Any form of vathal kuzhambu is one awesome combo for curd rice. I’ve already posted a detailed Vathal kuzhambu recipe using manathakali vathal using special homemade vatha kuzhambu podi. Todays recipe is an easy to make vathal kuzhambu using dry turkey berry / sundakkai vathals using sambar powder/ kuzhambu podi making it perfect for beginners and bachelors who want to make a quick tasty vatha kuzhambu.
Turkey Berry (Solanum Torvum)- is a fruit which can be used in fresh form or dried form. it is called as Pea Eggplant in English, Sundakkai in tamil, Usthikaya in Telugu, Bhankatiya in Hindi, Kudanekai in Kanada and Chundanga in Malayalam. It has a lot of medicinal properties and health benefits. Traditionally it often taken to get rid of stomach worms / intestinal worms… they help to treat cold, flu symptoms, mucus, a very good treatment for indigestion / gastritis and most of all it helps to treat anemia. There are a lot more health benefits to highlight but at home we basically have this a couple of times in a month to treat stomach worms, usually alternate between manthakali or sundakkai… getting fresh sundakkai is very hard but dried vathals are available in most Indian stores and can be used to make this tangy gravy.
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|Dry Sundakkai / Turkey berries||15 berries|
|Sambar onions / pearl onions||6|
|Onion (periya vengayam)||1/2 cup (finely chopped)|
|Tamarind||1 lime size (or 5 tablespoons thick extract)|
|Turmeric powder||1/4 teaspoon|
|Sambar podi / Kuzhambu thool / Vatha kuzhambu podi||1 & 1/2 tablespoons|
|Rice flour||1 teaspoon|
|Dry red chillies||2 small|
|Mustard seeds / kadugu||1/2 teaspoon|
|Fenugreek seeds / vendhyam||1/4 teaspoon|
|Split black gram / ulutham paruppu||1/4 teaspoon|
|Cumin seeds / jeeragam||1/2 teaspoon|
|Curry leaves||5 leaves|
|Salt||1 teaspoons (store bought podis have salt, so adjust if using them)|
|Sesame oil / nallennai||3 tablespoons|
|Water||2 cups approx|
Assemble all ingredients needed for the recipe. I guess i forgot turmeric powder 🙄 Soak tamarind in about 1 cup water and extract a thick pulp. Chop the onions and keep all the podis ready. Use only sesame oil to make this gravy which adds ton of flavor.
Heat a tablespoon for sesame oil in a small tadka pan and fry the dried berries till they turn brown and keep them aside along with the oil.
Now heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a kadai / pan and splutter mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, split black gram, dry red chilies, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Let them sizzle a bit.
Add in chopped onion, sambar onions and garlic to it and fry till slightly translucent.
Add in thick tamarind pulp to it and keep the flame at medium.
Add in the sambar powder or kuzhambu podi or vatha kuzhambu podi- You may use homemade sambar podi or kuzhambu milagai podi or vatha kuzhambu podi – store bought is fine too. I’ve tried Achi brand, MTR brand & Sakthi masala brand… they are all good. My fav is Sakthi Masala Vatha kuzhambu podi
Add 1 cup of water to it.
Add in turmeric powder to it.
Now comes the jaggery, just add in.
Add in salt at this point – remember some store bought kuzhambu podis / sambar podi / vatha kuzhambu podis and powder comes with added salt. Make sure to taste before you add in salt.
Brins the kuzhambu to a rolling boil…. while thats happening add in the fried sundakkai along with the oil.
Finally mix the rice flour in 2 teaspoons water and add it to the gravy. This basically thickens the kuzhambu and it completely optional.
Let the gravy boil to thicken. Keep the flame at medium and then simmer.
Once the desired consistency is reached or when the oil separates from the gravy…switch off.
We enjoyed this kuzhambu with simple purple cabbage green peas poriyal. A simple appalam can pair well this kuzhambu… heavenly!
- Serves 3-4 approx
- Try using sesame oil for this recipe to get the authentic taste.
- If you have time, try making vatha kuzhambu podi at home and that gives the best taste. Store bought is also fine… if you need to prepare in less time.
- Any dry vathal can be used instead of the sundakkai…. manathakkai or pavakkai or any type that you have on hand.
- My mil uses little vadagam for added taste.
- Trying using sambar onions for this recipe if possible that gives that sweet touch.
- Always check for salt before adding, some store bought powder/podis already have salt.
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