Omam Vatha Kolambu
Vatha kolambu is a traditional south Indian Brahmin recipe that can go very well with coconut thogayal. Its been pretty long since I tried making vatha kolambu. I should say that my Mom is a perfect maker of vathakolambu. She uses vegetables (drumstick, brinjal, shallots), omam (Ajwain seeds), manathangali vathal (Black night shade seeds) and sundaikai to prepare this kolambu. Sometimes even if we dont have veggies at home, you can simply make vatha kolambu using appalam (papads). Its a perfect simple dish. That too vatha kolambu combination with keerai masiyal and appalam definitely takes to heaven.Before marriage atleast twice in a month vatha kolambu will be a part of our kitchen recipe. After marraige, my hubby is not that favourite of tangy recipes. He always want one pot meal that can be cooked in jiffy.But today I was bit tempted after talking to my mom over phone. I quickly ran to my kitchen and cooked omam (Ajwain seeds) vatha kolambu for my lunch.
Omam (Ajwain seeds, picture shown below) has many health benefits especially for stomach disorders. If you have blotted and grouchy stomach, just add few tsp of Adwain seeds in a water and boil it for a while. Filter and drink the water 3 times a day. I bet you will get rid of all stomach disorders.
In my recipe, I have used Adwain seeds. You can follow the same recipe and can do variation with sundaikkai (Turkey berry) and manathangalli vathal (Black night shade). I have used gingelly oil to reduce the effect of tamarind. Try this recipe and let me know your comments.
Omam (Ajwain seeds) - 2 tsp
Channa dhal - 1 tsp
Urad dhal - 1 tsp
Red chilli - 2 / 3 (Depends on taste)
Pepper corn - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Corriander seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder - 1 tbsp(Can be increased or decreased depends on taste)
Garlic - 3 to 4 cloves
Shallots - 6
Hing / Asafoetida powder- 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - 1 small lemon sized
Jaggery -2 tbsp or 1 small piece
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Gingelly oil - 3 tsp
Salt to taste
Soak tamarind in hot water for about 20-25 mins. Squeeze the extract and keep it aside.
Ground Masala :
In a kadai, add 1/2 tsp of oil followed by adding channa dhal, urad dhal, cumin seeds,pepper corn and red chillis. Saute it for a while. Take care not burning them. Now add fenegreek seeds, corriander seeds and curry leaves (1/2 spring or 4-5 leaves) and roast it for a while. Finally add omam and put all these in a mixier and grind it to coarse powder. When you grind it, you can feel yummy flavour of ajwain in your kitchen. Now the ground masala is ready.
In a pan, add gingelly oil. Splutter mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Add garlic & shallots and saute it for a while. Now add the tamarind extract & hing and allow it to boil for 2 mins till the raw smell of tamarind goes off.
Now add the ground masala & sambar powder and adjust the salt. Since my sambar powder is home made and itself has turmeric, I dint add separately.If you are using store made, just add a pinch of turmeric. Allow it to boil in a low medium flame till it gets thickened. The entire process will take 20-25 mins to get thicken. If its till watery, you can add 1/4 tsp of rice flour to get it thicken.Once you get the desired consistency, add jaggery, mix it well & switch off the flame. Garnish with curry leaves and serve it with white rice.