August 31, 2020

Vendhaya Kuzhambu | Fenugreek flavored tamarind gravy

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Its Monday again and time for our Foodie Monday Bloghop posting . This week is our 262nd week and we are going the healthy way by posting recipes made using ingredients that taste Bitter. Well, bitterness is something most of us detest and want to keep it away from our taste buds but that bitterness is needed once in a while for our stomach to keep the gut clean and detox the digestive system.

So going by our theme name "Bitter,but good" as suggested by Sasmita of "First Timer Cook" let us treat our taste buds with some Bitter Sweet recipes.  I plan to try her Magaja Ladoo which is special bhog for Lord Jagannath as part of the 56 bhog offering. 

Today's recipe is a tribute to my mom who used to make this wonderful "vendhaya kuzhambu" once a month and that is how I developed a liking to this slightly bitter tasting gravy . Coincidentally today is her birthday and I feel it definitely is a fitting tribute in her remembrance. I am sure she must be happy and looking over me and my family from wherever she is. 

A tamarind based gravy with subtle flavor of fenugreek powder, this is a very traditional Tamil recipe and prepared in most homes atleast once a month . Each house has their own recipe of preparing this kuzhambu.  I am going to share the recipe which I have seen from my childhood.  If you all have a different recipe of preparing this in your homes please do share the same with me , I would like to try them as well.

Health benefits of Fenugreek/Methi seeds/Vendhayam

  • Helps reduce blood sugar levels
  • Very good for lactating mothers in production of milk.
  • Application of soaked fenugreek seeds paste on the scalp and then washing the hair helps fight dandruff.
  • Fenugreek powder mixed in buttermilk aids in digestion and relieves stomach cramps. 
  • There are theories that consuming fenugreek regularly helps fight cholesterol but there is no proven evidence so far.

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 30 mins
Complexity - easy 
Serves - 3 to 4


2 tsp fenugreek powder 
200ml tamarind extract
Few curry leaves 
1 tablespoon sambar powder 
1 tablespoon gingelly oil/til oil
1 tsp haldi / turmeric 
2 tablespoon fresh grated coconut 
1 tsp jaggery powder
1 tsp mustard seeds 
Salt as needed 
  • Dry roast about 2 to 3 tablespoons of fenugreek in a pan until it turns golden brown and you get a nice aroma.Let it cool and then grind it into a fine powder in a blender . This recipe calls for only 2 tsp of fenugreek powder ,so the rest can be stored in an airtight container . It is difficult to get a fine powder if we grind very less quantity of fenugreek hence we roast some extra seeds.
  • Grind the coconut with a little water to a fine paste and keep aside .
  • Soak a medium lemon sized tamarind in hot water and keep the extract ready. 
  • In a pan heat the gingelly oil and splutter the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • After the seeds crackle add the sambar powder and methi seeds powder and fry on low flame for 5 to 10 seconds . 
  • Add the tamarind extract , haldi powder and required salt and boil till the raw flavor of tamarind is lost.
  • Once the raw flavor of tamarind is lost, add the coconut paste and jaggery powder and continue cooking for a few minutes. If  the kuzhambu appears too thick adjust by adding a little water.
  •  You can see the oil float on top , at this stage turn off the stove. Coconut paste and jaggery helps in cutting the bitterness of the fenugreek powder and gives a nice taste to the kuzhambu. 
  • Serve this kuzhambu with piping hot rice ,ghee and some roasted papads.

Some more tamarind based gravies on my blog 

Linking this to FMBH week 262 - Bitter, but Good 


  1. Happy Birthday to your mom Priya ! I am sure her blessings are always with you and she must be loving this tribute. The Fenugreek flavored tamarind gravy sounds very healthy and I am sure it would pair great with steamed rice in my family as well.

  2. Happy birthday to your mom dear. Her blessings are always with you. Its a completely new recipe for me. Sounds super healthy and delicious. I would love to have it hot. A very comforting dish for this monsoon season.

    1. Thank you so much suja ji . This is very good for diabetics too .

  3. What a beautiful tribute to your mom!
    The Vendhaya Kuzhambu looks brilliant. I would love to have this flavourful Kuzhambu with some hot rice and ghee. :)

  4. A lovely way to remember your mum by preparing her recipe and rekindling your childhood memories. Fenugreek Seeds are an important part of natural remedies in India. I remember soaking a bit of fenugreek in water overnight, and drinking it in the morning to prevent backaches after my pregnancies. As for the vendhaya kuzhambu, its a new recipe for me. Sounds like a good balance of sweetness and bitterness.

    1. thanks dear and yes soaked fenugreek is beneficial in a lot many ways. Do try this recipe..i am sure you will relish it

  5. Priya, this is definitely a interesting recipe for me. After a heavy meal, this will surely gives a nice kick :)
    And yes, love this beautiful tribute to your MOM !!!!

    1. thanks a lot Sas for suggesting this theme .I could blog this as a tribute to mom . Hugs to you

  6. Beautiful tribute to your mom Priya! This certainly sounds like a delicious way to feed methi to my reluctant friend. Since both my husband and father in law are diabetic. Definitely a great dal especially with a heavy meal

    1. thanks Archana! You said it.. this is very good for Diabetics .hope your family likes it

  7. Birthday wishes to your Mom! I am sure her blessings we always with you. I love this flavorful kuzhqmbu that is so flavorful and delicious. We make it at home as well. Beautifully explained Priya. Mom’s recipes are always a keeper. Fenugreek is widely used in our cuisine.

  8. thanks much preethi . I totally love the way our cuisine uses all these medicinal ingredients as a part of our regular diet.

  9. vendhaya kuzhambu looks very tasty and its very healthy too. I have tasted my owner aunty's kuzhambu many times, surely will try your version soon.

    1. glad you like this vendhaya kuzhambu Aruna . Pls fo try this version too. It is essy to make

  10. I love this curry and my mom always makes it with whole fenugreek rather than powder. This looks like good idea to powder them. Vedhaya kuzhambu is very healthy and looks so delicious.Lovely tribute to your mom

    1. oh nice to know a new method . I shall also try using whole seeds next time . Do you have that recipe on your blog ?

  11. Thengai in vendhaya kuzhambu and using vendhaya podi rather than whole seeds are both very new to me, and I would live to try this version.. given that we make Vendhaya kuzhambu almost once in 10 days..

    1. You make it once in 10 days is it ?? I made this for the first time in so many years...replicated amma's recipe to the "T". Do try and let me know .


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