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Manathakali Vathakuzhambu By Chef Rakesh Raghunathan

Manathakali Vathakuzhambu

Manathakali Vathakuzhambu is an authentic Tamil Nadu dish. Chef Rakesh Raghunathan shares the recipe for this tangy and spicy dish.
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Cooking Time

10-20 Min

Meal Type


Preparation Time

8-10 Min



Rate This Recipe6


    • 3 tsp black nightshade

    • 2 tsp sesame oil

    • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds

    • 1 tsp mustard seeds

    • 1/4 tsp asafetida

    • 1 cup tamarind water

    • 2 tbsp sambar powder

    • 1 tsp split bengal gram

    • 1 tsp jaggery

    • 3 - 4 red chillies

    • Few curry leaves

    • 1/2 cup coconut milk


  1. 1

    Soak a handful of tamarind in water and extract the juice.
  2. 2

    Heat 2 tsp sesame oil in a pot, add 1tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp split bengal gram, ¼ tsp asafetida, and saute.
  3. 3

    Then add 3 tsp black nightshade, 3 - 4 red chillies, 2 tsp sambar powder and mix it well. Then add a few curry leaves.
  4. 4

    Now add 1 cup tamarind water, salt to taste, jaggery and mix well.
  5. 5

    Then add 1/2 cup coconut milk and let the mixture simmer until it reaches a thick consistency.
  6. 6

    Manathakkali Vathakulambu is ready to serve now.

Vathakuzhambu is a thick tamarind juice and coconut milk gravy that is an authentic Tamil dish from the Chettinad belt of south India. Chef makes this dish with black nightshade berries, though it can be made with other veggies too like brinjal, shallots or drum stick. Jaggery is added to balance the other strong flavours of this dish.

This gravy is spicy, tangy and super delicious. It is served as an accompaniment with plain rice or south Indian curd rice.