Vatral Kulambu (vegetable curry)
Vatral Kulambu is an authentic South Indian speciality. Vatrals are nothing but sun dried vegetables, which are added to this spicy sour gravy. It can be made with either one variety or a combination of different vatrals and fresh vegetables. Vatral kuzhambu is a south Indian dish served mainly with rice and papad. It has a single vegetable/ vatral as a base and is a simmered stew of tamarind with a set of spices. Usually it is prepared with brinjal/eggplant or okra/lady’s finger. Vatrals can also be used. . Vatrals are dried vegetables and can be bought from any Indian grocery store. Sundakaai vatral, manathakkali vatral or vendakaai vatral are some examples. I strongly believe that any vegetarian thali/ meal is not complete without a vatra kozhambu and sutta appalam.
- Brinjal – 5 to 6 pieces
- Gingili oil ( Sesame oil)– 2Tbl.sp
- Tamarind – one small lemon size
- Sambhar powder – 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Salt – 1 Tbl.sp
- Rice flour – 1Tbl.sp
- Jaggery – little ( optional)
For Seasoning the Kulambu:
- Mustard seeds ¼ tsp
- Asafoetida powder – ¼ tsp
- Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
- Broken Dry Red Chili – 2-3
- Thuar dhal
- Soak the Tamarind in hot water for half an hour and squeeze out the extract.
- Heat the oil in the frying pan, add the one by one of the seasoning to the oil. Now add Brinjal fry for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add Sambhar powder, Turmeric powder.
- Pour the tamarind extract, salt and boil until the raw smell goes away. This raw gravy could splutter all over, so be careful and cook on low flame.
- Mix the rice flour in the water throughly without any lumps.
- Add it to the Kulambu. This makes the kulambu thicker.
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