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Kadayam Vathakuzhambu - Kadayam Chettiyar Mess Vathakuzhambu - Vathakuzhambu Recipes

Kadayam is a small village in the Tenkasi district. . Kadayam village is near to our hometown Ilanji and this vathakuzhambu is a famous dish in a mess. Last year Suresh sir, asked me to prepare this Kadayam vathakuzhambu in the Amul live cookery show. Before that I haven't tried this vathakuzhambu. Later, my Perippa arranged to get the recipe from his friend Kalyani Sivagaminathan Sir from Kadayam. Then he gave me their contact details. Their mess name is Kalyani Chettiyar mess. She shared the vathakuzhambu recipe clearly with the step by step instructions and cooking methods. The way she explained made me to try this vathakuzhambu on that day for our lunch, but somehow delayed posting in Virundhombal. Again prepared this vathakuzhambu on the next day evening for the live show. After watching my live show, they were very happy and appreciated it. It turned out well. I liked the taste of sundakkai vathal and the garlic on the next day because they got soaked well in the tamarind gravy. 

Before going to the recipe, let us see the important tips for this vathakuzhambu. 

1. The important step in this kuzhambu is roasting each and every ingredient until you get a nice aroma. If any one of the ingredients are half done, you will miss the flavour. Roasting the spices on low heat is very important because all the spices will get roasted well and browned evenly. 

2. Saute the garlic cloves well on medium heat until it turns golden brown and then we have add the small onions. She mentioned to saute the garlic cloves until it turns in copper orange colour. 

3. After adding sundaikkai vathal, garlic and onions,  allow them to cook in 1/2 cup of water for a few minutes and then  add the tamarind extract. Ensure to use tamarind in correct quantity because if you add more tamarind it will change the taste entirely. 

4. The roasted spices are ground along with small onions to a smooth paste. Small onions are added to reduce the spice level, so do not skip it. 

5. Finally, a small piece of palm jaggery(karupatti) is added to balance the taste equally. If you do not have palm jaggery, replace it with jaggery.  

Kuzhambu recipes

Here is the video for Kadayam Vathakuzhambu 

Kadayam Vathakuzhambu Recipe Details

Prep time : 20 minutes
Cook time : 35 minutes
Serves : 6 to 8
Category : kuzhambu
Author : Muthulakshmi Madhavakrishnan


  • medium lemon sized
  •  tamarind
  • 15 small onions
  • 20 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup sundaikkai vathal
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp mustard and urid dal
  • 2 tsp  tbsp palm 
  • /2 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1/2 cup gingely oil
  • salt to taste

For vathakuzhambu masala

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp toor  dal
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp rice
  • 9 red chillies
  • few curry leaves
  • 3 tsp oil

Cooking Directions

Heat 2 tsp oil in a kadai on medium heat and add toor dal and rice. Fry them until the rice pops and then add pepper, cumin and coriander seeds. After a few seconds, add curry leaves. Roast well until you get a nice aroma. Once all the spices are roasted well, transfer it to a plate.

Then add 1 tsp oil and add red chillies. Roast until crisp and transfer. Allow all the ingredients to cool down. 

Then add it to the chutney jar and powder them coarsely. Then add 10 to 12 small onions and  2 to 5 tbsp of water. Grind it nicely.  

Soak the tamarind in hot water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes extract the tamarind juice with 1.5 to 2 cups of water. Transfer the ground masala to a vessel. 

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a heavy vessel and add the fenugreek. When it splutters add the mustard and urid dal. Allow them to crackle, add the sundaikkai vathal and fry for a few minutes. The sundaikkai vathal will puff up slowly and starts to turn crisp. Next, add the garlic cloves and fry them until it turns in copper orange colour. 

Now add the small onions and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. 

Slowly add in 1/2 cup water. Let it come to boil. 

When the garlic and onions are half cooked, add in the tamarind extract along with required salt. Add the ground masala and  mix well. If you are adding salted sundaikkai vathal, check and adjust the salt.

If the kuzhambu appears thick, add water  and mix well. Close it with a lid and simmer the kuzhambu for 10 to 12 minutes. 

After 10 to 12 minutes the kuzhambu starts thickening, at this stage and add the powdered palm jaggery and asafoetida powder. 

Add in another 2 tbsp gingely and mix well. 

Allow the kuzhambu to boil for another 7 minutes or until the oil specks on the top of the kuzhambu. 

Turn off the heat and close it with a lid for 20 minutes and then transfer it to the serving dish. Delicious vathakuzhambu is ready to serve. 


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