vatha kulambu recipe | vatha kuzhambu recipe | manathakkali vathal kulambu

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vatha kulambu recipe, vatha kuzhambu recipe, manathakkali vathal kulambu recipe

black nightshade tamarind curry recipe - south indian recipe of tasty and tongue-tickling kuzhambu made with sun dried black nightshade berries. these berries are also known as manathakkali in tamil language. 

3.8 from 5 votes
total time:
30minutes

vatha kuzhambu recipe with step by step pics. one of the simplest recipe i make at times is vatha kulambu. this vathal kuzhambu recipe and method gives you a really tasty and tongue-tickling kuzhambu.

vathal kuzhambu recipe

vathals is the tamil word for sun dried vegetables or berries. the veggies or berries are soaked in buttermilk for some hours or overnight and later sun dried. in this recipe post i have shared the method of making manathakkali kuzhambu. manathakkali is the tamil word for black nightshade berries. these are also called as makoy in hindi language.

the unripe green berries are soaked in buttermilk and then sun dried. later these sun dried berries can be fried with very little oil and served with curd rice or rasam-rice. a simple kuzhambu can also be made with these sun dried berries.

manathakkali vathal kulambu recipe does have health benefits. the berries help in digestion as well as even help in getting rid of stomach infections. this kuzhambu also improves the appetite.

the taste of manathakkali kuzhambu is complex. you get to have sour, bitter, spiced, salty and astringent taste in the curry. so its best served with some steamed rice where the flavors do get mellowed a bit. savoring vathal kulambu is an acquired taste and you may or may not like it in the first go. when having  manathakkali kulambu with steamed rice, you do get a bite of the softened berries with a hints of saltiness, sourness and slight bitterness in them.

apart from manathakkali  kuzhambu recipe, i also use the same recipe and make it with sun dried turkey berries (sundakkai). at times i also add pearl onions (sambar onions) and garlic. but in this post, i am sharing a no onion no garlic recipe which is a tamil brahmin version. few other kuzhambu variations i have already posted on blog are:

  1. more kulambu recipe
  2. poricha kulambu recipe
  3. veg kuzhambu recipe
  4. kathirikai kulambu recipe

a few points have to be remembered when making a perfect vatha kuzhambu.

  • if possible use dark tamarind or old tamarind as it gives a lovely deep sour taste.
  • be generous with oil. there should be a thin layer of oil on top of the kuzhambu. this helps in keeping the kuzhambu stay good for about a week in the fridge and also gives a good taste.
  • for the best and authentic taste, use sesame oil (gingelly oil) which is cold pressed oil made from raw sesame seeds.
  • after adding sambar powder, it should be fried in oil so that it releases its flavors.
  • for a slight thickening of the kuzhambu gravy, you can add some rice flour.
  • a bit of jaggery can also be added to balance the sourness and bitterness.

vatha kuzhambu is best served with steamed rice. accompany a side vegetable dish like a poriyal or stir fry like vazhakkai poriyal or potato fry or french beans poriyal or suran fry or bendakaya vepudu. with this vatha kuzhambu, i would suggest to serve a side vegetable dish which has faint sweet notes and not at all spicy or bitter.

vatha kuzhambu recipe

few more recipes from tamil nadu cuisine which you may like are:

  1. tamarind rice recipe
  2. vengaya sambar recipe
  3. arachuvitta sambar recipe
  4. cabbage kootu recipe

vatha kuzhambu recipe below:

vatha kulambu recipe, vatha kuzhambu recipe, manathakkali vathal kulambu recipe
3.8 from 5 votes
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vatha kulambu recipe

black nightshade tamarind curry recipe - south indian recipe of tasty and tongue-tickling kuzhambu made with sun dried black nightshade berries. these berries are also known as manathakkali in tamil language. 
course main course
cuisine south indian, tamil nadu
prep time 5 minutes
cook time 25 minutes
total time 30 minutes
servings 4
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

for soaking tamarind

  • 1 lemon sized tamarind ball or 1 tablespoon tightly packed tamarind
  • 1 cup hot water

for making vatha kulambu

  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil (gingelly oil)
  • 3 tablespoons black nightshade (manathakkali vathal)
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 to 2 dry red chilies, broken and seeds removed
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves (kadi patta)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 1.5 to 2 tablespoons sambar powder
  • 2 cups water
  • salt as required
  • 1 teaspoon rice flour – optional
  • ½ teaspoon jaggery – optional

how to make vatha kulambu recipe

soaking tamarind

  1. in a bowl take 1 lemon sized tamarind ball or 1 tablespoon tightly packed tamarind. preferably use aged and dark tamarind.

  2. add 1 cup hot water. cover and soak tamarind for 20 to 30 minutes.

  3. squeeze the tamarind and extract the tamarind pulp in the water. keep tamarind pulp aside.

making vatha kuzhambu

  1. heat 3 tablespoons sesame oil (gingelly oil) in a pan. keep flame to a low and add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds.

  2. let the mustard seeds crackle.

  3. keep the flame to a low and then add ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds, 1 to 2 dry red chilies, 8 to 10 curry leaves and 1 pinch asafoetida (hing).

  4. fry and stir till the red chilies change color.

  5. keeping the flame to a low, now add 3 tablespoons manathakkali vathal (sun dried black nightshade).

  6. stirring continuously, fry for some seconds till the color of manathakkali changes. make sure you do not burn them.

  7. now switch off the flame and add 1.5 to 2 tablespoons sambar powder.

  8. fry for 1 minute switching off the flame. you can even fry at a low flame. but do make sure that the sambar powder does not get burnt.

  9. add the tamarind pulp and 2 cups water. give a stir.

  10. add salt as per taste. mix well and let this vatha kuzhambu come to a boil on medium-low flame for about 25 to 30 minutes.

  11. continue to simmer till the curry or gravy thickens slightly. you will see some oil specks on the top.

  12. then add 1 teaspoon rice flour. adding rice flour is optional and can be skipped.

  13. add ½ teaspoon jaggery. adding jaggery is also optional.

  14. mix well and continue to simmer vatha kulambu for 4 to 5 minutes more. after you switch off the flame you should clearly see a layer of oil after allowing the kuzhambu to rest for 1 to 2 minutes. check the taste and add more salt if required.

  15. serve vatha kuzhambu with steamed rice.

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how to make vatha kulambu or vatha kuzhambu recipe:

a) soaking tamarind:

1. in a bowl take 1 lemon sized tamarind ball or 1 tablespoon tightly packed tamarind. preferably use aged and dark tamarind.

tamarind for making vathal kuzhambu recipe

2. add 1 cup hot water. cover and soak tamarind for 20 to 30 minutes.

tamarind for making vathal kuzhambu recipe

3. squeeze the tamarind and extract the tamarind pulp in the water. keep aside.

tamarind for making vathal kuzhambu recipe

making vatha kulambu recipe:

4. heat 3 tablespoons sesame oil (gingelly oil) in a pan. keep flame to a low and add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

5. let the mustard seeds crackle.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

6. keep the flame to a low and then add ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds, 1 to 2 dry red chilies (halved and seeds removed), 8 to 10 curry leaves and 1 pinch asafoetida (hing).

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

7. fry and stir till the red chilies change color.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

8. keeping the flame to a low, now add 3 tablespoons manathakkali vathal (sun dried black nightshade).

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

9. stirring continuously, fry for some seconds till the color of manathakkali changes. make sure you do not burn them.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

10. now switch off the flame and add 1.5 to 2 tablespoons sambar powder.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

11. fry for 1 minute switching off the flame. you can even fry at a low flame. but do make sure that the sambar powder does not get burnt.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

12. add the tamarind pulp.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

13. pour 2 cups water.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

14. give a stir.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

15. add salt as per taste.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

16. mix well and let this vatha kuzhambu come to a boil on medium-low flame for about 25 to 30 minutes.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

17. continue to simmer till the curry or gravy thickens slightly. you will see some oil specks on the top.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

18. then add 1 teaspoon rice flour. adding rice flour is optional and can be skipped.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

19. add ½ teaspoon jaggery. adding jaggery is also optional.

making vathal kuzhambu recipe

20. mix well and continue to simmer vatha kuzhambu for 4 to 5 minutes more. after you switch off the flame you should clearly see a layer of oil after allowing the kuzhambu to rest for 1 to 2 minutes. check the taste and add more salt if required.

vathal kuzhambu recipe, manathakkali vathal kulambu recipe, black nightshade tamarind curry

21. serve vatha kulambu with steamed rice. accompany a side vegetable dish like a poriyal or stir fry like vazhakkai fry or baby potato fry or vendakkai poriyal or carrot poriyal.

manathakkali vathal kulambu recipe

 

 

dassana amit
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer ||

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree surely enhanced my cooking & baking skills which i now share as fool proof recipes on the blog. i am trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


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2 comments/reviews

  1. Are these the berries of the ‘Solanum Nigrum’ that grows in Europe too? I’ve always been told they are poisonous but as they pop up unasked and abundatly in our vegetable garden, it would be nice te be able to eat them.

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