Lemon Grass Tambuli or Lemon Grass Buttermilk

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Cymbopogon are commonly known as lemon grass or citronella grass. In Kannada it’s called as majjige hullu. These are commonly cultivated as culinary herb in many Asian countries and also as medicinal herbs. It’s has a distinct scent resembling that of lemon. It can be used in fresh, dried and powdered form. It is used in soups, tea and curries as flavoring agent. Lemon grass oil has antifungal and insect repellent properties. This recipe is from southern coastal regions of Karnataka were tambuli is prepared from any culinary herb. It’s very simple preparation which can be served as drink or side dish for rice.

Here goes the recipe

Course: Side Dish/Drink

Cuisine: Karnataka

Preparation time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 10 min

Serves: 2 nos


Lemon grass (chopped) – ¼ cup

Thin buttermilk – 1 cup

Jeera or cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Fresh coconut (grated) – ¼ cup

Green chili small – 1no

Ghee – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 4 to 6 no

Sugar – 1 tbsp

Salt as per taste


  1. Take a pan and heat jeera until you get nice aroma.
  2. In the same pan, add lemon grass and sauté for 1 minute. Cool this.
  3. Take a blender; add jeera, coconut gratings, lemon grass and green chili. Make a fine paste of this.
  4. Take a bowl; add the lemon grass coconut paste, buttermilk, salt and sugar. Mix well until the salt and sugar dissolves.
  5. For seasoning, take a small pan, heat ghee, add mustard seeds. As it splutters add curry leaves, sauté until you get nice aroma.
  6. Pour this on the lemon grass tambuli and mix well.
  7. Serve this as a drink or side dish with hot rice.

lemon-grass-tambuli 2

My Notes:

Addition of sugar is optional, instead jaggery can be added.

If buttermilk is not available, thick curd with water can also be added.

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