October 17, 2022

Parangikkai Vathakuzhambu - Tambrahm Special (Vegan)

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Pumpkin is a versatile vegetable and is widely used in the Indian cuisine .Various names of pumpkin in different languages, Parangikkai /Thadiyangai (Tamil) , Mathan (Malayalam) , Kaddhu (Hindi) , Laal Bhopla (Marathi) , Sihi Kumbalkkai (kannada) ,Kumdo /Kumro (Bengali) and so on.

In India, pumpkins are available through the year unlike the western world wherein it is a Fall produce and available only during Autumn .

Having said that, in India we use pumpkin a lot across the length and breadth of various cuisines from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Gujarat to Assam . 

Parangikkai Vethakuzhambu is a classic recipe from Tambrahm kitchen and makes for a yummy main course . Vathakuzhambu is a tamarind based gravy without the lentils and is paired with rice and a simple vegetable stir fry or keerai  masiyal.

"Vathakuzhambum Sutta appalam um" is an eternal favorite combination in most households and our home is not an exception either .Certain terminologies lose the charm when translated, but for the ease of my readers let me translate it .. the term means Vathakuzhambu and roasted papad is the best combination when  served hot .

Vethakuzhambu has a good shelf life and can stay well upto 4 or 5 days when refrigerated provided your family doesn't polish off this yumm gravy.  Vathakuzhambu certainly tickles and rejuvenates our taste buds and appetite especially after heavy festive indulgence or even post traveling. 

I have quite a few variants of Vethakuzhambu and tamarind based gravy which I am linking below for your easy reference 

Appalam Vethakuzhambu 

Kondakadalai (chick peas) Vethakuzhambu 

Karvepillai (curry leaves) kuzhambu 

Milagu (pepper) Kuzhambu 

Vendhiya (fenugreek) kuzhambu 

Verkadalai (peanuts) Vethakuzhambu 

Preparation Time 10 mins
Cooking Time - 30 mins
Complexity- simple
Serves - 2 to 3


1.5 cups chopped pumpkin 
Small lemon sized tamarind soaked in hot water 
1.5 tbsp sambar powder 
1tsp thoor dhall
1/2 tsp mustard 
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp sesame oil /til oil
Salt as needed 
Few curry leaves 
Chopped corriander 
Pinch of asafoetida 


  • Extract the puree from the soaked tamarind, strain it.Add 1 cup water to it and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed kadai and splutter the mustard seeds followed by curry leaves, corriander, thoor dhall and asafoetida. 
  • Saute the chopped pumpkin cubes with sambar powder and add 1/2 cup water .let the pumpkin cook well .It should be well cooked, but firm at the same time 
  • Add the tamarind extract, required salt and let it boil well and the raw flavor of tamarind is lost .Continue to simmer the vathakuzhambu until it reduces and becomes slightly thick in consistency like tomato puree. The kuzhambu shouldn't be very runny. 
  • Turn off the stove and drizzle the sesame oil all over and a delicious Vethakuzhambu is ready to be enjoyed .

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  1. post diwali, we also indulged in this pumpkin (plus added sundakkai) VK at home. it is indeed a saviour after heavy food ! looks totally delish esp with the roasted papad !-Kalyani

  2. Parangikkai Vattalkozhambu is a big favourite at home. Yours looks so perfectly made! Would love to dig in, with some steaming hot rice, sutta appalam and sesame oil on the side. 🙂

  3. Vathakuzhambu and sutta appalam and keerai is our family favorite too. I too make in the same way, but have never tried it with pumpkin. I have some pumpkin in the fridge and am going to make this lunch. Thanks for a comforting recipe.

  4. Parangikkai Vathakuzhambu Looks super tempting. Grew up eating this Delicious dish. You have explained it so well Priya. - Preethi


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