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Monday, December 7, 2009

Suran (Yam) Vatthal Kuzhambu

Vatthal / Vathal kuzhambu means "kuzhambu" made of dried ingredient(s). "Vatthal" translates to sun dried in Tamil (with salt at times). This tamarind based gravy dish also has another variant called Vendhaya Kuzhambu (Methi seeds based kuzhambu). My ammama always made this kuzhambu variants in a stone pot called the kallu chatti/kal chatti. It is said that a stone pot adds a distinct flavour to any kuzhambu.

Fresh and / or dried Vegetables which hold up to being cooked in a gravy are ideal for this dish. Other sun dried ingredients such as Manathakkaaali/marthangaalikai, sundakkai, sun dried cluster beans etc work well too. My amma makes vatthal kuzhambu with pappadam or appalam pieces and also just curry leaves.

My ma-in-law's is known to make yummy vathhal kuzhambu and I consder this her "signature" dish.  (We have ardent fans of her vatthal kuzhambu at home). As a part of the guest blogger post spree, I thought I d flaunt her recipe. The perfectionist that she is, she went all the way out to click beautiful pictures with ingredients and then the finished dish for me in the kal chatti

Traditionally, Tamil homes have a "maakallu chatti". "Kallu" means stone in Tamil, and chatti means pot. These pots are generally made of soap stone and need to be handled delicately.

Here's her recipe...
Ingredients : Serves 6
Mustard----1 tea spoon,
chana dal---1 tea spoon,
Urad dal----1 tea spoon,
Methi seed 1/2 tea spoon
Red chilli 2
Chilli powder --- 1 tea spoon
salt --- 1 tea spoon
Pinch of LG
Groundnuts --- 1 table spoon
Turmeric /haldi - 1 tsp
Lemon size tamarind

Jaggery - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 table spoon oil
Curry Leaves (10/11)
Rice flour - 1 tsp
Suran /Yam (can use any vegetable or vatthal of your choice)

  •  Soak the tamarind in water for some time and then squeeze and take the essence of it about 2 glass quantity. Boil the vegetables and then add to the dish and boil for few minutes and finish the recipe (The vatthal kuzhambu can be prepared directly in the kalchatti. 
  • Take oil in the container, and  when oil is heated add mustard, chana dal, urud dal, methi seed, red chilli to it and fry.
  • Once the mustard crackles add chilli powder, pinch of hing powder, curry leaves Add the vegetables to it and cook {if the vegetables are cooked and ready add tamarind water essence along with it and boil} 
  • When vegetables are half done, add thick tamarind pulp, salt, to it and let it boil for some time 
  • After the vegetables are fully cooked, add the remaining tamarind water and boil. now mix rice flour with little water and add this to vatthal kuzhambu, and just keep it on flame for 2 minutes   
  • Finally add jaggery to it which will balance and add taste to the dish. 
  • You could also use Brinjal, Ladies finger, onions, sweet gourd, yellow pumpkin or chepengkazhangu The recipe is fairly simple. Try it! Before I leave..Here is the yummy vatthal kuzhambu made in kal chatti


  1. Sudha-
    Wow! I am so glad you stumbled upon my blog because this way I get to see everything about your cooking! My husband and I are definitely going to try out your recipes. We love to try new food and though we mostly cook desi food at home I always love to see what other indian houses are cooking that I am just not privy to! I am going to send your blog to my mom! She will love it too.

  2. Preeti
    That is so sweet !

    I am so glad you liked my blog...As I mentioned, I am just experimeting... :) and love to learn too...I hope I can keep writing more to keep you interested!

  3. Hi Sudha,
    Was wondering where one could get a Kal Chatti ? I live in chennai..

  4. thank you for stopping by Preethi...i bought mine in sri rangam...



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