Chinna Vengayam Araichu Vitta Sambhar | Pearl Onion Sambhar

Tamil Nadu Feast Chinna Vengayam Araichu vitta sambhar %%

Chinna vengayam or pearl onions are Goblet onion as my boys call it, is a delicacy and it just enhances the flavor of any dish it is added to. Two of my favorite preparations with china vengayam are the vathal kuzhambu and this araichu vitta sambhar. Araichu vitta sambhar is different from the regular sambhar because of the fact that it has fried and ground spices and coconut instead of the sambhar powder. I do add about 1/2 tsp of sambhar powder to give it a little color and flavor.

It is very typical in the South Indian family to make Vengaya sambhar the day before the Diwali/Deepavali festival. I make it usually when I am expecting visitors or for a weekend special spread. So I chose to make this sambhar for the special Tamil Nadu spread that I made for the mega regional Blogging Marathon. Do make sure to check my other recipes as well.

Tamil Nadu Feast %%

Other recipes I have in this spread are – 

Payatham paruppu payasam
Velarikkai Thayir pachadi / Cucumber raita
Manga Pachadi / Mango sweet chutney
Kadalai paruppu sweet kosumalli
Kovakkai Curry
Chow Chow Kootu
Thakkali Rasam

Preparation – 15 minutes
Cooking time – 40 minutes
Difficulty level –easy

Ingredients to make Chinna Vengayam Araichu Vitta Sambhar – (serves 6)

  • Chinna Vengayam / pearl onion – 2 cups (peeled fresh or frozen)
  • Tamarind – A large Marble size piece (soaked in about 2 cups of hot water)
  • Tuvaram paruppu / toor dal – ½ cup
  • Sambhar powder – ½ tsp (optional)
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Salt – to taste
  • Jaggery / brown sugar – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 2 tsp
Fry and grind together –
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Kothamalli vidhai / Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Kadalai paruppu / Channa dal – 1 tbsp
  • Ullutham paruppu / urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Red chilies – 5-6
  • Black pepper – ½ tsp
  • Coconut – ¼ cup (grated)
For seasoning –
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Ullutham paruppu – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – few

Procedure to make Chinna Vengayam Araichu Vitta Sambhar –

  • Soak the tamarind in hot water for about 15 minutes and then squeeze out the extract.
  • Cook the tuvaram paruppu in pressure cooker until very soft and mushy. Once cooked, mash it well with a ladle and keep it aside.
Tamil Nadu Feast Chinna Vengayam Araichu vitta sambhar %%
  • Peel the pearl onions is using fresh ones. I used frozen ones and all I had to do was drop it into the pan.
  • In a pot, add about 2 tsp of oil (preferably gingelly oil) and sauté the onions for about 5-7 minutes, until aromatic.
  • Now add the tamarind extract, sambhar powder and salt and let it boil for about 10-15 minutes.
Tamil Nadu Feast Chinna Vengayam Araichu vitta sambhar
  • In the meantime, in a small pan, fry all the ingredients (except coconut) mentioned under grind together to about golden brown. Then add the grated coconut and fry for a minute more until it is light golden.
Tamil Nadu Feast Chinna Vengayam Araichu vitta sambhar
  • Let it cool down a bit and then grind to a coarse paste using very little water. Keep it aside.
  • Check and see if the vegetable is cooked and then add the ground paste. Let it come to a quick boil and then add the cooked paruppu/dal. Mix well and add a little more water (if needed) to adjust the consistency. Also add the curry leaves now and let it simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Stir it often in between since the sambhar tends to settle down in the bottom.
Tamil Nadu Feast Chinna Vengayam Araichu vitta sambhar
  • Heat oil for seasoning and then add the ingredients mentioned above. Add the seasoning to the sambhar and then turn off the flame.
  • Serve hot with rice and ghee!


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