Posts Tagged ‘Currys.’

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.



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This is my last entry for RCI Karnataka! I know all of you will be wondering , why so late! I could get the authentic recipes for these preparations only now!:)) The main ingredient used is Urali Kaalu ( horse gram)


Bas Palya

Bas Saaru


  • Horse gram – 1 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/8 teaspoon
  • Onion – 1 medium
  • Tamarind – 2 inch piece
  • Tomato – 1 medium
  • Garlic – 2 pods
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Pepper corn – 1 teaspoon
  • Jeera (cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Red chillies – 2 nos
  • Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Grated coconut – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Coriander leaves – 1 twig


  1. Wash and pressure cook the horse gram with 2 cups water and turmeric powder.
  2. Cut the onions and tomatoes roughly. Heat oil in a kadai, fry the red chillies.
  3. Add the onions and tomatoes and keep stirring on a low flame.
  4. Add curry leaves, garlic and grated coconut and fry for 2 more minutes. Allow to cool.
  5. Grind this mixture with tamarind, peppercorns and jeera to a fine paste.
  6. Add 1 cup water to the pressure cooked horse gram. Strain the water(stock) in to a MW safe container. The whole cooked gram will be used for the palya.
  7. To the horse gram water(Stock) add salt and the ground paste and MW high for 5 minutes.
  8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice and ghee.

Bas Palya

Bas palya


  • Cooked horse gram after stock is strained for the saaru.
  • Onion – 1 medium Finely chopped
  • Grated coconut- 2 table spoons
  • Green chillies – 2 nos finely chopped
  • Salt- to taste
  • Oil- 2 teaspoons
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon


  1. Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. When it crackles add onions, green chillies and curry leaves and saute on a low flame.
  2. Add coconut and saute for 1 more minute. Add the cooked horse gram and salt and saute for 2 more minutes on a medium flame.
  3. Your bas palya is ready.

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I like to think of Vazhakkai also known as Raw Banana or Green Plaintain as the unsweetened cousin of Banana. Plaintains and Kerala are almost synonomous thanks to the fanatical devotedness of people to munching on Kerala’s various plaintain delicacies. Yet this aint a recipe from Kerala but Tamil Nadu, the other state where Plaintains are cooked up and served in all kinds of forms.

Vazhakkai Podi

Vazhakkai Podi or a mix of grated raw banana/unripe plaintain with a powder and is typically served with Rice. Me thinks this will make a superb combination with More Kuzhambu. For a change I used them to make Parathas.

Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 20 minutes, Serves 3 – 4


For Vazhakkai Podi (Powder)

  • Raw Banana/ Green Plaintain * 1
  • Channa Dal 1 1/2 tbsp (Bengal Gram Dal)
  • Urad Dal 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Red Chillies 2
  • Hing/ Asafoetida – a small piece
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil

*Update: Vazhakkai are Plaintains that are unripe or Green in colour not the sweet Bananas that are not yet ripe. Raw Bananas is a colloquial reference used in Madras which also appears on the bill when you pick a bunch of these green plaintains. The term “Raw” is used to refer to the “paccha” or “raw” taste of these as compared to a normal Banana. Since there seems to be some kind of confusion, I have updated to avoid misinterpretation.
For Parathas

  • Whole wheat flour 2 cups
  • Water to Knead
  • Salt
  • Ghee


For Vazhakkai Podi
1. Wash and trim the ends of the Green Plaintain/ Vazhakkai. Cut into two and steam in a Microwave for 3 to 4 minutes along with the skin. The Green Plaintain/ Vazhakkai should be cooked about 3/4 and not very mushy. Remove and set aside for cooling.
2. Roast Channa Dal, Urad Dal and Red chillies with a drop of oil. Set aside for cooling. Make sure that you don’t add too much oil for roasting, when ground this must be dry.
3. When the parboiled Plaintain is cool, grate it finely along with the skin. Please don’t discard the skin, it is edible and very nutritious. Ensure that the banana is completely cool, else the gratings may be very mushy.
4. In a blender grind the roasted Channa Dal, Urad Dal and Red Chillies along with Hing and Salt to a fine powder.
5. Mix the grated Green Plaintain/ Vazhakkai with the ground powder. Transfer to a Bowl.

For Parathas
1. Knead the Wheat flour with water and salt into a firm elastic dough, add a drop of ghee towards the end to finish. Set aside for 20 minutes. Divide the dough into round balls. Set aside some flour to dust while rolling.
2. Roll out one ball into a round of 4 inch diameter using a belan or rolling pin using some flour to dust. Ensure that the center is thick while the sides are rolled out thin.
3. Fill in 1 1/2 tbsp of filling in the center, bring the sides together from 5 to 6 points. Press gently. This should give you a flat round with filling inside.
4. Dust both sides of this flat stuffed round with some flour and roll out into a round of 5 inch diameter.
5. Cook both sides on a tawa on medium heat until brown spots. This makes one paratha stuffed with the Raw Banana/ Vazhakkai Podi.
6. Proceed similarly with the rest of the dough.

Vazhakkai Podi Parathas

Parathas stuffed with Vazhakkai Podi for JFI: Banana hosted by Mandira from Ahaar.


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Aavani avittam or Upaakarma falls on the Poornima(full moon day) in the month of Aavani (mid august to mid september). The Star Avittam also rises on the same day every year.

On this day all men and boys change their sacred thread (Poonal). For Thalai Aavani Avittam or the first festival after the upanayanam of the boys, Homa is performed using 1008 peepul twigs (samithu) reciting the Kamo karshi japam. Generally the changing of thread is performed in a common place in a locality which is usually a hall in the temple.

After a breakfast of Idli and Appam the boys(Brahmacharis) and men go to the temple where the sasthrigal or vadhiyar (priest) help them by teaching the mantras. Usually the men perform this ritual with out eating anything.

For lunch an elaborate menu is followed as this is the only festival exclusively for men.

I am planning the following Menu. Click on links to get the recipes. Some are posted below.

Pictures will be posted after neivedyam.

Beans parrupusali

Beans Parrupusali


  • Beans – 1/4 kg
  • Toor dal – 1 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Red chilli – 1 no
  • Hing – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil – 3 table spoons
  • Channa dal – 1 teaspoon
  • Urad dal 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash and soak the toor dal for 1/2 hour in warm water.
  2. Grind to a thick paste adding red chilli, hing and salt.
  3. Wash and cut the beans to small pieces.
  4. Add hing, turmeric powder and 1 table spoon oil and micro high for 6 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds.
  6. When it crackles add urad dal and channa dal and fry till golden.
  7. Add the ground dal care fully and stir well. Cook on a medium flame stirring occasionally it the dal cooks.
  8. Add the boiled beans and mix well.
  9. Cook for 3 more minutes and put off the flame.

Inji thengai pachadi

  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Grated coconut 1/2 cup
  • green chilli – 1 no
  • salt to taste
  • Fresh curds – 1 cup
  • Oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig ( finely chopped)


  1. Wash and chop the ginger, add coconut, green chilli, salt and grind to a fine paste .
  2. Mix with curd in a serving bowl.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai,add mustard seeds. when it crackles add the urad dal and fry till golden.
  4. Add the curry leaves and pour on the ginger pachadi.

Elumichai saathamudu( lemon rasam)


  • Toor dal – 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
  • Tomato – 1 no
  • Lemon – 1 no
  • Curry leaves -1 twig
  • Coriander seeds 1/2 teaspoon
  • Grated coconut – 1 tablespoon
  • Channa dal 1/2 teaspoon
  • Hing – a small piece(Powder is also ok)
  • blackpeppercorns 1/2 teaspoon
  • Jeera – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red chilli – 1 no
  • Ghee – 2 teaspoons
  • Salt to taste
  1. Wash and pressure cook the Toor dal adding a pinch of turmeric powder.
  2. Cut tomato into small pieces and in a micro safe container micro for 1/2 minute.
  3. Fry the coriander seeds, channa dal, jeera red chilli, hing and pepper in 1 teaspoon ghee it golden.
  4. Add coconut to the fried items and grind to a smooth paste.
  5. Add dal, salt and 1 cup water to the tomatoes and micro high for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the ground paste and 1 more cup water and micro high for 3 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl and add juice extracted from 1 lemon.
  8. Fry the curry leaves in 1 teaspoon ghee and add to the prepared rasam.

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We have 2 entries from our blog for the summer express cooking event hosted by Shaheen . One from Latha and one from Viji.

Puri and Kurma by vijisriram

This evening tiffin can be prepared within 15 minutes. We have to cut the vegetables previous day and store in fridge in tupperware containers. Below given is the recipe for puri and kurma for two people.

Ingredients :

For the puri

  • Atta – 1 cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Ghee – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil – 1 cup (for deep frying)
  • Water – 1/2 cup

For the kurma :

  • Carrots – 1
  • Potatoes – 2
  • Beans – 50 grams
  • Coconut grated – 1 tea spoon
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tea spoon
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Roasted gram – 1 tea spoon
  • Sunflower oil – 1 tea spoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Coriander leaves – a few

All the vegetables are previously cut and stored .
Potatoes, beans and carrots cut into medium size cubes and Onions chopped finely and tomatoes also cut finely and stored in the fridge.

Method :

  1. First mix atta with a tea spoon of ghee and salt.
  2. Knead it into a dough by adding water to it.
  3. Make 8 small balls from the dough.(Total 3 minutes)
  4. Take the already cut vegetables (carrot, beans and potatoes) from fridge.
  5. Micro wave high adding 1 teaspoon oil,1 tablespoon water and 2 pinches of hing for 4 minutes
  6. When the vegetable is cooking in the micro wave, Grind Coconut(grated), green chillies and roasted gram to a smooth paste.
  7. Grind onion and tomato into a smooth paste.
  8. Put on both the burners of the gas stove and keep in low flame.
  9. Keep oil for frying puris in one, and heat kadai for kurma in the other and pour 2 tea spoons of sunflower oil.( 4 minutes)
  10. First put the onion tomato paste, ginger garlic paste, fry for 1/2 minute till raw smell goes.
  11. Now, add the coconut, chilli, roasted gram paste allow it to fry for 1/2 minute, add the cooked vegetables and salt.
  12. Allow this to simmer for 2 minutes
  13. Garnish the gravy with coriander leaves.(3 minutes)
  14. Now start rolling the puris.
  15. Put the puri,in the kadai of oil which is heated well, wait for a second, so that the puri becomes fluffy.
  16. Now turn the puri again cook it for a few seconds.
  17. Remove it from fire.Make rest of the puris in the same way.(5 minutes)

Serve hot with puris.

Since we have cut the vegetables previously, cooking time for the gravy will be 7 minutes. And puris can be prepared within 8 minutes.

  1. Keep all the cut vegetables into a micro safe bowl .
  2. Add water and cook at micro high for 4 minutes.
  3. Keep this aside.
  4. Add oil in a micro safe vessel, add onion tomato, ginger garlic paste to it.
  5. Cook in micro high for 4 minutes.
  6. Add the coconut, chilli, roasted gram paste to it, add the cooked vegetables and salt.
  7. Cook in micro high for 3 minutes.

Garnish this kuruma with coriander leaves and serve hot with puris.

Tip :

Puris can be prepared immediately, after the dough is made.

If lukewarm water is added to knead the dough, puris will be soft for a very long time.

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Note: This post is not adorned with mouth watering photos that usually other food blogs contain (often unfairly). I say unfairly because these days I seem to be perpetually hungry because of browsing all of the colourful splash. May be we should make a food blog rule that all good food photos should follow after a warning – “Beware: Hunger inducing photos follow”. Getting back to the point, read on for a neat recipe.

Enlightment strikes in the most nonchalant ways. This time it struck me a couple of days back when my visiting mother in law causally gave me a recipe over a random chat. ‘Radish leaves are edible!!!”, I thought.

I usually leave the vegetable shopping to Satish – over the last one year he’s become an expert in picking vegetables from taro/arbi that does’nt turn ‘gooey’ to richly coloured eggplant with almost invisible seeds to radish that just has a mild taste. But this sudden enligtenment called for my rare appearance at Pazhamudir Nilayam yesterday, to scourge for radish leaves that are cut to be thrown away.

I had to convince the man near the radish stack that I was perfectly sane and definitely wanted only the leaves and not the radish. The girl at the sales counter was equally bewildered – “I cant bill for waste!!! What can you make out of this?!!”. I simply said, “I dont know, may be Masiyal” (which should make sense to any Tamilian). But she seemed even more confused. Perhaps, people who sell vegetables at Pazhamudir Nilayam need some cookery lessons.

Here’s the recipe for Radish Leaves.

Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes, Serves: 2


  • 6 to 8 Radish Leaves
  • 1/4 cup groundnuts
  • 1 tsp chilli pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • a pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for cooking


1. Remove the thick stem from behind the leaves.

2. Wash the leaves thoroughly – remove every ounce of dirt.

3. Fine chop the Radish Leaves.

4. Microwave the groundnuts for 45 seconds on high to roast them. You can also roast them with oil on a stove. Keep aside the groundnuts for cooling.

5. Microwave the leaves with turmeric, hing and a few drops of water on high for 4 minutes. Alternatively you can do this on a stove. Ensure that the leaves are well cooked and drain any excess water.

6. In a kadai, pour 1/2 tbsp oil and add mustard seeds. add the cooked radish leaves after the mustards crackle. Keep the flame low.

7. Coarsely grind the groundnuts in blender. Add this to the leaves in the kadai.

8. Add salt and chilli pepper. Cook on a medium flame for a thirty seconds to a minute. Transfer to a serving dish.

Serve hot with rotis, rice (or even pasta!!) and curd.

I made this for the morning breakfast to go with a modified version of a traditional pasta recipe that is cheeseless. Yes, there are lovely pasta recipes that are to be served without cheese and taste incredilbly good. But that calls for another post.

FootNote: The leaves are a wee bit bitter, so Satish who has baby like taste buds din’t quite enjoy. I recommend for those of you who dont like even a pinch of bitterness – the same recipe with paalak keerai. I loved the ‘kai’ although I admit that this is not something that can be consumed in large quantities.

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