My mom would make this pretty often because it was everybody's favorite. Although my dad's version of this tasted better. This was our usual meal on Sundays--- Vengaya Vathakuzhambu, Urulakizhangu(potato) Curry, Rasam and Rice hmmmm, those were the days..........
Vathakuzhambu is basically a thicker version of sambar with no dal.... You can make this when you run out of dal.You can put onion , Chow Chow (Chayote), Okra, Brinjal ---- in the vathakuzhambu, or put some Vatrals in it like "manathakkali" or "Kothavarangai" or " sundakai" or kuzhambu karuvadam also. the list is endless!
For Vengaya Vathakuzhambu, use Shallots if available otherwise pearl onions are okay. If you have big onions only, then chop them finely.
Now the Recipe:
Shallots ---- About 20
Tamarind ---- Small Lemon sized
Oil ----- 2 to 3 tbsp
Fenugreek - 1/2 teaspoon
Sambar Powder---- 2 to 3 Spoons
Curry Leaves ---- 1 Strands
Salt---- 1 and 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida--- a pinchTurmeric--- a pinch
Mustard---- 1/2 tsp
Red Chillies ---- 2 or 3
Soak the tamarind in a cup of water and extract all the juice out of it.
Peel the shallots and cut them in two if desired or keep it whole. --------->
Place kadai on stove, and put some oil in it. Keep the flame on medium, and add the fenugreek to this and fry them for some time and then add shallots,
and saute the shallots till they kind of get brown and wilty. --------->
Keep the onions on the side. I have used another vessel to make the vathakuzhambu, you may use the same kadai in which you fried the shallots. Reduce flame first, then add about 2 to 3 tsp
(depending on the amount of spice you can take)of sambar powder,
Turmeric Powder, Asafoetida and add salt. Then pour the tamarind
juice in it and bring to a boil. ----------------------------------->
once it starts jumping around add dry red chillies and add it to the kuzhambu and serve it with rice!!
Plain urad papad toasted on stove or mircrowave goes well with this.
Try mixing it with hot rice and a hint of ghee-----yummy
P.S. Sambar powder* is generally made ahead of time and stored. It stores well outside, dry but I have seen people storing it in their freezer. But either way it has the most flavor for one year after it is made. Mine comes form India, made by my aunt. Here is the recipe for it
Dry Red Chillies --- One Cup
Dhania ------ One Cup
Chana Dal------- One Cup
Fenugreek----- One Tbsp
Turmeric Powder--- One Tbsp
Dry roast everything seperately except the turmeric powder, let cool and make a fine powder in your dry grinder and then as a last step add the turmeric powder and mix well.