Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

Vengaya VethalKuzhambu (Onions fried and simmered in tamarind gravy)

Vengaya Vethalkuzhambu served with rice.
Vengaya Vethalkuzhambu served with rice.

My mum makes the most fragrant, yummy, delicious,mouth watering Vengaya Vethalkuzhambu you ever ate!!! It always used to be a delicacy my sister and me would get indulged in, over the weekends…Weekends would always be spending long hours on things that we wouod never get time for during the frenzied weekdays – amma smothering our scalps with gently warmed gingely oil, cleaning the window sills chatting about what happened in school and college over the week, and amma listening to us and making fragrant Vengaya vethalkuzhambu and alu fry. We would have our beauty baths with shikhakai traditionally ground my Madurai amma and get so hungry that we would be ravenous…A slow filling lunch consisting of this kuzhambu, alu fry, thakkali rasam, vadam and thayir sadam with vepallaikatti…Man, my day was made!!!
It`s now a huge favorite of my husband`s. It`s one of those comfort feel good gravies that make you content on a cold lazy sunday afternoon…Here it is, for all of you to try and test…
This is also my entry for FIC-Orange which is the brainchild of Harini of Sunshinemomsblog and hosted by Aparna of MydiverseKitchens.


1 1/2 cups of Tamarind Juice extracted from a lime sized tamarind ball.

1 Medium onion chopped or 20 numbers small onions or 10 numbers shallots.

1 spoon of Vathal (sundaikkai or manathangalikkai) (this is optional)

1 spoon heaped Sambar Powder.

My amma`s sambar powder...
My amma`s sambar powder...

1 spoon salt
A dash of Turmeric.

A pinch of hing.

3 spoons of Oil.

A dash of mustard and curry leaves for seasoning.

1 spoon of rice flour dissolved in 4  spoons of water.


  • Take a heavy bottomed kadai or copper bottomed vessel and pour in 3 spoons of oil. When the oil starts to smoke, reduce the flame and pop in the mustard, curry leaves and immediately the chopped onions or the shallots.
  • Allow to saute in the oil for sometime until they get a little brown and then add the vathals which are pretty dispensable in this version of the kuzhambu. You can also make this kuzhambu completely omitting the vathal.
  • When well roasted, add the extracted tamarind juice, hing, turmeric, salt, and sambar powder and allow to simmer for 25 mins or so until it reduces to a thicker consistency.
  • At the very end, add the rice flour dissolved in the water, to this thick reduction to loosen it a bit, so it comes to a pouring consistency.
  • Garnish with corriander leaves and serve HOT over rice with Alu Fry.

6 thoughts on “Vengaya VethalKuzhambu (Onions fried and simmered in tamarind gravy)

  1. i made this the other day and it was awesome.thanks fo letting us know the exact amount of tamarind and water to be added.makes cooking easier!!

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