Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (2024)

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Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe with stepwise photos & video. An authentic, aromatic & tongue-tickling kulambu from the Chettinad cuisine that is served at their wedding luncheons.

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (1)

This makes a sumptuous lunch spread when served along with Paruppu rasam, kathirikkai chops, Chettinad vazhakkai kurma & Potato roast.

This Chettinad Kulambu will always hold a special place in my heart. I learned this recipe from an Aachi (Aunt) while visiting my MIL’s place. She happened to be her neighbor whose husband has come there on transfer.

I was pregnant with Arun and she took such good care of me and cooked up some delectable Unni appams and other Chettinad specialties and used to serve with so much love.

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  • Ingredients
  • Instructions
  • Recipe Notes
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I love Chettinad Cuisine. Period. The way they use the spices in their cooking to bring out the delicate flavours always fascinates me. You can also check out this authentic yet simple and flavorfulManathakkali Vathal Kulambu

So I dutifully jotted down all the recipes from her and tried out many of them over the years. I have made this kulambu umpteen number of times and my whole family enjoys this very much.

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (2)

About

This kulambu primarily uses Manathakali vathal. It is nothing but the berries of the black nightshade plant which are harvested when ripe. They are the size of black peppercorns.

It is then soaked in salted buttermilk for some time and then dried under the hot sun to preserve them for later use.

This kulambu also does not use any kulambu chilli powder that you can use as such but instead, it is made with a freshly ground paste of whole spices that are fried in oil, along with coconut which is added to the kulambu to make it more aromatic & finger-licking tasty.

Ingredients

Manathakkali vathal: Using homemade is better but it is also available in many supermarkets in 100 or 200 gms packets.

Tamarind: A small lemon-sized is used. You can use 1 to 1 ½ tablespoon of Homemade Tamarind Paste to save time.

Vegetables: Only Shallots & tomatoes are used in this kulambu.

Seasoning: Mustard, fenugreek, chana dal, red chillies, asafoetida & curry leaves.

Spice powders: Red chilli powder & turmeric powder.

Oil: To get an authentic taste only gingelly oil is used.

Freshly ground paste: Onion, coriander seeds, urad dal, red chillies, coconut & poppy seeds are fried in oil & ground to a thick paste.

Please refer to the recipe card for the correct measurement of ingredients.

Instructions

To make Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu,

Let's make the paste first,

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (3)

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add urad dal & fry till golden in color. Remove into a bowl & set aside.

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (4)

2. Add coriander seeds and dry red chillies. Roast over low flame till they turn colour and the aroma arises. Drain and transfer into the same bowl.

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (5)

3. Add sliced onion and sauté it turns translucent. Transfer to the bowl.

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (6)

4. Add grated coconut to the same pan and roast over low flame for a few seconds.

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5. Add poppy seeds and roast together till the coconut colour changes and the aroma arises. Transfer to the bowl.

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (8)

6. Once cool, transfer the roasted ingredients to a mixie jar.

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (9)

7. Grind to a smooth paste using 2-3 tablespoon water.

Next, let's prepare the kulambu

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (10)

8. Heat a pan. Add gingelly oil, asafoetida, and mustard seeds, once it splutters add fenugreek seeds, whole red chillies & channa dal.

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (11)

9. After it gets roasted add the sambar onions and curry leaves.

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10. Add chopped tomatoes & manathakkali vathal.

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (13)

11. Add the freshly ground paste.

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12. Add red chilli powder, and turmeric powder & sauté over a low flame till the tomatoes become mushy and oil starts to ooze out.

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13. Add tamarind pulp or tamarind paste mixed in ½ cup water & add it to the pan.

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14. Add salt, mix well & let it come to a boil.

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15. Cook for 3 to 4 mins over low flame and switch off the stove.

Chettinad kalyana vathal kulambu is ready.

Recipe Notes

While adding salt to the kulambu, do it with caution especially when you are using store-bought vathal as it is high in salt to increase its shelf life.

This kulambu has both red chilli powder & dry red chillies to add heat & spice. So adjust both according to your spice level.

For authentic flavour, the best choice is to use cold-pressed gingelly oil.

To make this in advance - roast the ingredients and make the paste 1 or 2 days beforehand & store it in the refrigerator.

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (18)

Substitutions

Instead of using manathakkali vathal, you can also use sundakkai vathal (turkey berry) or kothavarangai vathal (cluster beans or vendakkai vathal (okra).

Instead of soaking the tamarind to extract the pulp, if you have homemade tamarind paste, you can use that to save time.

If you cannot use poppy seeds or khus-khus, then soak 4 to 5 whole cashew nuts for 10 mins in hot water & add it to the mixie jar before grinding.

Shelf Life & Storage

This kulambu stays fresh for 3 to 4 days when refrigerated. It tends to thicken upon cooling. So add a little water to dilute it before reheating it on the stovetop or in the microwave

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Recipe

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (23)

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe

Manathakkali vathal, sambar onions, tomatoes cooked along with a freshly ground coconut spice paste that is served with rice for lunch.

4.50 from 4 votes

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Prep Time : 10 minutes mins

Cook Time : 30 minutes mins

Total Time : 40 minutes mins

Servings : 4

Course : Main

Cuisine : South Indian

Author : Radhika

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 tablespoon manathakkali vathal
  • 1 lemon sized tamarind
  • 10 to 15 sambar onions
  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
  • 2 pinch asafoetida
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal
  • 4 whole dry red chilli
  • 2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 curry leaf sprig
  • ¼ cup gingelly oil
  • salt to taste

For the paste

  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 6 whole dry red chilies
  • ¼ cup freshly grated coconut
  • 2 teaspoon poppy seeds or khus-khus
  • 1 - 2 teaspoon gingelly oil

Instructions

Preparation

  • SStart by soaking tamarind in ½ cup hot water. Use a combination of new and old dark tamarind for good taste. Once soaked, extract the pulp and keep it aside. If you have homemade tamarind paste, then mix 1-½ tablespoons in ½ cup water.

  • Next, soak the sambar onion in water for 10 minutes and peel the skin. If they are too big, cut them in half, otherwise, use them as they are.

Make the paste

  • Heat a pan with oil. Add coriander seeds and dry red chilies. Roast them over low flame until they turn colour and the aroma arises. Then, drain and transfer them to a plate.

  • In the same pan, add urad dal and roast until it becomes golden brown. Transfer it to the same plate. Next, add sliced onion and sauté until it turns translucent, then transfer it to the plate.

  • Now, add grated coconut to the pan and roast it over low flame for a few seconds. Add poppy seeds and roast them together until the coconut changes colour and the aroma arises. Transfer everything to the plate.

  • Once cool, transfer the roasted ingredients to a mixie jar and grind them to a smooth paste using 2-3 tablespoons of water. Set it aside.

Make chettinad kalyana vathal kulambu

  • Heat a pan & add gingelly oil. Season by adding asafoetida and mustard seeds. Once it splutters add fenugreek seeds, whole red chillies, and channa dal.

  • After they get roasted, add the sambar onions, curry leaves, manathakkali vathal, and chopped tomatoes. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, add the ground paste and sauté over low flame until the tomatoes become mushy and oil starts to ooze out. This may take 10 to 15 minutes. Keep stirring intermittently.

  • Next, add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, and tamarind pulp. If it is too thick, add approximately ¼ cup water. Mix well and let it come to a boil.

  • Close the pan with a lid and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over low flame, then switch off the stove.

  • Serve this chettinad kalyana vathal kulambu with hot rice and a dash of ghee or gingelly oil accompanied by vadams, appalam or any side dish of your choice.

Video

Notes

Use cold-pressed gingelly oil for authentic flavour. If you are not comfortable, use any cooking oil.

Keyword chettinad kalyana vathal kulambu, chettinadu vatha kuzhambu

Tried this recipe?Mention @ticklingpalates or tag #ticklingpalates!

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe - Tickling Palates (2024)

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