Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vendakkai pitla (Okra "stew")

This is another of those traditional handed-down-from-grandma recipes that my mother makes and that I cant seem to duplicate, no matter what. Oh, I'm sure it turns out just fine, because after all it's her recipe that I follow. But somehow, that extra infusion - of taste, of aroma - doesnt seem to happen for me.

There is a word in Tamil to define that elusive whatever-it-is that adds oomph to everyday food - kaimanam. The closest translation of that word is "aroma of the hand". Anybody who cooks probably acquires that quality to some degree, but there arent many who can evoke that feeling of warm contentment (home, family, food) in persons other than immediate family. As far as I'm concerned, anybody who can do that deserves the ultimate accolade. Fancy chefs with their fancy cooking dont hold a candle to all those unknown, unremarked yet fabulous home cooks out there.

Ok, returning from the high realms of philosophy, I'm dedicating this entry to Anthony's Curry Mela this week (Week No 21). He does a terrific job of rounding up all the entries from various blogs, making it really convenient for lazy people like me to see who's been making what during the week!

The week before last, I left a note on his blog to say that I would try to contribute a recipe to his weekly round-up of recipes. Daft thing to do, because of COURSE circumstances ensured that I not only did not manage to keep that promise, but I also didnt get to write anything substantial that week. In hindsight, I shouldnt have made an open promise like that - Fate tends to keep an ear out just so she can scupper any plans :)

Anyway, Tony, here's my entry for your Curry Mela this week, and thanks for your efforts!

Recipe for: Vendakkai pitla (Okra "stew")


2 cups sliced okra
1/2 cup cooked mashed tuvar/toor dal
1 tsp tamarind paste dissolved in 3 cups water
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

For the masala paste:

2 tsp urad dal
2 tsp chana dal
4-5 dried red chillies or to taste
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
3 tsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp warm water

For tempering:

1 tsp oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida powder (optional)
4-5 fresh or dry curry leaves, torn


1. Grind the first four masala ingredients to a smooth paste with 2 tbsp water. Then add the coriander seeds and grind agin until the seeds are crushed but not smoothly ground. Reserve.

2. Cook the okra in the tamarind water till done but not mushy. (Skim off any froth that rises.)

3. Blend the masala, turmeric powder and cooked tuvar/toor dal with 1/2 cup water in a bowl, making sure there are no lumps.

4. Add this to the cooked okra along with salt to taste and stir carefully to mix without breaking up the okra pieces. Let the pitla simmer for 5 minutes while you do the tempering.

5. For the tempering, heat the oil in a small pan. Pop the mustard seeds (cover the pan) for about 30 seconds on high haet, then lower the heat and add the asafoetida powder and curry leaves.

6. After 10 seconds, pour the tempering immediately on the pitla and stir it in. Serve hot over rice, accompanied by a raita and papad.

Parrupu Urundai Kuzhambu

This is one of my favorites. It might look like a kofta curry, but this is totally different. It is toor dal balls cooked in a tangy tamarind sauce. It goes well with plain rice. There is another version called paruppu urundai mor kuzhambu. Will post about that later.

Meanwhile, I just wanted to share my experiences on making this gravy. The first time I did this curry, I dropped the dal balls directly in the boiling gravy and it came out well. But the second time it was a total flop. All the balls broke and I ended up in one single mess. After doing it frequently I have now mastered the art of doing it right. So, if you wish to give this gravy a try I strongly recommend you to steam the toor dal balls for a 10 minutes and then add to the gravy. Slowly as you gain confidence you can add the dal balls directly.


Toor Dhal – 1 cup
onion- 1/2 (finely chopped)
Sambar Powder – 1 tsp
corriander leaves- 3 tbsp
Salt – 2 teaspoon

Mustard – 1 teaspoon
urad dal -1/4 tsp
small onions – 10 chopped finely
tomato- 1 small
Curry leaves – few
tamarind- 2 spoons
sambar powder- 1 heaped tbsp
coconut- 1/4 cup(grind to a paste)


Soak toor dal in water for about 2 hours. Wash the dal and drain out the water completely. Put it in a mixie and grind to a thick coarse paste (as you do for vadai). Add ½ teaspoon salt, sambar powder, a pinch of turmeric powder, chopped onions, one tablespoon coconut gratings and few curry leaves chopped to the dal paste. Mix well. Make a small lemon size balls. Set aside.
Heat oil in kadai and splutter mustard seeds, urad dal. Then add onions and curry leaves. After sometime add tomatoes and fry till soft. Add the tamarind paste and sambar powder. Add 3 cups water. Bring to boil. When it starts boiling, add two to three dhal balls and reduce to heat to medium. Allow to boil. When it starts boiling again, then add three more balls. Again wait for the Kuzhambu to start boiling. Add three more balls and finish all the balls like this. Once you finished all the dal urundais, gently turn them with a spoon. Keep the flame to low. Add ground coconut to the boiling kuzhambu.

Note: This is the authentic way of doing this gravy. If the dal balls gets cooked directly in the kuzhambu itself then the tamarind juice enters the balls and gives a special taste.

Check out my friend's viji's version too: Viji's

One more thing, I might go to India by june 10th to attend my SIL's marriage. Will keep you guys posted.
Till then, try this curry friends and have a great weekend!!!!

Kara Kulambu

Kara Kulambu

Ingredients needed:
1. Small Onion 6 to 7 sliced.
2. One Tomato chopped
3. Garlic pods 4 to 5
4. Any One vegetable (lady’s finger, brinjal, bitter guard or drumstick)
5. Tamarind Paste 3 tsp or One lemon size. (To dilute in ¾ cup).
6. Hing little.
7. Red Chilli Powder 1 ½ tsp to 2 tsp
8. Coriander Powder 1 ½ tsp to 2 tsp.
9. Sambar Powder ½ tsp.
10.Turmeric powder little

For grinding:
1. Coconut 1 table spoon or coconut milk 1 table spoon. This takes out the extra hot and extra sour out of the dish.
2. ½ tsp Poppy seeds.

For seasoning:
1. Oil 2 table spoons.
2. Mustard seeds ½ tsp
3. Cumin seeds ¼ tsp
4. Fenugreek seeds ¼ tsp
5. Fennel seeds ¼ tsp
6. Urad dal and Channa dal ½ tsp.
7. Curry leaves one string


a. Heat oil in a pan or kadai and season with the above and fry onion and garlic till Golden brown.
b. Now add chopped tomato and fry till it becomes pulp and next goes the vegetables for few minutes (4-5 mins) of frying.
c. Add all powders, mix well and pour tamarind diluted water.
d. Bring it to a boil, till Oil floats on top.
e. Add the grinded Coconut or Coconut Milk and bring it to a boil for few minutes.

Ready -> Tasty and Spicy Kulambu is ready

* This is best enjoyed with Idli or Dosa or Paratha or Plain Rice with Ghee. *

Tomato Kurma

Amma makes this delicious Tomato Kurma (Thakkali Kurma) for breakfast. I don't know where she got this recipe from. When I think of it, it's always been there, when we grew up. It is wonderful to have this with idlis and dosas. She makes Potato Kurma is the same way, substituting boiled potatoes for tomatoes. Sometimes with cauliflower and fresh green peas. These kurmas taste the best, when had with dosas, but with idlis, it is no less tasty!
This recipe, traditionally calls for some more coconut, but to avoid too much of coconut for health reasons, my mother adds the roasted channa dal and poppy seeds which can thicken and dish and also give the rich flavor. I can honestly say, I don't miss the coconut when I add the roasted channa dal and poppy seeds. (Btw, I store poppy seeds in the refrigerator to prevent rancidity.) This dish doesnt taste good with rice though. If you are making this to go along with rice, skip the roasted channa dal and add some more coconut.

Ripe tomatoes - 4-5, finely chopped
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig, chopped
Wet Masala:
Garlic - 3 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch
Roasted channa dal/Pottu kadalai - 1 tbsp
Poppy seeds / khuskhus - 1 tsp
Coconut - 1 tbsp (dry/frozen is fine, but fresh is ideal)
Cinnamon - 1 small piece
Clove - 1
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 2 (you can add more to make it more hot)

Make a fine paste of the wet masala ingedients using some water and a pinch of salt. Green chillies when ground to a paste sometimes, turn slightly bitter. The pinch of salt is added to the wet masala while grinding to prevent this.

Heat oil in a sauce pan and add the onions and curry leaves. Saute till the onions turn translucent. Add the tomatoes and sprinkle some salt to help the tomatoes cook faster. When the tomatoes are done, add the turmeric powder, ground masala and some more salt. Add about 2 cups of water and cover the sauce pan. simmer for about 15-20 mins. Garnish with some coriander leaves and serve hot with hot dosas or idlis.

Vatral Kuzhambu

Vatral kuzhambu is a famous dish in Tamilnadu. The word 'Vatral' means sun dried vegetable. Some veggies like brinjal, sundakkai,manathakkali and clusterbeans can be sundried.U can make this kuzhambu with any one of these vatrals .Vatral kuzhambu with rice , papad and keerai is a wonderful combination. I have tried vatral kuzhambu in different methods, many of them turned out watery, without much gravy.... this one was very good and so I thought I would share it with u all.

Sundakkai vatral or any type of vatral-1/4 cup
Tamarind - golf ball sized
Sambar powder/Vatral kuzhambu powder- 1- 1½ tsp(I used sakthi sambar powder)
Onion- 1 small cut tinto strips
Shallots /pearl onions- 6
Garlic- 6-8 cloves
Oil - 4 to 5 tsp
Coconut grated-little, approx 2 tsp
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Methi powder-1/4 tsp
Salt to taste

Peal and cut the pearl onions to chunks. Soak the tamarind in water and get the juice. Keep aside.
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and add the pearl onions and fry till it turns transparent. Remove from fire. When cooled grind this with sambar powder and coconut into a fine paste.
Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and when it is hot add the vatrals and fry till it turns brown. Then add the onions , curryleaves and garlic. Fry for sometime and then add the tamarind juice. When it boils add the ground paste. Add ½ cup of water,methi powder and salt , simmer the flame and partly close it with a lid. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes till the oil separates on top.
Serve hot with rice and papad.

Kadalai Kuzhambu

Chickpeas are good source of protein. So I make it a point to include it in our diet more often. I learnt this from one of my friends and this has become our favourite kuzhambu now.U can try this with any other payaru instead of chick peas.


Channa(chick peas)- ¾ cup
Onions- 2 (if large or 3 if medium) chopped finely
Tomatoes- 1 ½ chopped finely
Green chilli-1 slit into two
Oil- 4 tsp
Tamarind- small lime size
Mustard seeds- ¼ tsp
Curry leaves- a few
Fenugreek- ¼ tsp
Salt to

To grind

Coconut- 4 tsp
Pearl onions- 5
Jeera- ½ tsp
Pepper- ¼ tsp
Tomato – ½
Chilli powder- ½ tsp
Coriander seeds- 1 tsp
Sambar powder- ½ tsp

Grind all this to a very fine paste.

Indredients ground to a fine paste

Soak the channa overnight. Pressure cook that and keep it aside. soak the tamarind in water and squeeze the juice out of it. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When it splutters add curry leaves,fenugreek seeds, onions and green chilli. Saute for some time till the onions become transparent and then add the cut tomatoes. Saute for some time till the tomatoes become mushy and then add the ground paste.
Add the channa , tamarind water and salt to taste. Add 1 cup of water to it. Cover it partly with a lid and keep in a medium flame. Remove from fire when oil floats on top.
Serve hot with rice .

Note: If u are in a hurry u can straight away do it in the pressure cooker itself. In that case u dont need to pressure cook the channa seperately.

Tomato kuzhambu

Kuzhambu is more used in Tamilnadu. It is not always dal based .It literally means thick liquid that has more than one ingredient. It is usually served with plain white rice. We in tamilnadu need a kuzhambu to mix it with plain rice. Here is one type of kuzhambu that u will love...


Ripe red tomatoes-4 chopped finely
Onions-1 cut into thin strips
Green chillie-1
Potato – 1 small cut into medium pieces
Drumstick- 3 small pieces(3 inches length) slit half
Curry leaves- a few
Mustard seeds- ¼ tsp
Coconut milk- 4 to 5 tsp
To grind
Coconut-3 tsp
Red chillies-2 if long or acc to taste
Ginger- 1 small piece
Khus khus- ½ to 1 tsp
Jeera-1/2 to 1tsp
Coriander seeds-1 tsp


Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds. When it splutters add onions, green chillie& curryleaves. Saute till the onions become transparent and add the tomatoes. Saute till it becomes soft and add the ground masala. Add 1 glass of water . when it boils add the potato pieces and drumstick pieces. Cook in a medium flame covered. After 5 mins add the coconut milk. Cook till the vegetables are cooked and the oil seperates. Serve hot with rice.

Note: the kuzhambu should be in a loose gravy consistency. So if it becomes very thick add water to it.

Poondu Kozhambu - Debut with the Mann Chatti

This weekend I thought I will put the chatti to use by cooking some kozhambu. Kozhambu (or pulusu) is a red sauce typically made with tamarind, onions, tomato & chillipowder. Apart from these, there will be one ingredient that will make that kozhambu special - Garlic, in this case. I had got some beautiful vine ripe tomatoes and the moment I saw the vine ripe I knew I was going to put them to good use.

Poondu kolambu over curd rice mudhaPoondu kolambu over curd rice mudha

Cooking in chatti ( clay pot ) as we all know enhances the taste and earthenware absorbs the acidic effects of the tamarind making it safe for the stomach.

The resulting honey-like consistency of the kozhambu along with the buttery garlic awakes even a sober palette. I love to enjoy this kozhambu with idli and with curd rice.

Saute before adding tamarind puree

- half a medium sized onion chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic whole
- two medium sized vine ripe tomatoes
- 1 and half tsp sambar powder
( Use 1 tsp chilli powder and half tsp dhaniya powder if you dont have sambar powder )
- For tempering, 1 tsp cumin, half tsp mustard, half tsp fenugreek, 6 curry leaves
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- Puree extracted from tamarind which is size of a lime
- salt to taste
- 2 tsp gingely oil (Gingely oil adds a special flavour)

Boiling kozhambu

1. Heat the chatti, add oil and when the oil is hot, temper with cumin, mustard, fenugreek and curry leaves

2. After the mustard splatters, add whole garlic cloves and saute for a couple of minutes.

3. Add chopped onion and chopped tomato with a couple of minute intervals.

4. Now add the sambar powder (or chillipowder & coriander powder), turmeric and salt.

5. After all the water comes out from the tomato ( may be 5 minutes ) add the tamarind puree and continue to cook till the sauce thickens and the garlic become soft.

6. Njoy over curd rice, dhal rice, plain rice or even chappathis and idlis.


When I happened to know about Lakshmi's RCI, Tamil Cuisine...as an interested new food blogger,I made up my mind to contribute to the great event.Mainly because I am married to Tamilnadu and soaked in Tamil Cuisine all the 3 times a day.As a proud daughter inlaw of Tamilnadu,I learnt the Unique recipes and cooking methods of the state.The teachers being my ma inlaw and her mother.
Morkuzhambu in Tamil,Moru Curry or Kachiya Moru in Malayalam,Majjiga Pulusu in Telugu,Majjige Huli or Saaru in Kannada,Kadi in Gujrathi, are all close to one another as the members of the same family,like we the food bloggers!.

This side dish is the most favourite rice accompaniment of my family and is a Definite Sunday Samayal.So here's the simple and tasty recipe of Morkuzhambu,I learnt from my husband's granma:my entry to RCI Tamil Cuisine.

Serves 4,cooking time-30 mins.

2cups of decreamed thick and sour yoghurt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt- to taste.

2tsps coriander seeds
3tsps of thuvar dal
3tsps of raw rice in water for 20 mins...and:-

1 tbsp of grated coconut
1"piece of ginger
1tsp cumin seeds
4 green chillies.

To Season-
1tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp urad dal
4-5 redchillies,broken into 3 pieces each
A stalk of curry leaves.

1.Soak and grind the ingredients as mentioned above; keep aside.

2.Heat oil in a thickbottommed vessel(avoid iron kadai, as it may not tolerate the acidity in yoghurt),splutter mustards and urad dal,fry broken red chillies.Add curry leaves.

3.Immediately add the ground paste to avoid overfrying red chillies and boil carefully for 2 minutes in low flame to avoid any sticking to the bottom.Add turmeric powder.Add a little water if the paste gets too thick.

4.Whip yoghurt lightly to make it to a uniform consistency and add to the boiling paste.Add salt.The curry frothes up in a few minutes. Switch the stove off. (if overboiled the yoghurt gets denaturated into water).

5.The curry should be semi-thick and not too watery in the final stage.Serves well with boiled rice.

P.S-The photographed dish is 'Plain Morkuzhambu'.Variations can be made with added vegetables like ladies finger, ash gourd or even 'vada balls'.

Variation1) If you prefer adding vegetables,follow the recipe as above.The vegetable of your choice,should be cut a little big,say an inch piece and cook separately.they should not be let wholly cooked in the ground paste or after the addition of yoghurt.

Variation 2) If you want to try with vada balls,soak 1/2 cup whole(ball variety) urad dal for an hour and grind to a smooth paste.Add salt.Deep fry in oil as small gooseberry sized balls.Immerse one by one into the hot "morkuzhambu".Let the balls absorb the curry well and turn a little bigger in size.Check consistency & Serve.


When Vineela announced the JFI-Ingrediant, i knew this would be one of my entry to the event. This is dish is a typical tamil recipe, that one would surly get to relish.This is my first entry to the JFI Event.Here is how i make them.


For Ulundhu Urundai:-

Urad dal- 1 cup
Salt- To Taste
Oil- For Frying

For MorKozhambu:-

Curd- 1 cup(shouldnt be sour)
Turmeric Powder - A Pinch
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Methi - 1/2 tsp
MorMilaga - 3-4(Curd Chillies)
Curry Leaves - A Few.
Oil- 2 Tbsp
Salt - To Taste

For Grinding:-

Dry Red Chillies - 3
Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Bengal Gram - 2 tsp
Shredded Coconut - 2 Tbsp
Ginger - a small piece.


For the Vada:-

1) Soak the urad dal for an hour and grind them into a smooth paste.

2) Add salt and mix well

3) Roll them into ball size and deep fry them and keep it aside.

For the Kozhambu:-

1) Soak all the ingrediants for grinding expect ginger and coconut in 1/2 cup of water for about an hour.

2) Now grind the soaked ingrediants along with the ginger and coconut to a smooth paste and keep it aside.

3) Mix this paste to the thined curd along with turmeric and salt.

4) Heat 2tbsp of oil in a kadai, add mustard and allow it to splutter.

5) Then add the methi,curry leaves and the mormilaga. Followed by the curd mixtures.

6) Allow it to just rise a bit and take care not to allow it to boil..if it boils then the gravy will curdle..and will not taste good..

7) Add the vada half an hour before serving..

This kozhambu goes very well with rice.

Red Pumpkin Pal kootu..

Red pumpkin - 500 gm
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Red chillies - 1
Curry leaves
Milk- 50 ml
Jeera - 2 ts
Bengal gram dhal - 25gm
Broken Moong dhal - 25 gm
turmeric powder - 1ts
Mustard seeds - 2ts
urad dhal - 2ts
Oil - 2ts
Method :
Peel the skin of the pumpkin and chopped it into thin pieces.Pressure cook the pumpkin with moong dhal and bengal gram dhal , turmeric powder by adding little water to it. Grind the coconut, jeera, red chillies and 1ts of raw rice. (Rice is to thicken the gravy).
Mix the mixture with the cooked pumpkin.Add salt and 1 ts sugar.Cook it for a minute.Now add milk and keep it in the flame for some seconds.Season the mustard seeds and urad dhal in the oil.Pour it on the kootu.Add curry leaves.Serve with rice/ chappathi.

Kovakkai Paruppu Usili - Ivy Gourd with steamed lentils

Usili is a popular Tamil Brahmin vegetable preparation where soaked, ground and steamed lentils are mixed with vegetables like cluster beans, French beans, Capsicum, Carrots and even Ivy Gourd. The first two are made regularly in my family, but until I saw Sheela write about this one with Kovakkai (ivy gourd) I hadn't know about this possibility. When I asked mum whether we make this kind in our family, she confirmed that they do and it is delicious.

Ivy Gourd is an interesting vegetable, mainly used in dry curries in Tam Bram cuisine - it is either sauteed in tempered oil and garnished with a bit of fresh coconut shavings or a spicier version is made with potatoes. For both these recipes, kovakkai can be cut into slender strips or into roundels. This is low carb, high in fibre and fast to cook. It is an excellent vegetable choice for diabetics too. Read this report for more details on Ivy Gourd and Diabetes.


1/2 cup toor dal
2 tbsp chana dal
2 dried red chillies
1/4 tsp asafoetida powder / hing
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tbsp oil

2 cups length-wise slit kovakkai
1 tsp oil
2 dried red chillis and 1/2 tsp mustard seeds for tempering
Salt to taste

Preparation for Usuli:

Soak 1/2 cup toor dal with 2 tbsp chana dal, either overnight or for 3 hours in warm water. Grind this to a coarse paste with 2 broken dried red chillies, 1/4 tsp of asafoetida powder, pinch of turmeric powder, 1 tsp salt and a few curry leaves without adding any water.
Steam this paste in an idli-steamer or a regular steamer for 10-15 minutes until the lentil paste is cooked. Remove to a bowl once cooled and crumble into small pea-sized pieces. Keep aside.


Place the slit pieces of kovakkai in microwave safe bowl, sprinkle some water and cook them on high for 5 minutes. Keep aside.

In a non stick pan, heat 1 tbsp oil, and put in the crumbled usili. Stir them around on medium flame till golden and slightly crispy. This will take around 5-7 minutes. Keep this aside.

In the same pan, take 1 tsp oil, put in the mustard seeds and broken red chilli pieces. Once they crackle, put it the cooked kovakkai, salt to taste, stir around for 2 minutes.

Add the stir fried usili and stir together for 2 minutes until they have come together.
Serve hot with Mor Kozhambu and rice along with some appalams (Tamilian Papads)

  • You could make double the batch, and freeze the lentil 'idlis' for the next time you are making this. Making the Usili is the only time consuming part of this recipe.
  • You can also pressure cook the ivy gourd pieces in a cooker-vessel, after sprinkling some water for one whistle to cook them for this recipe.
  • Mor kozhambu is the best combination with Usuli as this dish is already heavy with lentils. Combining this with sambhar, which is again made with lentils, makes it a very tough to digest combination. Mor Kozhambu is a Tamil style Kadi made with sour buttermilk and a paste of raw rice, coconut, cumin seeds and red chillies, boiled together with the buttermilk, and a tempering of curry leaves & red chillies.

Brinjal Rasavangi Koottu

Rasavangi is a type of Kootu [Stew] made with Brinjal or White Pumpkin.
This can be a Main dish or a Side dish.
Brinjal Rasavangi is tangier and goes well with any Thuvayal [Chutney] Rice.

Ingredients Needed:
1. Brinjal or White Pumpkin Pieces 2 cups
2. Cooked Toor dal 1/4 cup
3. Tamarind water 1/4 cup
4. Fried Channa dal 2 tablespoons
5. Salt to taste
6. Hing
7. Turmeric Powder
8. Rasam Powder 1 1/2 tsp
9. Jagggery very little
Ingredients for Masala Paste
1. Coriander seeds 2 tsps
2. Grated Coconut 2 tsps
3. Dry Red Chillies (According to taste)
4. Raw Rice 1/4 tsp

Fry the above in little oil till golden brown, cool and grind into paste

Ingredients for Tempering
1. Mustard Seeds
2. Curry Leaves
3. Oil 2 tsp
1. Heat Oil in a pan/kadai. Fry Channa dal till golden brown and keep it aside.
2. In same oil temper Mustard seeds, Curry leaves and add Brinjal pieces.
3. Fry for a few minutes then add Turmeric Powder, Hing, Salt, Tamarind Water, Rasam Powder, Fried Channa dal (kadalai paruppu) and cook till brinjals become soft.
4. Now goes, Masala Paste, Cooked dal, Jaggery and little water, if need be.
5. Cook till nice aroma comes from this gravy. (Frequent stirring is needed otherwise the curry will stick into pan)

Rasavangi with Brinjal# Enjoy the Brinjal Rasavangi Hot. #

Curry Leaves Kuzhambu


Curry Leaves – a handful
Thuvar Dhal – 2 tablespoon
Bengal gram dhal – 1 teaspoon
Red Chillies – 5
Pepper – 2 teaspoon
Coconut gratings – 2 tablespoon
Tamarind – Lemon size
Turmeric Powder – ½ teaspoon
Asafotida Powder – ½ teaspoon
Oil – 2 tablespoon
Mustard – ½ teaspoon
Fenugreek – ½ teaspoon
Salt – 2 teaspoon or as per taste


Soak tamarind and salt in a cup of water and squeeze out the juice and make 2 cups of tamarind juice.

In a kadai put one teaspoon oil and fry thurvar dhal, bengal gram dhal, Pepper and red chillies separately. Same kadai add the curry leaves and fry for a while. Remove. Mix fried dhals, chillies, curry leaves and asafotida powder and grind to a fine powder. Grind coconut separately to a fine paste.

In a kadai put the remaining oil and when it is hot add mustard. When it pops up add fenugreek and fry till it turns golden yellow. (Fenugreek normally fry very past and if it is over fried, tastes very bitter). Add tamarind water along with turmeric powder and ground dhal powder. Stir well. Close with lid and bring to boil. When it starts boiling, add the coconut paste and add little water if necessary. Stir once again and let it cook in low flame till it thickens.

Mochai Kottai (Dry Beans) Kuzhambu


Mochai Kottai – 1 cup
Tamarind – Lemon size
Salt – 2 teaspoon
Sambar Powder – 1 heaped tablespoon
Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
Coconut gratings – 2 tablespoon
Oil – 2 tablespoon
Mustard – 1 teaspoon
Sambar Onion – 5
Curry leaves – few


Soak tamarind and salt in one cup of water. In a kadai put one teaspoon oil and fry the Mochai Kottai till it turns light brown. Put it in a pressure cooker and add 2 cups of water and pressure cook for three whistles. Cool it and drain the excess water.

Squeeze out the tamarind and extract the juice. Add more water and again take out the remaining juice. The tamarind juice should be of 3 cups. Add sambar powder and turmeric powder to the tamarind juice. Add cooked mochai kottai also. Mix well and bring to boil.

Grind the coconut to a fine paste. Add to the boiling kuzhambu. Stir well. Allow to boil in a low flame for few more minutes. Season it with mustard, curry leaves and chopped onion.

Note: You can also make the above Kuzhambu using Karamani (cow gram) or Whole gram (Kondai kadalai) instead of Mochai Kottai.

Keerai Kootu


Keerai- 1 bunch - (You can use any greens)
Green Gram dhal – ½ cup
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Onion – 1/2 chopped finely
Sambar powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
Coconut gratings – 1 tablespoon
Jeera – 1 tsp
Oil- 2 tsp
Salt – ½ teaspoon


Cook green gram dhal till soft. Remove the roots and wash the keerai thoroughly. Chop the keerai finely. Place the chopped keerai in a thick bottomed vessel. Add salt, sambar powder and turmeric powder. Close it with a lid. Cook the keerai in slow flame. No need to add water since the keerai will cook in its own water content. When the keerai is cooked, add cooked dhal mashed nicely. Grind coconut and jeera to a paste and add this also to the keerai. Add little water and make semi liquid. Allow to boil. Season it with mustard and chopped onion finely fried.

Red Pumpkin Pal kootu..

Red pumpkin - 500 gm
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Red chillies - 1
Curry leaves
Milk- 50 ml
Jeera - 2 ts
Bengal gram dhal - 25gm
Broken Moong dhal - 25 gm
turmeric powder - 1ts
Mustard seeds - 2ts
urad dhal - 2ts
Oil - 2ts
Method :
Peel the skin of the pumpkin and chopped it into thin pieces.Pressure cook the pumpkin with moong dhal and bengal gram dhal , turmeric powder by adding little water to it. Grind the coconut, jeera, red chillies and 1ts of raw rice. (Rice is to thicken the gravy).
Mix the mixture with the cooked pumpkin.Add salt and 1 ts sugar.Cook it for a minute.Now add milk and keep it in the flame for some seconds.Season the mustard seeds and urad dhal in the oil.Pour it on the kootu.Add curry leaves.Serve with rice/ chappathi.

Cabbage Kootu

This cabbage kootu is very special in Tamilnadu.Every vegetarian family will have this kootu alteast ones in a week.It a sidedish.It will be good will rice,roti & puri also.But,lazy cooks like me can use this kootuas main dish for rice.It will be ready within 20mts.


1/2 lb Caggage
1 cup Chana d
al (boiled)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
3 Green chilles
1 Medium size onion
1 Medium size tomato
1/2 cup Shedded coconut
Salt for taste


1. Pre-heat the oil in a kadai splutter some cumin seeds.

2. Add the chopped onion & cillies fry till golden brown.Add the chopped tomato,turmeric powder & salt & cook for4-5mts.

3. Add the cabbage & cook for 6-7 mts.

4. Then, add the chana dal & transfer the cabbage in to the pressure cooker & cook till 1whistle.

5. Open the cooker & added the shedded coconut & cook for next 5-6mts.

6. Cabbage kootu is ready serve hot with rice,roti & puri.

Peerkangai Kootu (Ridge Gourd Kootu)


2 Medium size Ridge Gourd
1/2cup Moong dal
1/4cup Thoor dal
1 Medium size Onion
1 Medium size Tomato
2 Green chillis
1/2tsp Cumin seeds
1tsp Coriander powder
1/2tsp Chilli powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4tsp Turmind concentrate
salt for taste


1. First fry the moong dal in a pressure pan for 5-6 mts & add the thoor dal combine both & pour 1 glass of water & pressure in to 1 whistle.

2. Cut the ridge gourd into round pieces & add the pieces,green chilli,turmeric powder,coriander powder,chill powder & salt to the dal & cook the dal till ridge gourd becomes soft.

3. Then,in a kadai heat the oil & put the cumin seeds & let them splutter.Add the chopped onion
& fry till golden brown & add the chopped tomato cook for 6-7 mts.

4. Now,add the dal to the kadai & cook for 10 mts i medium heat.Kutu is ready.

5. Serve the kutu with rice,roti & puri.

Tips:The dal should be half cooked.If it is over cooked it will become garvy not kootu.

Everyday Dishes - Keerai Masiyal

Dont we all know that greens are extremely good for health and loaded with vitamins and minerals ?? At my house with just the two of us, I usually make greens with dal mostly. Because I need good quantities for the lunch box next day. Today I wanted to make puli keerai masiyal, which is mashed keerai with puli, ie. tamarind. Back home it is made in a clay pot (chatti) my mother used to make it often. I googled for this recipe and hardly found any. So I sprung into action ( he he heee ) to blog about this dish. Have any of you blogged this recipe ??? Please let me know
For this dish I used Arai keerai. Does anyone know what arai keerai is in other Indian languages ???. You can also use siru keerai ( again I dont know the English name), Spinach, Fenugreek leaves.

Arai Keerai - Other names anyone ?????

- Two bunches of any greens. ( keerai or aaku koora )
- half an chopped onion
- garlic cloves
- half a lime size tamarind
- for tempering : gingelly oil, tsp of mustard, tsp of cumin, 6 or 7 curry leaves, 2 red chillies, a pinch of asafoetida

Keerai Masiyal with Bottlegourd curry, Eggplant curry - Our Sunday Lunch

  • Pressure cook the greens with a couple of garlic pods.
  • Heat oil in a clay pot and temper it with all the tempering ingredients
  • Add onions and saute for a couple of minutes
  • Mash the cooked greens and add it to the tempered oil with onions.
  • Squeeze in the extract of tamarind and boil for a minute
  • Add salt. Serve with hot rice with a dollop of ghee.

Arisim Paruppu Satham -2

I hadn't planned on blogging about Arisim Paruppu Satham again, as I had blogged about it earlier, but this one is slightly different but most of all it was cooked by my mother. She does not tend to add the mandatory Chicken Masala Powder that seem to be ever present in my recipes. I am slowly learning to avoid using them, and the dishes taste much fresher without them. I lean more favorably towards using Sambhar Powder (ingredients and method coming soon) because it is prepared by my ammayi with the freshest ingredients. I always have some in stock and did not have make it myself so far by did get the recipe from ammayi who even today supplies it for my mom and aunt.

Split Thatta Payir(Roasted Cow Peas)

Arisim Paruppu Saatham tastes out of this world when it is cooked with Split Thatta Payir. The whole Thatta Payir is first roasted and then split using Stone Grinder called Rai Kal. deccanheffalum of Cook's Cottage has a picutre and explaination of how the stone grinder works. The one used in our parts is slightly different and still used a lot by my grandma. ( I have to take a picture of it).

1. 1 Rice (Sona Masoori Rice) Water:Rice 2 ½ : 1
2. 1/2 Cup Roasted Split Thatta Payir
3. 1/2 Red Onion Chopped Roughly
4. 4 Pods Garlic Sliced
5. 1/4 inch piece ginger pounded
6. 3 Red Chillies Split and seeds removed
7. Seasonings - Curry leaves, Mustard
8. 1 tsp of Sambhar Powder
9. 1 tsp of turmeric powder
10. oil as required + ghee a little bit

To Powder
1. 1/2 Tbsp Corriander Powder
2. 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
3. 1 tsp Pepper
Microwave the above for about 10 secs and powder

1. In a pressure cooker add the oil and ghee and when hot add the mustard seeds when it pops add the curry leaves
2. Add the garlic, saute for a few minutes add the ginger, red chillies saute a little bit and then add the onions and saute till translucent
3. Now add powdered mixture and the sambhar powder mix for a few minutes till good aroma comes
4. Add the Payar and mix well.
5. Add the required amount of water and when it starts to boil add the rice, salt mix and cook till about 1/2 cooked. Cover add the weight and cook till a whistle or about 8 minutes whichever comes first.

Serve with Puzhi Kuzhambu , Vadagam with a tsp of ghee over the rice.

Pasipparuppu Sadam - Lentil Rice

When you are in a hurry, you can prepare this one in no time. Dal and rice blend in nicely giving rise to wonderful taste. It is a one-pot wonder and a high protein meal too.


Basmathi Rice - 1 cup
Moong Dal - 1/2 cup
Onion (small size) - 1 chopped
Garlic - 7 cloves chopped
Green Chillies - 6
Red Chillies - 5
Tomato - 2 chopped
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Butter or Ghee - 1 or 2 tblspn
Salt to taste

For Tempering

Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Urid Dal - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - few
Cumin/Seeraham Seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel/Sombu Seeds- 1 tsp

  1. Pour oil in a pan/cooker and add mustard seeds. Let it crackle and add urid dal, and curry leaves.
  2. Add cumin, fennel, and chilles one by one and allow it to fry in the same oil. [careful not to burn the cumin seeds, otherwise it goes bitter]
  3. Saute onion and garlic till they become light golden brown.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric, butter, and salt to the mixture and cook until oil floats on the surface and then add moong dal and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add rice and 3 cups of water and cook until it is done.

Dry roast moong dal (without oil) to a light golden color and soak it for 10 minutes in hot water before cooking. It will lead to soft dal texture, nice aroma and taste. You can add ghee while serving it instead of cooking with it. To get even richer paruppu sadam, add 1/2 a cup of coconut milk while cooking the dal. My mom adds scrapped coconut at the last stage.