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November 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.

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