Omam Kuzhambu | Ajwain Kulambu

 Omam Kuzhambu | Ajwain Kulambu 

Omam Kuzhambu | Ajwain gravy

Omam Kuzhambu, also known as Ajwain Kulambu (gravy), is a traditional South Indian dish that is a tangy and aromatic tamarind-based curry and is made with a special spice blend that includes ajwain (omam) seeds, which lend a distinct flavor and medicinal properties to the dish.
The star ingredient of this dish is Omam, also known as Ajwain in Hindi. The distinct flavor of Omam gives the Kuzhambu its signature taste, making it a favorite among spice lovers.

Omam Kuzhambu has its roots deeply embedded in the culinary traditions of Tamil Nadu, a southern state of India. In Tamil households, Omam Kuzhambu is often served as a side dish with steamed rice and pairs wonderfully with other traditional accompaniments like papad and pickle. It is believed to aid digestion and is commonly made as a comfort food during rainy days or chilly evenings.

While the Omam or Ajwain is the star of Omam Kuzhambu, you can customize the dish by adding your favorite vegetables like drumsticks, brinjals (eggplant), or ladies finger (okra) to enhance its nutritional value and taste. You can also experiment with adding other spices like fenugreek seeds or fennel seeds to create your own unique flavor profile.

To prepare this Omam Kuzhambu firstly in a pan, roast a tablespoon of Omam (Ajwain) seeds in gingelly oil ,until they turn slightly golden and release a lovely aroma. Let them cool down.Now roast other ingredients like Bengal gram dal, coriander seeds, red chilli, pepper, jeera and grind everything together to fine powder set aside.
Soak a small lemon-sized ball of tamarind in warm water for about 15 minutes. Squeeze and extract the pulp, discarding any seeds or fibers. In a deep pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and add mustard seeds, fenugreek and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds start spluttering, add the small onions, garlic,  tomatoes and sauté well, next add the tamarind pulp, turmeric powder, salt and required water and bring it to a boil and let it cook for a few minutes until the gravy thickens and raw smell goes.
Now, it's time to add the star of the dish - the ground Omam (Ajwain) powder. Stir it into the tamarind base and let it simmer on low heat for a few minutes to infuse the flavors. At this point, add jaggery and switch off the gas.Serve hot with steamed rice .

Health benefits of Omam Kuzhambu-

Digestive benefits of Omam (Ajwain) seeds-

Omam (Ajwain) seeds are known for their digestive properties. They contain an essential oil called thymol, which helps in improving digestion and relieving indigestion, bloating, and acidity. The presence of active enzymes in Ajwain seeds aids in the breakdown of complex food molecules, making it easier for your body to absorb nutrients.

Nutritional benefits of the main ingredients-

Tamarind is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system and fight against free radicals in the body. It also contains dietary fiber, which aids in smooth digestion and helps maintain a healthy gut. The addition of vegetables in Omam Kuzhambu provides essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, making it a wholesome and nutritious dish.

This tangy and aromatic curry goes well with a variety of accompaniments. Steamed rice is the classic choice, allowing you to mix the flavorful gravy with each grain. You can serve it with idli,dosa, Pongal, upma , appam, Idiyappam etc.

Whether enjoyed with steamed rice or as an accompaniment to idli or dosa, Omam Kuzhambu is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you wanting more. So, give this traditional recipe a try and experience the goodness and flavors of Omam Kuzhambu in your own kitchen.

Ingredients -

For Powder-

Omam (Ajwain)-1 Tbsp
Bengal gram dal-1 Tbsp 
Coriander seeds -2 Tbsps 
Red chillies -8-10 nos
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Pepper corns-1/2 tsp

Other ingredients-

Small onions-15 nos
Tomatoes-1 no
Garlic -10 nos
Tamarind extract -1 cup
Salt to taste 
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp 
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds-1/4 tsp
Jaggery-1 tsp 
Gingelly oil -2 tbsps 
Curry leaves -few

Recipe Video



For Powder-

👉Heat a half a tsp of gingelly oil in a pan add Ajwain seeds and roast in medium heat until golden brown colour and turns aromatic.Transfer to mixie jar and allow it to cool down.

👉In the same pan add another tsp of gingelly oil and sauté other ingredients mentioned in For Powder grind along with Omam to a fine powder set aside.

For Making Kuzhambu-

👉Heat gingelly oil in a kadai add mustard seeds, fenugreek, curry leaves and allow it to splutter.

👉Next add garlic, small onions and sauté well.

👉Now add tomatoes and sauté until mushy.

👉Pour the tamarind extract, turmeric powder, required salt and 1 1/2 -2 cups water and mix well and allow the Kulambu to boil for 5-10 minutes until the Kulambu thickens a bit and raw smell goes.

👉Now add the Omam powder and mix well . (Note that the mixture will thicken quickly after adding this powder, so adjust consistency accordingly).Check for salt.

👉Simmer for another 2-4 minutes.

👉Finally add jaggery mix well and switch off the gas at desired consistency.

👉Serve hot.

Preparation time-20 minutes 

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