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Vathal Kuzhambu - South Indian Recipes


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Vathal Kuzhambu

Vathal Kuzhambu is a spicy red gravy that finds pride of place in any traditional Tamil meal. Vathal is a combination of sun-dried vegetables. You can also make a vathal kuzhambu of manthakali, sundakkai or bitter gourd. This spicy gravy stays well for a couple of days when refrigerated. Served on a bed of steamed rice and pappad, it sure is a treat to have!


Vathal Kuzhambu recipe


  • 1 cup vegetables or vathal ( dried vegetables )

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds

  • 2 tsp methi seeds

  • 2 tsp channa dal

  • 2 tsp mustard seeds

  • 2- 4 red chillies

  • small piece asafetida

  • lime sized tamarind ball

Fry asafetida, coriander seeds, red chillies, channa dal and methi seeds in a tsp of oil. Grind to a paste. Cook vegetables in salt water and keep aside. In a hard-bottomed pan, saute mustard in a tsp of oil. Add onions and let them turn a golden brown. Add thick tamarind extract and cooked vegetables or vathal. Let the mixture boil well and simmer. Add the ground paste and let it boil for a few minutes. If the Vathal Kuzhambu consistency is too thin, a spoon of rice flour added with a little water should thicken it up. Garnish with curry leaves.


Vathal Kuzhambu Recipe (With Garlic)

To be dry roasted individually and then ground to a coarse powder:

Coriander seeds 2 tbsp
Tuvar dal 2 tbsp
Red Chillies 6
Jeera 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
Split urad dal 1/4 tsp
pepper corn 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp

Chopped shallots and garlic 2 tbsp
Vathal 2 tsp
Channa dal 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves
Jaggery 1/4 tsp
Asafetida powder 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Tamarind pulp 3 tsp
Salt to taste
Gingelly oil 5-6 tbsp
Roasted peanuts 1 tbsp

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard, asafetida and curry leaves. Then add groundnuts, channa dal, chopped garlic and shallots and vathal. Then add the ground powder and roast for a minute. Add tamarind paste, turmeric powder, jaggery and salt along with a cup of water. Boil for a few minutes till the gravy is thick and a bit of oil separates.


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Vatha Kuzhambu