized pieces. Rinse it well and set aside.

  • To a bowl mix add water and tamarind squeeze well to extract juice, set aside.

  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed kadai (I used my karichatty burnt mud pot).

  • Add fennel seeds , fenugreek seeds and curry leaves let it splutter.

  • Add garlic and onion saute till transparent. Then add tomatoes saute till mushy.

  • Then add vegetables along with spice powders and required salt.

  • Add water and mix well. When it starts to boil cook covered.

  • Inbetween open and mix. Check if the veggies are cooked. If it easily cuts through then the veggies are cooked.

  • Add tamarind water and let it boil in medium flame.

  • Boil until the gravy becomes saucy and thick. Switch off.

  • Serve Pongal Kulambu with pongal.


  • We usually add 5 or 7 veggies for this pongal kuzhambu as a custom and the choice of veggies I have given is what amma uses so I follow the same too.
  • You can even add 1/4 cup cooked toor dal, it is optional but gives more gravy and compensates tanginess. But if you prefer to store it for more than a day then skip toor dal.
  • The gravy is not too thick, it thickens with time because of the veggies.
  • Make sure you cut the veggies  of same size so that it gets cooked evenly.
  • For this kuzhambu the veggies should be soft and not crunchy.Almost in mashable state only then the veggies would absorb the gravy well.
  • Before I used to pressure cook the tough vegetables alone separately but nowadays I am cooking in the same pot itself which gives more flavour.Cutting all veggies evenly makes it easier to cook.

Nutrition Facts

Pongal Kulambu

Amount Per Serving (100 g)

Calories 182
Calories from Fat 45

% Daily Value*

Fat 5g8%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Trans Fat 0.01g

Polyunsaturated Fat 2g

Monounsaturated Fat 3g

Sodium 123mg5%

Potassium 489mg14%

Carbohydrates 33g11%

Fiber 9g38%

Sugar 6g7%

Protein 6g12%

Vitamin A 7629IU153%

Vitamin C 67mg81%

Calcium 95mg10%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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How to make Pongal Kuzhambu

1.Get your vegetables ready.

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2.Chop into bite sized pieces.

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3.Rinse it well and set aside.

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4.To a bowl mix add water and tmarind squeeze well to extract juice,set aside.

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5.Heat oil in a thick bottomed kadai(I used my karichatty burnt mud pot).Add fennel seeds , fenugreek seeds and curry leaves let it splutter.

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6.Then add onion and garlic saute until golden.

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7.Then add tomatoes.

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8.Saute till mushy

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9.Then add vegetables along with spice powders and required salt.

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10.Add water and mix well.

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11.Let it boil.

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12.When it starts to boil cook covered. Inbetween open and mix.

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13.Check id the veggies are cooked.If it easily cuts through then the veggies are cooked.

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14.Strain and add tamarind water and let it boil in medium flame.

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15.Boil until the gravy becomes saucy and thick.

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16.Switch off.

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Expert Tips

  • Always check if the vegetables are cooked until soft only then add tamarind water.
  • Don’t miss out chinese potato and field beans they add a great taste and flavour to the curry.


  • You can add 1/4 cup cooked dal to this curry to make a thick gravy / kuzhambu.
  • Instead of country vegetables you can add any vegetable of your choice but use firm vegetables. Vegetables like ladies finger, ashgourd are not suitable for this curry.
  • You can add a pinch of jaggery to balance the spice level.

Serving & Storage

  • You can serve this curry with pongal, rice, idli dosa etc.
  • It keeps well for a day in room temperature and for 3 days if refrigerated.


1.What is Pongal kuzhambu?

Pongal kuzhambu is tangy sidedish traditionally made for Pongal festival to serve it along with sweet pongal and milk pongal.

2.What can I serve with Pongal kuzhambu?

Pongal kuzhambu goes well with pongal, rice, ven pongal, idli, dosa etc. It is a popular disdish for sweet and milk pongal.

3.What are the vegetables that can be used for Pongal Kuzhambu?

Traditionally we use 5 or 7 country vegetables for this curry. But if you are making it in the normal days for meals then you can add any vegetable of your choice.

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