The recipe for this kozhambu comes from cookbook author Sabita Radhakrishna’s mother. The daikon absorbs liquid as it cooks in the curry, becoming soft and juicy.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (20 votes)


  • 90 g (½ cup) dried chickpeas
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp (block form) (see Note)
  • 2½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 300 g daikon (see Note), peeled, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ¾ tsp ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp ginger and garlic paste (see Note)
  • 1 large tomato, peeled, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp freshly grated coconut
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Serves 4 as part of a shared meal
Soaking time

Soak chickpeas overnight. Drain, then place in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 45 minutes or until chickpeas are tender but still retain their shape. Drain. Meanwhile, soak tamarind in 80 ml boiling water and set aside.

Heat 1¼ tbsp oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add daikon and cook for 2 minutes each side or until edges begin to brown. Add to chickpeas and set aside.

Heat remaining 1¼ tbsp oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add onion and cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Add turmeric, chilli and ground coriander, and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add ginger-garlic paste and tomato, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute or until well combined. Strain tamarind through a fine sieve, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible, and discard solids. Add tamarind liquid, bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes.

Using a mortar and pestle, grind coconut and poppy seeds to a fine paste. Stir into curry, add chickpeas and radish, and season with salt and pepper; curry should have a gravy-like consistency, add extra water if necessary. Return to the boil and cook for 4 minutes or until radish is tender and sauce is thickened. Serve scattered with coriander leaves.


• Tamarind pulp is from Asian food shops.
• Daikon, from select greengrocers and Asian food shops, is a type of large, white radish.
• Ginger and garlic paste is from Indian food shops. Substitute 1 crushed garlic clove and ½ tsp finely grated ginger.



Photography Chris Chen. Food preparation Leanne Kitchen. Styling Berni Smithies.


As seen in Feast magazine, April 2014, Issue 30.