This is my all time favourite dish! Served with hot hot rice and applams! Smack! Anyday ......anytime............alll the time! 

For those of you who don't know this dish...........It's a very famous South Indian dish which is sour from the tamarind and is balanced out with the sweetness from the jaggery/ palm sugar. It is thicker than the usual curries. There is no thickening agent used. It's made thick with just simmering for a longer time. Thats how it gets its name. 'Vatha' meaning 'simmered'.


manathakali vathal - 3 tbsps
sesame oil/nallenai - 1/4 cup
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
fenugreek seeds/ vendhayam - 1 tsp
small onions/ chinna vengayam - 15
garlic - 6
tomato, pureed - 1
curry leaves - 10
sambar powder - 1 tbsp
red chili powder - 3 tsps (depends on your spice level)
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
hing/asafoetida powder - 1/4 tsp
tamarind - big lime size soaked in 1 cup water
jaggery 1 tbsp
salt to taste

  • In a wok, heat the oil.
  • Add the manathakali vathal and fry for about 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Remove from the oil and keep aside.
  • Next, add the mustard seeds. Let it splutter. 
  • Add in the small onions, half the curry leaves and garlic and fry in the oil for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • When the garlic is about to change colour, add in the sambar powder, turmeric and chili powder.
  • Let it fry in the oil for about 30 seconds.
  • Add in the tomato puree and stir. Add the salt.
  • Next, strain the tamarind and add the tamarind water. You can add another cup of water to the tamarind pulp and add the second extract too. Bring it to boil.
  • Add the manathakali vathal. After 3 to 4  minutes you can add in the jaggery and the asafoetida. Close the lid and let it simmer till it reduces to half the quantity.
  • When you reach the desired consistency (slightly thick) you can add the remaining curry leaves, close the lid and switch off the flame.

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