Thursday, September 13, 2007


I would like to start off with one of my favorite recipes, Vengaya (onion)Vathakuzhambu.

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 pinch
Turmeric--- 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 the sauce is thick,take some oil in a small pan, add mustard and
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.


Ganesh said...

First to comment :-)

Congrats !! hope u become meenkashi ammal in the US of A :-)

Vathakuzhambu looked great ! How did it taste?

Thayirsaadham said...

i have linked you up in a post :-)

nayana said...

Looks yummy…the blog has a nice warm feel

It feels nice to know that u r venturing into blogs- that too yummy blogs

Good going….i am inspired to make venagaya vathakuzhambu this weekend!!!!!

Kavitha said...

Thanks a lot and good initiative! I used to have my diary.. Now i can refer your blog :)

purvacarnation said...

great job vandana!!Now, should I venture out trying these recipies is another question !!! :)

Mazak kar sakti hu na?

bharati said...

Hey by the way Purvacarnation is the google group for my appt its me bharati..from bangalore

Nags said...

i make it pretty much the same way, going to post mine version soon :)

popeye said...

Hey, i followed the recepie.. came out well.. except was a little watery... is there a way of making it thick... ?

popeye said...

Hey, i pretty much did the same way. came a little watery.. is there a way of thickening it?

Vandana said...

If you want to make it really thick, then you can mix 1 teaspoon of rice flour with water and add it to the vathakuzhambu and bring to a boil. I dont do this usually because it calms the spice down. Try and boil it for some more time on a medium fire, it will become thick on its own.

Anonymous said...

Great recipe, just made it. I have not tasted yet, but the smell / aroma makes me to feel proud about what I just made. Thanks for this recipe.

- Ganesh, VA

Anonymous said...

Hi Vandana, I make this often. Had it first and learnt it from my friend the other V. Impressed my mom too, she loves it. My problem is sometimes I am not patient or lack judgement in frying the onions and then it doesnt taste so great. Of course whatever I do, it never tastes as great as yours or Vs. Question: Where do you get the Vathal you mentioned? And at waht poin do you add them? - Rama

Vandana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vandana said...

Rama, Honestly it is the powder which adds the taste, my aunt makes it for us... and you are welcome to borrow it anytime. Try adding a little more powder, and with vathakuzhambu, it has to simmer for a long time... and about Vathals, I get mine from Chennai, to be specific, a store called "Ambika's" you are welcome to borrow that also. You add them after the kuzhambu is made and about 20 mins before serving, it will be just rightly soaked... and of course, you cannot lose patience while frying the onions, it gives a raw taste and is not very welcome to the palette.... :))