January 30, 2017

Milagu Kuzhambu / Pepper Kuzhambu - Vegan Recipe

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Pepper Kuzhambu / Milagu Kuzhambu is an authentic South Indian recipe that is very popular  in Tamil Brahmin households.

Milagu Kuzhambu is a very comforting food for winter and monsoon days to pep our moods due to the nip in temperature and we begin to feel under the weather. Pepper helps cure cold,cough and throat irritation . 

Paired with hot steamed rice with a slight drizzle of ghee and some poriyal /kariamudhu ( coconut based vegetable stir fry )  is the classic way to enjoy milagu kozhambu.

Today's recipe is dedicated to my Mom. I have very very vivid memories of seeing her prepare this kuzhambu but never had any authentic recipe. The best part of falling sick in childhood especially the seasonal flu would be ,I used to get to enjoy this yummy milagu Kuzhambu and milagu jeera Rasam which amma would feed me with her own hands . Indeed a luxury those days.

With those vivid memories in my mind I started the preparation this morning and Viola !! it was just the same taste and texture that was lingering on my taste buds for which I was craving...

The recipe as such is vegan since we use gingelly oil/Sesame oil to prepare the Kuzhambu.  Alternatively we can also use any non flavored cooking oil if you don't like the taste of sesame oil. Can be gluten free if you skip the use of asafoetida. 

Milagu Kuzhambu also works best when you want to have some light yet tasty meal after heavy binge eating at functions or vacations .

This recipe was initially published in 2017 and today (26th March 2023) I have updated the post with better pictures which has been a long over due . Republishing the post as part of our Redo activity week 97.

Preparation Time : 10 min
Cooking Time : 45 min
Cooking level : medium
Serves : 3-4


1 tsp pepper corns / milagu/ kalimirch
1 tsp dhaniya / corriander seeds
3-4 dry red chilly
1/2 tsp thoor dhall /thuvaram paruppu
1/2 tsp Channa dhall/kadalai paruppu
10 - 12 curry leaves/karvepillai/kadipatha
2 tsp grated coconut (optional)
pinch of asafoetida/hing/perungayam
2-3 tsp gingelly oil/til oil/ nallennai
Tamarind - a small ball
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jaggery


(c) sweetspicytasty(c)
  • Soak the tamarind in hot water and let it rest until you roast and grind the ingredients.
  • In a kadai heat about 1 tsp oil and add the channa dhall and thoor dhall along with the pepper corns and saute until you feel the aroma of roasted dhalls and pepper.
  • Add in the dhaniya,red chillies,curry leaves and saute till the curry leaves becomes crisp.
  • Finally add the coconut and asafoetida,saute well and turn off the stove.
  • Let it cool and then grind all the ingredients with a little water to a fine paste.
  • By now,the tamarind would have soaked well,squeeze a thick paste of tamarind juice from the soaked tamarind and nicely filter it. Add about 1 cup water to this thick paste of tamarind juice.
copyright of sweetspicytasty
  • Heat a kadai and add one teaspoon of gingelly oil and temper mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • Add the tamarind juice,haldi,salt and jaggery and bring to a nice rolling boil till the raw smell of tamarind is lost.
  • Add the ground paste and quickly mix it to avoid formation of lumps due to presence of dhall.
  • Now adjust the salt and boil it until you see the oil oozing out from the center.
  • Turn off the stove at this point and transfer into a bowl and serve with steamed rice and roasted papads
  1. Those who like garlic ,can also add one or two pods of garlic while roasting other ingredients.
  2. Not much oil will ooze out in this recipe as I have used very little oil.
  3. The jaggery part is optional,but it will enhance the flavor of tamarind and give a very good taste.

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  1. I love the use of fresh masala here, the kuzhambu looks so good and perfect for some rainy day

  2. Mom's cooking is some comfort food we miss. I love the memories you have shared here. We are all recovering from viral flu so this milagu kuzhambu is perfect for our lunch. Thanks.


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