வற்றல் Kuzhambu

Manathakkali - Sundakkai vathals
A very easy and mouthwatering dish which can be prepared in 20 to 30 minutes.
  1. Tamarind - lime sized
  2. Shallots (small onions) - 8-10 peeled / or any vathals like sundakkai/manathakkali/brinjal/’kothavarangai’ (சுண்டக்காய்/மணத்தக்காளி/கத்திரிக்காய்/கொதவரங்கை)
‘Thalikka’ (தாளிக்க) (Tempering) :
  1. Oil - 4 to 6 tsp (Tastes best with sesame oil aka gingelly oil)
  2. Mustard - 1 tsp
  3. Fenugreek seeds (methi/vendhiyam) – ½ tsp
  4. Curry leaves - 6-7
  5. Asafoetida ( பெருங்காயம்) – a pinch
  6. Sambar powder – 3 tsp
. Soak tamarind in 2 cups of hot water for about 5 minutes and extract the pulp. Mix with another 1 cup of water and keep aside.
(If you have tamarind paste, mix two teaspoons in 2 cups of water.)
2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large pan / kadai and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the vathal or the cut onions and curry leaves. Add the rest of the oil and saute for a minute and add the fenugreek seeds and asafoetida. Add the sambhar powder and sauté further.
3. Pour in the diluted tamarind extract and bring to boil. Add salt*  and simmer covered for about 20-30 minutes depending on the consistency you want.
4. You can add more sesame oil while mixing with rice.

* If you are using vathals, beware that they contain excess salt as preservative. Hence add salt very cautiously.
Large onions can be substituted if no small onions or vathals are available. If you are not supposed to take onion on that day, you can add pieces of ‘appalam’ too.