Sunday, July 26, 2020



In some parts of Karnataka like South Kanara, we make Tambuli, which is a mildly spiced coconut and curd based gravy, that is a tasty and healthy accompaniment for steamed rice. It is considered to be cooling in nature and good for digestion.

Today's Tambuli is made with the leaves of an aromatic plant called Doddapatre in Kannada , Sambarballi in Tulu and Konkani, and Karpuravalli in Tamil.

Interestingly, this plant is known as Indian Borage or Mexican Mint in English. You can read more about this and its health benefits in this article in Urban Mali.

Traditionally every household used to grow this plant. I too have one in a pot at home even now. The juice of this is supposed to have medicinal properties as per our old grandma tales.

For making this Tambuli, it is advisable that the curds/buttermilk used should be slightly sour. I have adapted this from Doddapatre Tambuli in Swayam Paaka, the popular Kannada cookery channel.


  • Doddapatre (Sambarballi) Leaves,  a big handful
  • Curds/Buttermilk, 1/2 cup
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/2 cup
  • Black Peppercorns, 15
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water, 1/2 to 3/4 cup
  • Ghee, 1 tsp
For Seasoning:-
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee, 1 tsp 

Remove the Doddapatre leaves from the stems and wash them thoroughly
Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel

In a thick-bottomed kadhai, heat 1 tsp of ghee and on medium heat add the peppercorns, sauté for a few seconds then add the cumin seeds. Saute till the cumin seeds become golden brown in colour. 
Add the Doddapatre leaves and sauté for another 5 minutes till they wilt and the raw smell goes
To this add the coconut gratings, mix well, sauté for a few seconds and switch off the gas
Wait for this to cool and transfer to a mixer jar
Add salt and grind to a fine paste adding 1/2 cup of water
Now add the curds and grind briefly or in pulse mode
In case it is too thick you can add another 1/4 cup of water, only if required, to get the right consistency
Transfer the ground Tambuli to a bowl
Heat 1tsp ghee in the kadhai and on medium heat add the mustard seeds, when they splutter, add the cumin seeds and sauté till they turn golden
Pour this seasoning onto the tambuli
Serve Doddapatre Tambuli with steamed rice 

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