Iyengar Vathal Kuzhambu | Sundried Vegetable Curry (South Indian • Vegan • Gluten free)

Panaeng Curry

Authentic Iyengar Curry that is the love of almost every Tamil Vegetarian. Spicy Sour curry with a hint of sweetness and bitterness that has amazing health benefits.

Have you ever wondered what people ate 100 years back when they traveled for days ? Or when they needed a quick meal? This is one of the curries that they would depend on. The oil and tamarind preserves the curry even at 100 deg F and keeps it fresh and tasty. This is one of my most favorite curries. If, like me, you’ve been searching for that perfect iyengar vatha kuzhambu recipe, I promise that your search ends here. This recipe is authentic and finger licking good.


  •  Tamarind extract has a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity due to the presence of tannins, terpenoids and citric acid. So it has the potential to replace synthetic food grade preservatives.
  • Turkey Berries are antibacterial, anti-fungal and help to stop the excessive cell growth making it significant to help cure cancer.

Cuisine: South Indian
Serves: 4 Adults

Ingredients Quantity For Mild Curry
Tamarind 1/2 cup
Sesame Oil 8 tbsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Any sundried vegetable (I use dried Turkey Berries) 1/3 cup
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Jaggery (Or Brown Sugar) 2 tbsp
Chilli Powder 1 tbsp  Use Paprika
To Grind
Sesame Oil 1 tsp
Coriander Seeds 4 tbsp
Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram) 1 tbsp
Fenugreek Seeds 1 tsp
Dry Red Chillies 2-8 Use 2 chillies and remove seeds
Asofoetida (Optional) 1/2 tsp
Sesame Oil 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds 1 tbsp
Dry Red Chillies 2-6 Use 2 chillies and remove seeds
Asofoetida (Optional) 1/2 tsp


  1. Soak tamarind in 2 cups warm water till soft. Don’t forget to remove seeds.
  2. Once tamarind is soft, blend to make the tamarind paste.
  3. Heat a pot on medium heat and add 4 tbsp sesame oil.
  4. When oil is hot, add the vathal/sundried vegetable and saute till crisp.
  5. Remove the vegetable and add tamarind paste, salt, turmeric powder, jaggery and chilli powder.
  6. Cover and cook for 15 mins, till the raw taste of tamarind disappears.
  7. Meanwhile heat another small pan with 1 tsp sesame oil.
  8. When oil is hot, add all the ingredients under ‘To Grind’ and saute till the coriander seeds are golden brown. Enjoy the smell of toasted spices.
  9. Blend the toasted spices with 1/2 cup water.
  10. Add this blended paste to the cooked tamarind paste. Uncover and cook on low till oil separates on top.  Remove the pot.
  11. Now lets do the Tadka/Tempering. Heat another small pan with 2 tbsp sesame oil.
  12. When oil is hot add all the other ingredients under Tadka. When mustard seeds pop switch off and add the tadka to the curry.
  13. You can store the curry at room temperature for upto 2 days or in the refrigerator for upto 6 months. Serve with rice, any vegetable and of coarse papad.


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