November 22, 2016

Nellai Special Vathakuzhambu

Tirunelveli Vathakuzhambu is very special and no doubt  it is a lip-smacking one. In all hotels and marriages here though Sambar is served, Vathakuzhambu is mandatory. The vathakuzhambu made by fresh roasted spices gives a fantastic flavour and taste. Nobody can resist from asking for more. This vatha kuzhambu can be mixed with plain rice with sesame oil and also be had with curd rice...
  • Pre time: 15 mins
  • Cooking time:25 mins
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients for making Special Vathakuzhambu:

  • Tamarind a big lemon size
  • Dried Turkey berries / Sundaikkai Vaathal fried in oil 20
  • Sesame oil 3 table spoons

For Frying:

  • Coriander Seeds 1 1/2 table spoons
  • Thur dhal 2 tea spoons
  • Bengal gram (Chana dal) 2 tea spoons
  • Raw rice 1 tea spoon
  • Pepper corns 2 tea spoons
  • Cumin seeds 2 tea spoons
  • Red chillies 7
  • Curry leaves 15 leaves
  • Fenu greek 1/2 tea spoon

Fry all the ingredients to dark brown in two tea spoons of sesame oil and grind them to smooth paste after they get cooled and keep aside.
Note: 6 shallots and 4 garlic pearls can also be roasted and grinded along with them if you want it to be more spicy.

For seasoning:

Mustard seeds and fenu greek 1 tea spoon each, hing powder 1/2 tea spoon and 2 red chillies.

Method for making Special Vathakuzhambu:

Heat a kadai with 2 tab spoon of sesame oil and saute it with mustard seeds, fenugreek, red chillies and hing. 
Add tamarind extract, salt and turmeric powder. 
After the raw smell goes add the ground paste and a small piece of jagerry. 
Allow it to boil till the kuzhambu thickens like a paste. 
Finally add the remaining sesame oil and take it off from the stove. 
Add some of the fried turkey berries into it as it is,  and add the rest by crushing it by hand. 


  1. Awesome recipe. I liked it. May I use some cordyceps extracts to make it more healthy?

  2. Deceptively simple dish. Looks inviting.

  3. How much water in total? When you say tamarind extract, how much water will it provide. I ask this since I want to replace tamarind with tamarind paste. Thank you :)