Radish Tamarind Curry | Mullangi Puli Kuzhambu (South Indian • Vegan • Gluten free)

Radish Tamarind Curry

Do you like sour & spicy curries? If yes, then you will love this one. This is the curry that allows a South-Indian Vegetarian to never long for meat. Yes, it fulfills every taste bud on your tongue and sometimes even outranks those meat-based curries.

My mom is an amazing cook.  But, she never let me into the kitchen because of the mess I usually made 🙂 . Well, my husband still calls me a messy cook 😐

I have tried so many tamarind curries from the internet, but nothing came even halfway close to my mom’s curry. So, when she visited me last year, I watched her cook and noted down every single detail. All Indians will understand how hard it is to replicate mom’s cooking because none of the Indian moms measure any ingredients they add to the curry.  Enjoy this amazing curry which I learned from my mom, who learned from her mom, who farmed and cooked with her own produce.

A special thanks to my amazing friend Mary Brackett who helped me shoot this recipe. If I know anything about Nutrition and Food, then it has come from her bounty of knowledge. You should definitely check out her book, if you are even slightly interested in healing your body..  The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Nutrient-Dense Recipes for Intestinal Health Using the GAPS Diet


  • Tamarind is native to the tropical Savannah of Africa, but has grown in India since prehistoric times. Old Tamil Literature mentions puli-kari (Rice dressed with tamarind – now called puli-sadam), pulingari (meat boiled with tamarind & pepper) and an aromatic tamarind soup imbibed by the Pastoral People (Rasam).
  • Radish is a very ancient plant and occurs in later vedic literature as mulaka, to be chewed by way of a digestive after a heavy meal. Radish juice was prescribed for fever.

Cuisine: South Indian
Essential Spices:
Hot Curry:  Coriander Powder, Chilli Powder
Mild Curry: Coriander Powder, Paprika
Serves: 4

Ingrdients Quantity
Tamarind 1/4 cup  Or use 2 tsp tamarind paste
Indian Sesame Oil 2 tbsp  Or use  1 tbsp Chinese sesame oil & 1 tbsp coconut oil
As Chinese sesame oil is comparatively strong flavored
Onion (Diced) 1/2 cup
Radish (Sliced) 1 cup  Or use 1 cup sliced okra or eggplant
Tomato (Diced) 1/4 cup
Salt 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder 2 tbsp
Chilli Powder 2 tsp  Or use paprika for mild curry
Shredded Coconut 1/3 cup  Or use 1/2 cup coconut milk
Warm Water 1/2 cup
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Garlic 1 clove
Tomato (Diced tightly packed) 1/2 cup
SEASONING (Optional but highly recommended!)
Sesame Oil 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Dried Red Chillies (Broken) 2
Curry Leaves 5-6


  1. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup hot water for 15 mins or room temperature water overnight and keep it aside.
  2.  Heat a pot on med-low heat. Once hot, add sesame oil.
  3. When oil is hot, add onions.
  4. When onions are translucent, add 1 cup diced radish and cook for 5 mins.
  5. Add diced tomatoes, salt and cover for 5 more mins.
  6. Meanwhile, grind the masala by adding all the ingredients listed under “TO GRIND”.
  7. Extract the tamarind juice into the masala in the blender.
  8. Add this tamarind masala mix into the pot. Use another 1/2 cup water to rinse the rest of the masala from blender to pan.
  9. Cover and cook till radish is cooked (When radish has softened enough, that you can split it with a spoon).
  10. Add more salt if needed and remove from the stove top.

Seasoning (Almost every South Indian curry has this as the final step)

  1. Heat a small saucepan on med-low heat and add sesame oil.
  2. When oil is hot, add 1 tsp mustard seeds and hear them splutter.
  3. Add broken red chillies and curry leaves.
  4. Add this seasoned oil to the curry.
Believe me, this seasoning makes a world of difference. But, if you want an oil free curry, please feel free to omit the seasoning step.

Enjoy the curry with rice and a vegetable side or egg!!  Oh.. I totally forgot to mention papad which pairs up as a perfect side with any tamarind based curry. Ooo.. Yummm!!

For the sake of my non-Indian friends – papad is a thin crisp disk shaped food typically based on a seasoned dough. It is usually made from peeled black gram flour (urad flour) and fried or cooked with dry heat.


4.6 (5 votes)

4 thoughts on “Radish Tamarind Curry | Mullangi Puli Kuzhambu (South Indian • Vegan • Gluten free)

  1. This one is my favorite so far! I wasn’t sure “sour” curry sounded very delicious at first, but it was SO good. Tell your mom that I love it!

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