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Kuzhambu Karuvadam (Sun Dried Fryum For Gravies)

 Published 2021-Nov-16   Updated 2021-Nov-16

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Kuzhambu Vadam, Kulambhu Karuvadam, Sambar Karuvadam, Karuvadaham, Karuvadaam)

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Kuzhambu Karuvadam or simply Karuvadam is a sun dried fryum that my friend taught me. It is traditionally made by the Tamil Brahmins.  It is simple to make. However the drying process takes at least 3 days under hot sun. This is because it is quite denser compared to the other vadams.

When I first saw her making these, I was amazed. I never heard of these before since it is not usually made in my native place. Nevertheless, I was interested in learning some new traditional recipe. I should say, I really enjoyed the taste of it too. So here I am with the detailed procedure to make it. Please do try it out and keep the age old recipes alive. This vadam is fried and had as a side dish but more often it is fried and added to curries like sanbar, vathakuzhambu, kootu, rasam etc.

Recipe For Kuzhambu Karuvadam

Preparation time: 3 days
Makes: 3 cups of vadams (about 100)


  • Urad dal – 1 cup
  • Dry red chilies – 5
  • Asafoetida – ¼ tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp (or to taste)
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp


  1. Wash the urad dal and soak it along with the dry red chilies. A minimum of 2 hours soaking is required. I prefer to wash it and soak it overnight so that we can dry the vadams early in the morning.

    Kuzhambu Karuvadam Preparation Step

  2. After it has soaked, grind it to a smooth paste along with dry red chilies, asafetida and salt. I usually do this early in the morning.

    Kuzhambu Karuvadam Preparation Step

  3. I haven’t added curry leaves but you can add that also while grinding. Do not add any water while grinding. The urad dal must have soaked up sufficient water.
  4. Remove the batter into a bowl. It should be like a thick medhu vada batter. Mix in the mustard seeds. This adds a nice flavor when the vadams are fried.

    Kuzhambu Karuvadam Preparation Step

  5. Take a clean plastic sheet to sun-dry the vadams. For this you can cut open any polythene bags or rice bags and use it. Spread the plastic sheet in a clean place in the terrace or balcony where there is plenty of sunlight. Put weights in the edges to prevent it from flying.
  6. Pinch out small portions (about 1-2 tsp) of the prepared batter and place it in the plastic sheet. Continue doing so with the entire batter, leaving space between each vadam.

    Kuzhambu Karuvadam Preparation Step

  7. Let it dry in the hot sun for the full day. Traditionally small pocket mirrors or black plastic bags are kept near the vadams to prevent predators (birds like crows) from stealing the vadams. These are tricks found out by our ancestors.
  8. At the end of the first day, the top of the vadams would have dried but the inside will still be moist. The second day, flip the vadams and dry it again.
  9. Repeat the process the third day too. By now, the vadam must have become completely dried.
  10. Remove and store it in an airtight container. It stays good in room temperature for up to a year. My friend stores them in the refrigerator to make sure its fresh longer.

Serving Suggestion

  • This karuvadam is fried in hot oil till golden brown. It is then added to gravies like sambar, kootu or vathakuzhambu.
  • The fried vadams can also be served with curd rice.

Kuzhambu Karuvadam Preparation StepKuzhambu Karuvadam Preparation Step

Kuzhambu Karuvadam Preparation Step

Fried Karuvadam

Karuvadam In Kuzhambu

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 Published by on and last updated on 2021-11-16.