Sundakkai Vatha Kulambu

Sundakkai Vatha Kulambu

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Sundakkai Vatha Kulambu | Vathal Kuzhambu | with step by step photos and video. A popular side dish for lunch in Tamilnadu. Also known as Ikkiyam sun-dried Turkey Berry kulambu.

Vathal is the Tamil word for sun-dried vegetables or berries. Sundakkai is also called as turkey berries. The fresh berries are soaked in a salt-buttermilk mixture for a couple of days and then dried and stored for making curries. Moreover, it is easily available in Indian grocery stores or online.

Additionally, Good things come in small packages. Spherical in shape, sundakkai has a taste that is more on the bitter side, but when cooked in the right way, it can lead to sumptuous dishes.

Health Benefits:

Here are its many health benefits: Consuming sundakkai vathal keeps many intestinal problems like indigestion, diarrhea, and gastric ulcers at bay. On regular consumption, symptoms of anemia are also controlled to a large extent.

How to make vatha kulambu recipe?

Sundakkai Vatha Kulambu | Vathal Kuzhambu| with step by step photos and video. Do keep these things in mind while preparing this yummy kulambu recipe. These tips I am sharing here are from my parents.

  • For the best and authentic taste, use sesame oil (gingelly oil).
  • If possible use dark tamarind or old tamarind as it gives a lovely deep sour taste.
  • Be generous with the oil. There should be a thin layer of oil on top of the kulambu.
  • Before using the berries we will fry the sundakkai on a low flame for a minute. The berries will puff up and start to change color. Remove from flame and add the berries at the end.
  • Adding a little bit of sambar powder will enhance the taste of kulambu.
  • Based on the tanginess, add a bit of jaggery.

Best served with steamed rice. With this vatha kuzhambu, I personally would suggest serving a vegetable side dish or stir fry, that has faint sweet notes and not at all spicy or bitter along with pappads.

Sundakkai Vathal kuzhambu

Course: GravyCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


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Vatha Kulambu | Sundakkai Vathal | with step by step photos and video. A popular side dish for lunch in Tamilnadu.


  • Gooseberry Sized Tamarind (soak in 1 cup of water)

  • 2 to 3 tbsp Gingelly Oil

  • 30 to 35 Vathal/Sun-dried Berries

  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds

  • 10 Fenugreek Seeds

  • 1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds

  • 8 to 10 Garlic Cloves

  • 10 Shallots finely chopped

  • Half of a medium-sized Onion finely chopped

  • Curry Leaves

  • 2 Pinches of Hing/Asafoetida

  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

  • 11/2 tsp Red Chili Powder

  • 11/2 tsp Coriander Powder

  • 1/4 tsp Cumin Powder

  • 1/2 tsp Sambar Powder

  • 1 Tomato (small-sized and finely chopped)

  • 1/4 cup of Coconut Paste(Grind 1/4 cup grated coconut+1/4 cup of water)

  • Salt as required

  • 2 tbsp Grated Jaggery


  • Soak a gooseberry sized tamarind in 1 cup of water.Sundakkai Vatha Kulambu
  • Squeeze and strain the tamarind pulp. Keep it aside.
  • Heat 2 to 3 tbsp gingelly oil in a clay pot or a kadai.Sundakkai Vatha Kulambu
  • Roast 30 to 35 sun-dried berries or vathals. The berries will puff up and start to change color. Remove from flame and be sure not to burn the berries.Sundakkai Vatha KulambuSundakkai Vatha Kulambu
  • In the same oil splutter 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 5 to 10 fenugreek seeds, and 1/4 tsp cumin seeds.Sundakkai Vatha KulambuSundakkai Vatha Kulambu
  • Followed by 8 to 10 garlic pods. Roast until aroma arises and garlic is roasted properly.
  • Now add 10 shallots finely chopped, half of an onion finely chopped and some curry leaves. Saute until onion changes golden brown in color.Sundakkai Vatha KulambuSundakkai Vatha Kulambu
  • Then add 2 Pinches of Hing/Asafoetida, 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder, 11/2 tsp Red Chili Powder, 11/2 tsp Coriander Powder, 1/4 tsp Cumin Powder, and 1/2 tsp Sambar Powder. Roast the masala for 20 seconds over a low flame.Sundakkai Vatha KulambuSundakkai Vatha Kulambu
  • Add a finely chopped small-sized tomato. Mix well. Cover and cook until it turns mushy.Sundakkai Vatha KulambuSundakkai Vatha KulambuSundakkai Vatha Kulambu
  • Now add the squeezed, strained tamarind pulp and 1/4 cup of coconut paste. Mix well and adjust the consistency by adding water. I am adding 1 cup of water.Sundakkai Vatha KulambuSundakkai Vatha Kulambu
  • Add the required salt. Cover and cook for 7 to 10minutes over low flame.Sundakkai Vatha Kulambu
  • Then add the roasted berries and 2 tbsp grated jaggery. Mix well.Sundakkai Vatha KulambuSundakkai Vatha Kulambu
  • Cover and cook until oil is separated.Sundakkai Vatha KulambuSundakkai Vatha Kulambu
  • Our vatha kulambu is ready to be served.

Recipe Video


  • Be generous with the oil. There should be a thin layer of oil on top of the kulambu. This helps in keeping the kulambu stay good for about a week in the fridge and also gives a good taste.
  • Based on the tanginess level increase or decrease the amount of jaggery using.

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