Vazhaika Podi (3 servings)

Raw bananas 3

Tamarind 2 scales

Red chilies 3 or 4

Urad dal  2 tsp

Cocnut 3 tsp

Curry leaves 3 sprigs

Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Oil 2 tbsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Steam the banas in a cooker till cooked and peel the skin.

On cooling grate the bananas and add turmeric powder to it.

Heat a few drops of oil in a pan and add the chilies and roast them. When the color starts changing, add the dal and roast till an aroma starts. Add the tamarind, coconut and curry leaves and roast till the aroma is strong and coconut starts changing color. Cool t he mix and powder it well in a blender.

Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard. Add asafotida, grated banana, salt and the powdered masala. Stir well over slow fire and cover the mix with a lid. After 5 minutes on slow fire  the podi is ready to serve.


Beans usili (3 servings)

French beans 300 g (finely cut)

Chana dal 1/3 cup

Toor dal 1/3 cup

Red chilies 4 or 5

Curry leaves 3 sprigs

Salt 1 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Asafotida 1/4 tsp

Coconut  2 tbsp (optional)

oil 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Soak the dals and chilies  for an hour and grind them coarsely along  with curry leaves, half the salt and add turmeric powder to the paste. Steam the paste for about 10 minutes and when it cools, crumble the dal well or use a grater to get fine pieces.

Meanwhile, add the remaining salt to the  the beans and cook by steaming or in a micro-oven.

Heat oil in a frying pan, add t he mustard and when it splutters add t he crumbled dal, asafotida and stir well on slow fire. Add the coconut and when it is soft add the beans and mix well and cook for 2 or 3 minutes by covering the pan with a lid.

Serve with rice.

Chow chow poricha kootu (4 Servings)

Chow chow (chayote squash) 2

Moong dal 1/2 cup

Coconut 3 tbsp

Green chilies 3 or 4

Cumin seeds 1 tsp (heaped)

Urad dal 1 tbsp

Curry leaves  3 sprigs

Coriander leaves  3 sprigs

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Oil 11/2 tsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Asafotida 1/2 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Peel the chow chow and cut t hem into small cubes. Add turmeric powder to moong dal and enough water to cook.

Mash the dal when cool enough.

While the cooker is on, heat 1/2 tsp oil in a pan and let the jeera splutter. Add the urad dal,and when it starts turning golden in color add the chilies and saute for a minute. Add the coconut and when it is slightly done add the curry leaves and coriander sprigs. When cool enough grind to a fine paste with enough water.

Heat oil in a vessel and let the mustard splutter in it. Add the cooked chow chow, dal and the masala paste. Add enough salt and when the kootu starts boiling put off the flame.

Cooking tip: For variation and to add to taste, you can add carrot, capsicum and shelled peas to chow chow while cooking.

Green Moong Dal (Whole)

Green Moong  250 g

Tomato 1 big

Onion 2 medium-sized (Finely cut)

Ginger paste 1 tsp

Green chilies 2 (Slit)

Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

Chili powder 1/2 tsp

Dhania powder 1/2 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Oil 11/2 tsp

Cilantro leaves (finely cut) 2 tsp

Milk  1/2 cup (optional)

Cream 1/4 cup (optional)

Soak the Moong in water for about 3 hours or for quick cooking soak in warm water for an hour.

Pressure cook t he moong  (2 to 3 whistles) and let it cool.

Meanwhile heat oil in a pan and let the cumin seeds splutter and add the onions and saute well. When the onion starts looking translucent, add the slit chilies, ginger paste, turmeric powder and saute well. Add the finely cut tomato, chilli powder, dhania powder, salt, and saute well. Adda little water for the gravy to cook well. Add the cooked dal to the gravy and mix well till it looks smooth.

Add the milk cream and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve hot.

Cooking tip: In place of ginger paste, grated ginger will  do.  In place of tomato pieces, a puree will speed up the cooking and also give a smoother consistency.

Tomato Pachadi (Sweet)

Toamto 3 Big

Tamarind 2 scales

Red chili 1

Chili 1/2 tsp

Jaggery (Crushed) 3 tbsp

Salt 1 tsp

Oil 1 tsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Curry leaves 2 sprigs

Raisins 20

Blanch the tomatoes and puree them in the mixie along with the tamarind scales.

Heat oil in a pan and add the jeera to splutter. Add the puree, chili powder, salt and jaggery and let it boil on slow fire till it thickens.  Add the curry leaves, raisins and remove from fire.

In case the  pachadi is not thick enough add a paste of one spoon of cornflour mixed in water before removing from flame.

Thenga Thogaiyal

Grated coconut 1 cup

Tamarind 3 scales

Red chillies 4 or 5

Peppercorns 6-8 (optional)

Chana dal 2 tbsp

Urad dal 3 tbsp

oil 1 tsp

Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp

Asafotida 1/4 tsp

Curry leaves 6 sprigs

Salt 1 tsp

Soak the tamarind i hot water to soften it.

Add a few drops of oil to a frying pan and roast the chilies on slow fire till the color changes and it gives out an aroma. Add the peppercorns and when they are done add the dals and roast till golden in color. Add the grated coconut and the curry leaves till a good aroma is given.

Cool the mix and transfer to the blender gwith the tamarind scales. Add minimal water and grind to a fine paste. Add slat and mix well.

Transfer the thogaiyal to a bowl and temper with mustard seeds and asafotida. Mix with rice and enjoy! 🙂

Bhindi/onion sukha subzi (4 Servings)

Okra 500 g

Onion 1 big or 2 medium-sized

Tomato 1 big

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Red chili powder 11/4 tsp

Dhania powder 1 tsp

Jeera powder 1/2 tsp

Amchur 1 tsp

Salt 11/2 tsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Oil 2 tbsp

Dice the okra to 3/4″ pieces and cut the onions and tomato to small pieces.

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and add the cumin seeds. When they start spluttering, add the onion and saute well. When the color starts changing, add the tomato pieces and saute for a few minutes. Add all the spices and stir well.Add the bhindi and salt to the mix.

Do not stir too often, otherwise bhindi will break.Cover with a lid and cook on low flame till done.

Cookin tip: Add a spoon of curds to the mix to prevent the bhindi pieces from sticking to each other while cooking.