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Kulambu Podi | Kulambu Powder Recipe

by Jayashri
Kulambu podi featured

Kulambu Podi | Kolambu Powder Recipe | Step by step guide to prepare Multipurpose Kuzhambu Powder

Kulambu Podi is one main ingredient that is required to prepare any kolambu variety.

It is a very basic ingredient that is easily available in all South Indian kitchens.

Kuzhambu podi is a spice mix which is a blend of 13 basic ingredients.

Kulambu Podi
Kulambu Podi – Three Whistles Kitchen

What is Kulambu Podi?

Kuzhambu podi is a blend of Indian spices. It is the most integral part of every South Indian kitchen. The best part about this recipe is – the ingredients are dry roasted and then ground into fine powder.

The 13 basic ingredients

  1. Coriander Seeds
  2. Mustard Seeds (Optional)
  3. Fennel Seeds
  4. Cumin Seeds
  5. Fenugreek Seeds
  6. Black Pepper
  7. Red Chilli
  8. Rice (full boiled)
  9. Urad dal
  10. Toor Dal
  11. Turmeric Powder
  12. Asafoetida
  13. Curry Leaves

Video Recipe: How to prepare Kulambu Podi

Why Homemade Kulambu Podi?

I always prefer using homemade kolambu podi over store bought. I dry roast the ingredients before grinding them, as it gives great aroma and flavor to the dishes.

There are quite a lot of brands available in the market today. Usually store bought masalas contain preservatives to have a longer shelf-life as they are packed and transported all over the world.

Therefore, Homemade kuzhambu powder is always the best and time-saving.

I make sure to grind enough of it and store it for at most 8-10 months.

All the ingredients used in this recipe are easily available in every kitchen, which makes it easier to prepare.

I usually prefer using kolambu powder for preparing many curry varieties for rice or chapathi or idly or dosa or any other main dishes. It helps me in preparing both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

Trust me, it just tastes really amazing, no matter what curry/gravy you prepare.

This is a very unique style recipe all the way from my Hometown (Aruppukottai). It was my great grandmother who initially shared this recipe with my grandmother, then to my mom and now me. I feel happy to have learnt this recipe from them that is being followed for generations now.

All thanks to my mom and grandmother, who taught me this easy recipe.

Advantages of using Kulambu podi

1. Gives great flavor & taste
2. Time-saving as it can be prepared & stored
3. Multipurpose usage, as it can be used to prepare any curry/gravy
4. Very Helpful for beginners and bachelors
5. Long shelf-life, if stored airtight & not in contact with moisture
6. Native-style recipe, so obviously very traditional recipe
7. Can be used for both Veg & Non-Veg dishes
8. Always fresh as its homemade

How to prepare Kulambu Podi?

Heat a pan/kadai – add the Cumin Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Mustard Seeds and Black Pepper. You may add a tsp of oil if required. I prefer not to add oil, as they might get charred or burnt soon. But its completely your choice.

kulambu podi ingredients
Spices – Ingredients
kulambu podi ingredients
add the spices into the hot pan

Make sure to dry roast it in medium flame. I prefer not to use high flame, as it may burn the ingredients and reduce the flavor.

kulambu podi dry roast
Dry roast, medium flame

After a few minutes, you can feel the smell/aroma of the spices as they get roasted. The ingredients turn slightly brown.
Transfer it to a plate.

kulambu podi
turns aromatic
kulambu podi roasted
Turns slightly brown

In the same kadai/pan, add Coriander Seeds, Rice (full boiled), Urad dal, Toor Dal.

kulambu podi ingredients
Rice & Dals – Ingredients
kulambu podi ingredients
Rice & dals

Dry roast the ingredients until you get the aroma and it turns slightly brown. Now, add the Fenugreek Seeds and dry roast for 10 seconds. Adding fenugreek seeds at the beginning will taste bitter.
You can notice that the rice turns slightly whitish. Transfer the ingredients to a plate and keep aside.

kulambu podi dry roast
Dry roast
kulambu podi roasted
Roasted well, turns aromatic

Add the red chillies and dry roast for 2-3 minutes. Do NOT allow it to turn black.
I usually prefer to sun dry the red chillies for few hours or until they turn crispy.
Transfer to a plate. Keep aside.

Now dry roast a few Curry Leaves and transfer it to the same plate.

kulambu podi
dry roast for 1 min

Allow the dry roasted ingredients to cool completely before grinding them.

Kulambu podi
allow it to cool completely

Once it cools completely, transfer the contents to a mixer/blender.
Then, add turmeric and asafoetida.

Kulambu podi
add turmeric
Kulambu podi
add asafoetida

Grind to a very fine powder. When I prepare more than half kilograms, I prefer getting it ground at the Flour Mill. Grinding it at the mill makes the masala more smooth and fine.

Kulambu podi powdered
grind using a mixer or in a mill

Once you grind the masala, make sure to cool it completely by spreading it on a paper. Store it in an airtight container once it cools completely.

Kulambu podi ground
smooth and fine

Now, our flavorful South Indian Tamilnadu style Kulambu Podi is ready!!

Kulambu podi
Kulambu Podi

Tips & Tricks

  • Dry roast and grind – for more flavor & longer shelf-life
  • Roast in medium or low flame to avoid burning
  • Sun dry the red chillies until they turn crispy before dry roasting
  • Cool the ingredients completely before grinding
  • Cool the ground ingredients completely by spreading on a paper before storing
  • Store airtight and can be use for 8-10 months
  • Do NOT bring it in contact with moisture
  • Use 2 containers so that you can transfer from the main container whenever you need
  • Using 2 containers also helps in retaining the flavor

For more such interesting video recipes, check out my Three Whistles Kitchen YouTube Channel.

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