I am totally exhausted after 6 days of thali preparation. Whenever I return from hostel, I ask my mom to prepare vatha kulambu and fry appalam to go with it. This may sound simple but the tangy and bitter kulambu is a great savior after eating the mess meals for 2-3 months. Whenever we leave hostels, we friends used to discuss about the food we are going to eat during vacations. The dishes which tops the list are vatha kulambu and thuvaiyal rasam. So now after 6 days of elaborate thalis, I wanted to make it simple and the first dish which came to my mind was vatha kulambu. Recently I prepared manathakkali vathal at home. So it was time to taste it. The manathakkali vathal is bitter and in this tamarind based gravy, it is delicious. We use lot of sesame oil in this kulambu which actually enhances the taste. I also fried some vatrals to go with curd rice and I prepared a delicious cooler with buttermilk, perfect for this scorching heat.
Manathakkali Vatral / Any other Vatral-2-3tbs
Tamarind-a small lemon sized ball
Vatha Kulambu Podi-2tbs
1. Heat oil and add the vatral. When they are fried (they splutter a lot so cover with a lid immediately and open when spluttering stops), remove with a slotted spoon and keep it aside.
2. Add mustard urad dhal. When they crackle add methi seeds and hing. Add curry leaves.
3. Add onion and saute until golden.
4. Soak tamarind in 1/4cup of water and extract juice.
5. Extract second juice with another 1/4cup of water.
6. Add the two extracts to the onion.
7. Add the vatha kulambu podi along with turmeric and salt.
8. Add more water and bring the kulambu to boil. Add the fried vathal to it.
9. Simmer and cover the pan until the gravy thickens and lets out oil.
10. Remove from stove, transfer to a serving bowl and serve with hot rice along with appalam.
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Sending this to Srivalli’s Thali Mela