Nanjil Nattu Vendhaya Kuzhambu

A unique dish from the Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu that features Fenugreek. It is typically served alongside steamed rice.

Vendhaya kuzhambu is a popular South Indian dish made with fenugreek seeds, tamarind, and a blend of spices. It is typically served with rice and a side of vegetables. 

Nanjil Nattu Vendhaya Kuzhambu

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


Prep time


Cooking time



A dish unique to Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu made with Fenugreek. This is served with steamed rice.


  • Tamarind – A small lemon size

  • Red Chilli Powder – 1 teaspoon

  • Coriander Powder – 1 teaspoon

  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

  • Salt – 1 teaspoon or as per taste

  • To fry and grind:
  • Sambar Onion – 4

  • Green Chilies – 2

  • Coconut gratings – 1 cup

  • Cumin (Jeeragam) – 1 teaspoon

  • To dry fry and powder:
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 teaspoon

  • Rice – 1/2 teaspoon

  • For Seasoning:
  • Oil – 4 to 5 tablespoons

  • Mustard – 1/2 teaspoon

  • Fenugreek – 1/2 teaspoon

  • Sambar Onion – 1/2 cup

  • Tomato – 1

  • Curry leaves – few


  • Begin by soaking tamarind in water and extracting the juice. Make sure to add enough water to obtain 2 cups of tamarind water.
  • Next, roughly chop the onions and finely dice the tomatoes. Lengthwise slit the green chilies.
  • In a kadai, dry fry the fenugreek and rice until they turn a light brown color. Remove them from the heat, let them cool, and then grind them into a powder.
  • Using the same kadai, heat a teaspoon of oil and add coconut gratings, sambar onions, slit green chilies, and cumin. Fry until a delightful aroma emanates from the mixture. Add red chili powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder, and mix well. Fry for a few more seconds. Once done, remove from heat, allow it to cool, and grind it into a fine paste.
  • In a thick-bottomed kadai, heat the oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds. Once they start to pop, add the fenugreek seeds and fry until they turn light brown. Then, introduce the curry leaves and chopped onions, and continue frying until the onions become translucent.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and fry until they are well mashed. Pour in the tamarind water and add salt. Stir well and bring it to a boil.
  • Once it begins boiling, add the coconut paste and stir thoroughly. If needed, add a small amount of water and allow it to boil again. Once the kuzhambu (gravy) is boiling well, reduce the heat and sprinkle the fenugreek powder. Mix well and remove from the stove.

Recipe Video


  • Instead of chilli/coriander powders, you can fry 5 to 6 red chillies and a tablespoon of coriander in a teaspoon of oil and grind it along with coconut and add.


  1. Wow. how do you aware of this dish as Nanjil Naadu? My mom used to prepare this very well…

    • Hi Sunil,

      I learnt this recipe from our relative who is residing at Colachel/Nagercoil. In Thanjavur and other districts, vendhaya kuzhambu is prepared in different way. But at Nagercoil, it is prepared in the above way and hence I named it Nanjil Naattu Kuzhambu.

  2. Wow..good to hear..Nagercoil samayal is entirely different from others with a unique speciality..

  3. kuzhambu looks so comforting 🙂

  4. I tried this recipe Kamala! it was very different and awesome.

  5. I tried this recipe……it was really nice….and gud

  6. tis came out so well loved the recipe

  7. Hi kamala,

    I am exploring your dishes for the first time in this site. how many servings are these dishes for ? is it for 2 people or 4 people?


  8. Hi, Kamala
    This recipe looks delicious and I want to try.
    Unfortunately we don’t have “samba onion” here in Japan. Do you think if I can substitute with regular onion or shallots, maybe?

    Thank you for this recipe and website!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *