Posts filed under ‘Iyer samayal’


What a wonderful journey it has been. It was the same thiruvadhirai kali and kootu I started my blog with Jan 2010. Thiruvadhirai brings back wonderful memories of Arudhra Dharisanam in Chidambaram. We lived in Chidambaram for a brief period of 1 year way back in 1990. Though I was just a kid, there are certain memories that is etched and would never fade. The “ther thiruvizha”, pulling the “ther” of Lord Nataraja on the streets, with such pomp and show. The clear picture that comes to my mind is of those huge elephants that would so powerfully break open those coconuts/poosanikkais and gulp them down those massive mouth! And those shopping with Rs.5 or Rs.10 that our parents would allocate us exclusively during this Arudhra Dharisanam. Festivities galore, the early morning abishekam to Lord Nataraja in “Aairam Kaal mandapam”, the “kalkandu sakkarai pongal” and of course kali and kootu at home. Its been almost 20 years now and I never had the opportunity again to visit the temple for another Arudhra Dharisanam.

Stories apart :), this is a re-post of my first ever Kali and kootu recipe with added picture.


December 22, 2010 at 10:01 pm Leave a comment

Vazhakkai-Raw Plantain Seppankezhangu-Taro root kootu

I always have a liking to try out traditional recipes that comes through generations. This recipe was given to my mom by her mother in law and now to me by my mom. I keep pestering my mother to write down all the recipes that she has learnt over a period of…I guess almost 45years of cooking! But so humbly she would say….”Naan enna perusa panitten ellarum pannathatha….” But look at me! I would make such a simple thing and I would immediately call her up and boast about it! Yuck………………..And still she would give me all due credits and applause and I think that’s what keeps me going each day!

Now to the recipe.

1 medium sized vazhaikkai (Raw plantain) (Peel and cut into small cubes)
3-4 seppankezhangu (Taro root)
2 teaspoon freshly made sambar powder
1 small gooseberry sized tamarind, soaked and squeezed
1 teaspoon mustard seeds, urad dal, pinch of hing, spring of curry leaves, 1 teaspoon oil for tempering
1 cup soaked, boiled karamani (Or any kind of bean)
2 cups water

To grind:
2 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera)
3 tablespoon grated coconut

1. Boil seppankezhangu with salt. Cool, peel, cut into small chunks and keep aside.
2. Now add 1 tsp oil to a kadai and when hot temper with mustard seeds, urad dal, hing and cury leaves.
3. Vazhaikkai, little turmeric and saute a little. Then add salt, water, tamarind extract, sambar powder and cook on medium flame until vazhaikkai is cooked to 3/4th.
4. Then add boiled karamani, boiled and cubed seppankezhangu and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Add the cumin-coconut paste, cook until raw smell of jeera fades. Serve hot with paruppu/dal rice.

December 21, 2010 at 12:15 am Leave a comment

Keerai Kuzhambu / Spinach lentil gravy

It’s been quite a while since I blogged. There is nothing interesting happening in my kitchen and I suddenly feel, have I lost the tempo?!??!! Oh no……definitely not. These are one of those few boring/for-no-reason-irritating days, that you do not care to venture. But I’m trying to get out of that cocoon soon. So, here I come up with my favorite, simple and tasty keerai kuzhambu. My mom used to make this with “thandu keerai or pulicha keerai” and its hard to replicate!! Still, I try my version with whatever I got.

1 cup chopped spinach (I just used the “Indian” spinach that we get here)
2 teaspoon sambar powder
1/2 cup cooked and well mashed toor dal (Use a pinch of turmeric while pressure cooking)
1 small tomato, chopped
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon of urad dal, mustard seeds
Dash of hing
Soak about a small walnut sized tamarind, squeeze the pulp

1. Add oil to the pan and when hot add mustard seeds. When they crack add urad dal and hing. Then add the chopped tomatoes and just fry quickly.
2. Add tamarind pulp, 1 cup water, chopped spinach, salt, sambar powder and cook on medium flame until spinach and tomato are completely cooked.
3. Then add dal, check for salt seasoning, little more water if its too thick and bring it to a nice boil for about 5 mins.
4. Serve hot with rice or roti and dollop of ghee. It’s such a simple dish but yet very healthy and tasty.

August 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm 1 comment

Puli aval

Puli aval…Huli avalakki…..puli upma….all means the same! Tangy….spicy….aval upma! When my sister made a request for this recipe, it brought my favourite memories of having them hot from the pan with a roasted crust at the bottom! My mom and my chithi are the best in making this yummy! So…this recipe goes in for my sissi!

1 cup dagdi/getti aval/poha (Just pulse it in a blender to coarse)
1 small gooseberry size tamarind ball, soaked and squeezed
1 cup water
Salt to taste
2 teaspoon sambar powder
Pinch of jaggery
Dash of hing
3 tablespoon groundnut
1 spring of curry leaves
3-4 dry red chillies
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon urad dal
2 tablespoon oil

1. Mix sambar powder, salt, tamarind paste, 1 cup water, jaggery. Measure about 1 cup from this spice water. Spread the aval on a plate and sprinkle the spice water and mix with your hands. Add the rest of the spice water to the the aval and let is soak form 20 minutes. If it gets too dry before that keep sprinkling this spice water in between.
2. After 20 minutes, you will see they would have absorbed all of the water and come together as a solid mass.
3. Add oil to the pan, when hot add the groundnut and fry for a minute. Then season with mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilli, curry leaves and hing. Add the aval mixture to this and mix well.
4. Keep it on a medium flame and keep stirring to avoid burning at the bottom. Cook covered on a medium flame for about 5 minutes. Switch off the heat and let it cook with lid covered for another 5 minutes.
5. Serve hot with curd.

July 19, 2010 at 7:46 pm Leave a comment

Lemon Sevai

When we were kids, making sevai at home was like an event. It was such a time consuming process. Mom and grandmother had to soak rice, dry them, grind them, make maavu, and finally make idiyappam using the idiyappam naazhi, which was huge. Especially making it for a household of 7 was definitely not an easy task. Still we all used to enjoy the show, and help them in squeezing the idiyappam finally. The outcome, lemon sevai, coconut sevai and sweet sevai. As ever, I’m always impressed by the sweet sevai! So when we made our idiyappam+sevai in less than 45 mins I was thrilled.

2-3 cups of shredded idiyappam
2 green chilli
1 teaspoon each of mustard seeds and urad dal
2 teaspoon oil
Salt to taste
1 spring curry leaves
Pinch of turmeric and hing
Juice of a small lemon (more or less as per individual taste)

1. Add oil to the pan and when hot add mustard seeds, urad dal, green chilli and fry until mustard splutter and dal turn brown.
2. Add a dash of hing, turmeric, curry leaves and mix well.
3. Start adding the sevai and coat well with the mixture. Add salt.
4. When it is warm, squeeze lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot as plain or with chutney.

July 16, 2010 at 4:06 pm Leave a comment

Vengaya sambar

Few of my closest friends know, how much I’m a big fan of vengaya sambar and Idli combination! Soak these fluffy idlis in vengaya sambar, add a dash of ghee…..and pure ecstasy!

3-4 pearl onions or 1 medium sized onion cut length-wise
1 tiny lemon size tamarind, soaked in water and pulp squeezed
1.5 teaspoon sambar powder
dash of hing
1 cup water
1 spring curry leaves
1/2 cup toor dal (Pressure cook them with 1.5 cups water and pinch of turmeric)
1 teaspoon oil
Salt to taste

To make a paste:
2 tablespoon dhania
1 tablespoon chana dal
1/2 teaspoon urad dal
4-5 red chilli
dash of hing
pinch of fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon pottu kadalai
1/4 cup grated coconut (if using dried, soak them in hot water for 5 mins, drain completely)
2 teaspoon oil

1. Add oil to the pan, and when hot fry, dhania, chana dal, urad dal, chilli, hing and fenu greek seeds until a nice aroma comes. Cool them completely and blend them to a fine past with pottu kadalai, grated coconut and water. Keep aside.
2. Add 1 teaspoon oil to a kadai and when hot saute the onion until translucent. Temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves and 1 red chilli.
3. Add tamarind pulp, 1 cup water, sambar powder, salt, dash of hing and cook for about 15 minutes or until onions are cooked completely.
4. Mash cooked toor dal completely and add to the pan. Bring this to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Then add the paste, enough water for consistency, check for salt and simmer for 10-15 minutes until yellow bubbles form on top. Serve hot with rice or idli 😉 !

July 13, 2010 at 12:18 am 1 comment

Idli/Dosa milagai podi

Idli soaked in milagai podi, packed for lunch and dunked in thick curd..Slurp slurp!! That’s how much I like it. Off late I have been using the MTR chutney podi, but we ran out of it and getting it in Indian stores is going to take me weeks. So I quickly called my aunt and she gave me this recipe. It does not even require sesame seeds. Somehow, I never have them in my pantry and now I would never need them!! 🙂

1 cup chana dal
less than 3/4th cup of urad dal (broken is fine)
10-12 red chillies (more or less as per your heat buds)
A tiny chunk of hing (I don’t use the powder here)
1 spring curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon jaggery
1/4 teaspoon sized tamarind

1. Dry roast everything separately on a medium flame until brown except salt. Careful not burn them
2. Let them cool off and run through a mixie until fine powder with salt.
3. Put them on a paper and let them cool.

June 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

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