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May 22, 2018

Drumstick Puli Kuzhambu – Murungakkai Kulambu Without Coconut

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 Drumstick kuzhambu recipe

 Today’s drumstick puli kuzhambu/ Murungakkai kulambu is my MIL’s Tamil style vatha kuzhambu recipe adding drumstick. I made slight variations from the authentic procedure and made in a pressure cooker directly. We call this as murungakkai vatha kuzhambu. Some people name it as drumstick kara kuzhambu too. As this kuzhambu is without coconut, spices and masala, flavor of drumstick would be dominant. Sometimes my MIL adds brinjal and make it as kathirikai murungakkai puli kulambu. They both compliment well in taste and flavor. But I used only drumstick as Sendhil and Raksha are not fond of brinjal. Friends, If you are looking for some easy murungakkai vatha kuzhambu recipe with full flavor of drumstick, you must try this recipe. My mom also makes Tirunelveli style murungakkai puli kulambu but its with freshly ground spices. For this no grind recipe, sambar powder or vatha kuzhambu powder is the major ingredient. So anyone can make it quickly and easily. This kuzhambu recipe would be ideal for bachelors and working women to whip up a quick gravy for rice. So lets see how to make Tamil nadu style Murungakkai puli kuzhambu / Drumstick gravy for rice with step by step pictures.

Do check out my yummy Murungakkai poricha kuzhambu recipe, Murungakkai masala/ Drumstick poriyal and Drumstick sambar too.

Murungakkai kuzhambu recipe

Drumstick Puli Kuzhambu Recipe - Murungakkai Puli Kulambu For Rice

Drumstick Puli Kuzhambu Recipe - Murungakkai Puli Kulambu For Rice

Drumstick Puli Kuzhambu Recipe - Murungakkai Puli Kulambu Without Coconut For Rice

Cuisine: South Indian
Category: Kuzhambu varieties
Serves: Serves 3
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 25 Minutes


1 cup = 250ml
  • Drumstick - 2 nos
  • Tamarind - Big gooseberry size
  • Sambar powder - 1 tbsp
  • Jaggery - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
  • Rice flour - 1 tsp
  • Salt - As needed
  • Water - 1 cup
To Temper & Saute
  • Sesame oil / Gingely oil OR Cooking oil - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Toor dal - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - Few (chopped finely )
  • Small onion / Big onion - 5 nos / 1 no (chopped finely)
  • Garlic cloves - 10 (Whole ones) + 5 nos (chopped finely)


  1. Wash and chop drumstick into finger size pieces.
  2. Soak tamarind in 1 cup warm water and take the extract.
  3. In a pressure cooker base, temper & saute all the ingredients.
  4. Add drumstick and saute for a minute. Then add tamarind extract, sambar powder, turmeric powder, jaggery and salt.
  5. Mix rice flour in little water and add to kuzhambu. Pressure cook everything in high flame for 2 whistles. Remove after steam is released.
  6. Serve with plain rice adding few drops of sesame oil.


  • Soak tamarind in 1 cup warm water for 10 minutes. Wash and chop drumstick into pointer finger size pieces. Slit slightly in one side. Chop 1 big onion or 5 small onions,5 garlic cloves and curry leaves finely. Peel 10 garlic cloves and keep it whole.

  • In a pressure cooker base heat oil and splutter mustard seeds, methi seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds, toor dal. Add the finely chopped onion, garlic and curry leaves. Saute till onion turns transparent.
    Murungakkai kuzhambu recipe
  • Add drumstick pieces and saute for a minute. Add 1 cup of tamarind extract, sambar powder, turmeric powder, jaggery. Mix well and allow to boil in low flame. Dilute 1 tsp of rice flour in 2 tbsp water without lumps. Add to the boiling kuzhambu. Mix well and check for taste. Add more sambar powder & salt if needed.
    Murungakkai kuzhambu recipe
  • Close the cooker and put the weight valve. Keep the flame medium high. Cook for 2 whistles. If the drumstick is too tender, just cook for one whistle. You will get a nice aroma of cooked drumstick. Do not cook for long time because drumstick becomes mushy. Drumstick cooks in the steam itself. ( If you feel the drumstick may become mushy after cooking, keep the drumstick pieces in a small box without adding water and keep it inside the cooker itself. After 2 whistles, remove the lid after steam is released. Take the drumstick box and check its cooked well. Add the cooked drumstick pieces to the kuzhambu. Boil for a minute. Switch off the flame and transfer to a bowl. Give some standing time and serve with rice. )
    Murungakkai kuzhambu recipe
  • Open the cooker after the steam is released. Mix well and check for the consistency of kuzhambu. If its too watery, allow to boil for few minutes till thick. Switch off the flame and transfer the kuzhambu to a bowl. Add a tsp of sesame oil and few curry leaves. Close it with a lid.

  • Let it rest for 30 minutes to one hour before serving. Mix with plain rice and enjoy with any kootu, papad !


  • Adjust the quantity of sambar powder as per your taste. You can also use vatha kuzhambu powder instead of sambar powder.
  • If you do not have sambar powder or vatha kuzhambu powder, you can use 1 tsp of red chilli powder + 1.5 tsp of dhania powder.
  • The quantity of spice powders may vary based on the tanginess of tamarind. So always check the taste and adjust them if needed.
  • This kuzhambu will be slightly watery. But it tastes great when mixed with plain rice.
Try this easy Murungakkai kuzhambu using pressure cooker and enjoy !
Murungakkai kuzhambu without coconut

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Suja Manoj said...

Yummy curry, will try this.

Chitra said...

Thank you Suja :)