Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Thatta Payaru Thanni Kuzhambu ( Karamani/ Cowpea Gravy)

Preparation time : 5 minutes     
Cooking time : 20 minutes
Serves 4 
Difficulty :  Easy

Thatta payir is otherwise known as Karamani  and  in English, it is called cow pea / black eyed beans. This legume is available in many varieties and colours. I have seen white coloured karamani in many of the departmental stores in Chennai. But in south Tamilnadu, we get brown coloured pulses available in various sizes. Generally Thatta payir has its unique flavor and taste but in my opinion, the small, brown variety tastes much better than any other variety. Whenever my sister goes to my hometown , she will bring a  load of this payaru and I’ll always have a stock in my freezer.

The health benefits of this  beans are many, rich in fibre and low in cholesterol, it is very good for diabetic people. Dieticians advice diabetics to include pulse in every day meal in any form since it has low glycemic index. If we eat sundal every day, it will be boring. I have seen that many in Chennai make only sundal out of pulses but in the Southern part of Tamilnadu, we make kuzhambu ( Gravy) using all payaru. I’ll blog other sundal kuzhambu recipes in due course.  This thatta payaru kuzhambu | Thatta Payir Kuzhambu  will be slightly thin and the combination of this with piping hot rice and appalam/vadam shares no equal and is especially good on rainy days.

  • Thatta payaru  -150 gm
  • Small Onion(chopped)     - 5 to 6 Nos. or                                                                                         Big onion  (chopped)       - 1 No. (Medium size)
  • Garlic pods      - 5 Nos.
  • Green chilli(slitted) – 2 Nos.
  • Tomato                 - 1 No.
  • Coconut           - 1 tbsp           
  • Red chilli powder    - 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder  - 3 tsp
  • Turmeric powder    - a pinch
  • Tamarind                  - lemon size (soak in 100 ml of water)
  • Oil                   - 1 tbsp
  • Salt as required

For seasoning:
  • Fennel seeds   - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves    - few

                Dry roast thatta payaru in a kadai till you get a nice aroma from it. Cool this and rinse with water . Pressure cook the pulse for 4 whistles with  one and a half cups of water. Pour oil in a kadai, season with fennel seeds, curry leaves, then add onion, garlic, green chilli, sauté well till you get a nice aroma. Then, add tomato and sauté till it gets mashed. Following this, add all masala powders , transfer the cooked thatta payaru to a kadai. Add required salt and bring it to boil. Then add tamarind water, allow it to boil once more. Then add coconut paste , wait for it to boil, then switch off the stove. The kuzhambu consistency should be medium, only then will it taste great with steamed rice. It will go well with soft idli and dosa as well.


            I include coconut in recipes because it will add some taste to the gravy. There is no harm in using little coconut in every day recipe. Care  should be taken  not to cook for a long time after adding coconut to any recipe.


  1. Nice to see in blog and wishes to make more recipes to all

  2. Rani, you are a great narrator. Every recipe is presented with an anectode which is intriguing to read. Keep up the good work.

  3. Nice. adding of groundnut also gives some special flavor.