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.

Kothamalli (Coriander) thogaiyal

IMG_2308 - Copy


Been a very long time since I added any recipe in my blog …. reasons followed by excuses and then finally came a point when I thought I need to be a little more active! I wondered where I should begin and the simplest and evergreen coriander came to my mind. Either a chutney (that goes as a sauce for many evening dishes such as fritters) or thogaiyal (to go with rice or chappati)  seemed  a good choice and it was refreshing to see the green color retained in the dish to give it its fresh look 🙂


Cleaned  and thoroughly rinsed leaves of coriander  3 cups

Dried red chilies  4 or 5 (depends on how spicy  you like it)

Peppercorns   ½ tsp

Tamarind scales  1 ball (Size of a gooseberry) soak in just enough hot water

Chana dal   2 tbsp

Urad dal 2 tbsp

Salt 1 tsp

Jaggery ¼ tsp

Oil  1 tbsp

Mustard seeds 1 tspIMG_2309 - Copy


  • Heat oil in a pan and temper the mustard seeds . As they splutter transfer to a bowl and keep the pan over low lame,
  • Add the dals and stir for a minute. As the dals gets crisp add the peppercorns and chilies and roast till the chili becomes smooth and wrinkles are gone. Transfer to the blender to cool.
  • In the same pan saute the coriander leaves (if needed in batches) till it gives out moisture and shrinks. Make sure you do this on low flame and just enough to reduce the bulk.
  • Add the tamarind, jaggery piece,  and salt to the spices in the blender and blend to get a coarse texture. Add the coriander leaves and blend the mixture to get a nice paste.
  • Add a little water if need be to get a smooth texture. Transfer the thogaiyal containing the tempered seeds and mix well.

Enjoy with rice or chappatis

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This thogaiyal stays good in the refrigerator for at least a week. Howvwer, if you want to preserve it like a thokku, add a little oil to the on and saute the thogaiyal for 5 minutes on low flame  so that all the moisture is gone. It is likely to lose the fresh green color and turn darker in the process

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.





aapam Aapam aka ‘lace hopper’ is a Kerala specialty and has place anytime with ishtu or korma as side dish. Ad and G are not particularly fond of aapam but Ar and As love it. Sr does not mind it occasionally. Aappam made with yeast has a very characteristic flavor and one has to develop a taste for it. Aapam made without yeast is equally good and thanks to Nags from Edible garden    I found the term used to make the gruel added to the batter for fermentation. In Malayalam the process is called ‘kappi kaachunathu’. In a place like Chennai where it is warm and humid through the year one can do away with yeast and also soda that is generally used in the batter for fermentation. Spongy aappams have the knack of disappearing asap they are made 🙂


Raw rice 2 cups

Parboiled rice 1 cup

Urad dal 3 tbsp (1 tbsp for one glass of rice)

Fenugreek seeds ½ tsp

Grated coconut  1 cup

Sugar   1 tsp +  2 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Baking soda  ½ tsp or ½ eno salt (optional)

Cooked rice   ½ cup

Coconut water 1 cup (optional) or water

Coconut oil  2 tsp (to smear the pan)


  •  Soak the rice,  dal and fenugreek seeds  for 3  to 4 hours.
  • Drain the water and transfer the rice to a blender and  grind to a coarse paste adding coconut water/water intermittently.  Add the cooked rice and coconut to the batter and blend to get a smooth batter.
  • Transfer the batter to a bowl and add remaining coconut water to get a batter of pouring consistency.
  • Now to make kappi: Transfer 4 spoons of batter and one spoon of sugar to a small pan and add equal amount of water to make batter of watery consistency.  Cook this mix on a low flame to get a gruel of  translucent color and gooey consistency 🙂 Cool this kappi to room temperature and add it to the batter.
  • Add salt to batter and mix well and let it ferment for about 6 hours or overnight till the batter rises.
  • Add  2 spoons of sugar and soda (optional) to the risen batter, mix well, and let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
  • Smear the aapam pan with a little oil and when the pan is hot enough pour a ladle of batter and twirl the pan such that the batter coats the sides of the pan as a thin layer. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low flame for 2 or 3 minutes. When the aapam is cooked it leaves the sides of the pan and the center looks fluffy and lacy with bubbles on the surface.
  • Remove the aapam from the pan with a spatula and serve hot with korma or stew.

Chef’s note:  DO not flip the aapam to reverse side and cook only on one side. In case you want to use only raw rice add another cup of raw rice in place of parboiled rice.

                     Addition of coconut milk or more sugar makes the aapam too sweet. Decide based on how sweet you like                            your aapam



Parboiled rice  3 cups

Raw  rice  1 cup

Urad dal  1 cup

Methi seeds  1 tsp

Salt  1 tsp (heaped)

Sesame oil  ¼ cup


  • Soak rice in a bowl in sufficient water overnight after washing it thoroughly in running water. (In case of raw rice alone it is enough to soak for 2 hours)
  • Wash urad dal also in sufficient water and add fenugreek seed and soak for at least 2 hours.
  • Transfer one half of rice to blender and grind it well till it is a soft paste. Transfer the batter to a bowl and grind the remaining rice to a similar consistency. Transfer the batter the bowl
  • Blend urad dal in the mixie to get a soft, foamy consistency of batter. To avoid the batter from getting warm run the blender in short bursts and add very small amounts of water while grinding. Transfer the batter to the bowl, add salt and mix well.
  • Keep aside to ferment  for at least 4 to 5 hours.
  • With a ladle mix the fermented batter well and if the batter is very thick add water to get a slightly thin consistency. The batter should be thick to coat the back of a ladle without running down.
  • Heat the griddle on a medium/high flame.When hot enough grease the surface with a greased paper towel and pour a ladle of batter and spread into a thin 6″ pancake and add a few drops of oil to the outer edge
  • When the bottom side is cooked flip the dosa and cook the other side too.
  • Help yourself with milagai podi, chutney or Sambhar

Chef’s Note: In cold weather keep the batter in a warm corner or inside the oven for quick fermentation.

Keeping the soaked urad dal in refrigerator before grinding will help in avoiding the batter from warming up while grinding. Similarly adding chilled water while grinding avoids heating up of batter

Sutta Kathirikkai (Aubergine) Thogaiyal (4 servings)




Big  brinjal  1

Urad dal 2 tbsp

Dried Red chillies  3 or 4

Asafotida ¼ tsp

Tamarind  1 ball (size of a marble)

Salt 1 tsp

Mustard seeds 1tsp

Oil  1 tbsp


Soak the tamarind scale in warm water for about 10 minutes.

Smear the surface of the washed and dried brinjal with a few drops of oil and grill it on a hot flame.  Pierce a skewer through the brinjal for easy handling. Keep rotating the brinjal over the flame till all sides are uniformly done and the skin looks charred and cracks up. Takes about 5 to 7 minutes for smoking.  Remove the skin and wash off the sticking pieces.  Mash up coarsely afte removing the stalk and let it cool to room temperature.

While the brinjal is cooling heat ½ spoon of oil in frying pan and roast the chillies on a low flame till the aroma starts coming. Add t he urad dal and roast further till the dal turns golden brown. Add asafotida to the roasted dal.

Add all the ingredients into the blender and grind to a smooth paste that is slightly coarse in texture.

Goes well with Chapathis/rice.

Chef’s Note

If you like coconut, you can add 2 tbsp of grated coconut to the mix while grinding.

Curry Powder for Green Veggies


Red chillies 12 to 15

Coriander seeds 3 tbsp

Chana dal 2 tbsp

Urad dal 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Fenugreek seeds ½ tsp

Tamarind 3 scales


Add a drop of oil to a hot pan and roast the chillies on a low flame till the chilli aroma is smelt. Add the tamarind and roast for another minute or two. Set aside for it to cool.

Add coriander seeds to the hot pan and after a minute add fenugreek and cumin seeds. Remove from fire as the smell of the spices starts coming out. Roast the dals on low flame till the color changes slightly and you get the aroma.


This spice powder full of fresh aroma is excellent for curries such as okra, brinjal, beans, cluster beans, cauliflower and so on.

Chef’s Note

In case you want to add coconut to the powder you can add  2 tsp of dry coc0nut powder while blending the mixture. Otherwise roast 2 tbsp of freshly grated coconut till it turns brown and loses moisture and add to the mixture while blending. Remember to store the powder in refrigeration if coconut added.