Archive for the ‘Basic’ Category

Some of the visitors wanted the recipe for simple bitter gourd curry. I prepare this curryatleast twice in a month.


  • Bitter gourd (Karela or Pavakkai) – 1/2 kg
  • Oil – 2 tbs
  • Grated Coconut – 3 tbs
  • Tamarind – lemon sized ball
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chili powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 tsp salt for marinating*.



  1. Cut the bitter gourd into half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and cut into thin slices.
  2. Add 2 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt and leave to marinate for 1/2 hour. Squeeze the slices well to remove bitterness.
  3. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract around 2 tablespoons of thick pulp.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. When it crackles add the bitter gourd slices.
  5. Add turmeric, salt and saute well. Saute on medium flame for 5 minutes. Add the tamarind pulp and cook for some time till the juice dries up.
  6. Saute on a low flame till the slices are golden.Add chili powder and  grated coconut and saute for  2 more  minutes.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve as a side dish with rice or chapathi.


*Marinating is optional.

Bitter gourd can also be prepared as pavakkai pitlai, Kuzhambu etc.


Read Full Post »

Potato podimas is usually prepared on festival days. It can be prepared quickly with just a teaspoon of oil.


  • Potatoes – 1/2 kg
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Coconut – 2 tbs grated
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Coriander leaves – 1 tbs chopped
  • Green chili – 1no
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Cashew – 4 to 5 chopped ( Optional)
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbs ( optional)
  • Salt – to taste



  1. Wash and pressure cook the potatoes. Peel the cooked potatoes and mash well.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds. When it crackles add urad dal and cashew.
  3. Saute till golden. Add chopped curry leaves and green chili.
  4. Saute for a minute and add the mashed potatoes. Mix well.
  5. Add salt and coconut and mix well.Take off the heat.
  6. Add lemon juice and mix well.( Optional)
  7. Decorate with chopped coriander leaves.

Read Full Post »

Amma used to prepare pachadi almost everyday. All raitas or pachadis are very simple and can be prepared quickly.  Kothamalli pachadi is simple as well.


  • Kothamalli(Coriander leaves) – 6 twigs
  • Coconut grated – 2 tbs
  • Thick curd – 1 cup
  • Green chili – 1 no
  • Salt – to taste

For the seasoning

  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 1 tsp



  1. Wash the coriander leaves and drain.
  2. Grind coconut, coriander,green chili and salt to a fine paste.
  3. Beat the curd well. Mix curd and ground paste well.Transfer to a serving bowl.
  4. Heat oil in a kadai add mustard seeds. When it crackles add urad dal and fry till golden.
  5. Add to the coriander pachadi.
  6. Serve as a side dish.

Read Full Post »

I prepared a simple lunch for aadivelli this year. Manja pongal recipe is already posted and others will be posted soon.

Venthaya Kuzhambu

Venthaya kuzhambu is a great side dish for Manja Pongal. Vegetables like Okra, yellow pumpkin, brinjal and tomato  can be used for the kuzhambu.


  • Tamarind – Lemon size ball
  • *Fresh bean seeds – 1/2 cup
  • Tomato – 4 medium sized
  • Sambhar powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Red chili – 2 nos
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Til Oil – 1 tbs
  • Rice flour – 2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste


  1. Soak tamarind in hot water for some time. Extract tamarind pulp adding 2 cups water.
  2. Cut tomato into small pieces. Heat til oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add mustard seeds.
  3. When mustard seeds crackle add hing, fenugreek seeds and red chili and saute till fenugreek is brown.
  4. Add tomato, beans and curry leaves and saute . Cover and cook on a low flame for 3 minutes.
  5. Add sambar powder and mix well. Add the tamarind extract and salt. Allow to boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Mix the rice flour in 1 tbs water and add to the venthaya kuzhambu.Boil for a minute and transfer to a serving bowl.
  7. Serve hot with manja pongal.

*A variety of fresh beans like avarai thuvarai etc are available during this season. I have used fresh kaaramani.

Read Full Post »

Harvesting tomatoes that were never sown!

Around five years back, I suddenly planned a  face lift for our small garden area. After cleaning up the garden I bought a nice pot to be used as compost pit. We collected the vegetable and fruit waste in this pot and used it as manure. I used to throw the rotten tomatoes as well.

In our new duplex home we made planters on the compound wall and the parapet wall. My hubby mixed soil with the compost we had collected over the years  and planted some rose cuttings. After around two weeks the planters were filled with tomato plants. We re potted them and have harvested over 100 tomatoes till now. Another hundred can be plucked in a week:).

Thakkali Koottu (Tomato koottu )

Cooking with home grown vegetables is very satisfying and you know there are no artificial fertilizers or pesticides. The aroma of freshly plucked vegetables is heavenly.


  • Raw tomatoes – 6 to 8
  • Moong dal – 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste

For the paste

  • Grated coconut – 1 tbs
  • Coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Channa dal – 1 tsp
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Red-chili –  1 no
  • Oil – 1 tsp

For  the seasoning

  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 5 nos
  • Red chilli – 1 no


  1. Slice the tomatoes into long pieces.Place in a MW safe bowl and mix with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. MW high for 5 minutes
  2. Pressure cook the moong dal with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
  3. Roast the ingredients for the paste except coconut in 1 tsp oil, add coconut and grind to a smooth paste.
  4. Add cooked moong dal, ground paste and salt to the tomatoes and mix well.Add a little water to get Koottu consistency.
  5. Mw high for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  6. Cut the red chili into small pieces.
  7. Heat 1 tsp ghee and add the mustard seeds and red chili; when the mustard crackles add the curry leaves. Add  the seasoning to the koottu.

Serve as a side dish for rotis,phulkas or rice.

Read Full Post »

Homemade Khova

Disclaimer: I am in Bangalore right now and have nothing to do with this khova recipe except for the fact that I am hogging on sinfully delicious gulab jamuns amma has made with the home made khova. A well deserved end to what has been a long day with too many lectures and some prolonged seemingly endless sitting down!!

Patti used to make khova in the stove top always – while the khova was getting ready on one burner, she would finish her regular cooking in another. Amma used to prepare khova in the microwave thinking it would save time only to realize that she was actually spending more time in opening the oven door to stir constantly and handling the glass. These days she has switched to making the khova on the stovetop.


Makes: approximately 11/2 cups of khova

Cooking time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients/ Things required

  • Milk – 1.5 litres
  • Heavy bottomed non stick deep pan


Lower flame after milk reaches boiling point


  1. Bring the milk to boil in the deep non stick pan. Reduce the flame to between low to medium and continue to heat the milk.
  2. Stir occasionally in regular intervals until the milk completely thickens to form the khova. This will take approximately 1.5 hours.

This khova can be used to prepare ice cream cake, gulab jamun, theratti paal, carrot halwa and many other sweets.

Homemade Khova – for the Recipe Marathon

Fellow recipe marathoners:

DKSiriSrivalliRanjiPJCurry LeafMedhaPriyaBhawnaRaajiRuchii
AnuKamalaRoopaDivya KuduaRekhaDivya MRaagaLakshmi VenkateshSripriyaViji, , Kamalika,Pavani, RoochiKaruna

Read Full Post »

Shallots Pickle

I have never really made pickles by myself – both my amma and mother in law make pickles for us while they are here or package all the way from Bangalore. But we finish these batches of pickles so fast that there are a few  days when there’s not much in the house and if like me you’ve grown up eating pickle rice, food just doesn’t feel the same.  A couple of days back when we ran out of our favourite shallot pickle, I decided to make some on my own. 

The flavour of this pickle comes from the mild sweetness of the shallots, combined with the sourness of tamarind and the fierceness of red chillies.  It smells so gorgeous and tastes so delicious that I have atleast a couple of spoons of rice mixed with this pickle almost everyday. 


Makes: enough to fit in a 750 ml container

Preparation time: 30 minutes, Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • Shallots – 3 cups (peeled, washed and patted dry)
  • Tamarind – 1 cup 
  • Red Chillies – 1 1/2 cups (increase or decrease to taste)
  • Turmeric – 1 tsp
  • Hing – 1/4 tsp  
  • Fenugreek seeds (dry) – 3 tsp 
  • Salt – 2 tbsp (adjust to taste) 
  • Sesame Oil/ Olive Oil – 6 tbsp


  1. Soak the tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes. You will need water just enough to immerse the tamarind. Depending on whether you soak the tamarind in a flat broad vessel or a deeper vessel, you will need about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water.  
  2. On a medium flame, heat 1 tbsp of oil and saute the shallots until they turn pink.  Set aside to cool. 
  3. On a medium flame, dry roast the fenugreek seeds, cool for somtime and grind to a fine powder. 
  4. Drain the tamarind and reserve the water. 
  5. Grind shallots, tamarind, red chillies, salt and turmeric together to a paste of spoonable consistency adding the reserved water as required to aid in grinding. 
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a pan. Add the paste and cook uncovered on a low flame stirring frequently in between until the paste is well cooked and loses all its water content. Keep only on a low flame, do not increase flame at all. This should take about 30 minutes or more depending on the water content of your paste. The pickle is cooked when it turns a deeper shade of brown.  Take off flame, add the powdered fenugreek and mix well. 

Refrigerate in a air tight container. Keeps well for several months. 


Shallots Pickle – for the Recipe Marathon

Fellow recipe marathoners:

DKSiriSrivalliRanjiPJCurry LeafMedhaPriyaBhawnaRaajiRuchii
AnuKamalaRoopaDivya KuduaRekhaDivya MRaagaLakshmi VenkateshSripriyaVijiKamalika,Pavani, RoochiKaruna

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »