Melkottai Puliyodarai


The simple mention of puliyodarai is enough start salivating and the Iyengar puliyodarai sends one spinning to the world of koil  prasadam. Melkotai in Karnataka is very famous for puliyodarai and the pulikachal (concentrate ) has a very long shelf life and stays good and aromatic for many weeks.Every street in that place sells the rice and pulikachal in pushcarts all over the place and is a sight to be seen. The mix is like a thick paste soaked in oil and the secret is I guess in the dry ingredients that go into the mix. The instant mix I have posted is based on this principle and the rice is certainly worth the expectation.


Puliyodarai mix  3 tbsp

Cooking oil 2 to 3 tbsp

Raw rice 1 cup

Asafotida ½ tsp

Salt  ¼ tsp

Skinned peanuts 2 tbsp

Curry leaves from 3 sprigs


  • Wash the rice with enough water and after draining water add two cups of water, a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of oil. Cook the rice for three whistles. After the rice cools down fluff it up with a fork to get grainy texture. Transfer the rice to a platter.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds to the hot oil. AS it starts spluttering, add the peanuts and let it remain on low flame for a couple of minutes . Add asafotida and curry leaves and a minute later add the powder mix and switch off the flame.

  • Mix well to get a thick paste and  transfer  the paste to the rice in the platter. Mix gently making sure that rice does not break the rice grains.


Serve with appalam or vadam.

Chef’s note

  • In case you have added the tempering to the mix already,  add the mix in hot oil and mix with rice.

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.




Raw Mango Rasam

mango rasam


Mango and rasam?!

Anything can happen in the land of mangoes! Raw mango is a good sour base and can replace  tamarind in rasam. If anything, I realized that mango rasam is not so uncommon a rasam; I was quite surprised to note that this rasam is quite popular in Andhra and is known as mamidikaya charu. Mango has been taken to new heights by using ripe fruits of mango in rasam by mango fans.

A little bit of research showed that rasam powder is often used in this dish but I decided to add the aroma of fresh spices and enhance the flavor with a dash of ginger and slit green chilly. Needless to say this was a great success.



Raw mango 1 medium-sized

Tomato    1 medium-sized (optional)

Green chilly 1

Ginger 1” piece (grated)

Curry leaves from 3 sprigs

Salt 1 tsp

Turmeric powder ¼ tsp

Arahar dal 2 tbsp

Water 4 cups

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Ghee 1 tbsp

Asafotida  ¼ tsp

Jaggery powder ½ tsp

For Spice powder

Dry  red chilies   4

Peppercorn  ½ tsp

Cumin seeds  ½ tsp

Coriander seeds  1½ tsp

Fenugreek seeds   ¼ tsp




  • Add turmeric powder to washed arahar dal and pressure cook till soft. Mash the cooked dal and keep it ready.
  • When the dal is getting cooked prepare the spice powder by roasting the spices listed in a few drops of ghee (in the order given) on a low flame just to the point when the aroma is released. Ensure that the color does not change. Powder finely when the spices are cooled.
  • Blanch the tomato and dice the peeled mango. Transfer the mango pieces, tomato and curry leaves to a blender and blitz it fine.
  • Transfer the blended pulp to a thick-bottomed pan, add salt, grated ginger, and slit chilly and add a cup of water and cook on a medium flame. When the mix starts boiling add the mashed dal and make up the volume to 1 liter with the remaining water.
  •  When the rasam starts foaming add asafotida and jaggery powder and remove from flame.
  • Heat the ghee in the tempering ladle and let the mustard seeds splutter and transfer to rasam.


manga rasam


If you prefer to use rasam powder in place of freshly done powder, let it boil for 5 minutes in a cup of water before adding the pulp. Where you like to enjoy the exclusive flavor of mango skip tomato.

As the pulp gives a thick consistency, if you like a thinner consistency use just a tablespoon of arahar dal.

No coriander leaves required in this rasam.

Bread-Semolina Idly

Bread-rava idli

Idly is certainty not the hot  “favorite” with my family members and they keep reminding me of the ‘abusive’ Mondays where Idly used to be the lunchbox package! One reason why I had never posted idly as one of the dishes in my blog although I love idli anytime and believe that it is one of the healthiest dishes ever  besides being the comfort food during times of health indisposition.
I am also now overcoming my reluctance to post just because “phamily” believes they are anti-idly!! G prefers ravaidli to taditonal idli and often I make the same (Will Post a recipe later). While getting the ingredients ready for rava idli I realised I had a box of breadcrumbs stored in the refrigerator, leftover from the  bread uppuma I made last week and decided to try it in idli …. and it was worth the effort!

Ingredients  (12 idlis)


Semolina (chiroti rava)  1 cup

Bread crumbs 1 cup

Yogurt ¾ or 1 cup (as per taste)

Salt ½ tsp or less as bread is salted

Cooking oil 1 tsp

Mustard 1 tsp

Chana dal 1 tbsp

Green chilli 2 (medium) finely diced

Curry leaves 3 sprigs

Asafotida 1 pinch

Eno salt 1 tsp

Water 1 cup


  • Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds to the hot oil. As soon as mustard seeds sputter add chana dal and chilie and saute on low flame. As the color changes add semolina and roast for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Transfer the mix to a bowl and add  the finely blitzed breadcrumbs to the mix in the bowl.
  • Add the finely diced curry leaves, salt and asafotida to the yogurt and whip well and transfer the mix to the bowl.
  • Whisk the batter well to get a thick consistency and let it rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile grease the idli plates and keep them ready.
  • Add eno salt to the batter after 30 minutes and as soon as it froths, transfer the batter to idli plate and steam for 10 minutes to get spongy idlis.
  • Serve with chutney or sambhar as per choice

Chef’s note

A ladle of normal idli batter added to the mix gives bulk to idlis.

Cabbage Moarkootu



Ad  in her earlier days was not particular about kootu and though she loves veggies preferred stir fried veggies or spicy gravy type to kootu.  This time when she was home she loved cabbage moarkootu. Keerai moarkootu and moarkuzambu are her favorites but she hadn’t earlier cared much  for cabbage kootu. This recipe is on her request 🙂

Ingredients (4 servings)

Finely chopped cabbage 3 cups (one medium-sized cabbage)

Yogurt ½ cup

Moong dal  3 tbsp

Salt 1 tsp

Turmeric powder ¼  tsp

Green chillies 4

Coconut (grated) 3 tbsp

Cumin seeds  1tsp

Urad dal 1 tsp

Raw rice ½ tsp

Curry leaves from 3 sprigs

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Oil 1 tsp


  • Wash the diced cabbage well in running water and pressure cook with ½ cup water for one whistle.
  • Add enough water to moong dal in a bowl, add turmeric powder and cook for three whistles
  • While the dal is getting cooked heat oil in a small kadai and add mustard to temper. Add the tempered mustard to the cooked cabbage in a wok .
  • In the residual oil saute the chilies till the color changes. Transfer the chillies to the blender and in the same pan roast the urad dal and rice on a low flame till color changes and you get aroma.,Transfer , the roasted dal/rice to the blender cup and add coconut scrapings, cumin seeds, and curry leaves. Grind the mix to a fine paste adding little water.
  • Place the tempered cabbage on low flame, add salt and the ground paste.  When the mix starts bubbling add the cooked and mashed dal to the mix. As the kootu starts boiling blitz the curd and add to the kootu. Mix well and switch off the flame.
  • If kootu is a side dish to rotis add less water; if meant to go  with rice add a little  more water to make it less thick

Chef’s Note: Chow chow or even a mix of potato/peas/carrot make a good base for moarkootu. Unlike keerai where we use curd generously, other veggies taste good with minimal yogurt.

Coconut Chutney


Coconut  ½ cup

Roasted gram  small fistful (about  2 tbsp)

Green chillies 2

Shallots  2 or ¼ onion (small)

Curry leaves 3 sprigs

Curds 1 tbsp (optional)

Salt  ½ tsp

Oil 1 tsp

Mustard seed  1 tsp

Urad dal 1 tsp

Asafotida 1 small pinch


Transfer coconut, chillies, curry leaves, shallots, roasted gram, and salt to a blender; add little water and grind the mixture to a smooth paste.   Transfer the chutney to a bowl, add curds to it and temper it with mustard, urad dal and asafotida added to hot oil.

Makes a excellent side dish with pongal, dosai and idlis.

Milagu Kuzhambu (6 Servings)


Tamarind (fibreless)   1 lemon-sized ball

Pepper corns 1½ tsp

Dry red chilles 8 to 10

Coriander seeds 1 tsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Asafotida ½ tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Arahar dal 1 tsp

Urad dal 1 tsp

Curry leaves 1/3 cup

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Oil 2 tbsp

Jaggery small piece (optional)


Soak the tamarind in warm water for about half-an-hour.

Heat about a teaspoon of oil and roast all the ingredients (chillies, pepper, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dals – in that order) till you start getting the aroma.

Add the roasted ingredients in the blender along with the soaked tamarind and grind to a smooth paste. Add the salt, asafotida, and curry leaves and grind well. transfer the mix to a pan and add water to make a thick fluid.

Heat oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds. When it starts spluttering pour the mix in  the mix and let it thicken on low heat till the mix starts boiling.  Add the jaggery when the mix is boiling. Serve hot.

Kept in the refrigerator, this can stay good for 10 days.

Chef’s note

If you do not want a thick kuzhambu, extract the  pulp from the tamarind instead of grinding it with the masala.