Gravy, Sides

Arichuvitta Sundakkai Vatha kuzhambu | Tambrahm special

What is Kuzhambu ?

Kuzhambu (a.k.a Kozhambu) or a tangy spicy gravy is a mainstay of Tambrahm cooking. Basically there are two MAJOR varieties of Kuzhambu – the one in TAmarind base (as this is) or a Kuzhambu in yogurt base (like this Vendakkai or okra Mor Kuzhambu).

Usually made in place of sambhar or kootu, this Vatha kuzhambu doesn’t contain any lentils but rather Tamarind extract as a base. Also, sun dried vegetable (or vathal as they are called) is usually fried and added to the simmering gravy in place of fresh vegetables. Here Sundakkai (or sundried dried Turkey berry ) is added as the condiment / vegetable.

What are the popular varieties of Kuzhambu?

and so on. 

Arichuvitta Sundakkai Vatha kuzhambu is a Tamilnadu special dish made with tamarind base, sun dried condiments and a specially ground spice powder. Served with rice and Usli or Thogyal Pin

Other Satvik dishes from the Iyengar / Tambrahm cuisine on the blog you may enjoy…

Vazhai Thandu Mor kootu | Banana Stem in Spiced Yoghurt Gravy
Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu is a spiced curry made with yoghurt and tender banana stem. This is usually served with Sambhar and steamed rice.
Check out this recipe
Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu is a spiced curry made with yoghurt and tender banana stem. This is usually served with Sambhar and steamed rice.
Podalangai Podi Thooval | Snake gourd stir fry
South Indian style Snake gourd stir fry with Moong dal Spice Mix served with Sambhar or Kuzhambu
Check out this recipe
South Indian style Snake gourd stir fry with Moong dal Spice Mix served with Sambhar or Kuzhambu
Iyengar style Kadag Puli / Kadugu Puli- a Traditional Curry
Kadag Puli is a traditional Iyengar dish which is satvik (No Onion No garlic) curry. Best served with steamed rice /chapatis. It is a medley of native veggies in an umami-tangy sauce
Check out this recipe
Kadag Puli is a traditional Iyengar dish which is satvik (No Onion No garlic) curry. Best served with steamed rice /chapatis. It is a medley of native veggies in an umami-tangy sauce

What is the USP of this Arichuvitta Vathakuzhambu

Usually, Sambhar powder is used to make these kuzhambus but today’s recipe uses varitha podi (special spice powder) roasted and ground from scratch to make this kuzhambu which makes it super fresh and lipsmacking and aromatic too !

What is served usually with Vathakuzhambu?

  • Potato Roast
  • Thayir Saadam (curd rice)
  • Hot rice + nallennnai (sesame oil) with a crunchy appalam (papad)
  • Paruppu Usli (veggie lentil crumble)

All the above 4 make an excellent meal.. which of course dictates the next course of action – deep slumber 🙂

Arichuvitta Sundakkai Vatha kuzhambu is a Tamilnadu special dish made with tamarind base, sun dried condiments and a specially ground spice powder. Served with rice and Usli or ThogyalPin

Let’s get to make this Arichuvitta Sundakkai Vathakuzhambu

Prep time – 15 mins, Cook time – 20 mins, Serves – 5 generously

(tastes even better the next day!!)

Course – Main Course / Side Dish ; Cuisine – Tambrahm / South Indian

Tips and Tricks to make this Arichuvitta Sundakkai Vatha kuzhambu

  1. Take good quality tamarind to make the extract. If using tamarind paste, skip this step
  2. Roast all ingedients on low / medium flame. Cool thoroughly and powder
  3. Filter the tamarind extract without any fibres / seeds
  4. Addition of shallots (Chinna vengayam) is optional. We skip if makign this on festivals / auspicious days
  5. Sesame oil is the CORNERSTONE of this Kuzhambu. Do use it in the quanity mentioned for authentic taste
  6. This kuzhambu keeps very well under refreigeration for upto 7-8 days easily. The taste intensifies with each day, and we love to have a small portion everyday with curd rice ! yum!!

PIN FOR LATER

Arichuvitta Sundakkai Vatha kuzhambu is a Tamilnadu special dish made with tamarind base, sun dried condiments and a specially ground spice powder. Served with rice and Usli or ThogyalPin

Ingredients to make

Main base

  • 1/3 cup Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 cup Shallots (Chinna Vengayam – skip if not using or replace with drumsticks)
  • 1 cup thick Tamarind extract (extracted from 1 large lemon sized tamarind, sub with 3 tsp tamarind paste) 
  • 2 TBSP Turkey berry (Sundakkai Vathal)
  • 1 tsp salt (please note the vathal is ALSO salted, so proceed cautiously) 
  • 1 TBSP Rice flour (skip if using whole rice in the spice powder below)
  • 1 tsp jaggery (optional, but recommended)

For the spice powder

  • 2 TBSP urad dal (Ulutham paruppu)
  • 3 red chillies (vara milage)
  • 1 tsp Pepper (Milagu)
  • 1 tsp Cumin (jeeragam)
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander seeds (Dhanya / malli)
  • 1 tsp Rice grains (skip if using rice flour) 

Tempering:

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (Kadugu)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (karivepalai)  
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp split pigeon pea (toor dal / thuvaram paruppu)

Prep work:

  1. If using shallots, soak it in warm water, peel after 10 mins. 
  2. If using Drumsticks in place of shallots, peel lightly and cut into 2 inch pieces
  3. If using ONLY SUndakkai VATHAL, fry them 2 TBSP of sesame oil and keep aside
  4. Wash and soak tamarind in 1.5 cups hot water for 15 mins, extract the thick juice and keep aside. 
  5. If using tamarind paste, see Tips and tricks for more details.  
Arichuvitta Sundakkai Vatha kuzhambu is a Tamilnadu special dish made with tamarind base, sun dried condiments and a specially ground spice powder. Served with rice and Usli or ThogyalPin

How to make Arichuvitta Sundakkai Vatha kuzhambu

  1. In a deep bottomed pan, add 1 tsp of oil. Roast all the ingredients for the spice powder one by one till golden brown. 
  2. Cool this mixture thoroughly and powder it fine
  3. In the same pan, add 3/4 of the remaining Sesame oil, temper with the tempering ingredients, 
  4. Once mustard stops spluttering and the toor dal turns golden brown, add the shallots
  5. Fry on medium flame for 4-5 mins till the shallots turn translucent . Remove the mixture to a plate
  6. In the same pan, add the tamarind extract with a pinch of turmeric and salt. 
  7. Let the rawness of the tamarind go off, now add the freshly ground spice powder
  8. Let it simmer till slightly thick.
  9. Adjust salt and add the jaggery at this stage
  10. Then add the sautéed shallots, fried vathal (from the prep work above) and let it simmer for 10-12 mins till oil begins to leave the sides
  11. If using rice flour instead of rice grains, make a slurry with little water and add it to the gravy BEFORE adding the shallots.
  12. The gravy thickens with time
  13. Serve with hot steaming rice, appalam and any side dish of your choice. Best combo is with Usli and Curd rice!
Arichuvitta Sundakkai Vatha kuzhambu is a Tamilnadu special dish made with tamarind base, sun dried condiments and a specially ground spice powder. Served with rice and Usli or ThogyalPin
Arichuvitta Sundakkai Vatha kuzhambu is a Tamilnadu special dish made with tamarind base, sun dried condiments and a specially ground spice powder. Served with rice and Usli or ThogyalPin

Arichuvitta Sundakkai Vathakuzhambu | Tambrahm special

Kalyani
Arichuvitta Vathakuzhambu is a Tamilnadu special dish made with tamarind base, sun dried condiments and a specially ground spice powder. Served with rice and Usli.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Gravy, Side Dish
Cuisine South Indian, Tambrahm, Tamilnadu Cusine
Servings 5 people
Calories 231 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Kadai
  • 1 Ladle
  • 1 Spice Grinder

Ingredients
  

Main base:

  • 1/3 cup Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 cup Shallots Chinna Vengayam – skip if not using or replace with drumsticks
  • 1 cup thick Tamarind extract extracted from 1 large lemon sized tamarind, sub with 3 tsp tamarind paste
  • 2 TBSP Turkey berry Sundakkai Vathal
  • 1 tsp salt please note the vathal is ALSO salted, so proceed cautiously
  • 1 TBSP Rice flour skip if using whole rice in the spice powder below
  • 1 tsp jaggery optional, but recommended

For the spice powder:

  • 2 TBSP split black gram urad dal / Ulutham paruppu
  • 3 dry red chillies vara milage
  • 1 tsp Pepper Milagu
  • 1 tsp Cumin jeeragam
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander seeds Dhanya / malli
  • 1 tsp Rice grains skip if using rice flour

Tempering:

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds Kadugu
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves karivepalai
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp split pigeon pea toor dal / thuvaram paruppu

Instructions
 

Prep work:

  • If using shallots, soak it in warm water, peel after 10 mins.
  • If using Drumsticks in place of shallots, peel lightly and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • If using ONLY SUndakkai VATHAL, fry them 2 TBSP of sesame oil and keep aside
  • Wash and soak tamarind in 1.5 cups hot water for 15 mins, extract the thick juice and keep aside.
  • If using tamarind paste, see Tips and tricks for more details.

How to make Arichuvitta Vathakuzhambu:

  • In a deep bottomed pan, add 1 tsp of oil. Roast all the ingredients for the spice powder one by one till golden brown.
  • Cool this mixture thoroughly and powder it fine
  • In the same pan, add 3/4 of the remaining Sesame oil, temper with the tempering ingredients,
  • Once mustard stops spluttering and the toor dal turns golden brown, add the shallots
  • Fry on medium flame for 4-5 mins till the shallots turn translucent . Remove the mixture to a plate
  • In the same pan, add the tamarind extract with a pinch of turmeric and salt.
  • Let the rawness of the tamarind go off, now add the freshly ground spice powder
  • Let it simmer till slightly thick.
  • Adjust salt and add the jaggery at this stage
  • Then add the sautéed shallots, fried vathal (from the prep work above) and let it simmer for 10-12 mins till oil begins to leave the sides
  • If using rice flour instead of rice grains, make a slurry with little water and add it to the gravy BEFORE adding the shallots.
  • The gravy thickens with time
  • Serve with hot steaming rice, appalam and any side dish of your choice. Best combo is with Usli and Curd rice!

Notes

Tips and Tricks to make this Arichuvitta Vathakuzhambu
  1. Take good quality tamarind to make the extract. If using tamarind paste, skip this step
  2. Roast all ingedients on low / medium flame. Cool thoroughly and powder
  3. Filter the tamarind extract without any fibres / seeds
  4. Addition of shallots (Chinna vengayam) is optional. We skip if makign this on festivals / auspicious days
  5. Sesame oil is the CORNERSTONE of this Kuzhambu. Do use it in the quanity mentioned for authentic taste
  6. This kuzhambu keeps very well under refreigeration for upto 7-8 days easily. The taste intensifies with each day, and we love to have a small portion everyday with curd rice ! yum!!

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 3gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 939mgPotassium: 119mgFiber: 3gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 22IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Gravy, Kuxhambu, Side Dish, Sides, South Indian, Vathakozhambu, VAthakuzhambu
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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10 Comments

  1. Preethicuisine

    5 stars
    I love this classic dish from our TamBrahm cuisine . It is so delicious and addictive. Absolutely flavourful dish Kalyani.

  2. 5 stars
    This was the best lipsmacking vattalkozhmabu I have had. I make a few different versions as my husband and I love these, this recipe won hands down.

  3. 5 stars
    I am yet to try this arachivitta VK . Sundakka vetha kuzhambu used to be amma’s fav and signature kuzhambu .. love to have this with suda suda Pappu mammam .

  4. 5 stars
    Lipsmacking delicious arichuvitta vatha kuzhambu. Love the use of fresh maslas made from scratch.

  5. Jayashree T.Rao

    5 stars
    Arichuvitta vathakuzambu sounds so flavoursome. I am yet to try it in my kitchen, can follow your recipe.

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