The recipe of Manathakkali Vatha Kuzhambu, a famous South Indian Tamil delicacy to be served with steamed white rice, with step by step instructions and pictures.
Some kuzhambu is prepared with fresh vegetables, and alternatively, some other kuzhambu can be made with dried vegetables. Manathakkali has a tough to pronounce the scientifical name but has pretty much good medicinal values.
We South Indians, make kootu with the leaves of the plant-like how spinach is consumed by other parts of the world. We believe that manathakali helps in curing stomach ulcers.
The seeds/berries are processed and sun-dried. It can be fried in oil and also served like any other fries along with the rice. It's really yum to have it with curd rice.
The manathakkali has a very mild bitter taste, the combo with tamarind makes it different flavor and taste. Making the kuzhambu along with slices of coconut will be loved by anyone without any fuss.
The fried manathakkali can be added either at the beginning of the preparation or just before finishing it.
How to make manathakkali Vatha kuzhambu
1. Chop onion, tomato, peel garlic and keep everything handy.
2. Soak tamarind in hot water for about 10-15 minutes and extract its juice. Discard the waste and Keep aside the extracted juice.
3. Heat oil in the pan over medium heat, add mustard seeds followed by urad dal. Wait till the mustard gets splutters.
4. Then add dried manathakali vathal and fry till they fluff up and changes its color.
5. Then add chopped onion and garlic and saute them until onion becomes soft and tender.
6. Then add chopped tomato and continue to saute them till the tomato mashed up little.
7. Add chili powder and coriander powder and saute it for a minute. Careful at this point, the powders should not get burnt.
8. Stir in extracted tamarind juice, 2 cups of water and salt. Bring it to boil in medium flame. Cook it for about 15 min.
Add coconut slices and remove it from the fire, when the masalas are cooked up to the perfect level. Adjust water to reach desired consistency.
Manathakkali Vatha Kuzhambu
- 1 lemon size tamarind or 4 tbsp of tamarind paste
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil or sesame Seed Oil
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp urad dal /skinless black gram
- 1/4 cup manathakkali vathal dried
- 1/4 cup onion finely chopped
- 1 pod garlic peeled(about half cup of garlic pearls)
- 1/2 cup tomato roughly chopped
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 3 tsp coriander powder
- 2 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup coconut slices
- Soak tamarind in hot water for 15 minutes and extract its juice. Discard the waste and Keep aside.
- Over medium heat, place a large pan.
- Add vegetable oil in the pan, add mustard seeds and urad dal. Wait till the mustard gets splutters.
- Then add manathakali vathal and fry till they fluff up and changes its color.
- Then add chopped onion and garlic and saute them until onion becomes soft and tender.
- Then add chopped tomato and continue to saute them till the tomato mashed up little.
- Add red chili powder and coriander powder and saute it for a minute. Careful at this point, the powders should not get burnt.
- Now stir in tamarind extract and add 2 cups of water and salt.
- Bring it to boil and cook it for about 15 min or until the kuzhambu becomes fragrant.
- Add coconut slices and transfer to a serving bowl
1. Serve along with steamed rice.
2. The leftover can also be served with Idli/ dosa. I love to have it with roti, Pongal.
Tips and Variations for Vathal Kuzhambu Recipe:
1. Coconut slices are optional if you do not have. But I would suggest you add, as the mild sweet crunchy adds more texture to the manathakkali kuzhambu.
2. Gingelly oil is preferred to make, but no harm in substituting it with any other cooking oil like sunflower oil or canola oil.
3. Dried manathakkali vathal can be added either at the beginning or at the end of the process.