Saturday, April 20, 2013

vatral kuzhambu - sun dried veggies in tangy curry

My grandmother used to prepare this curry very often and we loved to have it for lunch over hot steaming rice.The sun dried sundakai and manathakkali have numerous health benefits and both have medicinal values in  ayurveda.They are said to be a natural cure for chest and stomach related problems,and are widely known for the detox of liver and stomach.Including these in your diet once a week acts as detox for for the body and if you can get these fresh -great but if you happen to live overseas they are pretty hard to find ,the ones I am  using in the following recipe were homegrown and sun dried without adding salt and gifted with love to us by one of my MIL's friend back in India,to whom I'm  forever thankful.The reason I mentioned this is because the store bought vatral will have a lot of salt in them as a preservative ,so be careful with the overall salt in the recipe.

shallots/pearl onion: 10-12
garlic:7-8 cloves
tomato: 1 large 
sundakkai dry or fresh:2 tbs
manathakkali:2 tbs 
Oil: 2 tbs
Mustard seeds :1 tsp
fenugreek seeds: 1/2 tsp
curry leaves: few
asafetida(rock form):1/4 of an inch 
tamarind: lemon size
sambar powder:2 tbs(if not available substitute with 1 tsp red chilli powder +2 tbs coriander powder)
turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
rice flour:1 tsp
salt :adjust to taste 
water: as required 
  1. start by soaking the tamarind in about 1 cup water
  2. to this add the sambar powder , the turmeric powder and using clean hands mix everything well.keep aside
  3. heat a pan ,used in the recipe is a claypot which increases the taste of the curry manifold but a regular frying pan will very well do the job .
  4. add in the oil,mustard seeds let splutter
  5. add in the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves
  6. add in the asafetida ,used in the recipe is rock form you can use the powder form .
  7. next add in the shallots and garlic  saute for a minute
  8. add in both vathal,fry for about two minutes
  9. add in the tomato
  10. season with salt and cook until the tomatoes are mushy
  11. add in the tamarind paste ,add 2 cups of water and mix well,let this cook for next 5 minutes
  12. to thicken the curry dissolve 1 tsp rice flour in 1/4 cup water and beat till no lumps remain
  13. add this to the curry and simmer for next 5 minutes
  14. check for the consistency you are looking for if acquired turn down the heat ,season with more salt if required.
Enjoy with steaming rice,dosas,idli or any of your favorite dish.
Here is a quick tutorial
thank you for visiting ! 


  1. Recipe looks so rich and inviting, very nice job.

  2. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.Hope you enjoy the recipe.