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.