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FAVOURITE RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Tirunelveli Sodhi

Sodhi is one of Tirunelveli's traditional and popular kuzhambu.This kuzhambu is a special menu on the next day of marriage. A Tirunelveli wedding meal would not be complete without this Sodhi, potato poriyal and ginger chutney.  It is prepared with coconut milk, moong dal, drumsticks, carrots, potatoes and plenty of aromatics like ginger, garlic, green chillies, small onions and lemon juice. The freshly extracted coconut milk gives you the perfect taste for this kuzhambu. We prepare this kuzhambu often during weekends, family get togethers and special occasions. My Mom, Grandma and Athai are experts in preparing this Sodhi.



Let us see the important tips to follow before preparing this kuzhambu.

1. Main Ingredients

The main ingredients for this kuzhambu are good quality coconuts, drumsticks, lemon juice, ginger and garlic. For this kuzhambu always use fresh coconuts. When you choose the coconuts, shake it and if you  hear lots of water sound then the coconut is fresher. And also choo…
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Vegetable Aval (Poha) Upma | Rice flakes upma with vegetables

Vegetable aval upma is a quick and simple evening tiffin for your kids. Of course, it's packed with nutrients too. Preparing the upma with soaked aval, cooked vegetables and few basic tempering ingredients make a healthy and delicious tiffin that taste like vegetable rice.  The onions, green chillies and peanuts are sauted well in oil to bring the flavour for the upma and then the soaked aval and cooked vegetables are added to it. Once added, all the ingredients are mixed well to prepare a beautiful upma. The best part in this upma is all the ingredients give a unique taste. If you miss any one of the ingredients, the taste may differ a lot. If you use the thin aval, no need to soak them in the water. Since I like a chunky upma, I always go with thick aval for this upma.


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Peanut Sundal

Sundals are the perfect dish for an evening snack or a midday snack. They will come together quickly and easily, and perfect for all ages. When it comes to making snacks, many of us feel tired to spend more time in the kitchen. This happens to me everytime so a lot of times I make sundals for a quick evening snack.


Raw peanuts are one of those nuts that are so easy to cook. When compared to other sundal dishes, this raw peanut sundal is an addictive snack for me because of its little crunch. Many of us enjoy the hot salted peanuts cooked along with the shell. For this sundal if you are using fresh peanuts,it would be ready within 20 minutes. If you are using older peanuts, might require few hours of soaking. I have not included any other masalas for this sundal, just a handful of fresh grated coconuts. You may adjust the seasonings to your preference.


Pavakkai (Bitter gourd) Pitlai

Bitter Gourd Pitlai - an easy South Indian kuzhambu made with bitter gourds, toor dal flavoured with a good amount of red chillies, coriander seeds, chana dal, coconut and other spices. I guarantee this kuzhambu will surely impress your family. We always prefer kuzhambu with a good aroma and perfect balance of heat with a hint of tanginess.

My Grandma suggests me to add all the spices and other ingredients in a good amount for this pavakkai pitlai. Like what she always says, the best way to prepare any kuzhambu with a good flavour lies in roasting the spices until you can smell a nice aroma from all the ingredients. This kuzhambu is similar to our Idi Sambar but there are no onions, tomatoes and garlics. For this recipe, I have used the small variety bitter gourd which we call it as mithi pavakka in Tamil which have less bitterness than the regular bitter gourds. If you can’t find the small bitter gourds, you can substitute with the regular bitter gourds. For this kuzhambu …

Tomato Kurma

Tomato Kurma - easy and flavourful kurma with onions, tomatoes and coconut paste. One of the best thing about this tomato kurma is that you can use as a base gravy for many dishes. After preparing this kurma, you can add your favourite ingredients like boiled soya chunks, cooked mushrooms, cooked green peas or whatever is left in your refrigerator. But don't forget to precook them. I like this tomato kurma with plain dosa, chapati or poori. Believe me, this kurma is one of the best option when you want to prepare a gravy within 10 minutes. I like the flavour of fennel and curry leaves in my coconut based kurmas. Not only it gives flavour to the gravy and it also helps in digestion. This kurma recipe isn’t a dish with specific instructions, it’s a simple process of three basic cooking methods and will always taste good with whatever tiffin you like. Now we will see the Tomato Kurma recipe with step by step instructions.


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Masala Vada | Paruppu Vadai

Masala Vadai - delicious evening snack prepared with chana dal or yellow split peas as the main ingredient. This masala vadai is not only an evening snack, but it is also a favourite side dish for our lunch too. Really, I enjoy this masala vadai with lemon rice and curd rice. Most of our traditional snacks are easily  prepared with healthy ingredients using simple methods. Masala vadai requires simple preparation works like soaking and grinding the dals. These two methods require some attention so be careful while preparing the dough.


The most important thing in this masala vadai is we have to soak the dal for 3 to 4 hours. Soaking the dal for 4 hours, helps to grind the dal without any water. After 4 hours, drain the water completely using a strainer and then grind it. If the soaking time is less, you will not get a crispy vadai. For this masala vadai, we have to add both red chillies and green chillies, ginger, garlic, fennel, cinnamon and asafoetdia are added for flavours. The ot…

Amla (Gooseberry) Rice | Nellikai Sadham

Nellikai Sadham - a healthy rice for your lunch box with simple cooking methods. Once again thanks to my Karthi Uncle who taught me the Aloo Gobi recipe prepared this healthy rice. The way we prepare for lemon rice and mango rice applies to this Amla(Nellikai) rice also. In addition, we want to grind the amlas in a mixer jar without any water and then we have to saute it with our classic tempering ingredients. Ponni raw rice is much preferred when preparing these type of rice varieties, but if you are looking for a healthier choice you may replace it with cooked millets.


Now a days we can see there is an increase in consumption of amlas in our regular diet because of its medicinal values. We can include it in a variety of ways in our diet as juice, powder and pickles. We  steam  the amlas in an Idli pot and add it to any kuzhambu or simply as a side dish for curd rice.
This 20 minute easy rice dish can be prepared in advance and you can enjoy it warm or  at room temperature. Green ch…

Udupi Sambar for Idly and Dosa

Udupi Sambar - colourful and flavourful sambar for idly, dosa and vada. Udupi Sambar is prepared with the same spices and vegetables we add for tiffin sambar but we use bydagi chillies which give a deep red colour for the sambar. Bydagi chillies are roasted along with our regular spices like coriander, cumin, chana dal and fenugreek and then ground it to a smooth paste. The bydagi chillies are also known as Kashmiri chilli and are available in all supermarkets. This bydagi chilly is a less hot than a regular long chilly. So if you want a less spicy sambar for tiffin, choose this Udupi Sambar. The secret to getting the sambar to a smooth consistency with a deep red colour is we have to add the ground paste as soon as the vegetables are done and boil them slow and long so they cook perfectly. The slow cooking method helps to blend well with the vegetables. Then we have to add the cooked toor dal and jaggery. For Udupi Sambar I prefer drumsticks, brinjal, small onions and tomatoes. You …