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Nov 17, 2017

Vathakuzhambu / Vathal Kuzhambu

Vathal Kuzhambu or Vathakuzhambu is a simple dish that has mixed taste to satisfy the taste buds. Tangy, Spicy, lightly sweet and salty accompaniment that goes well with Rice, Dosai or Chapati.

Vathal Kuzhambu could be prepared using any Vathal (dried berries / veggies) or with onion / shallots.

What is Vathal? A vathal is made by soaking the berry or veggies like cluster beans in buttermilk and sun dry them. First they are soaked in salted buttermilk for two days, then they are sun dried the 3rd day, at the end of the day, again put inside the same buttermilk and next day same process is repeated... like this soaked till all the buttermilk is completley abosrbed and then finally fully sundried for two more days. It is a lengthy process for a week but the end result is awesomely droolicious. The one we get in store is just salted sans buttermilk. Hence, they may not taste as good as the home made ones.

Now getting into the vathalkuzhambu making.... The one i show here is using shallots and Manathakkali Vathal (black night shade / Makoi [hindi]).  You can see them in the above photo.

Ingredients :-

  1. Tamarind - one chikoo (suppota / sapodilla fruit) size
  2. Sesame oil - 2 tbsp (only sesame oil. no other oil will give a flavour to this dish)
  3. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  4. Hing (Asafoetida) powder - 1/4 tsp
  5. Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
  6. Vathal (dried berry / veggie) - 1 tbsp
  7. Shallots - 6 nos (Finely chopped)
  8. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  9. Red chilli powder - 1 heaped tsp or as per taste
  10. Jaggery - 1 big lemon size
  11. Sambar powder - 1 heaped tsp

Procedure :-

  • Extract Tamarind water. 
  • Heat oil in a wok and add mustard seeds. After they splutter, add the vathal (dried berry), shallots and fry well. 
  • Add curry leaves, hing (Asafoetida powder) and fry for few seconds.
  • Add tamarind water, turmeric powder, sambar powder, red chilli powder, jaggery and bring to boil. Then lower the flame. Occasionally stir it.  Let it boil till it thickens and the oil floats on top. 

  • Delicious and humble vathakuzhambu is ready!
This can be stored in fridge for more than a week. A handy dish that can be served with Cooked Rice / Dosai or Chapati.

Oct 18, 2017

Crochet Mini Swirl Flower Mat - Free Pattern


Hope you had a good start today.  As promised, here I am with the pattern for the post i made couple of days back. I am very glad to share a developed pattern by me with you.  A mini Crochet Swirl Flower Mat.

This is was developed following a design on the web. I have shared the video for you to understand the stitches to make the swirl pattern in the centre of the mini mat.

Giving the pattern below.

Happy Crocheting!


Yarn used : Anchor Mercerised Knitting Cotton [Pink, Green and Cream colors]
Hook size : 3.25 mm
Finished size : 5.5" in diameter
Stitches used : American dc, tr, dtr and reverse sc

Abbreiviations used : tr (Treble), dc (Double crochet), rev sc (Reverse Single Crochet), st (stitch), yo (Yarn over)

tr : yo 2 times on hook (3 loops on hook), insert hook and yo, pull through first loop on hook, yo and pull thru the second loop and then again yo and pull through the 3rd loop.

picot :  3ch and slst into the starting chain.

reverse sc : (normally we crochet towards left but here we will be crocheting towards right) -  insert hook into a stitch on the right side, yo,  pull loop through, yo, pull loop through both the loops.. continue crocheting towards your right.

sc in back loop only :- please google for the same in case if you don't know how to crochet in back loop.


Guiding video : Thanks to Tejidos Milagros Ena,


I am sharing the one I followed for the finished product.

Start : With Pink Yarn, 5 ch, slst to form a circle.

  • R-1 :  4 ch (considered as 1 tr), 20 tr inside the circle [21 tr]
  • R-2 : Sc around..... [21 SC]
  • R-3 : *4ch, tr in same st, 3ch (considered as first tr), 7 tr in the 2nd tr in next st [i.e. in the tr of previous row]** , repeat * to ** till the end of the row [This forms the swirl pattern in the centre]. 
  • R- 4: 2 ch, sc on top of the first tr of the previous row, continue this till end.....  Fasten off.

  • R-5 : With Green color, we will make the leaf.. for which  turn the pattern to wrong side and you will see a round chain formation on the back of the swirl flower. Now turn the piece to the right side and Join the yarn in any one of that starting point of that chain you see on the back of the flower.  Leaf Pattern, into each 2ch space... we will be taking two 2ch spaces to make one leaf... that is, on the first 2ch space, we make first half of the leaf and continue into the next 2ch space to make the 2nd part of the leaf] ---------------- *[sc, hdc, dc, dc, tr, tr, dtr, 3ch picot] in the first 2ch space, then into the next 2 ch space continue the second part of the leaf with [dtr, tr, tr, dc, dc, hdc, sc]**  Continue from * to ** till the end. [10 leaves]. Fasten off.

  • R-6 : With Cream color, join the yarn on any one of the picot, *3 ch, tr, 2ch, tr, 3ch, sc into the picot on the next leaf** .... continue from * to ** till the end. [10 tr]
  • R-7:  slst into each chain of the previous round... around... join
  • R-8 : sc in back loop only , all around till end of the round.
  • R-9 : rev sc into each st of the previous round... till end. Fasten off.
Your Crochet Mini Swirl Flower Mat is ready!!!

In the above pattern, in case if you don't understand anything in particular, do let me know in your comments.

Thanks for your time :-)

Happy Crocheting!!

Disclaimer :- The above video was a free video available in youtube and owned by Tejidos Milagros Ena, the rest of the pattern is made by me. No one can sell the pattern. you may follow the pattern, crochet the product and sell the finished product only.

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