Sundakkai or turkey berry is commonly used for making vatha kuzhambu very similar to the puzhi kuzhambu with tamarind being the base in both. Vatha Kuzhambu being more the Brahmin way of preparing a tamarind curry. My mom makes vatha kuzhambu slightly different and also adds coconut paste sometimes.
The last couple of years puzhi kuzhambu has been pushed out as a regular in our home and now it has become a rarity. In an attempt to reduce the intake of rice/carbohydrates puzhi kuzhambu has taken a back seat. But what one does do when you are given a packet of an ingredient that is best made into a puzhi kuzhambu? The other day my neighbor gave me a packet of dried sundakkai vathal and we made some vathakuzhambu along with some paruppu made with whole masoor dal.
|Roast the ingredients for the spice powder one by one till they slightly turn color. Cool and powder.|
|Roast the dried sundakkai in about a couple of tsps of oil till it turns nice and crisp. Set aside. Chop the green tomatoes, shallots and garlic.|
|In the same pan as the sundakkai was roasted, heat about 2 tsp and add the seasonings, curry leaves, mustard seeds and cumin, when the mustard seeds start to pop add the onions and garlic and saute till they turn translucent about 3-4 minutes, followed by the chopped green tomatoes and saute for a couple of minutes more. Add the extracted tamarind pulp and let it boil for about 10-12 minutes.|
|Add about 1/4 cup of water to the powdered spice powder and whisk it to a smooth mixture and add it to the tamarind mixture along with salt.|
|Let it boil for another 8-10 minutes till it thickens and reaches the desired consistency.|
Puzhi Kuzhambu is best paired with dal or lentils and white rice, so make sure you have them on hand. Moreover you would not want to eat a tamarind based curry with any kind of bread. There is nothing to stop you though, but you have been warned.
We added some green tomatoes we had on hand but that is purely optional. You can also add brinjals in it.
Preparation Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time:25 minutes
- a handful of dried sundakkai(turkey berries)
- 1/4 cup of green tomatoes chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup of shallots chopped
- 4-5 garlic cloves sliced
- 4 tsp of oil (sesame oil is very good for this
- a lemon sized ball of tamarind, soak in about 2 cups of water
- seasonings: Curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds
- salt to tasteFor the vathakuzhambu powder - spice powder
- 2 tsp of Bengal Gram (Kadalai Paruppu)
- 2 tsp of urad dal (ulutham paruppu)
- 2 tsp of raw rice
- 2 tsp of coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds (vendhayam)
- 1/4 tsp of pepper corns
- a small tiny piece of asfoetida
- 6-8 red chiliesRoast the above one by one till they are changing color, cool and powder. Set aside.
- In a wide mouthed pan heat 2 tsp oil and when hot add the sundakkai and roast it till it becomes nice and crispy and starts to blacken a bit. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pan heat the other 2 tsp and add the seasonings, curry leaves, mustard seeds and cumin, when the mustard seeds start to pop add the onions and garlic and saute till they turn translucent about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the chopped green tomatoes and saute for another couple of minutes. Add in the roasted sundakkai. Mix.
- Extract pulp from the soaked tamarind and add it to the vegetables. Let it come to a boil and cook for 10-12 minutes.
- Add about a 1/4 cup of water to the powdered spice powder and whisk so it smooth and add it to the boiling tamarind mixture. Add salt.
- Let the mixture boil for another 10 minutes or so till it thickens.
Serve with steamed rice and uppu paruppu (seasoned dal).
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