Pongal Kuzhambu

Pongal Kuzhambu is a traditional South Indian dish prepared during the Pongal festival. It is a spicy curry made with various vegetables. This kuzhambu is cooked using locally grown country vegetables (Naatu Kai) on Pongal Festival Day and served with “Ven Pongal” or “Vellai Pongal” or Paal Pongal, which are also prepared on the same day. It can also be enjoyed with steamed rice.

Pongal Kuzhambu

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


Prep time


Cooking time



Discover the flavors of Pongal Kuzhambu, a traditional South Indian dish enjoyed during the Pongal festival. Learn how to make this spicy curry with locally grown vegetables. Perfectly paired with Ven Pongal or steamed rice.


  • Yellow Pumpkin (Parangi Kai) – 1 small piece

  • White Pumpkin (Pooshani Kai) – 1 small piece

  • Sweet Potato – 1

  • Potato – 1

  • Green Banana – 1/2

  • Broad beans – 5 to 6

  • Brinjal – 2

  • Tomato – 2

  • Sambar Onion – 10 to 15 (Optional)

  • Tamarind – a small lemon size

  • Sambar Podi – 1 teaspoon

  • Kootu Podi – 1 tablespoon

  • Turmeric Powder – 1/4 teaspoon

  • Salt 2 teaspoons or as per taste

  • For seasoning:
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons

  • Mustard – 1 teaspoon

  • Urad dal – 1 teaspoon

  • Vendhayam (Fenugreek seeds) – 1/4 teaspoon

  • Green Chillies – 2

  • Red Chillies – 2

  • Asafoetida Powder – 1/4 teaspoon

  • Curry Leaves – few


  • Peel the yellow and white pumpkin, along with the raw banana. Chop them into medium-sized pieces. Slice the broad beans into 2 or 3 segments. Also, cut the sweet potato, potato, brinjal, and tomato into medium-sized chunks.
  • Soak the tamarind in water to extract its juice.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a vessel. Sauté the onions until they soften. Add the tomato pieces and cook until they start to break down. Next, toss in the chopped vegetables and stir-fry briefly.
  • Sprinkle in the sambar powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Pour in enough water to just cover the vegetables. Simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in the tamarind juice and let it boil until the raw smell disappears.
  • Dissolve the Kootu Podi in a little water and blend it into the kuzhambu.
  • For the tadka, heat oil in a small pan. Once hot, add mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. Then, add urad dal, red chilies, green chilies, curry leaves, and asafoetida powder. Fry until the dal turns a light brown. Drizzle this seasoning over the kuzhambu.
  • Give everything a good mix and then take it off the heat.

Recipe Video


  • For this Kuzhambu, you can use any number of vegetables available with you.
  • Adding onion to this Kuzhambu is optional. If you do not want to use onion on festival day, just omit it.
  • Dal is not added to this kuzhambu since we prepare this in large quantity and keep it for next day also. If you are going to consume it on the same day, then you can add cooked thuvar dal also.


  1. What is ‘Kootu Podi’ ?

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