You can add any vegetable of your choice, the most popular ones being tomatoes, drumsticks, brinjal, etc. I made my favourite, the tomato version with drumsticks.
1 big tomato, cubed
1 drumstick, cut into 4″ pieces
1 cup tamarind water (from a small lime-sized ball of tamarind)
Salt to taste
Grind to a paste:
1/2 cup grated coconut
4-5 shallots / ulli
1/2 tsp jeera
2 dry red chillies
A pinch of turmeric
1 clove of garlic
2 tsp oil
A few fenugreek seeds / uluva / menthayam
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
A few curry leaves
4-5 sliced shallots
How to Make Thakkali Kuzhambu
1. Take the tamarind water in a kadai and add the tomatoes and drumsticks to it along with salt. Bring to boil.
2. Add the ground masala paste to this and continue to boil on sim until the drumsticks are soft. This should take about 12-15mins. Add water as necessary to keep the consistency right (same consistency as sambar). Remove and set aside.
3. Heat oil and add all the ingredients for tempering. Once the mustard seeds have popped and the fenugreek seeds are roasted (take care not to burn them!), dunk them into the gravy. Mix well, adjust salt.
Serve hot with rice, mezhukkupuratti and pappadom.