Orange Peel Kuzhambu/ Sambar

Orange Peel Kuzhambu or Sambar

by Savitha,

Orange Peel kuzhambu or Sambar is much different and off beat recipe in Tamil Cuisine. This recipe dates back to centuries, our great grannies of my mother-in-law’s hometown, used to store the dried orange peels. These peels were later used, at times, when the prices of veggies soared.

I learnt this recipe from my mother-in-law.  For this recipe, you can use the peels of any orange variety. I prefer using the peels of imported (Australian) orange or Nagpur orange or kinnow. The interesting part of this kuzhambu is it has all types of taste. Sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, spice and salt. Arusuvai is the term we use it Tamil to describe 5 different tastes. This kuzhambu is an excellent blend of all these tastes. We use mud pot for this recipe, which adds to the taste.

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins

Key Ingredients

Orange Peel (of one orange) washed and sliced thinly
Tamarind syrup extracted from one lemon sized tamarind soaked in warm water
Jaggery 3 tbsp
Red Chilies 6-7 nos.
Curry leaves a handful
Til oil 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Sambar powder 1 tsp (optional)
Hing 1/2 tsp


  1. Heat til oil in a thick vessel/ skillet/ mud pot and add mustard seeds. let it splutter.
  2. Add curry leaves, red chilies and the chopped orange peels. Saute for few minutes, til the peels get cooked.
  3. Add the tamarind syrup and salt
  4. Let it boil for sometime, roughly about 5 mins. Add the powdered jaggery.
  5. In a bowl mix sambar powder in little water and add it to the kuzhambu. (this is optional)
  6. Let the kuzhambu boil for sometime. (about 5 mins) It will reduce to a thick paste as shown in the picture.

Serve with hot steamed rice, til oil and papad/appalam

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