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October 1, 2010

Sweet Potato Vatha Kuzhambu (Spicy Tamarind Gravy)

Vatha kuzhambu is one of the gravies we make regularly at home. It is mixed with rice and ghee and had with some curry. When I travel for days and eat out a lot, all I crave for is, this Vatha kuzhambu and pappad. It is a perfect comfort food!

Instead of sweet potato, you can one of these veggies: capsicum, okra, onion, brinjal, drum stick

Tamarind - medium lemon size ball
Sambar Powder - 3 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Salt - as needed
Sweet Potato - 1 peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick disks
Onion (optional) - 1/2 cup sliced
Jaggery - 1/2 tsp
Rice flour - 2 tsp

Sesame Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Channa Dal or Thur Dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a few

Soak tamarind in 1 cup warm water for 10 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add fenugreek, channa dal or thur dal and curry leaves. I personally like to use thur dal.
When they turn golden brown, add onion and fry till it turns transparent.
Sprinkle some salt.
Add sliced sweet potatoes and saute for a minute.
Extract 3 cups of tamarind water.
In a deep pan, boil tamarind water along with salt, asafoetida, sambar powder and the sauteed veggies. Let it boil for 25 minutes. Check if the veggies are cooked fully.
Mix rice flour with 1/2 cup water and make a smooth paste.
Add this paste to the boiling mixture and stir continuously. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
The tamarind gravy will thicken.
Add jaggery and mix well.
Turn off the heat and serve hot with rice, ghee and some curry.


  1. I thought for vatha kuzhambu some dried vathal was a must...this one with veggies sounds interesting...will try it sometime!

  2. This looks absolutely yummy. The gravy looks thick and delicious - I can definitely see why you view it as 'comfort food'. I intend to try it with sweet potato and onion, or onion and chick peas. And I don't think that one bowl would be enough! ;o)

  3. Wow i would love to have this with plain rice. Drooling here.

  4. Woww... looks spicy and tangy.. very tempting snaps !!

  5. I've never tried this with sweet potatoes before - hope to give that a shot sometime.

  6. Sweet potato in vatha kuzhambu sounds absolutely yummy and tempting..

  7. Wow!!! What a mouthwatering n tangy curry. I am hungry now :-)

  8. I have not tried vatha kuzhambu with sweet potato,I always break my head how to cook sweet potato,this is super cool idea,I always love the sweet taste in vatha kuzhambu,will try next time!

  9. I make vathakuzhambu with parangikkai(sweet pumpkin/butternut squash), that also has a wonderful sweet/tangy/spicy taste.

  10. Lovely Recipe...i have a surprise for you in my blog..

  11. I tried it .Came out yummy Thank You


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