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.

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.


























Jeeraga Rasam






Another rasam your way!

This time it is one of those rasams that was considered a therapy following system cleansing.  In the earlier days, it used to be a custom or I can say even a ritual to give castor oil in the morning to every member of the househlod!! naturally it acted an absolute cleanser short of getting the gut out I guess! This was basically a method to detox the system and tune it for sumptuous meals that were to follow in the coming days. Following such cleansing the system was served with not so heavy a meal for tuning. Jeeraga rasam or milagu (pepper) rasam along with sutta appalam (roasted papad) was considered the best remedy. No cooked dal was used and the rasam used to be devoid of tomato or asafotida too.

My version with a twist and as liked in our house is posted here. I avoid garnishing with coriander leaves to maintain the peppery-cumin flavor.



Tamarind    1 lemon-sized ball/ 1 tbsp pulp

Tomato 1 medium-sized

Salt 1 tsp or as per taste

Chana dal 1 tbsp (optional)

Toor dal 2 tbsp

Jeera 1 tsp

Peppercorns 1/2 tsp

Red chillies 4

Curry leaves  3 sprigs

Ghee 1 tsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Asafotida 1/4 tsp


  • Soak the dals and jeera for 30 minutes. Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract the pulp in heavy bottomed vessel.
  • Roast the chilies and peppercorns in a few drops of ghee till it gives aroma.
  • Grind the soaked dal, jeera, roasted chilies, and peppercorns along with the curry leaves to a paste. Mix the paste in tamarind extract till blended well. Add salt  the tomato puree and cook till a fine aroma is given out and the dal gets cooked. Make up the final volume to about four glasses.
  • Temper the mustard seed in ghee and add asafotida to the rasam.
  • Serve hot.