Tamarind – Lemon sized to extract 1 1/2 cups of juice.
Vathal – Any variety a small handful. ( I used manathakali vathal) or you can use any vegetable(onion/garlic/tomato/kathirikai/capsicum/okra)
Turmeric – A pinch.
Coconut Milk – 2 spoons (Optional just for good aroma)
Sambar Powder- 1 spoon.
Salt – 3/4 spoon
Mustard, Bengal Gram,Raw Peanuts, Curry Leaves, gingely oil.
Keep the vathals,tamarind water and the seasoning ingredients ready.
Use a heavy bottomed vessel and pour in it 4 spoons of gingely oil.
When hot, add 2 spoons of bengal gram, and raw peanuts and saute it for 3-4 seconds.
Add the vathal and allow to slowly roast in the oil. Immediately add the mustard, curry leaves and hing in split seconds.
Care should be taken so the mustard or any of the seasoning ingredients dont brown in the oil as this may alter the taste.
Pour in the tamarind water on to the vessel.
Add more torn curry leaves, sambar powder, turmeric, salt and give it a good stir.
Allow the gravy to simmer and reduce till it becomes a little thicker on medium flame.
If you want it to thicken a little more add 4 spoons of water to one spoon of rice flour and briskly mix it to dissolve any clumps.
Add this rice flour mix to the vatha kuzhambu and stir in to see instant thickening of the gravy.
Once the mixture is thick and the oil starts floating over the top, the vathal kuzhambu is ready. Take it off the flame. The kuzhambu’s taste deepens as it steeps - taste it the next day for a mind-blowing flavour.
Serve hot with Rice, Appalam or any soft curry like cabbage, okra or kathirikai :-))