Vatha Kozhambu is a Spicy Gravy which has a sweet and sour taste. It goes well with steamed rice. Here is the recipe for making Vatha Kozhambu with Bitter Gourd.
- Bitter Gourd (Pavakka or Kaipakka) – 1 large (sliced into thin pieces)
- Onion – 2 large (sliced)
- Tamarind – a small lemon sized ball
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Water – 3 cups
- Sambar powder – 3 tbsp
- Chilly Powder – 1 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Grated Jaggery (Sharkkara) – 3 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Uzhunnu Parippu (Urad dal) – 1 tsp
- Tuvara Parippu (Toor dal) – 1 tsp
- Kayam (Asafoetida powder) – A pinch
- Coriander leaves/Cilantro – A few
- Curry leaves – A sprig
- Rice flour – 1 tsp (optional)
- If you want to reduce the bitter taste of Pavakka, rub some salt to the sliced pieces and squeeze out the juice before cooking.
- Soak tamarind in 2 cups of hot water and squeeze out the juice.
- Take a pan and heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds, urad dal and toor dal.
- Add the sliced onions and saute till translucent.
- Next add the bitter gourd pieces and curry leaves along with salt and saute.
- Keep the pan covered and cook on low flame for around 8-10 minutes till the bitter gourd pieces are tender.
- Next, add 3 tbsp sambar powder and 1 tsp chilly powder and fry for a minute.
- Add the tamarind juice and 1 cup of water and bring it to boil, stirring occasionally, until the gravy thickens.
- Add jaggery and let it boil for another 5 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
- If you need to thicken the kozhambu, mix 1 tsp rice flour in 2 tbsp water and add it to the kozhambu and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Finally add coriander leaves and sprinkle some kayam.