Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Labels: Sambar varieties
Vatha kuzhambu is a south Indian dish served mainly with rice and papad. It has a single vegetable/ vathal as a base and is a simmered stew of tamarind with a set of spices.
Usually it is prepared with Vathals . Vathals give them the authentic taste. Vathals are dried vegetables and can be bought from any Indian grocery store. Sundakaai vathal, manathakkali vathal or vendakaai vathal are some examples. If not vathals fresh vegetables such as okra/ladies finger, cluster beans, onion or even garlic can be used to prepare this.
I strongly believe that any south Indian vegetarian thali/ meal is not complete without a vatha kozhambu and sutta appalam.
Serves : 4
Cooking time : 15 minutes Preparation Time : 5 minutes
Jeera -- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds -- 1 tsp
Methi seeds -- ½ tbsp
Thuvar dhal -- 1 tbsp
Red chillies -- 3/ 4 (depends on the spice level)
Shallot / Pearl onions --9 or 10 ( or any vathal )
Garlic pods -- 4 /5 (This is optional)
Tamarind pulp -- 2 tbsp
Sambar powder --2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp
Asofetida / Hing --1 pinch
Curry leaves -- 1 spring
Jaggery -- a small ball ( optional)
Water -- 1 1/2 cups
Heat a heavy bottomed pan (traditionally a cast iron kadai is used), with few spoons of oil. when oil is hot add mustard seeds, curry leaves, asofetida, thuvar dal , jeera , methi seeds and red chillies and fry till golden .Now add garlic, fry till its raw smell goes off add then add onions, fry till they turn to golden brown color. ( if using vathal you could add them instead and fry well )Add the sambar powder , salt and sauté for 2 mnutes. Now add the tamarind pulp with water and let it simmer for around 10 minutes. Finally add the jaggery and boil for another 2 minutes.
If vatha kolambu is too watery add 1 tsp of rice flour and allow it to boil to get the required consistency.
Enjoy vatha kuzhambu with hot steamed rice and sutta appalam
Note: This can be made to a thick consistency without adding any vegetables and stored in the fridge for upto 1 month.