Pongal Special Kadhamba Kuzhambu

Pongal Special Kadhamba Kuzhambu

Pongal Curry Dish

Other Names Kadhamba Kuzhambu. Kadamba Curry. Kaikari Kuzhambu. Kodi-Kai Kuzhambu. Pongal Kuzhambu. Kaikari Mandi. Mixed Vegetable Curry. Navadhanya Curry.

Makar Sankranthi (a.k.a Pongal, Lagori…and many different names all over India)is one of the most important festival celebrated by Hindus. Its a harvest festival dedicated to the Sun God. The four-day festival (according to the Tamil calendar) is usually celebrated from 14 January to 17 January. Day 1 – Poghi The ritual cleaning of the house and anointing (with turmeric or sandalwood paste) the new earthen pots begins. Day 2 – Thai Pongal – An elaborate meal is prepared using fresh produce from the farm. Traditionally…the raw rice dish is quite important (Pongal, a.k.a Khichdi); a mixed vegetable curry with almost all the vegetables and legumes from the season; and a sweet pongal dish as dessert. Day 3 – Jallikattu  Thanking the livestock that supported the farmers in agriculture. Day 4 – Kaanum Pongal Thanking elders and meeting friends and in general merry making. :)

Guess, almost all countries have their own harvest festival! So, its basically…giving thanks to natural forces, water, sun, fire…etc which helped them to succeed in agriculture.

The Festival Food Yes, the central theme of this post and blog! So, the food prepared on this day will be from farm fresh produce! 1. Pongal (the main course – rice dish) calls for raw rice, fresh hulled / hand pounded…something that we city dwellers can’t find, today :( So, we gladly substituted it with plain store bought new bag of rice! Lol. :) 2. The Kadamba Curry - calls for all legumes and all vegetables (during the season)…sounds very interesting to me, already! And…very important, absolutely shun the idea of using any kind of ready made spice blends, toady! Yep, we mean it. :) Well…in olden day, the whole cooking episode used to take place in a mutram (central open space in a country house) using fire woods on specially build stone stoves. Anyway…lets just cook, now. :)  Happy Sankranthi. Happy Cooking. :)  



  • White Pumpkin
  • Red pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Plantain
  • Yam
  • Collacasia
  • Potato
  • Turnips
  • Beet Root
  • Radish
  • Broad Beans
  • Beans

Dry Legumes 

  • Indian Lima Beans
  • Black Eye Beans/Kidney Beans
  • Peas
  • Garbanzos
  • Peanuts
  • Green Gram
  • Red gram

Spices for Curry

  • 2 large onions
  • 15-20 garlic, crushed
  • 4 chilies, sliced
  • 2-4 large tomatoes
  • tamarind – fresh pods 6-8 shelled & soaked in warm water, puree
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 cup sesame oil

Tempering Spices

  • Mustard seeds 1 spoons
  • Cumin seeds 2 spoons
  • Fenugreek seeds 1/2 spoon
  • Peppercorns 1/2 spoon
  • Asafoetida 1/2 spoon
  • Curry leaves few
  • Sesame oil few spoons


Day 1 – Soak all the legumes (each kind separately) in water. And, leave this set-up in the refridgerator for at least 7-10 hours.

Day 2 – Pressure cook the legumes till tender. I use pressure cooking method for hard shelled legumes like garbanzos and black eye peas. Then, take all the soft legumes to stove top cooking! Where I get more control over the texture of these beans! So, its up to you to decide.

  1. In a wide + deep, heavy bottomed vessel, heat oil. Add chilies and wait till it splutters.
  2. Then add onions, garlic and fry real good. Maybe until the raw odor leaves the pan. Then, add the root vegetables (potato, taro and plantain) first! After a brief cooking. Add the sem-tender vegetables like eggplant, broad beans and string beans. Then, give it some time to get cooked. Now add the watery vegetables (pumpkin, radish…etc) to the same.  Saute for few minutes. Then add salt, turmeric and chili powders.
  3. Finally add the cooked legumes to it. Thicken the curry with tomato puree, tamarind paste and coconut. Cover and cook till its done tender and nice.
  4. In a separate pan, heat oil. Add tempering spices and run this over the curry prepared.
  5. Serve to go with your Ven Pongal or Milagu Pongal. Enjoy. Happy Pongal, Everyone. :)

19 Responses so far.

  1. Happy Pongal Malar.Thats such a healthy and yummy dish..Loved the rich texture..:)

  2. Ann says:

    Malar,Kulambu looks thick and spicy..Happy pongal to you and family

  3. LG says:

    Malar, Happy Pongal to you and family. Curry looks spicy and yummy

  4. Cham says:

    I imagine with pongal , we make it too… Happy Pongal

  5. a delicious healthy recipe…..veggies,legumes…awesome taste…happy pongal

  6. SriLekha says:

    looks yum and very healthy!

  7. Ana Powell says:

    Hi Malar
    Its always a good surprise to come to visit you.
    Lovely dishes full of flavour.
    Just lovely x

  8. Viki Xavier. says:

    Wish You and family a prosperous and happy Pongal.

  9. AnuSriram says:

    Thats a lot of ingredients made as one nutritious side dish. Looks yummy!

  10. aquadaze says:

    hi malar, first time here. Oh the food here is so mouth watering!Happy pongal to you…didn’t manage to make anything for pongal, vicariously enjoying the food on blogs!

  11. Asha says:

    That’s a great dish, I love Field beans. Happy Pongal to you. I didn’t know it was Pongal today and I posted a Sorpotel at FH, blasphemy! :D

  12. This is a very nice recipe. Look so good. YUM!

    Happy Pongal!!!

  13. This healthy and vegetable rich curry looks yummy. Happy Pongal!

  14. sneh says:

    Hey this korma looks yummy.I am going to try it soon.
    Happy Pongal to you too!

  15. merajugr8 says:

    I have been looking for this curry from a reliable source for a long time as I donot know the correct method. Good that I got it from u:) We usually make a milagu + veggie kind of aviyal along with sarkarai pongal and tamarind curry of many root veggies for white pongal.
    Book marked this recipe. Thanks dear.

  16. Wish you a Very Happy Pongal Malar, sorry I am a bit late in wishing dear..I too made a similar kuzambu for pongal :)

  17. Keerthana says:

    Hi malar, that’s a very healthy and delicious looking curry. may be it is just right for ‘my legume love affair event’:)

  18. nice curry/kootu malar.. we too make them on pongal day..

  19. Nutritious recipie..Am sure this tastes good..

    You have something waiting for in my blog. Plz check..

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