Monday, December 12, 2011

Spicy Peerkangai Dal / Spicy Ridge gourd Dal

Ridge gourd dal is one of my new found love.. I was just shopping at an Indian Grocery store when I stumbled upon fresh ridge gourd. I remember making masiyal, kootu or sambar out of it. So decide to try something new and the result was fabulous. A very spicy and yummy dal to go well with roti, rice or eat it just like that.


Yellow split Moong Dal - 1 cup
Cubed Ridge Gourd - 1 cup
Sambar Powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4th tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Asafoetida - A pinch
Salt - To Taste
Water - 2 - 2 1/2 cups

For the Tempering:

Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Chana Dal - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilies - 3-4
Curry leaves - A few
Cilantro - For Garnishing


  • First, Take a pan and dry roast the Moong dal until it starts to turn light brown and a beautiful aroma emanates from it.

  • In a pressure cooker or pressure pan, heat oil and do the tempering with mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, curry leaves, asafoetida and dry red chillies.

  • Add the cubed ridge gourd pieces to it and cook the vegetable for about 5 minutes on low heat.
  • Then add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix it all well.
  • Now add the Sambar powder and mix well.
  • Then add the dry roasted moong dal and water and pressure cook for about 2-3 whistles.
  • Spicy Ridge Gourd Dal is ready to be served.
  • Enjoy it hot as a lentil soup or with hot Roti's.

  • Adding red chilly powder and dry red chillies are optional. If you need more spicy dal, you can add these or else you can exclude them.
  • You can substitute Ridge gourd with any other vegetable such as Tindora, gourd or just tomatoes.
  • Adding more curry leaves, cilantro and asafoetida enhances the taste.
  • Adjust the water accordingly and prepare it in any consistency you prefer, be it thin or thick.
  • Enjoy the dal..

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Iru Puli Kuzhambu / Eruvilli Kuzhambu

A very new dish to me and I got introduced to it after I got married. It happens to be one of the favorite kuzhambu of my DH. This kuzhambu is a typical Tirunelveli dish. It is called "Iru Puli" since it has two tangy ingredients added into it. The term "Iru Puli" gradually evolved to be called eruvilli kuzhambu..One is the tamarind pulp and the other is the buttermilk. It serves as a great accompaniment to Idli, Dosa and can be best enjoyed with rice. There are different veggies that can be added to this. Some veggies commonly used are white pumpkin, okra, carrots, chayote, drumsticks or taro root.

Here is how you make it.


For the Ground Paste:

Chana Dal - 1 tbsp
Fenugreek/ Methi Seeds - 1- 1 1/2 tsp
Red Chillies - 4-5
Curry leaves - A few
Grated fresh coconut - 1 cup
Butter milk - 1 cup

For the Sambar:

Tamarind Pulp - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - A pinch
Veggies of your choice - 1 1/2 cups
Salt - To Taste

For Tempering:

Ghee / Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Chana Dal - 1/2 tsp
Jeera / Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - a Few (optional)
Cilantro - For Garnishing

  • Cut the veggies of your choice into 1 inch sticks. I used carrots as we all love that in this kuzhambu.
  • In a pan, dry roast the chana dal and the fenugreek seeds until a beautiful aroma comes out of it.
  • Also dry roast the red chilies and the freshly grated coconut until golden brown. You can also dry roast the curry leaves.
  • In a Mixie Jar add all the above ingredients and then add buttermilk and grind it to a slightly coarse paste.

  • In another vessel, dissolve the tamarind pulp in 1 1/2 cups of water.
  • Add the veggies and bring it to a boil until the raw smell of tamarind disappears and the veggies get tender.
  • Add a pinch of asafoetida and add salt to taste.

  • Once the water has come to a boil and the veggies have become tender, add the ground paste and simmer it for a while for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Garnish it with generous amounts of cilantro.
  • For the seasoning, add ghee / oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal and jeera. Once the Mustard seeds start spluttering, and both the dals turn light brown, add them to the kuzhambu / sambar to temper it. You can add curry leaves and asafoetida too at this stage though it is optional.
  • Iru puli kuzhambu / Eruvili kuzhambu is ready to be enjoyed hot with rice.
  • Try out this unique kuzhambu and let me know what you guys think!!
  • You can use one kind of veggie or you can use different kinds of veggies at the same time.
  • Feel free to be creative with the use of veggies.
  • Use of curry leaves while grinding and for tempering it is optional. You can use it in both stages or use it in one or eliminate it completely.
  • Be careful while adding salt. Since there is a lot of tanginess  from the tamarind and the buttermilk,you may want to reduce the amount of salt.
  • You can use freshly grated coconut or frozen shredded coconut depending upon the availability.
  • Make sure that the paste to be ground is neither too coarse nor too smooth.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oma Podi / Sphagetti Sev

Diwali brings with itself a lot of joy and brings families together. There is an atmosphere of happy celebrations in every household. Gifts and sweets are exchanged. When I was young, I would help my Grandmother and  Mother in making sweets and savories for Diwali. Oma podi is a savory that is made for Diwali. It is a very easy snack and can be made in very limited time.


(This makes 4-5 omapodi's)
Gram Flour / Besan - 2 cups
Rice Flour - About 1 tbsp
Salt - To taste
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Asafoetida / Hing - To taste - a few pinches
Ajwain - 1 Tsp
Jeera - 1 Tsp
Water - To make the dough
Oil - To deep fry the sev


  • Sift the gram flour to remove any lumps in it.

  • Combine all the other ingredients and mix well.

  • Add water little by little and make it into a stiff dough.

  • Use the Sev maker/ Sev press and select the cutter with many holes in it.

  • Fill the dough in the sev press and close it.

  • Heat a kadai or a wok and add oil in it. 
  • Press down and rotate the sev press or press down the sev press (depending on the model of the sev press you have) in a circular motion. 

  • Make 2 at a time and fry it till the sizzling of the oil stops. Drain it on a paper towel and set it aside. 

  • Once cooled, store it in an airtight container and it will stay good for a week to 10 days.


  • You can double the quantity to make more of the dough.
  • Make sure that the oil is hot before you drop in the sev's.
  • You car crush and eat the sev with other snacks such as bhel puri or sev puri.

Instant Microwave Doodh Peda

Wishing everyone a very Happy and a Bright Diwali.. Due to lack of time to prepare elaborate sweets, I tried making this instant Doodh Peda that was taught to me by a friend. The recipe is very simple and requires just 3 ingredients. All the ingredients are available easily at any supermarket. Surprise your relatives and guests by serving them this instant and traditional delicacy.


Milk Powder - 21/2 cups
Condensed milk - 1 14oz can (sweetened)
Unsalted butter - 1 stick


  • Sift the milk powder and set it aside.

  • Melt one stick of butter in a microwave safe glass bowl.

  • Once the butter has melted, add the milk powder and condensed milk and mix well.

  • Microwave it for 4 minutes. After every minute remove the bowl and mix the contents well.

  • After 4 minutes, the mixture would have thickened and now let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.

  • Take a spoon or a mini ice-cream scoop. Scoop out a small portion of the mixture and roll it out into a ball and flatten it.
  • You can stick an almond, cashew, pistachios or any dry fruit you like in the center of the Peda.

  • Enjoy your Diwali delicacy.
Happy Diwali to all.

  • You can shape the Pedas in any form you like.
  • Else you can pour the mixture on a greased tray and cut it in diamonds or squares.
  • You can also remove the entire mixture and flatten it out about 1/2 an inch thich and cut it using a cookie cutter for getting the desired shapes.
  • You can use edible silver foils, cake decoration materials to decorate the Pedas. You can get creative and decorate it the way you like.
  • Every microwave has a different power setting. Some may meed 3 minutes and other many need 5 minutes. Ensure that you remove the mixture every minute and mix it well so that it does not burn the milk solids.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pudina Rice / Mint Rice

This time I am back with a rice recipe. This is one of my favorite rice dishes and I dedicate this dish to my Late friend. Latha Akka. Whenever I prepare this dish, her memories just flash back. We miss you Latha Akka! Latha Akka would have been one of the finest bloggers in the food/ cooking category, if she would have been with us by now. She was such an amazing person by heart and art. This recipe was passed on from her to my Mom and from my Mom to me. And here are all what you need to prepare this yummy rice dish!!


2 cups of Basmati Rice
1 cup of Mint leaves /Pudina
1" stick of cinnamon
2-3 Bay leaves
4 cloves
4 Whole Green Cardamom
1-2 Star Anise
1 floret Mace/ Jawetri
7-8 Cashews
7-8 Pistachios
3-4 Green Chillies
1/2 cup of Grated/ Shredded coconut
2 tbsp of butter
Salt to taste


For the Mint Chutney:

  • In a shallow frying pan, melt about 1/4 tbsp of butter. To this add the green chillies and mint leaves.Roast the ingredients well on low flame until the mint leaves wilt well.

  • In another pan roast the shredded/ grated coconut until it turns into a light brown color. 

  • Once done, remove from the pan and after the mixture has cooled, blend it will in a blender and grind it to a coarse paste.

For the Rice:
  • Soak 2 cups of rice for about 30 minutes.

  • Melt the remaining butter in the pan. To this, add all the dry spices: cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, cardamom (seeds with the skin slit), star anise, mace, pistachios and the cashews.

  • Roast for about a minute or two on medium heat. 

  • Then add the ground paste and salt and cook for a few minutes. 

  • To this mixture, add the soaked rice and cook until done. (For pressure cooker let 2 whistles. Rice will be done quickly as it was soaked for 30 minutes).

  • Serve hot with Raita.