This traditional south Indian side dish is known as Poondu Kolumbu in the south or Lahsooni Kari in the north, which simply means “garlic curry.” The pungent flavor of garlic is well complemented by the spices and tangy tamarind and tomatoes. Do not be put off by the quantity of garlic, although you might not want to prepare garlic curry if you are likely to be in close proximity to anyone for the following two days. Due to its potent flavor, it is best served as part of a larger meal, as one might serve a condiment. Serve this with Flaky Paratha Breads Stuffed with Potatoes or any flatbread of your choice, or, for one of my favorite combinations, with Spicy Mixed Beans and Lentils and Basmati Rice with Whole Spices I also like to use this as a spread on toasted baguette.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet 1 over low heat. Add 1/4 cup (25 g) of the garlic cloves, the fenugreek, cumin and dried red chili peppers and fry for about 1 minute, until the garlic is golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Transfer the cooked garlic and spices to a blender along with the 1 tablespoon of water and process to a fine paste. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in 2 a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, let them splutter, and then add the fennel seeds, curry leaves, onions and green chili peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add the turmeric, Asian chili powder or cayenne pepper and salt, followed by the diced tomatoes. Stir well and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes with the remaining 1/2 cup (125 ml) of water.
Stir in the remaining cup of garlic cloves, 3 the cooked garlic paste and the tamarind paste. Lower the heat and cook gently, stirring frequently, for 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce is thick and the garlic is soft. The mixture will get thicker as it cools down.