Vatral kuzhambu

This dish is an all-time favorite to the traditional Tamilian. This may be prepared with a whole slew of fresh vegetables or marinated and dried(vatral) vegetables. This dish tastes best when mixed with rice and eaten with papad (appalam). Vatral is prepared by soaking the vegetables like manathakkali(black-nighshade), sundakkai(turkey berry), kothavaranga(cluster beans) in buttermilk, salt and dried in sunlight. These are also readily available in super-market.
When small onions is used as the main vegetable, the tangy taste of the tamarind, the aroma of the small onion in combination with curd rice, tastes like ambrosia.

  • Onion Vatral Kuzhambu
  • onion vatral kuzhambu

  • Manathakkali Vatral Kuzhambu
  • Manathakkali vatral kuzhambu

    Small onions, pealed or ( manathakkali| sundakkai| kothavaranga | Brinjal vatral or Fried Papad or onion and garlic together| Drumstick) – 1 cup
    Tamarind, lemon-sized, soaked in ½ cup of water for 10 minutes
    Sambar powder – 2 tsp
    Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
    Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
    Toor dal – 1 ½ tsp
    Red Chillies – 1 or 2 as per your taste
    Asafoetida – a pinch
    Curry leaves – 5 to 6
    Gingely oil – 3 – 4 tsp
    Salt to taste

    1. Heat the oil in a kadai and sauté the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chillies, toor dal and asafoetida till golden brown.
    2. Add the curry leaves, any one of the above mentioned vegetables and fry for 1-2 min. Add the sambar powder and fry for another 1-2 min till golden brown.

    3. Squeeze out the tamarind juice and dilute this juice in 2 cups of water by repeating the process. Add to the fried mixture. Add salt to taste.
    4. Allow it to boil till the mixture thickens.
    5. Serve with papad and plain rice.

    1. If the ‘kuzhambu’ is too watery and does not thicken, add 1 tsp corn flour in ¼ cup of water and allow it to boil till the mixture thickens.
    2. Instead of vegetables, if you select fried papad, follow the method as mentioned above and add the crushed papad at the end.

    5 Comments Add yours

    1. Mythreyee says:

      Another authentic recipe.

    2. This is one dish both my kids love and are always asking grandma to make. Thanks for making this recipe available. The tamil tradition can now continue

    3. Kavi Murali says:

      Good initiative da!!!
      It is really useful for people like me who is fond of south Indian veg food.
      Thank You,
      Kavi Murali

    4. Ramki says:


      HAve blogged your Vatral Kulambu as a model recipe in the 1001 Kulambu cookbook at

      /Thanks for the recipe

    5. Jennifer says:

      Oh of course you have my favorite recipe too. I linked back from mine here

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s