Garlic Curry Recipe (Poondu Kuzhambu)

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 This south Indian Garlic curry recipe(poondu kuzhambu) infused with garlic & peppercorns with bright red colour has a symphony of flavours, tantalizing spicy and tangy lip-smacking delicious. I’m sure this garlic curry is going to be your family’s favourite! Garlic curry/poondu kuzhambu served in small ceramic sauce bowl

                                     Garlic curry Recipe ( Poondu Kuzhambu)

This garlic curry/ Poondu kuzhambu is recipe is my favorite childhood recipe from my Amma’s kitchen. I’m very much obsessed with garlic, so ultimately this curry has become my favourite one!

The ingredients are so pantry friendly and you will definitely love the taste of this curry.

There is one super trick to make this curry even more delicious is that Adding a piece of jaggery or a spoon of sugar makes this curry to a next level. You will be definitely amazed by the taste.

How to make garlic curry/poondu kuzhambu?

To make garlic curry, grind peppercorns, garlic and onions to paste. Over medium heat- add all the seasoning and then ground mixture sauce for few minutes.

Add tomato and saute till its mushy.

Add the tamarind water, turmeric powder, salt.

Cook until you see oil on the sides of the pan.

How do I make garlic curry thicker?

Generally this garlic curry is slightly thicker in consistency, If you want thicker, cook further for 10 mins until you get the desired consistency.

Tips to make Best Garlic Curry/ Poondu kuzhambu:

Gingelly oil: Gingelly oil plays a vital role in making this curry, the flavour and taste is absolutely delicious. You can swap peanut oil.

Quality peppercorns: Adding freshly ground peppercorns give you the best taste for the curry.

Garlic: The dominant flavour of the curry is garlic so be generous in adding them.

Onions/ Shallots: If you have shallots in hand add 5 to 6 no. This gives you more flavor.

Always keep on the eye when cooking onion and tomato, onion and tomato mixture has been well cooked before you add tamarind water.

Only when the oil oozes out, that’s the sign to turn off the heat.

How do you serve Garlic curry?

Garlic curry can be served with steamed rice. The best side dishes that goes extremely well for this curry is chayote kootu.

Can I freeze garlic curry?

This garlic curry stays well in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 days. Bring down the curry to room temperature and store in the air-tight container. Using wooden spoon increase the shelf-life. 

You can store this curry up to 2 months in the freezer. This has to be stored in zip-lock freezer bags. Thaw the curry before you serve.

How to make Garlic Curry with Step by Step Pictures:

peppercorns are being added in blender
To grind: Add peppercorns in blender
pepper powder in blender
Grind to a coarse powder
onion and garlic are in blender
Add garlic and onions


coarsely grinded onion mixture is in blender
Pulse for just few seconds to get a coarse mixture. Keep Aside.
Oil is being heated up in saue pan
Heat up gingelly oil in a pan over a medium heat.
A seasonings of mustard seeds, dry red chilli and fenugreek seeds are being added to oil
once the oil heats up, add the seasonings mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, vadagam and dry red chillies
curryleaves and dry red chilli is being a oil in saute pan
Add few sprigs of curryleaves, let it sizzle for few seconds
coarse mixture of onion is being added to the pan
Now add coarse onion ground mixture
onion mixture is being sauted in oil over a saute pan
Stir and and cook for 2 to 3 mins
onion mixture is being cooked in saute pan
Now , the onion has slightly cooked
Chopped tomato is being added to onion mixture in saute pan
Add chopped tomato
the curry with onion and tomato is cooked well over a saute pan
keep stirring and cook until the tomatoes are nice and soft
Tamarind water is being poured over the onion-tomato mixture
Now pour in tamarind water
Turmeric powder is added over the tamarind curry
Add turmeric powder and give a quick stir
Garlic curry is being boiled
Let it comes to boil and the oil oozes out on the sides of the pan. Finally add a small piece of jaggery or sugar ( i forgot to take a picture) stir well.

Garlic curry is ready to be served.


Garlic curry / poondu kuzhambu with red chilli on top served in small ceramic sauce bowl with rice aside.

Other recipes you would like to try:

Mushroom Sukka

Poricha Kuzhambu

Chettinad Potato Fry

Paruppu urundai Kuzhambu

Sambar with freshly grinded masala

Mor kuzhambu


Squash Sambar

Murungai Keerai Thanni Saaru

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Garlic kuzhambu

  • Author: Nithya Ravikumar
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x


  • 1/4 cup Tamarind (lemon sized ball)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

To Grind

  • 1 tbs pepper corns
  • 15 pods garlic
  • 1 onion

For Seasonings:

  • 2 tbs Gingelly oil
  • 1 tsp fenugreel seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 no Dry red chili
  • Vadagam
  • 1 sprigs Curry leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp jaggery


  1. Firstly, Extract tamarind water from pulp.
  2. Grind peppercorns, garlic and onions to a coarse mixture.
  3. Heat up gingerly oil, add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, vadagam, dry red chilli and curry leaves. Let it sizzle for few minutes.
  4. Add onion mixture and keep saluting for 2 to3 mins.
  5. Add salt.
  6. Once the onion has sautéed well, add tomato and cook until its turns mushy.
  7. Add tamarind water, turmeric powder and keep stirring for 5 to 10 mins over a medium heat.
  8. When the oil oozes out, turn off the heat.
  9. Garlic curry is ready to be served.
  10. Serve with steamed rice.


If u don’t have vadagam for the seasoning you can substuite with mustard seeds- 1 tsp, cumin seeds- 1 tsp, methi/ fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp

  • Category: Veg- gravy
  • Cuisine: Indian


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  1. Hey Nithya…Just tried this one today…n u wont believe it was just really amazing!!!
    Hmmm…yummy dishes now have to try all these yaar!!!
    Thank you for giving us this foody blog, can impress our husbands 😛 😉 ha.. ha …..:):)

    1. Hello ashwathy!!thank you so much!! I’m glad to know that it turned out well!! yes..pls do try the other recipes and i would love to hear from u.

  2. Spicy and delicious recipe.. I tried it, turned out great.. Good Job…

    1. Nithya Narasimhan says:

      Hi Radika, I’m so glad you liked it.
      Thank you so much for your comment.

  3. Rjapushpa says:

    No need to add any spice powders like kulambhu milagai thool, coriander powder, jeera powder etc… i have a doubt in it..

    1. Nithya Narasimhan says:

      Hi Pushpa,
      Yeah! There is no any other spice powders. The whole flavour comes from only pepper and garlic. Do try and let me know.
      Thank you. Keep visiting.

  4. Jhanvi Sundar says:

    Thats was a nice one. Even I have tried out . It was yummy and garlic is very beneficial for boosting immunity.

  5. Anonymous says:

    thank you for the amazing curry. Is there any substitute for vadagam.

    1. Nithya Narasimhan says:

      Hi, Thank You so much!
      If you do not have vadagam, you can omit them and add only mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and dryred chilies for the seasonings.

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