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April 11, 2018

Hotel Style Vatha Kuzhambu – Tamilnadu Hotel Kara Kuzhambu Recipe

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Hotel style kara kuzhambu
Its my long time wish to replicate Tamil nadu hotel style kara kuzhambu recipe / Vatha kuzhambu at home. Finally it happened by following this recipe from You tube video. In most of the hotels, this Sundakkai vatha kuzhambu is mentioned as kara kuzhambu. Kara kulambu is the common name used in Tamil nadu restaurants. But we at home differ the names based on the usage of vegetables or dried vegetable vathal.  In most of the hotels, sundakkai is used instead of vegetables. 

For authentic Kara kulambu, we add either brinjal, ladies finger or drumstick and we add ground coconut paste. In some hotels, they add fennel seeds as well. But vatha kuzhambu is prepared with any dried vegetables like sundakkai vathal, manga vathal, manathakkali vathal , Kothavarangai vathal and is usually prepared without coconut. But some people add coconut paste in vatha kuzhambu too. 

If we make it without coconut, it is called as Puli kulambu and if its with coconut and roasted spices, it is known as Arachuvitta vatha kuzhambu. So the point is, you can call this gravy as hotel style vatha kuzhambu if you add sundakkai vatral. But If you use any vegetables instead of vathal, you can name it as Kara kuzhambu :)). Whatever be the name, the taste of this gravy will surely remind hotel taste to you. I am completely happy with this recipe. You too give a try and share your feedback with me. This kuzhambu tastes even better the next day.  It tastes the best when mixed with hot plain rice. You can serve with any kootu and papad.  

Soon I will share another version of hotel kara kuzhambu with masala flavor. Ok, Lets see how to make hotel style kara kuzhambu adding sundakkai vathal with step by step pictures.

Check out my 60+ kuzhambu recipes !

Hotel vatha kuzhambu

Hotel style kara kuzhambu / Vatha kuzhambu recipe

Hotel style kara kuzhambu / Vatha kuzhambu recipe

How to make hotel style vatha kuzhambu at home

Cuisine: Indian
Category: Kuzhambu recipes
Serves: Serves 4
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 30 Minutes


1 cup = 250ml
  • Tamarind - A big gooseberry size
  • Small onion - 10 nos
  • Garlic cloves - 10 nos
  • Ripe tomato - 1/2 no
  • Curry leaves - Few
  • Dried Turkey berry / Sundakkai vathal - A fistful
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Jaggery - 2 tsp
  • Salt & water - as needed ( I used 2.5 cups of water)
To Saute & Grind
  • Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
  • Coriander seeds - 1.5 tsp
  • Chana dal - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Sambar powder - 1 to 1.5 tsp (Adjust based on spice level)
  • Small onion - 5 nos
  • Ripe tomato - 1/2 no
  • Grated coconut - 1/4 cup ( I used dessicated coocnut)
To temper
  • Sesame oil - 3 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Methi seeds - 1/8 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tsp


  1. Soak tamarind in 2 cups water and take the extract.
  2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a kadai and roast the ingredients except coconut given under “ to saute & grind”. Add coconut and grind to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  3. Heat 3 tbsp sesame oil. Splutter mustard seeds, methi, cumin seeds, urad dal.
  4. Saute turkey berry for few minutes. When it becomes golden brown, saute small onion, garlic cloves, curry leaves till onion becomes transparent.
  5. Add tamarind extract, jaggery, turmeric powder, coconut paste. Boil till nice smell arises.
  6. Switch off the flame when the oil starts to float on top. Transfer and serve with rice.


  • Soak tamarind in 2 cups of warm water for 15 minutes. Wash and peel onion, garlic cloves. Heat 2 tsp oil and roast chana dal, dhania, cumin seeds, 5 small onion, 1/2 of ripe tomato. Saute till tomato becomes pulpy. Add sambar powder, red chilli powder and mix well in medium flame. Do not burn any ingredients.

  • Add coconut, mix well and switch off the flame. Grind everything to a smooth paste. Set aside.
    Hotel kara kuzhambu recipe
  • Heat sesame oil in a kadai. Splutter mustard seeds, urad, cumin and methi seeds. Add sundakkai vathal and roast till golden brown. Then saute onion, garlic cloves, curry leaves till onion becomes transparent. Now add tomato and saute till mushy.
    Hotel kara kuzhambu recipe
  • Add 2 cups of tamarind extract, jaggery, turmeric powder, salt, ground coconut paste. Add little water if its too thick. Boil for few minutes in medium flame till oil starts to float on top.
    Hotel kara kuzhambu recipe
  • Try to make this kuzhmabu 2 to 3hours in advance for all its flavors to blend well. It tasted much better the next day. Enjoy !


  • Adjust the quantity of sambar powder as per your taste.
  • For variations, you can add roasted sundakkai vathal at the end after switching off  the flame. It helps to give crunchy taste. You can also grind 2 roasted sundakkai with coconut if you like slight bitter taste in the gravy.
  • Do not skip the ingredients given under “to saute & grind”. It helps to give the hotel flavor.
  • In some hotels, they saute 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds along with other ingredients in the coconut masala.
  • For best taste, give more resting time for this kuzhambu.

Yummy, tasty Hotel style kara kuzhambu with sundakkai vathal is ready to enjoy with hot plain rice and poriyal / kootu, Papad !

I served it with banana flower kootu.

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Unknown said...

I made this kuzhambu and liked it very much. It was tastier than the usual kara kuzhambu or vatha kuzhambu kinds I make. I am sure to stick to this recipe :)

Chitra said...

Thank you so much for the positive feedback :)

Unknown said...

super shall we add brinjol pieces in place of sudavattal? or any vegetables?

Chitra said...

Yes you can use brinjal, drumstick or just onion and garlic.

Unknown said...

Thanks much Chitra! I love this recipe when my mom is used during my childhood days. brought back beautiful memories!!

Chitra said...

Thank you :) Hope you will like this recipe !