Vengaya Kulambu

Vengaya Kulambu

I have been pestering Arch for recipes for a LONG time now. During our engineering days, Arch and I would constantly eat from each other’s boxes. I was bored of eating my moms pappu and she was bored of eating her moms sambar (I hope it was because she was bored, or I might have been stealing her lunch). Her mom made THE BEST pumpkin sambar with a side dish of beetroot poriyal (curry). It was just perfect. And she enjoyed all of my moms pappu. It was a delicious spread. The taste of the sambar still lingers in my mouth. Considering I don’t have pumpkin I decided to make something else. After much nagging, Arch finally relented and gave me this kulambu recipe. This recipe is a modified version, since she gave me the recipe for Vatta Kulambu. Not having vattal or turkey berries, I replaced them with onion.

When I was living in Chennai the cooks in our hostel made this often. The used eggplant frequently. They also used tomatoes and onions with garlic as well. Next time I’m in India I’ll pick up some vattal to make the traditional kulambu which Arch makes. The recipe seems to be fairly easy, requiring minimum ingredients and basic prep work. It wasn’t as watery as Arch said I should make, but it still tasted about the same. I want to try this recipe with some kala channa and see how it tastes. Arch is going to be sending more Kanchipuram and Marathi speaking (no idea!!) recipes from her Mother in law which are a blend of Tamilian and Maharastrian dishes. I’m so excited to make them and eat them too.


Onion – 1 big

Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon

Salt – As needed

Tamarind paste – 1 cup

Water – 5 cups

Jaggery – 2 tablespoons

Oil – 3 tablespoons

Mustard Seeds – 1 tablespoon

Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Asafoetida- 1/4 teaspoon

Curry leaves – 4-5

Coriander leaves – 3 tablespoon (optional)

For powder:

Toor dal – 4 tablespoon

Channa dal – 4 tablespoon

Coriander Seeds – 6 tablespoons

Methi (Fenugreek) Seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

Dried Red Chillies – 10

Oil – a drop

How to make

Step 1: Dry roast each of the ingredients separately listed under ‘For Powder’. While roasting dried red chilies, use a drop of oil.

Step 2: Add the dry roasted ingredients into a blender jar and keep them aside to cool down.

Step 3: Take 1 cup of a little thick tamarind purée and add the water to it.

Step 4: In a round bottomed pan add some oil. Once hot add mustard seeds, as they start spluttering add cumin and asafoetida. Add curry leaves and onions, mix well.

Step 5: Fry onions until they are soft. They don’t need to be golden brown, add turmeric and salt and fry them for 2 more minutes.

Step 6: Add the tamarind water to the onions, mix well. Add the jaggery.

Step 7: Boil the tamarind water until the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.

Step 8: Blend the ingredients in the jar to a smooth powder.

Step 9: When the raw smell goes away add a cup more water if too thick, when it comes to boil add 3-4 tablespoons of the powder and mix well.

Step 10: Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with hot rice with appadam or vadiyam.

The original from Arch’s house
Mine, doesn’t look the same but I think tastes the same

♥️ Arch & Mahi

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