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Spicy and tangy garlic sauce – Karakkuzhambhu August 15, 2008

Posted by live2cook in Sauces and Gravies.

“Mommy! Let’s Go Bye! Bye!”, cried my son.

“It is raining outside, Honey!”, answered me.

“What’s raining?”, asked my cutie as that was his first spring after he started to talk and ask questions.

“Look! there is water everywhere”, replied me.

“Who did that?”, asked him.

“Honey! God is pouring a huge mug of water from up top. We have to wait until he stops”, answered me trying to teach him about rain.

Believing every word I said, he went near the window, looked at the sky and started shouting, “God! stop it!”.

This unintentional and childish innocence is something that keeps spicing up our lives and making every thing new again. When I talk about this unintentional behavior, it reminds me of my friend T and a recipe that entered my collection because of her.

T and S were my best friends in junior college. We used to share lunch every day. T’s mom used to send variety of food that I and S liked a lot. Those recipes are unique to Chettinad town from where T hailed from.

One day T brought a sauce and called it spicy sauce (Karakkuzhambhu). I and S laughed at her and asked, “Hey T! whatever sauce you brought so far were spicy too. What’s so spicy about this particular one?”. T blinked innocently. We made fun out of her and forgot about it after the lunch hour was over.

The next day, T came with a “Eureka!” look. She said, “Ok! that was not whatever spicy sauce. It was my mom’s Spicy garlic sauce. You girls got to accept it cause my mom said so!”. We teased her a lot for this and finally accepted it as she was about to cry.

When I came across a recipe for this in a local magazine, I wrote it down with a smile. I am passing that recipe with a note that we can replace the garlic cloves in the recipe with “Green Garlic” which will have a mild garlic flavor. It will suit the taste of even a non-garlic person.


1 cup Pearl onion
1/2 cup Green garlic, chopped fine
1 Tomato, chopped fine
Lime sized ball of Tamarind
2 Dried red chilli
2 Tbsp oil
2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
4-5 Curry leaves
2 Tbsp Cilantro


1. Soak the tamarind in 1 1/2 cups water. Mash well and extract the water. Discard the pulp.
2. Pound the onion, red chilli, cilantro, curry leaves in a mortar or grind coarsely in a blender.
3. Add the spice powders and salt to the tamarind water and mix well. Set aside.
4. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add mustard,fenugreek and cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the onion mixture and saute for a minute.
5. Add the tamarind mixture and boil for 5 minutes

Kara Kuzhambu

Kara Kuzhambu

This is my entry for Andrea’s Grow Your Own event hosted by Finnyknits. Bharathy has another variation of the recipe to add to our recipe collection. Check it out too.



1. sangeeth - August 16, 2008

love t he kozhambhu….and ur kid is so cute asking god to stop..lol!

2. Meera - August 16, 2008

aww..i love when kids say such cute things..that’s adorable.
Garlic, onion, red chilli, tamarind..all the ingredients i love..definitely need to try it. Lovely recipe!

3. Asha - September 7, 2008

LOL! Kids are so innocent and fun!

When it starts to rain, I say “Shiva is peeing” to my kids. Even though they are teenagers now, they always giggle whenever they see the heavy rain even today and say “Sheeva has lost his bladder control”. HeHe!

4. Asha - September 7, 2008

Oh, I forgot to say that I am trying this dish today!:))

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