Vathal Kulambu Recipe – Arachu vitta vatha kuzhambu Recipe
Vathal Kulambu – Arachu vitta vatha kuzhambu is a thick, semi-gravy spicy dish prepared from dried vathal (Sun-dried vegetables), onions and garlic cooked in a spiced-up coconut gravy and usually served as an accompaniment for rice. Vathal Kulambu is a famous South Indian gravy that is well known for its spiciness and tanginess. It can also be served as a side dish for idly, dosa, idiappam, curd rice, aappam, coconut rice etc. Such vathal includes sun dried veggies like Vendaikka (Okra), Manga (Mango), Sundaikka (Bitterberry), Manathakkali (Wonderberry) etc.
Good thing about vathal kuzhambu is that it would stay good for a week when refrigerated and the taste gets better by the days. 🙂 The tanginess and spiciness are a good combination in this and the onion and garlic would add up the taste. Fresh ground spices and sauteed coconut would add a nice aroma to this vatha kolambu. This dish has been my favorite since childhood. As it stays good for a really long time, I would have it everyday and would be the one to finish off the last drop of it. 🙂 Believe me, it’s the best dish you can have with rice and if you pair it up with Papad/vadagam and mild beans curry or carrot curry or okra curry or paruppu usili, that would be so greattttt!! 🙂 Do try it out and let me know how you liked it. 🙂
Vatral kulambu is very famous in south India especially Tamilnadu. You can never see a wedding lunch in Tamil nadu without this special ‘Arachu vitta vathal kulambu’. This ‘kalayana veedu’ special vathal kulambu is prepared in our home when guests come over. Otherwise, we just stick to our usual, easy vathal puli kolambu recipe. But, this Iyer-special recipe for ‘arachu vitta’ vathal kulambu demands a lot of ingredients and chopping, scraping and peeling. Yet, I would say it’s totally worth it. You can prepare it over a weekend and use it extensively the following week as accompaniment for your rice, idlies, dosas, curd rice and what not!!! But still, if you are so lazy for this, you can always try out the easy puli kulambu. 🙂
I have used vendaikka vathal (dun-dried Okras) in this recipe. You can use Vendaikka (Okra), Sundaikka (Bitterberry), Manathakkali (Wonderberry), kothavaranga vatral etc. But, if you are using the veggies that have bitter taste, please use very very less of those as it would influence the taste of our vathal kulambu to a greater extent. Please don’t use dried mango vathal in this recipe as the process is different for that one. I would post that manga vathal kulambu recipe soon here. 🙂 Now, over to vendaikka vathal kolambu recipe from HomeMaking Delight with step by step photos…
Vathal Kulambu Recipe – Arachu vitta vatha kuzhambu Recipe
Tamarind (Imli/puli)- amla sized ball
Urad dhal (Ulundhu) – 1 tsp
Coriander seeds (Dhaniya) – 1 tbsp
Grated coconut – 3 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds (Methi/Vendhayam) – 3/4 tsp
Edible oil – 1/4 cup
Gingelly oil – 1/4 cup (Or any edible oil)
Sambhar powder – 1/2 tbsp (Read notes to skip)
Red chillies – 4 (Add more, if needed)
Jaggery (Vellam) – 1 tsp
Salt – as needed
Water -as needed (2 cups approximately)
Mustard seeds (rai/kadugu) – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Small onions (Shallots) – 25 -30
Tomato (small/medium sized) – 1
Garlic pods – 20-25
Vathal (Vendaikka / Sundaikka / Manathakkali) – 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida (Hing/Perungayam) – 1 tsp
- Soak tamarind in hot water for 15 minutes in 2 cups of water to extract the tamarind juice out of it. Dry roast the grated coconut well until it turns golden brown and a nice aroma arises.
- Add a tsp of oil and roast the below ingredients one by one separately.
- Coriander seeds
- Urad dhal
- Red chillies – 2
- Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Add a tsp of oil and saute 10 number of shallots. Once they turn pink, add chopped tomato and saute well.
- Grind the sauteed spices and sauteed onion and tomato together into a paste by adding less water.
- Heat 1/4 cup of oil and add mustard seeds and 1/4 tsp of methi seeds. Once they splutter, add curry leaves and garlic, red chilles and saute well. Then add the remaining shallots and saute until they turn pink.
- Now, add the ground paste and mix well and cook for 1 minute in medium flame.
- Now, add the sambhar powder, salt and turmeric powder and mix well.
- Pour in the extracted tamarind juice to the mixture and bring it to boil.
- Once it begins to thicken, add asafoetida (hing) and keep the stove in simmer. Keep stirring frequently to avoid it from sticking to the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Once it becomes a thick gravy as shown in the pic, add jaggery and mix well and cook for a minute and switch the stove off.
- Fry the vendaikka vathal (Or any other vathal of your choice).
- Heat 1/4 cup of gingelly oil and add 1/4 tsp methi seed and curry leaves. Add this to our cooked vathal kulambu and mix well.
- Our spicy vendaikkai vathal kulambu is ready. Serve the kolambu hot with rice and papad/appalam. Check out all our veggie curries to go with our vatral kuzhambu.
- Use less fenugreek seeds (as instructed) as it has a bitter taste. Adding more would spoil the taste.
- The vathal should be fried and added after the vathal kulambu is cooked to add up the aroma.
- Using gingelly oil is highly recommended for the flavor and taste. Also, this recipe requires more oil than all other i recipes. Please don’t reduce the oil quantity.
- Small onions/shallots are recommended. But, you can use normal onions also.
- Adjust sambhar powder per your taste. You can also add up red chillies while grinding and sauteing and take out the sambhar powder from this recipe.
- Don’t skip the last tempering part as it adds more aroma to the dish.
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