Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Coriander leaves Chutney (Kotthamalli Thohaiyal)

This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese, Thiamin and Zinc.The chutney does not take much time to prepare and can be used for days if refrigerated.

Preparation time: 10 mins (seperating the leaflets will take abt 10-15 mins)
Coriander leaves: 2-3 bunches (seperate the leaflets from the stalk)
Dry chilies: 2
Green chilli: 1
Ginger: 1.5 inches
Split gram (urud dal, ulutham parruppu): 3 tsps
Tamarind: size of a small goose berry
Oil: 2-3 tsp

Take a little oil in a pan and add the split gram and fry till it turns light brown
Add the dry chilies, green chilies and ginger in the same order and fry for ½ minute
Grind all of the above
Now fry the coriander leaves slightly in the pan with very little oil (doing this will remove the raw coriander taste from the chutney and will make a good difference in taste)
Add the fried coriander leaves into the blender and blend coarsely with rest of the ground ingredients and little salt
Take 1 tsp oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Wait till it splutters
Add the coriander chutney to this and fry for ½ min in low flame
Mix well and serve with hot rice or roti.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ridged gourd (Peerkanga/Heere Kai) Thohaiyal

Ridged gourd is low in saturated fat and Cholesterol and hence suitable for people on a healthy diet. It is also high in dietary fiber, vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamin, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc.

Preparation time: 10-15 mins

Ridged gourd: 1 (diced)
Dry chilly: 1 (small size)
Tamarind: size of chick peas (or ¼ tsp concentrate)
Split gram (ulutham paruppu, urud dal): 1 tbsp
Asefotida (perungayam): 1 pinch
Cooking Oil: 2 tsp
Salt to taste

Take a little oil in a pan
Add Split gram to this and fry till it turns light brown
Add the dry chilly, tamarind and a pinch of Asefotida and fry for a min
Add the diced Ridged gourd and fry till the vegetable becomes a little soft
Turn off the stove and let the fried mixture cool
Add salt and grind the mixture into a paste

This thohaiyal mixed with rice goes well with more kootu

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cocunut Chutney (Thenga Chutney)

There are many ways to prepare coconut chutney. The recipe below is very easy and can be made in a jiffy. Goes well with idlis, dosas, ven pongal, oothappam etc.

Preparation Time: 5 mins!

Coconut: ½ cup (grated)
Skinned Bengal gram (kala channa dhuli, pottu kadalai): ½ cup
Green chillies - 1 no.
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Split black gram dal (urud dal, ulutham paruppu) – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 3-4
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Add little water and grind the coconut, green chilies and skinned Bengal gram.
Heat the oil in a panSplutter mustard seeds
Add split black gram, when it turns brown, add curry leavesPour the above seasoning onto the chutney.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More Kuzhambu

This is a recipe from Tamil Nadu and is one of my favorites. Once you grind the necessary ingredients, the remaining can be done in a jiffy.

Preparation time: 25-30 mins

Coconut: 2 tbsp (grated)
Green chili: 2
Yogurt: 2 cups
Toor dal: 2 tbsp
Urad Dal: 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 4-6
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
Salt to taste

Soak the toor and urad dal in water for 20 mins
Grind the soaked dal with grated coconut, green chillies, cumin seeds
Add salt and water to the yogurt and beat it to butter milk consistency
Take a tsp of oil in a deep pan. Add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters.
Add the curry leaves and a pinch of turmeric powder
Add the ground mixture and the butter milk
Boil till it raises and turn the stove off
Serve it with rice.~

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Vazhai Poo (banana blossom) Paruppu Usli

As usual my husband and I pushed the cart through the aisles as I picked vegetables examining them as if I had microscope embedded in my eyes. And lo! I spotted the Vaizhai poo gingerly sitting on the shelf in the Korean market and I couldn’t help day dreaming. Mom made paruppu usli that I last tasted 2 years back still lingered in my tongue. Immediately I decided the menu for Sunday even as Mahesh warned me of the work involved. Yeah… he is really good at warning, though not equally good at helping.

It is a little consuming recipe but rewarding. My motivation to make this is Mahesh. It is all worth when I see him enjoy his meal.

As I started preparing my favorite dish, I took some pictures and decided to post the recipe that was passed on through generations in the family. So here we go…

Banana blossom – 1 medium size
Thur dhal (Thoram paruppu) cup
Channa Dhal (kalla paruppu) – ½ cup
Dry chilies – 2
Asefotida – a pinch
Salt – to taste
Mustard seeds – to season
Cooking Oil


1. Soak Toor and Channa dal for at least one hour. Makes it easier for grinding

2. Separating the florets:

  1. Apply little oil (I use sesame oil) on both the hands to avoid sticking while separating the flowerlets
  2. Remove the cover of the plantain flower one by one. Remove and hold the bunch of florets in your hand and brush on the top of the bunch. This will make the stamen visible

  3. Remove the main stamen alone (refer to the picture) and cut the bunch into small pieces

  4. Soak them in water mixed with turmeric powder to prevent the flower from turning black

  5. Continue removing the covers of the flower one by one till you reach the heart (middle) of the flower. This part of the flower can directly be chopped without having to remove the stamen.

    Phew! the most tedious part of the work is done!

Add a little salt and cook the chopped florets until it becomes soft. Keep aside.
Grind the soaked dal and dry chilies coarsely (add as little water as possible)
Add Asefotida and a little salt to the dhal
Cook the dal. I pressure cook it up to three whistles
Take oil in a deep pan. Add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters and then add the cooked dal.
Fry the dhal till it separates. Try doing this in low flame. This takes some time but is the important for good texture and taste of the usli
Once the dal separates, add the cooked florets and mix well. Fry for couple of minutes and your usli is ready
Serve it with rice or roti. I love the combination of this with rice and more kuzhambu.


The banana blossom can be substituted with other vegetables like cluster beans, beans, cabbage etc.

Nutritious Value:

The most nutritious herbal flower, it is rich in vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and other nutrients that are needed to keep our body disease free and healthy. It is believed to be an excellent source of antioxidants and tannins. Antioxidants are chemicals known to help prevent cancers and combat aging and tannins have been reported to prevent bladder and urinary tract infections in women. Source:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bindi (Okra) Masala

Okra is low in calories and is a good source nutrients including vitamin B6, vitamin C, thiamin, fiber, calcium, and folic acid. It is recommended for pregnant woman for it is rich in folic acid which is essential in the neural tube formation of the fetus. Below is a way of cooking this tasty vegetable.

Cooking time: 20 mins

Okra : 1/2 Kg (1.2 Lb) (cut into 1 inch piecies or whole baby okra)
Onion : 2 (medium size cut into thin slices)
Tomatoes: 2 (chopped)
Chilly powder: ½ tsp
Coriander seeds: 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
Oil: 3 tsp
Coriander leaves
Salt to taste

Fry the onions in a deep pan with 2 spoons of oil till they turn brown
Add the diced tomatoes and mix well
Add chopped okra into the pan, add some water and fry them till they are half cooked.
Dry roast all the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and grind them
Add the ground powders, chilly powder and salt to the cooked okra
Simmer mixture on low heat for about 10 mins or till the excess water is removed
Garnish it with coriander leaves and serve it hot with roti or rice

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Boondi Raitha

Ready made Boondi is available in all the India stores, so making the raitha is very simple and quick.

Cooking time: 12 mins

Boondi: 3 tbsp
Chili powder: ¼ tsp
Cumin powder: ½ tsp
Coriander leaves
Salt to taste

Soak the boondi in warm water for about 10 mins
Beat the yogurt to get a smooth consistency (add a little water if required)
Add the chilly and cumin powder to the yogurt
Gently squeeze the water from the boondi and add it into the yogurt
Mix well
Garnish with coriander leaves and a pinch of chili powder
Refrigerate and serve it chill
Goes well with Roti and Rice.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chayote (Bangalore Katrikka) Kootu

Chayote is called 'Bangalore katrikka' in tamil and 'seeme badane kayi' in kannada.

Chayote is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.

Preparation time: 30 mins

Chayote: 2 (remove seeds and cut into small cubes)
Split Bengal gram (channa dal): ¼ cup
Coconut: ¼ cup (grated)
Green chillies: 1 no.
Cumin seeds: 2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 3-4
Oil: 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Boil the diced chayote vegetable and the split Bengal gram with salt till it softens (pressure cooking expedites the process).
Grind coconut, green chilly, cumin seeds with little water
Add the ground ingredients to the boiled vegetable and dal
Take oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters
Add curry leaves
Mix this with the cooked vegetable
Serve hot with rice or roti