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Arachuvitta Vatha Kuzhambu

Vathal Kuzhambu or Vatral Kuzhambu is an traditional South Indian recipe. This tangy and spicy kuzhambu is prepared using vatrals like sundakkai and manathakkali cooked in tamarind extract and served with rice and applam or karuvadam.

I never used to like this kuzhambu much, but once I happen to ran out of vegetables and there was no power, and I had only little time to prepare lunch. I made Quick Vatha Kuzhambu, a simple and easy version and loved it. So whenever I had to make some kootan or kuzhambu in a hurry, I would make this. Once my MIL made this kuzhambu and it had a different flavor. I asked her how she made it and she said she grinds her own masala for the kuzhambu. No wonder it tasted different and better!!

You can use any vathal for this. I haven't used any, instead I have added onions.


Tamarind - 1 big lemon size
Onion - 1 small, sliced
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Jaggery - 1 tsp

For the masala:
Gingelly oil - 2 tsp
Toor dal - 2 tbsp
Urad dal - 2 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 4 to 5 (adjust spice according to your taste)

Gingelly oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Toor dal - 1 tsp
Fenugreek- 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp


1. Soak the tamarind in water and extract the pulp.

2. Heat oil in a pan and roast the ingredients for the masala till it becomes red in color. Cool and grind to a fine powder.

3. Heat oil. Add ingredients for tempering. Add the sliced onions and fry till it becomes pink.

4. Add the tamarind water, turmeric powder and bring to boil. Boil till it reduces to half. Add salt, ground masala and 1½ - 2 cup water and stir well so that there are no lumps.

5. Boil till it becomes a little thick or to the required consistency. Garnish with curry leaves.

Serve hot with rice.


  1. I simply love vatha kuzhambu...My mom also makes this version but the spices are a little different..will try this version.

    btw, your header looks good dear

  2. Spices sure add a lot flavor. Kuzhambu looks yummy and thx for linking.


  3. Love this version..Super tangy & tasty gravy and thanks for linking.

    Kitchen Chronicles ~ Heirloom Recipes


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