Thalagam Kuzhambu| Pongal Kuzhambu is a traditional Mixed Vegetable curry prepared especially at the Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu. Generally 5 or 7 types (odd numbers) of native veggies (Naatu Kaikari) been used to make this curry. Healthy preparation as it has lots of veggies in it.

In our native place we do not make this curry so i have no idea about the preparation. But my In laws place they make it every year. I was so confused about making this curry for the last 2 days and my hubby referred his aunt makes this curry very tasty. So i called her and got the recipe from her yesterday. I would like to thank Grace Lucia Chithi  on this occasion for this yummy recipe and the guidance that she gave me to make this traditional curry.

Pongal Puli Curry

Pumpkin/ Parangikai, cubed- 1/2 cup
Yam/ Chennai, cubed- 1/2 cup
Sweet potato/ Sakkarai valli Kizhangu, cubed- 1/2 cup
Colocasia/ Arbi/ Chembu, cubed- 1/2 cup
Brinjal/ Kathirikka, cubed- 1/2 cup
Flat/ Broad beans/ Avaraikkai, cut- 1/2 cup
Raw Banana, cubed- 1/2 cup
Salt- to taste
Toor Dhal/ Thuvaram paruppu- 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Channa Dhal (Kadalai paruppu)(or) Whole Channa(or) Mochai- 1/4 cup (I've used Channa Dhal)
Tamarind juice- from small goose berry size
Coconut, grated- 1/4 cup (optional)

For Masala Powder:(Could be replaced with Sambar Powder)
Dried red chilli- 4-5
Coriander seeds- 1 tablespoon
Channa Dhal- 1 tablespoon
Fenugreek/ methi seeds- 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds- 1/2 teaspoon

To Temper:
Gingelly/ Sesame oil- 3-4 teaspoons
Mustard seeds- 1/2 teaspoon
Small Onion, cut into four piece- 8 nos
Asafetida/ Kayam- pinch
Curry leaves- 1 strand

Pongal Kuzhambu

Prior Preparations:
  • Peel and cut all the veggies and soak in water till you start to cook.
  • Pressure cook the Toor dhal with turmeric powder for 3 whistles and mash it and keep aside.
  • Pressure cook the Channa Dhal(or) Whole Channa(or) Mochai which one you would like to use for 3 whistles. (Should not mash it) (If you use channa dhal soak it overnight)
  • Use Sambar powder (or) Dry roast the dry red chilli, coriander seeds, channa dhal, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds together till the fenugreek seed's colour changes to yellow to light brown colour.
  • Powder the spices in a blender jar as a very fine powder; set aside 
  • Adding coconut is optional but it adds extra taste and texture to this curry. Roast the coconut slightly and set aside. Do not roast till deep golden colour. You could use fresh coconut too.
  • Soak the tamarind in 1/4 cup of water and extract the juice.

  • Keep all vegetables in a deep pan and cover with water just to submerge the vegetables and cover with a lid and allow to cook.
  • When it is half cooked add some salt and continue to cook till soft but not mushy (veggies should hold its shape)
  • Add the tamarind juice and cook for about two minutes till the raw smell of tamarind leaves.
  • Now add the ground masala powder (or) sambar powder and half a cup of water and allow to boil well for a minute or two.
  • Now add the mashed toor dhal and mix well and allow to boil for a minute.
  • Add the cooked Channa Dhal(or) Whole Channa(or) Mochai.
  • In a separate pan heat gingelly oil and splutter the mustard seeds and then add the cut small onion, curry leaves and cook till the onion starts to become golden on edges.Add the asafetida powder and switch off the gas.
  • Transfer the tempering and the slightly roasted coconut over the curry and mix well and boil once.
  • Check for salt and add if needed and switch off the gas.