ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A South Indian Vegetarian Dish - Kulambu or Kuzhambu

Updated on January 3, 2018
Venkatachari M profile image

Venkat is experienced in cooking since his mother's demise in 1966 and cooks Indian cuisines better. He uses healthy, easy ways in doing so.

Kulambu | Pulusu Recipe

Kuzhambu recipe ready for serving
Kuzhambu recipe ready for serving | Source

What is Kuzhambu Recipe or Pulusu Recipe

"Kuzhambu" is a South Indian dish mostly used as the side dish with rice. It is known as "Pulusu" in Andhra Pradesh and "Kulambu" in Tamil Nadu. It is made up of pulses (yellow split pigeon peas) and vegetables. Most people get confused with the kuzhambu recipe and think it to be the same or as equal to the 'Sambar' dish that is being consumed with idlis.

But, no, it is not Sambar. "Kulambu" is different from sambar.

In Sambar, we use lesser quantity of tamarind juice and add very finely cut pieces of vegetables and a spice powder known as 'sambar' powder.

But Kulambu is prepared by adding comparatively more quantity of tamarind juice and big pieces of vegetables; with no sambar powder. Instead of the sambar powder, green chilies or dry(red) chili powder is used. Some people use pepper powder also.

Importance of Kuzhambu Recipe in Southern India

  • Kulambu is used daily for eating rice food. Either Kulambu or sambar is a must side dish for eating the rice in entire south India and especially in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. But, sambar is mostly eaten by Tamil people, whereas the Telugu people eat only Kulambu known as Pulusu.
  • It is a must on the 3rd day of Makar Sankranti festival also in the month of January as an old custom practiced by people in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is a traditional practice to prepare Kuzhambu recipe for all festival days and during family gatherings. Meals without Kulambu is considered as incomplete.
  • Marriage festivities are also considered incomplete or of low prestige without this Kulambu recipe or Pulusu.
  • It is a healthy and calorie-rich heavy recipe to fill your stomach.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: One Litre of kuzhambu can be served to ten people

Ingredients Required for Kulambu or Pulusu Recipe

Yellow pigeon peas (kandi pappu)
Yellow pigeon peas (kandi pappu) | Source
big size Brinjal, Pumpkin
big size Brinjal, Pumpkin | Source
Carrot and ladyfingers
Carrot and ladyfingers | Source

Ingredients for Preparation of One Liter Kuzhambu Recipe or Pulusu Recipe

100 grams
split yellow pigeon peas
to be cooked separately
250 grams
yellow pumpkin
no need to remove skin
200 grams
Big brinjals
Big round, black brinjals
200 grams
carrot or sweet potatoes
fresh and soft
100 grams
200 grams
remove outer layers
50 grams
to be soaked for juice
50 grams
shave for easy mix
one spoonful
dry chilli powder or green chillies
use either powder or 4,5 green chillies
one heaped spoonful
half spoonful
turmeric powder
small quantities
mustard seeds, cumins, methi (fenugreek) seeds
for frying to top
a small bunch
coriander leaves (optional)
for topping

The above ingredients can make one Litre of kuzhambu recipe which can be served to ten people.

Step-By-Step Preparation Instructions for Kulambu / Pulusu Recipe

cut pieces of pumpkin, carrot and onions
cut pieces of pumpkin, carrot and onions | Source
pieces of ladyfingers and brinjal
pieces of ladyfingers and brinjal | Source
tamarind pulp juice after extracting waste
tamarind pulp juice after extracting waste | Source
green chilies cut vertically without removing head
green chilies cut vertically without removing head | Source
Kulambu ready, removed into container before topping
Kulambu ready, removed into container before topping | Source
fenugreek (known as methi or mentulu) for frying to top the recipe
fenugreek (known as methi or mentulu) for frying to top the recipe | Source
mustard seeds, cumin and asafoetida or hing for frying in oil with fenugreek to top the recipe
mustard seeds, cumin and asafoetida or hing for frying in oil with fenugreek to top the recipe | Source
ladle for mixing (can be used as frying pan also for topping purposes)
ladle for mixing (can be used as frying pan also for topping purposes) | Source

Step-By-Step Preparation of Kuzhambu Recipe

  1. In the first place, you take 50 grams tamarind in a small wide container and soak it in 200 ml water.
  2. Then, take the dal (pigeon peas) into a cooker, wash them and add water to cook and place the cooker on the flame and allow it to cook till it emits four whistles.
  3. In the meantime, you can keep the vegetables ready. Take the vegetables as listed above or others of your choice and cut them into big pieces as shown in the images. You can make them big pieces or medium pieces. Some prefer large (one inch) pieces to enjoy the special taste of those pieces when cooked in the Kulambu. You can add sweet potatoes or ordinary potatoes in place of carrot. After cutting vegetables and onions, take green chilies and slice them vertically from the bottom end without separating the pieces at the top end or head end.
  4. After the dal (pulses) gets cooked, remove the cooker from flame and allow to cool for opening the lid.
  5. When vegetables are cut and the jaggery is also shaved into thin layers or cut into tiny pieces, you may prepare the tamarind pulp juice by removing the waste from the pulp.
  6. Now, remove the lid of the cooker, mix the dal with a ladle and add the vegetable pieces and tamarind juice into it and mix well pouring more water so that the mix is in a medium-thick liquid form. Then add shaved jaggery, salt, turmeric powder and the green chilies into it. Place the lid on the cooker and again place it on heat for 5 to 7 minutes so that it makes two whistles. Then remove it from the flame and cool for some time.
  7. Now place a small frying pan or ladle on low flame and pour one spoonful of oil into it and allow to heat. Then add the seeds of mustard, fenugreek, and cumin and a little bit of asafoetida powder, fry till fenugreek gets a little dark and add it to the Kulambu recipe as a topper. You can top again it with the coriander leaves finely cut for a good look and smell.
  8. Before topping, you are expected to remove the Kulambu from the cooker into a separate bowl or container having a lid. Now, your Pulusu or Kulambu recipe is ready for the serve.

Extra Tips to Make Kuzhambu or Pulusu Recipe Tasty and Delicious

  • Cook the (dal) pulses to become paste-like for easy mixing with cooked vegetables to give a good taste to the entire preparation.
  • You may add other pulses like chickpeas, green peas or black peas also in small quantities for mixed taste while cooking the yellow pigeon peas.
  • You may reduce tamarind and jaggery quantities or increase as per your taste.
  • Some people add drumstick pieces but it will be uneasy or embarrassing in eating; as you may have to spit the hard core of it. Better you leave them unserved.
  • If you are adding sweet potatoes, no need to add pumpkin also as both are sweet veggies. Or you may take reduced quantities to add both.
  • You can add your choice of vegetables and quantities. But remember to make the preparation a thick soup instead of preparing diluted one for good taste.
  • And, yes. Adding green chilies is best instead of adding chili powder or pepper and other powders. Green chilies give you best taste and are healthy also.
  • While topping it, it will be better if you can make powder of the fenugreek by separately frying it dry and mix the powder in the prepared Kuzhambu or Pulusu recipe and then top it with other ingredients fried in oil.
  • Topping with fresh coriander leaves enhances the flavor and beauty of the recipe though I have been unable to add them. Even then my recipe was very good in taste.

Another Variety of Pulusu or Kulambu Recipe

Kuzambu with sweet potatoes
Kuzambu with sweet potatoes | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Venkatachari M profile imageAUTHOR

      Venkatachari M 

      6 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Hi, its great that you like pumpkin taste and liked my kozhambu dish. I am sure now you can prepare it and enjoy with your family and friends. Have a nice day.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your recipe. I imagine the peas give it a lot of protein and I love the pumpkin taste that is added.

    • Venkatachari M profile imageAUTHOR

      Venkatachari M 

      6 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Hi, welcome billybuc. It is our duty to make people mix and mingle with each other and value human relations and other cultures.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Again, thank you for this and for bridging the gap between cultures.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)