2 pieces of Vendakkai/ two brinjals/4 sundakkais (apparently, it is called as Turkey Berry; Even I am trying to find it out here. On a health note: One Sundakka has the same iron content as 10 pieces of Dates, which neatly proves my theory how South Indian food is so nutritious)
Asoefatida (namely perungaayam)
Kadugu/Ulutham paruppu for seasoning
Without Gingelly oil it won't taste the way it should. I traversed through the supermarket to find it hidden in one corner. In fact, the heady aroma of Gingelly oil plays a vital part in making your Vathakozhambu taste like the egregiously expensive ones found in AAB and Grand- Sweets. Do not proceed to make this unless you have sufficient quantity of Gingelly oil
1. Take two spoons of Gingelly oil in a pan and heat it. Add Kadugu, ulutham paruppu for seasoning and watch with delight the way kadugu dances in the hot oil. Now add a bit of curry leaves and the vegetables/any base.
2.Add two spoons of Sambar powder to the vegetables and fry them up, good and proper
3.Now add a cup and a half of water to this. Add three lavish spoons of Tamarind paste.
4. Add a spoon of chilly powder to make it extra hot, which is an essential feature if you are planning to eat it with rice. Mix well. All the above activities should be done in high flame.
5. The funda about Vathakozhambu is that it should concentrated as much as possible (Vatha vaccha Kozhambu) and hence the name. Now, with this gyaan, pause and sniff. Do you find the experience of smelling the simmering sauce fulfilling? If so, you are on a right track. If you don't find the tamrind vapour striking you as it should, add a bit more of the tamrind paste and quarter spoon more of chilly powder.
6. Add salt and let it bubble joyfully; .Take a tiny bit in spoon to check if aal iz well.If not fix the bug by adding what you think it needs. Most problems will be solved by step 7 or adding a bit of salt.Sniff every two minutes and check if it looks concentrated .The more you concentrate, the more you can store it in fridge.
7. Add a spoon of gingelly oil to slightly bring down the bubbling and add the ethereal flavor. Add perunkayam quite lavishly.
For people who wish to have it in fridge for a month, I suggest taking a huge pan and doubling the ingredients involved (be sure you experiment with the small quantity first). Cover the tupperware box with a thin film of gingelly oil before pouring the vathakozhambu in it and putting in fridge.
While eating, use ghee or gingelly oil in rice, and use minimal amount of the concentrate, so as to say, don't use up everything, as a spoonful might be quite sufficient.
If you don't use chilly powder and use a lot of pepper powder you get Melagu Kozhambu. If your base vegetable is garlic, you get Poondu Kozhambu.
You can also add a teeny bit of jaggery for taste.
Also, you can marinate any type of Vadaam Vathal to enhance the taste.