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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vatha Kuzhambu (வத்தகுழம்பு) - Do it youself Video

If you are a graduate student and you have stocked up on some grandma (or mom) made Sambar Powder before embarking on your trip to a non-sambar country (or even managed to purchase some Sambar powder from the stores), you are in luck.

You can make a quick Vatha Kuzhambu using some of this powder, salt, asafoedita(hing) - which is optional, tamarind paste (or tamarind soaked in water). You will also need a pinch of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, some Channa and Toor dal, curry leaves (optional), Appalam (or papad) which is again optional.

The whole thing gets done in under 6 minutes.

NOTE : See how I usually taste the stuff we cook at the end of the video and here we didn't do that? Don't taste this thing as is. Just a touch and lick is fine. Remember, you are creating a concentrate that can be mixed with rice.

One glass of water in this case ends up becoming 1/2 glass (or cup) worth Vatha Kuzhambu. This is enough to mix with 5 cups of cooked rice!!! i.e., it can feed a family of one (aka graduate student) for upto 4 meals!.. Goes great with Potato chips or roasted (microwaved) appalam/papad.

As an option you can also add some frozen shredded coconut to the fried lentils(the Channa and Toor Daal) before you add the liquid in. The upside is it gives you an amazing smell and flavor, but the downside is that it will spoil sooner if you do not refrigerate.

Have fun making வத்தகுழம்பு!

ps. If you know your Appalam is slightly on the salty side, add less salt.. 3/4th spoon of salt for one spoon sambar powder and it will be perfect.


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I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...


this appears really simple, so i don't know why i am confused.

how can you use only one glass worth of this liquid stuff with five cooked cups of rice? is there a few more intermediate ingredients that need to be added?

also, i don't know what kuzhambu is supposed to be (and even after googling, i am not 100% sure) - is it a substitute for sambar or rasam, or a prerequisite for them?

could you please also list out the ingredients and the quantity. the video appears to show a lot of oil - is that the camera angle, or did you really put a lot of oil?

- s.b.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:36 AM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

think of this as a sambar powder equivalent of "puLikaachal"

you are making a concentrate here.

you get 1/2 cup of thick goopy concentrate. you mix this with rice/some ghee and then eat.

1 to 1 1/2 spoons of this stuff is enough for a full plate of rice.


I did put a lot of oil.. you are literally frying the liquid in the hot oil to make the concentrate. hence the cooking only takes 2-3 minutes.


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 12:05 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

many of you have called to let me know two things

1. the video looks like the blair kuzhambu project.

2. the little one's chaddi is showing.

our apologies.

Jr. insisted on the videography and took this in one continuous take! She does not know how to zoom and was moving close and away to manually zoom! hence the shakes.

will teach her to zoom.


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

Sanjay Tummna and Sanjeev Kapoor watch out for this high tech desi cook

Keep it coming
Will try it soon.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 12:02 AM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...


nothing like that.. there are reasons behind why I am in the kitchen a lot more.. will explain soon.



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