Vengaya Vathakuzhambu | Onion in Tamarind Sauce

The tangy taste of tamarind combined with the sweetness of onion make a finger licking dip – Vengaya Vathakuzhambu | Onion in Tamarind Sauce. Typically paired with rice and coconut based vegetable side it a household favorite…
Vathal Kuzhambu is a regular in our household and is not just limited to vathal but also made with variety of fresh veggies like onion, drumstick, okra, pumpkin, brinjal and even papad . 
We just returned from our Thanksgiving break and guess What I craved upon return?? – Vathal kuzhambu…
It’s typically made with frying the vathal and cooking it in tamarind water and with sambar masala powder until it thickens to the right consistency.
The simple ingredients adds tons of flavor and tastes amazing with hot rice and some coconut poriyal or potato fry. The choices and combinations are limitless.

Vengaya Vathakuzhambu

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: medium
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1-2 tsp of tamarind paste or 1 cup of squeezed tamarind water
3 Tbs oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
3 small Onion – chopped
1-2 tsp Sambar powder
2-3 green chillis
Salt to taste
1 tsp of jaggary
Curry leaves/karuveppelai


  1. In a heavy bottom pan add oil and add the mustard seeds, and let is splatter.
  2. Now add in the turmeric powder, hing or Asafoetida and let it roast for few seconds.
  3. Now add the slit or chopped green chilies to the oil and let this also cook. Now add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minute till onions turn translucent.
  4. At this point add in the sambar power and salt and give it nice stir and cook it for 2-3 minutes. Mind not to burn the sambar powder. Roast in low flame.
  5. Add in the tamarind paste and about 1- 1/2 cup of water ( adjust to the sourness of the tamarind) also add  in the jaggery.
  6. Let this mixture cook and boil till the mixture reduces to a good gravy consistency. Thick yet with a flow .
  7. If  you are using the soaked, and squeezed tamarind water make sure to let it boil till the raw smell is completely gone.
  8. Add the curry leaves in the end and turn off the heat.
  9. Onion  vathalkizhambu is ready to be served with some hot rice. a little goes a long way.

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