Vatral kuzhambu is a famous dish in Tamilnadu. The word 'Vatral' means sun dried vegetable. Some veggies like brinjal, sundakkai,manathakkali and clusterbeans can be sundried.U can make this kuzhambu with any one of these vatrals .Vatral kuzhambu with rice , papad and keerai is a wonderful combination. I have tried vatral kuzhambu in different methods, many of them turned out watery, without much gravy.... this one was very good and so I thought I would share it with u all.
Tamarind - golf ball sized
Sambar powder/Vatral kuzhambu powder- 1- 1½ tsp(I used sakthi sambar powder)
Onion- 1 small cut tinto strips
Shallots /pearl onions- 6
Garlic- 6-8 cloves
Oil - 4 to 5 tsp
Coconut grated-little, approx 2 tsp
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Methi powder-1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and add the pearl onions and fry till it turns transparent. Remove from fire. When cooled grind this with sambar powder and coconut into a fine paste.
Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and when it is hot add the vatrals and fry till it turns brown. Then add the onions , curryleaves and garlic. Fry for sometime and then add the tamarind juice. When it boils add the ground paste. Add ½ cup of water,methi powder and salt , simmer the flame and partly close it with a lid. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes till the oil separates on top.
Serve hot with rice and papad.