Orange Vathalkuzambu

Vathal kuzambu is a very famous specialty of Tamilnadu. It sometimes is also referred to as Karakuzambu but there are slight variations in preparations. Vathal kuzhamu directly translates to a kuzhambu/gravy made using vathal – dried veggie. also it can be inferred as the kuzhambu /gravy is cooked till it reduces to some what thick consistency i.e vatha kothikal.

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.

I remember during my pregnancy days this was the only food that kept me going for the first 3 months. I was not able to keep down anything other than vathalkuzhambu. Thanks to the easy recipe and the shelf life I could make extra and easily store it for couple of days. Ufff those days…

Vathal Kuzhambu was a regular in our household and was not just limited to vathal but also was made of fresh veggies like onion, drumstick, okra, pumpkin, brinjal and even papad . So here is new addition to the list Orange thool/Orange Peel vathanl kuzhambu. I don’t know how we started making this dish but but I remember my mom making it forever and the first time she made it for my US friends it was an instant hit. And always a must cook when mom is in town.

It has also become a favorite of mine. And the cuties that we get here make it more appealing. So here the recipe that I enjoy with hot rice and some curry as my comfort food.

Orange Vathakuzhambu | Oranges in spicy Tamarind sauce

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author ramyaanagu


  • Ingredients:
  • 1-2 tsp Tamarind paste or 1 cup of squeezed tamarind water
  • 3-5 Tbs Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 nos Orange – chopped
  • Peel of 1 orange. – chopped
  • 1-2 tsp Sambar powder
  • 2-3 green chillis
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp of jaggary
  • Asafoetida
  • Turmeric
  • Curry leaves/karuveppelai


  • In a heavy bottom pan add oil and add the mustard seeds, and let is splatter.
  • Now add in the turmeric powder, hing or Asafoetida and let it roast for few seconds.
  • Now add the slit or chopped green chilies and curry leaves to the oil and let this also roast for few seconds.
  • Then add the orange peal and the orange pulp and cook for a 5 minute or so.
  • At this point add in the sambar power and salt and give it nice stir and cook it for another 2-4 minutes.
  • Add in the tamarind paste and about 1- 1/2 cup of water ( adjust to the sourness of the tamarin also add the jaggery.
  • Let this mixture cook and boil till the mixture reduces to a good gravy consistency.
  • If  you are using the soaked, and squeezed tamarind water make sure to let it boil till the raw smell is completely gone.
  • Add the curry leaves in the end and turn off the heat.
  • Orange flavored vathalkizhambu is ready to be served with some Hot rice.


  • If you feel the gravy is too liquidy you can mix 1/2 tsp rice flour in water and add to the gravy and boil iy.
  • Make sure to add it and keep siting so no lumps are formed.
  • This will help thicken the gravy
  • I usually like to let the gravy simmer in low-med to thicken the gravy
  • Adding some sambar masala also helps but not if its too liquidy.

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