Vatha Kuzhambu – Tanjore style South Indian dish

Vatha KuzhambuMy children’s favorite food is dal rice. Even though they are no longer small kids, their choice of food in the morning remains as dal rice. I am fine with it as in any case dal rice is loaded with rich proteins, which is any way nutritious. Needless to say that it is easy to prepare. Smell of hot steaming rice whisked with dal and a pinch of salt with a generous spoon of ghee is my all-time favorite too. Some combination of food are divine.

What can be a better match to dal rice than a hot vatha kuzhambu? My elder son loves vatha kuzhambu a lot, though it is not my favorite. I find it really hot. Only difference is that he does not vatha kuzhambu with vathal. So in my version of vatha kuzhambu, I add either small onion or drumstick. Anyways fresh vegetables are better than dried vathals.

Here is the post of simple vatha kuzhambu, as made in Tanjore region.


Vatha Kuzhambu receipe

        Recipe Cuisine: Indian | Recipe Category: Lunch

        Prep time: 10 Mins | Cooking time: 25 Mins | Serves: 4



 Drum stick, cut into 2 inch pieces – 8 pieces

Tamarind – Goose berry sized

Sambar powder – 1 and 1/2 Table spoon

Salt – As needed


To Grind

Ripe tomato, medium sized – 1

To temper

Seasame oil – 3 Table spoon

Mustard – 1 Tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1 Tsp

Curry leaves – 1 Spring

Toor dal – 1 Tsp

Chenna dal – 1 Tsp



  1. Extract tamarind juice by soaking the tamarind in warm water. Make sure you take at least 2 extracts of tamarind by squeezing finely. The last extract of tamarind is sweet, which renders unique taste to the dish.
  2. In medium flame, heat oil in the kadai and add mustard. Once mustard splutters. Add fenugreek seeds, Toor dal, and Chenna dal. Fry till they turn golden brown. Add the curry leaves.vatha kuzhambu
  3. Add tamarind juice, cut drumstick pieces, ground tomato paste, sambar powder and salt and bring it to boil. Lower the flame and let the kuzhambu reduce.
  4. Boil for 10 minutes or till oil separates. Switch off the flame.


  1. Add only warm water to the tamarind. Adding hot water changes the taste of tamarind.
  2. If tamarind is old, add a pinch of jaggary at the end.
  3. Asefoetida is not added as it would interfere with smell of drumstick. Generally it is not added for small onion/drumstick kuzhambu.

Leave a Reply