Kumbakonam Pulikulambu / Karakulambu Recipe

Here is the recipe for the traditional tangy pulikulambu / karakulambu, a popular stew for mixing with rice in South Indian meals.

  • Cook Time20 min
  • YieldServes 4


    • 100 ml of edible oil/ sesame oil
    • 25 g Dried Sundakkai/ ManathakkaliVathal (optional)
    • Little mustard & curry leaves for tempering
    • One Small tomato – chopped
    • 1200 ml of water
    • Thillai’s Pulikulambumilagai powder packet (50g)

    Preparation Method:


    In a deep bottom frying pan, add 2.-3 Tbsp oil and fry the dried Vathal till aroma rises, take out & keep separately.


    Heat 2 tsp of oil in pan; add some of mustard & curry leaves allow to temper.


    Now add chopped tomatoes to oil and fry for a minute.


    Add required amount of water (1200 ml) and add one full pocket of Thillai’s Pulikulambumilagai powder and allow boiling for 5 min.


    Now add fried Vathal to boiling mix and allow boiling for further 5 min.


    In a small pan add 1 tsp of oil, little mustard and curry leaves allow to temper, add chopped onion sauté for minute and transfer the tempered mix to the sambar. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

    Note: Thillai’s Pulikulambu powder contains onion, tamarind and salt. You can add more if needed to suit your taste.

    You can use your choice of Vathal or sundakkai.

    Kumbakonam famous sundakkai Vathal Kulambu is ready to serve.