Instant Puliogere Mix


Puliodarai podi

Puliodarai (known across the nation more popularly as Tamarind rice)  is a must in temples, as travel food, in weddings and other social events.

Pulikachal the sauce that forms the base for this rice is a bit laborious ans has to be prepared with planning .  Fresh pulikachal certainly has its aroma and place but often for those in a hurry who need it as a fast food alternative an instant mix with all the merits of pulikachal is a boon. Commercially available mix of various brands are there in the market but home-made mix has its place and retains all the flavors and taste of the moist sauce. This mix can come handy at anytime when in a hurry and can be stored for at least a month at room temperature if no coconut is added as in Karnataka style.



Tamarind  small ball about the size of a lemon

Dry red chilies 10 (preferbly the long variety)

Peppercorns 1 tsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Fenugreek ½ tsp

Coriander seeds 2 tbsp

Sesame 1½ or 2 tbsp

Chana dal  1 tbsp

Urad dal 1 tbsp

Jaggery shavings 1 tbsp

Turmeric powder  1 tsp

Salt 1 tbsp

For tempering

Oil 1 tsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Peanuts  2 tbsp

Asafotida ½ tsp

Salt ¼ tsp


  • Dry roast the sesame seeds in a wok till it starts spluttering and transfer to a plate to cool it.
  • Add a drop or two of oil in the same wok and roast the chilies on low flame till the aroma surfaces.
  • Transfer to a plate to cool and add the fenugreek seeds  to the wok and roast for a minute on low flame. Add the peppercorns to the wok followed by cumin seeds and when you start getting the aroma of pepper add the  lentils and roast till it starts turning golden in color. Transfer to  a plate and in the same wok roast the coriander seeds just enough to get the dry look and releases aroma;  transfer to the mix in the plate.
  • Now is the turn for tamarind to get a complete dry condition by flipping it in the wok for a minute or two. Add it to the chili plate and cool.
  • Blitz the chili and tamarind to get a coarse powder as they take longer to get powdered. Add the remaining roasted ingredients, salt, and turmeric powder and powder to fine state. Add jaggery shavings and run the blender for a few seconds.

This powder can be stored for a few weeks in an airtight container and used when needed.

  • For those who prefer to add the tempering to the mix before storing heat the oil in a wok and let the  mustard seeds splutter.  Add the peanuts, asafotida ad salt and roast till the peanuts are done and crunchy. Add the tempering to the mix and  and mix well.

Puliodarai mix is ready for use. To make puliodarai refer to Melakotai puliodarai given in the blog.


Puliyodarai made with the mix has a flavor its own and close to the Melkottai puliyodarai


Chef’s Note

  • In case you want get the Karanatka flavor roast a tablespoon of coconut grate or desiccated coconut till crisp and  blitz along with jaggery.  However, do remember to store in the refrigerator as coconut does not have long shelf-life.

Udupi Rasam



Time we visited the coastal Karnataka after reveling in the land of mangoes for a festive cuisine …. Udupi rasam! No meal offered in the Udupi temples/Dharmasthala or any of the Brahmin Mangalorean wedding feast is complete without the famous Udupi rasam. The specialty of the rasam powder for this is the inclusion of mustard seeds as also fenugreek seeds. Furthermore, the ingredients are roasted in a generous amount of coconut oil and often the tempering is also done in coconut oil. Naturally with so much of coconut flavor to it, fresh coconut is only optional. The powder is made in bulk and used for other stir fry dishes too. I used coconut oil minimally to roast the condiments and I love the aroma of ghee in tempering; so tempering in ghee. To balance the heat from the chilies I used coconut and also jaggery. Byadagi chilli is used to give the vibrant color and one can use a mix of normal red chilies and Byadagi chilies to give color and taste.

This recipe is adapted from the recipe from  Chitra Amma’s Kitchen


Tamarind 1 lemon/gooseberry sized ball or  1 tbsp of pulp

Green chili 1 (slit)

Arahar dal 2 tbsp (to be pressure cooked)

Turmeric powder ½ tsp

Tomato 2 medium-sized

Fresh coconut 1 tbsp (grated)

Curry leaves frpom 3 sprigs

Salt 1 tsp or as per taste

Jaggery powder ½ tsp

Ghee 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Asafotida ¼ tsp

Water 4 cups


For rasam powder

rasam condiments


Red chillies 4

Byadage chilies 4

Coriander seeds 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds 1tsp

Urad dal 1 tsp

Coconut oil  ¼ tsp

 Mustard seeds 1/3 tsp

Fenugreek seeds ¼ tsp

udupi rasam ingred


  • Add turmeric powder to the washed arahar dal and pressure cook the dal for 4 whistles.
  • For rasam powder: In a wide and thick-bottomed pan add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and dry roast till the color starts changing to brown. Remove from fire and transfer to a platter to cool.

Add the coconut oil to the same pan and roast the chilies, followed by cumin seeds, coriander seeds and urad dal. As the aroma is released switch off the flame and transfer to the platter to cool down.

Powder the roasted condiments to a slightly coarse texture.

  • Blanch the tomato in hot water or by microwaving for a minute. Blend the blanched tomato, coconut and curry leaves to a smooth paste.
  • Extract the pulp from tamarind soaked in warm water into the cooking vessel or add the ready pulp and make up the volume to 1 cup. Add salt and slit chilly and keep it on slow fire till the raw smell of tamarind is gone.
  • Add the mashed dal and tomato-coconut paste to the vessel and make up the volume to 1 liter.
  • When the mix starts boiling add the rasam powder, asafotida, and jaggery. Switch off the flame when the mix starts boiling and gets frothy.
  • Temper the mustard seeds and transfer to the ready rasam.

udupi saaru


Normally this rasam uses coconut oil for tempering and those who love strong coconut flavor can use coconut oil. The condiments are also roasted (fried?) in a fairly large scoop of oil

Red chili is commonly used in tempering but I decided to skip it.




Mysore Rasam


Exotic … is how one describes this rasam! As the name implies, this rasam has its origin from Karnataka and unlike rasam known as “saaru” in this region, it is called Mysore Rasam. A specialty of this rasam is use of coconut, and as is the trend in Karnataka, desiccated coconut is used in many dishes, a tradition that possibly evolved as a technique to preserve excess coconuts from spoiling. I prefer to use fresh coconut as desiccated coconut gives a different aroma akin to coconut oil. No rasam powder is used here as the ingredients are freshly roasted and powdered. Another feature of Karnataka is add jaggery to rasam. Actually I prefer to add either jaggery or a pinch of sugar in rasam as such as it enhances the taste.

This rasam is normally thick in consistency and makes a wholesome mix with steamed rice.


Tamarind  lemon-sized/gooseberry-sized ball (1 tbsp pulp)

Arahar dal  2 tbsp (to be pressure cooked)

Turmeric powder ½ tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Tomato 2 medium-sized (blanched)

Curry leaves from 3 sprigs

Water 4 cups

Asafotida ¼ tsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Ghee  1 tbsp

Powdered Jaggery ½tsp

For rasam powder

Red chilies     5

Peppercorns     1 tsp

Cumin seeds     1 tsp

Coriander seeds  1 tbsp

Chan dal        1 tsp

Grated Coconut  2 tbsp


  • Add a few drops of ghee in a wok and roast the spices for the powder in the order chilies, pepper, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and chana dal. The spices should be roasted on a low flame and just till the aroma is released to retain the aroma. Transfer to a dry plate and in the same wok dry roast the coconut till the moisture is gone. Transfer to the plate and wait for it cool. Transfer the cooled spices to a blender and blitz it to get a slightly coarse powder. Keep the powder aside and in the same blender puree the blanched tomatoes and fresh curry leaves.
  •  In the meantime pressure-cook the dal after adding turmeric powder to it and keep it ready.
  • Add salt to the tamarind extract in a wide vessel and boil it till the raw smell of tamarind is gone as it happens in less than 5 minutes. Add the puree and boil for another 2 minutes or a minute longer and add the mashed dal. Make up the volume to 4 cups or roughly 1 liter. When the mix starts boiling add the spice powder, jiggery, and asafotida. Switch off the flame as soon as the rasam starts frothing and boiling.
  • Heat ghee in a wok and add mustard seed when the ghee is hot. As soon as the seeds splutter transfer the tempered seeds to the rasam. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and enjoy one of the heavenly rasams!




Rasam Powder


Rasam powder is one of the core ingredients of most rasams unless one were to vary the basic powder with varied spicing as in pepper rasam, for instance. Although many branded powders are available in the market home-made powder has its edge over commercially available spices!


Red Chilies           100 g

Coriander seeds     150 g

Pepper corns   50 g

Cumin seeds 50 g

Arahar dal (split pigeon pea)   50 g

Turmeric powder 30 g (1 tbsp)


  • Place a wok over low flame and dry roast pepper and cumin seeds for 2 minutes. Just as the aroma is released transfer to a platter and allow it to cool.
  • In the same wok dry roast the chilies till it feels crisp. Remove after a minute or two and ensure that the color does not change. transfer to the platter.
  • Roast the coriander seeds again just enough to ensure it is dry and crisp. Transfer to the platter.
  • Roast the dal now till the color starts changing and you get the aroma of roasted dal as will be seen in 3 minutes or so.
  • Transfer the cooled ingredients along with turmeric powder to a blender and powder it fine. Transfer the powder to an airtight container. It can be store for many months.

Chef’s Note

When done on a large scale I prefer to use rhizome of dry turmeric  in place of powder and roast it a little.

When sufficient sunlight is available, it  is preferable to sun dry the chillies and coriander seeds than roast them.

Churan ki Goli

churan ki Goli





Festive food, parties,  food in company, and so on often bring out the glutton in you and at such time nothing like a chatapti (lip-smacking) churan to wade away the heavy feeling! Often during childhood many of us have devoured the mouth-watering churan, often sold by vendors near the school that would left us craving for more. G often has this heavy feeling after food and I have tried various home remedies but they have not always worked and some of them require condiments that are not so easily available. Cumin and asafotida work wonders on a queasy stomach and I guessed churan could possibly one of the best to quieten the stomach. Although many forms of churan are available commercially they are often loaded with salt and in the process are not really favored by us. I tried browsing through Internet but could not come up with a satisfactory mix. I had earlier tried with jaggery and tamarind pulp but it was  a bit too mushy to be stored.  Looking up the ingredients list in churan bottles and a post in one of the forums finally set me thinking and realize that basic ingredients are one sour factor, sweetener, salt and a condiment for digestion. Based on our taste we can vary the sour factor or use a combination of the same. Working with what is available at home I found that churan is perhaps one of the easiest to make!

This churan is principally based on jeera as the key digestive but one can try variations with asafotida, dried ginger powder, fennel seeds or a combo based on taste buds.



Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Peppercorns ¼ tsp

Red chilli powder ¼ tsp (a pinch if less heat factor preferred)

Dry mango powder (Amchur)  3 tbsp

Salt  ½ tsp

Sugar 3 + 1 tbsp

Lemon Juice 1½ tbsp


  • Powder the sugar and set aside one spoon of powder for coating the balls later.
  • Roast the cumin seeds and pepper corns on low flame till just done. Switch off the flame as soon as the aroma gets released.
  • Transfer the roasted condiments to a blender, add the remaining dry ingredients to the blender and blitz them to a fine consistency.
  • Transfer the powder to a plate, add powdered sugar (remember to save a spoon for coating; I saved the chilli powder and mixed it with the sugar set aside for coating to give color and distinct taste), add the lemon juice little by little and mix well to get a just-moist consistency. Make sure it does not get too moist. Roll the mix into small balls and drop them to the platter/bowl containing powdered sugar. Roll them well  but gently and not vigorously, and store in an  airtight container.

Chef’s Note

One can try adding pomegranate seeds in place of amchur and also a pich of asafotida to get  a different flavor.

When I try variation I will post them as different recipes or as as addendum to this post.

My post in a food forum has attracted close to 400 likes in less than two hours and hastened me to post immediately! Thank you all for the likes!!  🙂


Gobhi-Mutter Pepper Fry






Cauliflower, in most forms, is no favorite for G. Two forms that he doesn’t mind are stew and paruppu usili. Pualo again is not so objectionable!  I thought something slightly spicy but not too chunky will possibly satisfy his palate and it was not really a bad idea!

A dish that is not too time-consuming either this turned out quite to  our needs.





Ingredients  (3 servings)

Medium sized cauliflower 1 (to give 2 cups of small florets)
Fresh peas  1 cup (optional)

Turmeric powder 1 tsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Cooking oil 1 tbsp

For the spice mix

Dried red chillies  2

Black peppercorns 1 tsp ( 1½ tsp if you like it more spicy)

Coriander seeds 1 tsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Desiccated coconut 1 tbsp (2 tbsp when fresh coconut used)

Curry leaves  3 sprigs

Tamarind 2 scales (or 1 tsp lemon juice)



  • Wash the cauliflower florets in running water and blanch them in a bowl of  hot water containing turmeric powder and a little salt. Cover the bowl and leave the florets for 5 minutes. Drain the florets in a colander and take the florets in a bowl along with peas and microwave for 5 minutes to cook the vegetables. Alternately cook the florets and peas in pressure cooker for one whistle.


  • While the veggies are cooking, dry roast the spice mix ingredients in a pan on low flame till the color changes and the aroma starts rifting. Cool them and blend them to get a fine powder.


  • Heat oil in a pan and temper with cumin seeds. Add the vegetables to the pan and stir gently. Add alt and the spice mix and saute to get the florets coated with the spice uniformly.
  • Serve hot with rotis or rice.

Chef’s note

Onions are optional and in case you love the onion in your fry saute the finely cut onions in the tempered oil till translucent, before adding the florets and peas.

If you prefer lemon juice to tamarind, add the juice after removing the pan from the flame.


























Paruppu podi (Spiced lentil powder)


Paruppu podi, a  roasted and spiced lentil powder is a common accompaniment with hot rice laced with ghee in many South Indian households even today. A handy powder has its variations with different states. The Andhrites love it with garlic whereas the Karnataka folks use desiccated coconut in the powder. A typical Tamilian household uses arahar dal, red chillies, and peppercorns in the powder. I make mine with roasted Bengal gram and cumin added to the basic ingredients.  Often dry roasted curry leaves are also added in th spice.


Arahar dal 1 cup

Roasted gram  (Pottu kadalai)  ½ cup

Dried Red Chilli  6

Pepper corn ½ tsp

Cumin seeds ½ tsp

Asafotida 1 pinch

Salt 1 tsp


  • On a low flame, in a heavy-bottomed wok dry roast the chilies. As it starts giving the aroma add the pepper corns and cumin seeds and keep roasting by stirring with a wooden spatula till cumin releases aroma. Transfer to a platter.
  • In the same wok dry roast arahar dal and as  the color changes to golden brown add asafotida and roast for for 30 seconds.  Transfer to the platter containing the other ingredients.
  • After switching off the flame, dry heat the salt in the remaining heat of the wok and add to the platter.
  • .Transfer the ingredients to a blender and blitz till you get a coarse powder. Add the pottu kadali to the mix in t he blender and blitz to a fine powder.
  • Transfer and store the powder in an airtight container.
  • Has shelf-life for at least a month.

Chef’s note:

You can add a different taste by taking equal amounts of moong dal and arahar dal instead of plain arahar dal.