Stove Top & Instant Pot Karamani Kuzhambu Recipe: A Step-by-Step Guide

Photo of author
Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine diving into a bowl of warm, comforting karamani kuzhambu, a traditional South Indian stew that’s as nourishing as it is delicious. This dish, rich with the flavors of black-eyed peas simmered in a tangy tamarind sauce, brings a piece of Southern India right to your kitchen. Whether you’re a seasoned lover of Indian cuisine or just exploring, karamani kuzhambu offers a delightful taste adventure.

What’s even better is that you can whip this up on your stove top or in an Instant Pot, making it perfect for busy weeknights or a lazy Sunday afternoon. The versatility and ease of preparation ensure that this dish fits seamlessly into your cooking routine, providing a hearty meal that’s both satisfying and packed with nutrients. Ready to get started? Let’s embark on this culinary journey together, bringing a burst of authentic Indian flavors to your table.


Gather your ingredients to embark on this culinary journey of crafting a savory Karamani Kuzhambu. Whether you’re opting for the traditional stove top method or the modern convenience of an Instant Pot, the essential components remain wonderfully the same.

  • 1 cup of black-eyed peas, soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of red chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups of water
  • Fresh coriander for garnish
  • 1 cup of black-eyed peas, soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger-garffiti paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turner powder
  • 1 teaspoon of rod chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of hadcoriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon of marlin padsture
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cup of flutter
  • Trout heron for litigation

Tools and Equipment Needed

To make karamani kuzhambu, whether you opt for the traditional stove top method or the modern Instant Pot method, having the right tools and equipment is essential for achieving the best results.

  • Heavy-bottomed Pot: A large pot with a thick base ensures that the heat distributes evenly and prevents the sauce from burning.
  • Wooden Spoon: Use a wooden spoon for stirring the ingredients, as it prevents scratching the pot’s surface.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurements are crucial for the perfect balance of flavors, so measuring cups and spoons are vital.
  • Ladle: A ladle will be useful for serving the kuzhambu.
  • Instant Pot: Obviously, an Instant Pot is crucial. Any model will do, but make sure it’s large enough to accommodate the volume of the dish.
  • Trivet: A trivet or a steam rack is useful to place any bowls or plates inside if using the pot-in-pot method for any part of the cooking.
  • Silicone Spatula: A silicone spatula is great for scraping down the sides of the Instant Pot without damaging the coating.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Just like with the stove top method, these will help you ensure you add the right amount of each ingredient.


Now that you have all your essential tools and equipment ready, let’s delve into preparing the key ingredients for a delightful cooking experience.

Preparing Ingredients for Both Methods

Start by thoroughly washing 1 cup of black-eyed peas under cold running water to remove any dirt or impurities. Next, finely chop 1 large onion, 2 tomatoes, and set aside. Also, peel and mince 2 cloves of garlic and a small piece of ginger. Pluck and clean a handful of fresh cilantro leaves, and finely chop them for garnishing. Measure out 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of red chili powder, and have 1/2 cup of tamarind extract ready.

Optional Pre-Soaking

Although pre-soaking black-eyed peas is not mandatory, soaking them for about 4 hours or overnight can significantly reduce the cooking time, especially if you are using the stove top method. To do this, place the black-eyed peas in a large bowl, cover them with plenty of cold water, and let them soak. After soaking, drain the water and rinse the peas again before cooking. This step can be skipped if you are short on time or using an Instant Pot, as the pressure cooking process will tenderize the peas efficiently.

Stove Top Instructions

Now that you’ve prepped your ingredients, let’s start with the stove top method which gives karamani kuzhambu a deeply developed flavor.

Cooking Karamani (Black-Eyed Peas)

  1. Begin by rinsing the black-eyed peas under cold water until the water runs clear. If you’ve pre-soaked the peas, drain and set them aside.
  2. Fill a medium-sized pot with water, add a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the black-eyed peas to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until the peas are tender but not falling apart. Check tenderness by pressing a pea between your fingers.
  4. Once cooked, drain the peas and reserve for later use.

Preparing the Base

  1. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add one teaspoon of mustard seeds and allow them to pop. This usually takes about a minute.
  3. Add finely chopped onions to the pan and sauté until they turn translucent and slightly golden, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Stir in minced garlic and ginger, and cook for another 2 minutes until aromatic.
  5. Mix in chopped tomatoes and cook until they soften and release their juices, approximately 5-6 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of red chili powder, and salt to taste. Cook for 2 more minutes to allow the spices to blend into the mixture.

Simmering and Serving

  1. Pour the cooked black-eyed peas into the spice and tomato base.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of tamarind extract and about a cup of water (adjust according to desired consistency).
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes. During this time, the kuzhambu will thicken and flavors will meld together beautifully.
  4. Adjust salt and seasoning as needed. For a richer flavor, add a pinch of asafoetida during the last couple of minutes.
  5. Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro and enjoy the hearty flavors of your homemade karamani kuzhambu.

Instant Pot Instructions

Switch to the convenience of the Instant Pot for a quicker version of your sumptuous karamani kuzhambu. Follow these simple instructions to bring out the best flavors with less effort.

Setting Up the Instant Pot

  1. Plug in your Instant Pot and press the ‘Sauté’ button to heat it up. As it displays ‘Hot’, add about two tablespoons of cooking oil.
  2. Once the oil is shimmering, toss in a teaspoon of mustard seeds. Wait for them to start spluttering.
  3. Add the finely chopped onions, minced garlic, and grated ginger to the pot. Sauté these until the onions turn a golden brown, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
  4. Stir in the chopped tomatoes along with a pinch of salt and cook until the tomatoes soften and break down, creating a rich base.
  5. Mix in your pre-washed black-eyed peas, followed by one tablespoon of chili powder, two teaspoons of coriander powder, and a teaspoon of turmeric powder for a deep, vibrant flavor.
  6. Pour in tamarind extract diluted in approximately 1.5 cups of water, ensuring the mixture is well combined.

Cooking Karamani Under Pressure

  1. Secure the Instant Pot lid in place, ensuring the valve is set to the ‘Sealing’ position.
  2. Press the ‘Pressure Cook’ or ‘Manual’ button and set the timer to 15 minutes on high pressure.
  3. Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure by carefully turning the valve to ‘Venting’.

Finishing and Serving

  1. After releasing the pressure and removing the lid, stir the kuzhambu to combine all the flavors well.
  2. Check for seasoning and adjust the salt to your taste.
  3. If the kuzhambu seems too thick, feel free to thin it down with a bit more water to achieve your desired consistency.
  4. Hit the ‘Sauté’ button again and bring the kuzhambu to a gentle boil for a few minutes to make sure everything is heated through.
  5. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves for an aromatic finish.
  6. Your Instant Pot karamani kuzhambu is now ready to be served hot with rice or your choice of Indian breads. Enjoy the seamless blend of flavors that this quick method brings out!

Serving Suggestions

After mastering the delightful preparation of karamani kuzhambu, either on the stove top or using your Instant Pot, the next step is to serve it in a way that best complements its rich and tangy flavor profile. Here are some top suggestions to turn your karamani kuzhambu into a hearty and satisfying meal.

Pair with Rice

The traditional way to enjoy karamani kuzhambu is paired with steamed rice. The mildness of plain boiled rice balances the robust, spicy flavors of the kuzhambu, making for a comforting meal. Serve hot and watch the rice absorb the flavorsome gravy, enhancing each bite.

Enjoy with Indian Bread

For a delightful twist, serve your karamani kuzhambu with a side of Indian bread such as roti, naan, or paratha. The bread acts as the perfect vehicle to scoop up the thick curry, ensuring you enjoy every last drop of the flavorful sauce.

Complement with a Side Dish

Consider accompanying your karamani kuzhambu with a dry vegetable side dish like stir-fried green beans or spicy potato fry. This addition introduces an enjoyable contrast in textures and flavors, enriching the overall dining experience.

Top with Fresh Herbs

Before serving, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro or curry leaves can add a vibrant burst of flavor and color to your karamani kuzhambu. The freshness of the herbs will lift the deep, tangy flavors of the stew.

Whether you choose to savor your karamani kuzhambu over rice or dipped with bread, these serving suggestions will ensure a well-rounded and satisfying meal. Enjoy the melding of flavors and the culinary journey of this traditional South Indian dish.

Storage Tips

Proper storage of karamani kuzhambu ensures that you can enjoy this delicious dish even after the initial feast. Whether you’ve made it on the stove top or in the Instant Pot, follow these tips to keep it tasting fresh.

Refrigerating Karamani Kuzhambu

Once your karamani kuzhambu has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container. It’s crucial to not leave it at room temperature for more than two hours to avoid bacterial growth. Store the sealed container in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to three days. When you’re ready to eat it, simply reheat the kuzhambu on the stove over medium heat until it’s thoroughly warmed through.

Freezing Karamani Kuzhambb

To extend the shelf life further, freezing is an excellent option. Pour the cooled kuzhambu into airtight freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Ensure you leave about an inch of space at the top of the container as the kuzhambu will expand when frozen. Label the container with the date, and you can store it in the freezer for up to two months. Thaw the kuzhambu in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Quick Reheating Tips

For reheating, if you’ve stored the kuzhambu in the refrigerator, you might find it has thickened. Add a little water while reheating to adjust the consistency to your liking. If reheating from frozen, allow the kuzhambu to thaw in the refrigerator first, then reheat on the stove or in the microwave, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary to achieve the desired consistency.

Following these storage and reheating tips, your karamani kuzhambu will remain delicious and safe to consume, making your culinary efforts last longer and ensuring nothing goes to waste.


Ready to dive into the rich flavors of karamani kuzhambu? Whether you choose the traditional stove top method or opt for the modern twist using your Instant Pot you’re in for a delightful culinary experience. Remember to pair it with rice or your favorite Indian bread and enjoy the comfort of this hearty dish. Don’t forget the tips on storing and reheating to keep enjoying your kuzhambu for days. Happy cooking!

Related Posts:

1 thought on “Stove Top & Instant Pot Karamani Kuzhambu Recipe: A Step-by-Step Guide”

Leave a Comment