Vatha Khuzhambu is one the most favourite dish of my family. In fact, one can hardly find a tamil brahmin who would not like this dish.
Vatha Khuzhambu with potato fry or Paruppu usili and appalam ( papad) is one the most popular combination of lunch menu.
This is the recipe of the very famous Shri Arusuvai Natrajan, who is a very famous cook in Tamil Nadu.
Arusvai Arasu means king of six tastes . He was given this title by the former president of India Shri V.V.Giri .
I have followed his recipe with few changes to suit my family’s taste:) It was finger licking delicious and family really enjoyed this Vatha Khuzhambu.
In this recipe I have used manathakali vathal. Manathakali is known as black night shade’, ‘sunberry’ and ‘wonder cherry in English.
The tiny berries turn from green to an inky black and the shiny coat glistens as if polished. These berries are rather bland. They hit neither the sweet nor the sour note. But what they lack in taste, they make up for in nutrition
Tamarind- lemon sized, soaked in 2 cups of water.
Sambar powder- 5 tsps
Appalam ( urad dal papad) – 5-6 mini papads or one big torn into pieces
Sesame oil- 3 tbsps
Mustard- 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds ( vendhayam) – 1 tsp
Chana dal ( Kadalai paruppu) – 2 tsps
Curry leaves- few
Hing- 2 pinches
Grated Jaggery- 2 tsps
Salt to taste
Grated coconut- 1/2 cup, tightly packed.
Manathakali vathal ( sunberry/ black night shade) – 2 tbsps
Squeeze well and take the tamarind extract.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add mustard. When it starts spluttering, add fenugreek seeds, chana dal, curry leaves and hing. Sauté for few seconds. Then add the papad and sauté till it fries.
Now add the sambar powder and sauté for a min. Keep the flame in medium.
Add the tamarind extract, salt to taste and grated jaggery. Mix well and let it boil till the raw smell of tamarind goes and the gravy becomes slightly thick.
Grind coconut to a coarse paste adding little water.
Heat oil in another pan. Add the manathakali vathal and saute till puffs up. Add the ground coconut paste and 1/4th cup of water and let it boil for few mins.
Add this to the tamarind gravy, mix well and simmer till the oil starts floating on top.
Serve this with steamed rice drizzled with sesame oil or melted ghee:)