Garlic Tamarind curry

Garlic tamarind curry, also known as “Poondu Pulikulambu” in South Indian cuisine, is a flavorful and tangy dish that pairs well with rice or Indian breads like dosa or idli.


  • 1 cup garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 lemon-sized ball of tamarind, soaked in 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2-3 dried red chilies
  • A few curry leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


  1. Prepare Tamarind Extract:
    • Squeeze the soaked tamarind to extract the pulp. Strain the pulp to remove any seeds or fibers. Set aside the tamarind extract.
  2. Cook Garlic:
    • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic cloves and sauté until they turn light golden brown. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
  3. Prepare Spice Mix:
    • In the same pan, add a little more oil if needed. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
    • Add fenugreek seeds, dried red chilies, and curry leaves. Sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  4. Add Onions and Tomatoes:
    • Add chopped onions to the pan and sauté until they turn translucent.
    • Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they turn mushy.
  5. Add Spice Powders:
    • Stir in coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix well and cook for another couple of minutes until the spices are fragrant.
  6. Combine Tamarind Extract:
    • Pour in the tamarind extract and water. Mix everything well and bring it to a boil.
  7. Simmer:
    • Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the curry simmer for about 10-15 minutes until it thickens slightly and the raw smell of tamarind disappears.
  8. Add Garlic:
    • Add the sautéed garlic cloves to the curry and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  9. Garnish and Serve:
    • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and turn off the heat. Your garlic tamarind curry is ready to serve!

Enjoy this tangy and flavorful curry with steamed rice or any Indian bread of your choice. Adjust the spice levels according to your preference.

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