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Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe

Chettinad Kalyana Vathal Kulambu Recipe with step by step pictures.
4.5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 4


  • Manathakkali Vathal – 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Tamarind – small lemon size
  • Shallots / sambar onions – 1 handful
  • Tomato – 2
  • Asafetida – 2 pinch
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Chana dal – 1 tsp
  • Dry whole red chilli – 4
  • Chillli powder – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Gingelly Oil – 1/4 cup
  • Salt – to taste

To Grind to a paste:

  • Onion - 1 medium
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Dry red chillies – 6
  • Fresh grated coconut – 1/4 cup
  • Poppy seeds or khus-khus – 2 tsp
  • Oil – 1 to 2 tsp



  • Soak tamarind in hot water. I use a combination of new and old dark tamarind for good taste. Extract pulp and keep aside.

Make the paste:

  • Heat a pan with oil. Add coriander seeds and dry red chilies. Roast over low flame till they turn color and the aroma arises. Drain and transfer to a plate.
  • Add urad dal to the same pan and roast till it becomes golden in color. Transfer to the same plate.
  • Add sliced onion and sauté it turns translucent. Transfer to the plate.
  • Add grated coconut to the same pan and roast over low flame for few seconds.
  • Add poppy seeds and roast together till the coconut color changes and the aroma arises. Transfer to the plate.
  • Once cool, transfer the roasted ingredients to a mixie jar and grind to a smooth paste using 2-3 tbsp water. Set aside.

Make chettinad kalyana vathal kulambu:

  • Heat a pan. Add 1/4 cup gingelly oil.
  • Add asafetida, mustard seeds, once it splutters add fenugreek seeds, whole red chillies and channa dal.
  • After it gets roasted add the sambar onions, curry leaves, manathakkali vathal and chopped tomatoes. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the ground paste and sauté over a low flame till the tomatoes become mushy and oil starts to ooze out. This may take 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and tamarind pulp.
  • If it is too thick, add 1/4 cup water approx., Mix well and let it come to a boil.
  • Close the pan with a lid and cook for 3 to 4 mins over low flame and take off stove.
  • Chettinad kalyana vathal kulambu is ready.
  • Serve with hot rice and a dash of ghee or sesame oil accompanied by vadams or appalam for side dish.



Use gingelly oil for authentic flavor. If you are not comfortable, use any cooking oil.