Garlic Onion Kara Kuzhambu

Garlic onion kara kuzhambu is a South Indian curry made with a spicy and tangy tamarind base, flavored with garlic and onions. It is typically served with steamed rice and is a popular dish in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The dish is made by sautéing garlic and onions in oil, then adding tamarind paste, spices, and water to create a thick gravy. It is usually finished with a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves, and dried red chilies. The kuzhambu is known for its rich flavor and aromatic spices, making it a comforting and satisfying meal.

Garlic Onion Kara Kuzhambu

Recipe by S Kamala
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: KuzhambuCuisine: Indian, TamilDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



A spicy gravy made with garlic onion and other spices. It goes well with steamed rice.


  • Sambar Onion (Pearl Onion) – 15 to 20 Nos

  • Garlic flakes – 10 to 15 Nos

  • Tomato – 1 No (Medium size)

  • Tamarind – a lemon size

  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

  • Salt – 2 teaspoon or as per taste

  • To fry and Grind:
  • Red chillies – 5 to 6

  • Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon

  • Jeera (cumin) – 1 teaspoon

  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

  • Khus Khus – 1 teaspoon

  • Fresh ginger – a small piece (2″)

  • For seasoning:
  • Oil – 2 to 3 tablespoons

  • Mustard – ½ teaspoon

  • Urad dal – 1 teaspoon

  • Asafoetida powder – ½ teaspoon

  • Curry leaves – few


  • Soak tamarind in water and extract two cups of thick tamarind juice.
  • Peel the onion and garlic.
  • Finely chop the tomato.
  • In a pan add one teaspoon of oil and fry separately red chillies, coriander seeds, pepper, jeera, fenugreek seeds, khus khus and ginger. Cool and grind it to a fine paste.
  • In a heavy pan, add the oil and when it is hot add mustard. When it pops up add urad dal and fry till it become light brown.
  • Add asafoetida powder, curry leaves, onion and garlic flakes and fry for a while.
  • Then add chopped tomato along with little salt and fry till it mashes well.
  • Add turmeric powder and salt and mix well.
  • Then add the ground paste and mix well. Add required water and make it semi liquid. Close with lid and bring to boil.
  • When it starts boiling, add tamarind water and stir well. Allow to boil till it is slightly thick.

Recipe Video


  • You can use any oil for this kuzhambu. However if you use gingelly oil, it enhances the flavor of this Kuzhambu.
  • After taking the kadai off the stove, drizzle a tablespoon of pickle oil or chilli oil over the Kuzhambu for an enhanced flavor.


  1. hi, I tried your Kara Kuzhambu and we simply loved it.. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us.

  2. Thank you Priya.

    • Hi Kamala

      I love your recipes. Simply awesome.
      I couldn’t get the consistency you have in this curry. Any tips on how to get it thick?

      • Hi DeVrg,

        The reason may be you have added more water than required. You have to make thick tamarind juice. Actually when you add the masala paste, kuzhambu will become very thick. If you allow to boil for few more minutes, then you will get the right consistency.

  3. I tried the karakulambu, I dont have a mixie but added the ingrediants in poweder form as much i can and it came really well. awsem Kolambu.. Thanks once again…


  4. Hi Vinod,

    Thank you for visiting my blog. It is a good idea to add ingredients in powder form.

  5. Hi Kamala

    The dish was very nice. can we have grated coconut fried in little oil and add to this kuzhambu which will be much more tastier….pls do reply…

  6. Hi Lavanya,

    Yes. You can add little coconut too. I have not included in this recipe because, I have added "Khus Khus".

  7. Your kuzhambu varieties are the best!!!!Thanks a lot!!!!!

  8. Hi Kamala Mam,

    Thnks for this gravy. My daughter prefers such gravies she use to ask me to prepare different types of gravies. I think this will be a good one for her.We expect u to come out with some more varieties of dishes.

  9. Mam,

    One more thing can give recipe for “Moor Appam” and kothamalli Podi.

    • Hi Sreevidhya Guruvayurappan,

      Thank you for visiting my site. I have already posted Kothamalli thokku (it is more or less like Kothamalli Podi). I will post the recipes asked by you soon.

  10. madam,
    what is mean that khus khus

  11. HI MAM

    You are really awesome. As I newly married i dont know how to cook. I saw your blog that was too good for me to prepare different varities easily. Thanks for the receipes

  12. SugirthaPradeep

    hi aunty…….
    I tried this variety today…
    Its good……
    will u please add some more kulambu varieties in this site……..
    thank you.

  13. Hi! a very perfect recipe for winter/rainy season. the measurements are very accurate! Thank you for enhancing the interest in cooking from a monotonous process! lalitha

  14. Thanks for the awesome recipe. Kindly let me know when and how to add coconut. Also can I leave out khus khus?

  15. Hi Kamala

    Thankyou for another lovely recipe. I made it today, and my daughter loved it so much that she can’t wait for dinner. My accompaniments were cluster beans and a non-veg dish.

    Thanks again!

    • Thank you for your feed back Tasneem. Yes Cluster beans curry go well with this. It is an information for me that non-veg dish also goes with this kuzhambu.

  16. Awasome recipes it was really good. by seeing the pics itself we are feeling it is yummy

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