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Thakaali kuruma – Nostalgia Personified


Creating the Tamilcuisine index is one refreshing experience. Not only did I rediscover the variety in tamil cuisine but also been able to appreciate the varied cultures and the different ways of whipping up the same dish. Not to mention I discovered so many blogs that I did not know about.

Though I had visited Kay’s blog earlier ( When she announced her pregnancy ) I somehow missed the wonderful recipes she had in store until I was searching her blog for some authentic recipes.

Kay is from Kongunaadu that is the downsouth around Raasipuram, Salem etc. More here from Wiki…

She had posted a thakaali kuruma recipe that I would have sworn was my mom’s original recipe – till I read her blog. I have never seen that recipe in any restaurant neither in any cuisine I knew. I love love thakaali kuruma so much for a hearty breakfast with idli or dosai.

What amazes me is my amma has not stepped anywhere near kongunaadu, nor has any friends there, yet this kuruma is the exactly the same as Kay has blogged.

To recreate the recipe I bought small variety vine-ripe tomatoes for the farmers market. Rest was from her recipe word to word. I even managed to get a few saunf seeds on the keyboard of my laptop ( errr… I kept the laptop on my kitchen counter !!! )

The secret of this recipe is to downplay the quantities of the masaala. Just one clove, 2 green chillies, one tablespoon each of saunf, poppy seeds, roasted channadal and coconut. Everything in lesser quantities except the tomatoes ofcourse 4 indian-medium-sized vine ripe tomatoes.

I made a urgent call today morning to amma to let her know I recreated her magic.. Thanks to Kay !!

The Recipe from her site :
Ripe tomatoes – 4-5, finely chopped
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig, chopped
Wet Masala:
Garlic – 3 cloves
Ginger – 1 inch
Roasted channa dal/Pottu kadalai – 1 tbsp
Poppy seeds / khuskhus – 1 tsp
Coconut – 1 tbsp (dry/frozen is fine)
Cinnamon – 1 small piece
Clove – 1
Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
Green chillies – 2 (you can add more to make it more hot)

Make a fine paste of the wet masala ingedients using some water and a pinch of salt. Green chillies when ground to a paste sometimes, turn slightly bitter. The pinch of salt is added to the wet masala while grinding to prevent this.

Heat oil in a sauce pan and add the onions and curry leaves. Saute till the onions turn translucent. Add the tomatoes and sprinkle some salt to help the tomatoes cook faster. When the tomatoes are done, add the turmeric powder, ground masala and some more salt. Add about 2 cups of water and cover the sauce pan. simmer for about 15-20 mins. Garnish with some coriander leaves and serve hot with hot dosas or idlis.

For dinner, I had muttai dosa with the same kuruma. Awesome Awesome is all I can say !!


I want to contribute this idli – muttaidosai – kuruma combo to RCI-Tamil Cusines’ event hosted by LakshmiK



April 27, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I’m glad you liked it, Revathi! 🙂
    Thanks for the credits.

    Btw, this recipe is not from kongu cuisine… Nobody I know, makes this kuruma. So, it’s very special to me, like you and your mom’s. 🙂

    I will have to ask her where this one came from.

    Comment by Kay | April 28, 2007 | Reply

  2. that takkali kurma looks good!for me it was her kozhi rasam which really won me over:)revathi that muttai dosai is just breaking egg over dosai?for all along i was thinking that you had to mix the egg into the dosai batter! never cooked muttai dosai!,got to try it the next time i make dosai.

    Comment by Anonymous | April 28, 2007 | Reply

  3. Revathi,
    That looks just like what my mum would make for dinner for us – mutta dosai with thakkali sambar (we call it sambar for some reason). Lovely!


    Comment by Anonymous | April 28, 2007 | Reply

  4. Hmmm yes we should ask them Kay…


    Your kozhi rasam is to die for. But I think its best taste will come only from naatu kozhi not the broiler we get here.. Am I right ?? Muttai dosai I dont know how the roadside showaalaas do, this is how my mother does it so i follow it..

    Hmm Mamatha
    probably our moms too had their own cooking circles as we have blogosphere 🙂

    Comment by Revathi | April 28, 2007 | Reply

  5. Hi Revathi,
    I like to have this kurma with idli and idiyappam. Your kurma came out well. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Menu Today | April 30, 2007 | Reply

  6. I am awestruck by all the recipes and did not know where and how to comment. really beautiful. brought back all my memories. will bookmark so that I can try one by one.
    BTW thanks a lot for including my post “virundu” to your blog.

    Comment by Sharmi | May 1, 2007 | Reply

  7. Wow great job and the idllis looks awesome! So much effort with all the tamil recipes putting it at one place!

    Comment by Roopa | May 2, 2007 | Reply

  8. Hi Revathi,
    Muttai dosai and idly with thakkali kurma looks yummmmmmm.
    Iam going to try thakkali kurma this week and will let u know how it turned out.

    Comment by Prema Sundar | May 2, 2007 | Reply

  9. hi,

    My husband makes this kurma hte same way.He had learnt this receipe from his aunt who is from salem…..was very thrilled to see this receipe posted here…thanks fr the nostalgia…it brought mine too!!!
    Mullai priya

    Comment by Sathy | September 19, 2007 | Reply

  10. Hi

    I am from chettinad but live in New Delhi with a North Indian spouse. This recipe does make my taste buds turn nostalgic. My mom used to use a similar recipe but with green tomatoes – ripe but not red. Try this variation you would love this even more. Yes! You are right the trick is in controlling the quantity of masala particularly ‘saunf’. Reduce the quantity and light roast it separately

    Comment by MAJ | December 6, 2007 | Reply

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