Athalakkai has many nutritional health benefits because of which I buy it whenever the season comes and where ever I see them.
Since Everyday market is next to my home, I buy vegetables once in two days. But I stock seasonal vegetables as they come to market only once in a year. but this athalakkai is exceptional. I buy them in smaller quantity each time and cook it on the same day I buy it. because this vegetable tend to burst out its seeds in nature and you can not store it for long time.
People who stay at chennai and fond of eating athalakkai can also get it in leading Pazhamudhir solai shops. They sell it during its season. If you don’t know about athalakkai, click here to read about it and its health benefits.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 persons
Athalakkai – 200 grams
Onion – 1 no, medium size, chopped
Tomato – 1 no, medium size, diced
Curry leaves – 1 string
Gingelly oil – 3 teaspoons
Mustard seeds and Urad dal – 1/2 teaspoon
Tamarind – 1 lemon size ball, soaked in a cup of warm water for 15 minutes
Water – 1 cup
Sambar masala – 1 and 1/2 tablespoons
Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Jaggery – 1 tablespoon
Rice flour – 1 teaspoon (optional)
1) Wash and trim both the corners of athalakkai. Keep it aside.
2) Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and urad dal when it is hot. Allow it to splutter.
3) Add onion and curry leaves. Saute till the onions become soft and translucent.
4) Add tomato. Cook till it becomes soft.
5) Add athalakkai now. Fry for a minute.
6) Add sambar masala, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and let it cook for 1-2 minutes.
7) Squeeze out and extract juice from the tamarind pulp. Add this tamarind water to the pan. Add 1 cup water. mix well.
8) Allow this mixture to boil. When it is boiling, add the jaggery. If you are using rice flour, mix it with 1 tablespoon of water and add it to the kulambu. Cover the pan using lid and reduce the flame to low. Let it be for 7-10 minutes. This time might vary based on the consistency of the kulambu you required.
9) Check whether the athalakkai are cooked or not. Once it is done and the kulambu reached its consistency, add remaining teaspoon of oil and turn the flame off.
10) Serve it with hot steamed rice.
1) Instead of fresh athalakkai, you can also use dried athalakki(vathal) to prepare this kulambu. If so, use only 1/4 cup of dried athalakkai and follow the same procedure.
2) Addition of jaggery and rice flour is optional. Rice flour is added to get thick gravy consistency.