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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Kathirikai Vatha Kuzhambu

Vatha Kuzhambu is a South Indian Classic. Its a tangy and spicy curry that is traditionally prepared with Dry Manathakkali Vathal or Sundaikai Vathal. But since am a fan of neither, I have prepared KATHIRIKAI VATHA KUZHAMBU. I love the South Indian Thali that is served at hotels. Their vatha kuzhambu is just amazing. 

I have been searching for a recipe that is close to what is served at the hotels. And finally I found one from Sheena Babu's Kitchen (her recipe link is at the end of post). It was delish!!! So so close to the vatha kuzhambu served at hotels. 

Vatha Kuzhambu is best served with hot rice, Snake Gourd Kootu or any Gourd Kootu, Cabbage Poriyal and Appalams. They also taste yum with Dosa & Idly

Serves 3

You Will Need:

1 Large Eggplant, Cubed
6 -7 Whole Shallots, Peeled 
1 Medium Tomato, Chopped
A tsp of Red Chilli Powder
Lemon Sized Tamarind
Little Jaggery 
1/2 Cup of Gingelly Oil (I used less than this hence I didn't have much oil floating on top)
Salt to Taste

For Vatha Kuzhambu Masala:

1/2 Cup of Grated Coconut
2 tsp of Urad Dal
Tbsp of Coriander Seeds
Tsp of White Poppy Seeds
Tsp of Fenugreek Seeds
6 Dried Red Chillies
Tbsp of Gingelly Oil

For Tempering:

1/2 tsp of Mustard Seeds
3 Dried Red Chillies, broken
Tsp of Hing
Few Curry Leaves

The Cooking:

Soak the tamarind in 1/4 cup of water and extract thick pulp. Keep aside. 

Heat a pan with a tbsp of Gingelly oil and sauté the ingredients for vatha kuzhambu masala. Once the ingredients turn a light brown colour remove and let it cool. Then grind this to a slightly coarse paste.

Heat a kadai and add oil. Crackle mustard seeds, dried chillies, curry leaves and hing. Then add the shallots and sauté till the shallots are soft and translucent. Now add the chopped tomatoes, eggplant and red chilli powder. Sauté on high till the tomatoes become mushy. Now pour in the tamarind and jaggery. Cook this covered for further 5 - 7 mins on low heat. 

Now pour in the vatha kuzhambu masala and salt, stir well. Add a cup to cup & a half water depending on how thick you want the kuzhambu to be and bring the it to boil. Then set the heat on low and cook till the raw flavours of the masala has evaporated and oil starts to separate from the sides and top. The kuzhambu will also thicken lot at this stage. Check for salt, spice and sourness. Take off heat and serve with rice. 

Recipe Adapted from Sheenababu's Kitchen
Happy Cooking!


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