Posts Tagged ‘Gravys(kuzhambu and kootu)’

My lovely daughter married for over a year came home for just 2 days. She had a big list of her favorite dishes to be prepared during her stay. We had to attend a marriage reception, do some shopping also. But I wanted to prepare every thing she wanted. Main items in the menu were:


kadalai khuzhambu

Stuffed cutlet



Fried rice baked with cheese, cream and exotic vegetables.


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This is a recipe I learnt from my mom in law (who is an expert at cooking up yummy kootus).

Cooking time 15 minutes.

Serves 4.


Drumsticks – two medium length

Moong Dal – 1/2 cup

Curry leaves 1 tablespoons, finely chopped

Mustard Seeds 1/2 teaspoon

Turmeric Powder 1/4 teaspoon

For Paste

Hing a small piece.

Urad Dal 2 teaspoons.

Channa Dal 2 teaspoons.

Coriander Seeds 1/2 teaspoon

Red Chillies 2 nos

Grated Coconut – 1 tablespoon

Salt to Taste

Sesame Oil – 1 teaspoon

Oil for cooking 1 teaspoon.

Method 1. Steam Moong Dal with turmeric powder , in a pressure cooker until it is soft and can be blended easily with a ladle. Use about 2 cups water.

2. Chop the Drumstick into 3 inch pieces, add turmeric powder and parboil in a microwave for 6 minutes on high or on a stove on a medium flame for 10 minutes with 1/2 cup water.

3. Heat sesame oil in a Kadai, add urad dal, channa dal, coriander seeds and red chillies and fry till the dals golden. Remove from flame and add coconut . Be sure not to over cook the dals, the right amount of roasting is crucial to the taste.

4. Keep aside to cool and grind to a paste – add two tablespoons of water if you need to. Remove the Moong Dal from the cooker, blend with a ladle and keep it ready.

5. Heat some oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds.

6. Add the drumstick and moong dal once the mustard seeds crackle. (you can also parboil the drumsticks at this stage if you dont use a microwave, though this is rather prolonged)

7. Add the ground paste, add salt and let the kootu simmer for a while till it reaches a boiling point and froth starts to appear on top.

8 . Add finely chopped curry leaves.
Serve with rotis or rice.

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This sambhar powder can be used for all paruppu and vethal kuzhambus. Can be Ground at home in a mixer.


Coriander seeds 1 cup.

Red chillies 10 nos.

Toor dal 2 tablespoons.

Urad dal 2 tablespoons.

Channa dal 2 table spoons.

Black pepper corns 2 table spoons.

Verali manjal( Turmeric pods) long variety 2 pieces.

Dried curry leaves 4 twigs.


Break the turmeric pod into smaller pieces before putting in a mixer. If you fell your mixer is not a heavy duty one, then use 1 table spoon turmeric powder instead.

Dry the curry leaves at least four days before grinding.

Mix all ingredients and dry in the sun for a few hours. Alternate method is to heat in the microwave for two minutes stirring in between. The idea is to remove all the moisture.

Grind all ingredients to make a fine powder. Store in air tight containers and use when required.

You can increase the quantities and grind in a mill.

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This more kuzhambu is specially made during festivals.

More Kuzhambu

Cooking time 10 minutes.

Serves 4.


  • Thick Curds -1 cup.
  • White pumpkin cut into 1 inch cubes -1 cup.
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Hing powder – 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Toor dal -1 tablespoon.(soaked)
  • Corriander seeds – 1 and 1/2 teaspoons.
  • Channadal – 1 and 1/2 teaspoons.
  • Red chilli – 1 no.
  • Methi seeds -1/2 teaspoons.
  • Oil – 1 teaspoon.
  • Green chili – 1no
  • Grated coconut 2 tablespoons.
  • Salt to taste.
  • For garnishing 2 teaspoon Coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 twig curry leaves.


  1. Soak the toordal in warm water for 20 minutes.
  2. Fry the coriander seeds, channadal, methi and redchilli in 1 teaspoon oil till golden.
  3. Grind the toordal, fried ingredients along with green chili and coconut in to a fine paste adding a little water.
  4. Cook the pumpkin adding 1/2 cup water, hing and turmeric powder, on a medium flame, till soft.
  5. Beat the curd well.Add the paste, salt and mix well. Add to the cooked pumpkin and cook for 4 minutes in a medium flame stirring in between.
  6. Garnish with mustard seeds and curry leaves fried in 2 teaspoon sesame (til) oil.

Microwave method.

  1. Place the pumpkin in a microwave safe container, add hing, turmeric powder and 2 tablespoons water and cook in micro high for 4 minutes.
  2. Mix the curd, ground paste and salt to the pumpkin. Add 1/4 cup water and micro high for 3 minutes.
  3. Garnish with mustard seeds and curry leaves fried in 2 teaspoon sesame(til)oil.

Transfer to a serving bowl.

PS you can substitute Pumpkin with any other vegetable of your choice.

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This sambhar can be served with rice or with idli and dosa.


Toor dal 1 cup.

Tamarind 3 inches.

Lady finger 5 nos (cut each into 3 pieces)

Turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon.

Oil 1 teaspoon.

Salt to taste.

For the paste

2 teaspoons each of corriander seeds and channa dal.

Hing a small piece ( you can use powder also).

1/2 teaspoon methi (fenugreek) seeds.

2 red chillies.

1 teaspoon oil.

1 table spoon grated coconut.

Method Microwave

Wash toor dal add turmeric powder and water and pressure cook.Place the ladies finger in a microwave safe container, add a little turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon oil, and 1 teaspoon water, and micro high for 3 minutes.

Heat oil and fry all ingredients for the paste, except coconut,till golden and add coconut , put off the flame. Grind to a paste adding a little water.

Soak tamarind in warm water and squeeze out the pulp.

Mash the dal. Add tamarind pulp, paste, dal, salt and a little water to the ladiesfinger and micro high for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Alternate method (non microwave)

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large kadai, fry the ladiesfinger for a minute. Add thin tamarind pulp (around 1 cup) and cook for 3 minutes in medium flame. Add the dal, paste and salt and cook for 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.

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Festivals in tamizh culture are associated with the different stages of agriculture, from sowing to harvesting.

After the tamizh new year or Varusha paruppu, aadi or the first day of the tamizh month aadi ,is the first festival , after a gap of 3 months ,celebrated to welcome the rains.We can prepare the following on aadi pandigai.

Aadi paal.


Lady finger sambhar.

Lemon rasam. (Saathamudhu).

Cabbage poriyal.

Tomato pacchdi (dip)

Thayir vadai (curd vada).

Fried papad.

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A very rich gravy. Tastes as good as it looks. Great combination for Adai. Usually cooked during festivals.


Fresh thick curds 1 cup

Coconut grated 4 tablespoons (heaped)

Green chilli 2 nos.

Coconut oil 1 tablespoon

Hing 1/4 teaspoon.

Turmeric powder1/4 teaspoon.

Curry leaves 1 twig.

Red chilli 1 no cut into two.

Fresh cream 1 tablespoon.

Salt to taste.

1 teaspoon cooking oil.

An assortment of vegetables cut into 1 inch fingers – 3 cups  (Lady finger, carrot, beans, green peas, drumstick, cauli flower,Raw plantain, Pumpkin are the vegetables best suited. You can use all or atleast 4 varieties to prepare avial. You can prepare it on the microwave or on the stove)

Method – Microwave

Wash the vegetables and cut into 1 inch fingers. In a microwave safe container place the vegetables, add hing, turmeric, 1 teaspoon oil, 2 tablespoon water and cook in microwave mode for 7 minutes. Grind the coconut and green chilli to a fine paste, add to the vegetables. Add salt and curds and microwave on high for 3 minutes.

In a kadai heat the coconut oil add the red chilli and fry for a moment, add curry leaves and pour over the avial. Add cream and mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl. Chilled Avial also tastes good.

Alternate Method – Non Microwave

You can also make this on a kadai/vessel on a stove – follow the same steps.

Cut vegatables. Parboil the vegetables. Heat oil in a Kadai and Add Vegetables with Coconut/ Green chilly paste and cook for 2 minutes in a medium flame. Add Salt and Curds and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off the gas and add cream. Garnish with one red chilly and curry leaves fried in coconut oil.

While cooking in the stove Use 3/4 cup of water, cover with a lid to cook faster. Never drain the water as the nutrients will be lost.

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