Chettinad Onion Kulambu or the Vengaya Kulambu as it is known in Tamil is a tasty gravy preparation from the Chettinad cuisine. Made with onion and coconut, this is lip-smacking gravy that tastes yummy with rice like the Chettinad Thakkali Kulambu.
What is Chettinad Cuisine?
The South Indian Chettinad cuisine is very unique and special. You will find a lot of delicious dishes from this Tamil Nadu region. I can never really get enough of this South Indian cuisine. And hence you will find a lot of recipes in this cuisine from the regions of Tamil Nadu. One of the most distinctive features of the Tamil Chettinad cuisine is the spices. Freshly roasted and ground, the spices will make your home filled with an aroma that will leave your family lining up to the kitchen to find out what’s cooking in the kitchen.
What is Chettinad Onion Kulambu?
Pretty simple to make, this chettinad onion kulambu / vengaya kulambu is a very easy gravy. The small onions are used in two ways. First, they are ground with spices and then again fried along with the tempering. If you can get the small onions which are known as sambar vengayam in Tamil, then this is the gravy that you would end up making very often.
Can you make onion kulambu with normal onions?
This Chettinad Onion Kulambu tastes good with the small onions. But if you can’t find them, then just use the big ones.
This Chettinad Onion Kulambu tastes best when served with some steamed plain rice and papad on the side. As we do not need any other veggie for making this gravy, I tend to make this when there is nothing at home. This turns out so well and so tasty that no one would miss any veggie in it.
Sometimes I boil the eggs and drop them in the Chettinad Onion Kulambu / vengaya puli kulambu and it becomes a egg curry.
Pro Tips / Important Things to remember while making the chettinad chinna vengaya kulambu
Step By Step pictorial of making the chettinad onion kulambu
- Take all the ingredients to roast in a pan and roast lightly till a nice aroma emanates from them. Allow these spices to cool completely. Transfer them to a mixie jar.
2. Now add the small onions and coconut along with the cooled spices in the mixie jar.
3. Grind to make a paste with it.
4. Heat oil in a pan and add the tempering ingredients. Next, add the onion.
5. Fry till the garlic turns lightly brown. The onion would have turned lightly transparent by now.
6. Add in the turmeric powder and salt. Cook until the tomato turns soft and tender.
7. When the tomato turns soft, add the coconut paste and fry well.
8. Add in the tamarind water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve hot.
Serve this onion kulambu hot or at room temperature.
It tastes best with plain hot rice and some side dish.
More similar recipes:
how to make the Chettinad Onion Kulambu, Tamil Vengaya Kulambu
Chettinad Onion Kulambu, Vengaya Kulambu
For the Paste
- 1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds / methi dana
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 2-3 whole dry red chilli
- 1 tsp toor dal
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup coconut grated
- 1/2 cup small onions / sambar vengayam chopped
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 2-3 dry red chili
For the gravy
- 1 cup small onion / sambar vengayam peeled
- 4 - 5 tomatoes finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
Making the chettinad onion kulambu paste
- Add garlic, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, toor dal coriander seeds, whole red chilli in a pan and cook for a couple of more minutes till a nice aroma emanates from it.
- Switch off the flame and allow it to cool. Transfer to a mixie jar and add the coconut and small onions.
- Add some water and blend to make a paste.
Making the gravy
- Heat oil and add mustard seeds, curry leaves, garlic and dry chili. Fry till the mustard seeds splutter.
- Add the onions. Fry till the onions change their color.
- Throw in the tomatoes now. Cook till the tomatoes are soft and pulpy.
- Throw in the turmeric powder, salt and the blend paste.
- Add the tamarind paste and stir well to dissolve. Add required amount of water.
- Bring it to a boil. Cook on low flame for 5 more minutes.
- Remove from stove and serve hot with some plain rice and papad.
Signing off until next time,
This recipe was originally published in March of 2016. Step by step photos and video have been added for better understanding. The recipe has been made printable in December 2018.
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