Thambuli (Ajwain leaves raita) - plant-based!

Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
4 servings

Thambuli is type of raita made in Karnataka. Thambuli, being a curd based cuisine, is consumed with rice. It's derived from the Kannada word thampu, which means cool. It is prepared by grinding the main ingredient with the spices and then mixing it with curd. This herbal Thambuli is prepared with ajwain leaves, uses plant-based peanut curd and an oil-free seasoning.

  • 10 ajwain leaves(Mexican mint / Karpoorvalli / Doddapatre)
  • 2 c peanut curd
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1/2c fresh grated coconut
  • 1-2 green chilli
  • Unrefined salt
  • 2-3 tbsp of lemon juice
  • For the tadka
    • 5-6 curry leaves
    • 1 tsp mustard
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tbsp urad dal
    • 1 tbsp channa dal
  • In a heavy-bottomed pan, add pepper, cumin and mustard and dry roast
  • Keep the roasted ingredients aside
  • In the same pan, add 2 tbsp of water and washed ajwain leaves. Let them cook until the colour changes
  • Keep the leaves aside.
  • In a mixer-grinder jar, add fresh coconut, roasted spices, leaves, green chilli, lemon juice and salt and grind well.
  • In a container, add the curd, the ground mix and mix well.
  • Check for salt and lime and add more if needed. The lemon juice is to make the raita tangy
  • To make an oil-free tadka, in clay or an iron heavy bottomed vessel, add channa dal, urad dal and continue to keep roasting. When it’s half done, add cumin and mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add this to the raita.
  • Add curry leaves / red chilli before serving.


The spices for Thambuli remains the same - coconut, pepper, cumin, mustard, green chilli, curd. However, we can change the main ingredient to:

  • Basale soppu ( Malabar spinach)
  • Coriander leaves
  • Mint leaves
  • Curry leaves
  • Roasted Fenugreek seeds
  • Ginger

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