Kuruvepilai Podi

Spring season is the right time to prune the curry leaves plant and I pruned my curry leaf plant so it can grow bushy during the summer months. Due to the pruning, I was able to harvest fresh curry leaves. With the harvested curry leaves I tried the karuvepilai podi recipe which turned out amazing.

Ingredients

Curry leaves – ½ cup

Urad Dal – ½ cup

Cumin seeds – 1 tablespoon

Whole black pepper – 1 tablespoon

Salt – To taste

Procedure

STEP 1: Wash the curry leaves and let it dry on a towel for 6 – 8 hours.

STEP 2: Heat a pan and dry roast the urad dal until it is golden brown.

STEP 3: Dry roast the curry leaves until they turn crispy (Should not be burnt. Make sure the green colour is retained)

STEP 4: Dry roast the pepper until the pepper starts spluttering.

STEP 5: Dry roast the cumin seeds until it turns golden brown and fragrant. Add the salt to the roasted cumin and cook for a minute

STEP 6: Once the roasted ingredients are at room temperature, add the ingredients to a blender and make a slightly coarse powder.

Recipe idea:

  • Add a teaspoon of karuvepilai powder and a teaspoon of ghee or gingelly oil to 1/4 cup of cooked rice, mix well, and serve.
  • Cook 1 cup rice with salt. Add a teaspoon of oil to the cooked rice, mix well and let it cool down. Heat 2 tablespoons of Gingelly oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, urad dal and peanuts. Wait till the peanuts turn golden brown and turn off the heat. Add the rice and 7 – 8 teaspoons (or to taste) of the karuvepilai podi and mix well. Karuvepilai rice ready to serve.

Puli Sadam mix – Puliodharai mix – with roasted masala powder

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PREP TIME: 5 Mins

COOKING TIME: 15 Mins

Ingredients – roast & grind

Dry red chilli – 12 to 15

Toor dal – 1 teaspoon

Urad Dal – 1 teaspoon

Split Bengal gram (kadalai paruppu) – 1 teaspoon

Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon

Fenugreek Seeds – ¼ teaspoon

Ingredients

Tamarind extract – 1 cup

Mustard – ½ teaspoon

Urad Dal – 1/2 teaspoon

Curry Leaves – 1 sprig

Dry red chilli – 2

Turmeric powder – 1 pinch

Asafoetida – ¼ teaspoon

Salt – to taste

Sesame Oil – 3 teaspoons

Roasted cashew nuts/peanuts – 1 teaspoon for garnish (optional)

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Procedure

STEP 1: Heat a pan and dry roast the ingredients given under “ingredients – to roast & grind” and make a fine masala powder.

STEP 2:  Soak tamarind (tennis ball size) in 200 ml of water and prepare the tamarind extract.

STEP 3: Heat oil in a pan, add mustard and wait to splutter.  Add urad dal, asafoetida, turmeric powder, curry leaves and dry red chillies.

STEP 4:  Add the tamarind extract and salt.

STEP 5:  Cook on low heat till the oil separates from the mixture (take about 10 minutes).

STEP 6: Add the prepared masala powder, mix well and cook for a minute.

Step 7: Cook the rice and let it cool down. Add the puliodharai mix to the rice and mix well.

TIP: Add a teaspoon of Sesame oil when mixing the puliodharai mix with the rice to make it more flavourful.
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Tomato-Basil Sauce – Simple – Delicious – Pasta sauce

Tomato-basil sauce is a delicious sauce made with fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic. This base sauce can be used in making pasta.

Final 4
PREP TIME: 10 Mins

COOKING TIME: 10 Mins

Ingredients

Tomato – 2 large

White Onion or red onion – 1 cup finely chopped

Garlic – 5 cloves peeled & minced

Basil – 2 teaspoons

Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon

Salt – to taste

Butter – 2 teaspoons

Procedure

STEP 1: Take water in a microwave safe bowl. Wash and add tomatoes.

STEP 2: Boil for 5 – 7 minutes. Remove from water and peel the tomatoes. Make a puree out of the tomatoes.

STEP 3: Heat butter in a pan. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

STEP 4: Once the garlic turns slightly brown in color add the chopped onion and cook until soft

STEP 5: Add the pureed tomatoes on low heat for 5 minutes.

STEP 6: Add crushed black pepper/pepper powder, crushed dry basil leaves and salt.

STEP 7: Cook on low heat for 3 minutes and off the heat.

 

 

 

Final 1

TIP: You can also add peeled chopped tomatoes along with the tomato puree for a chunky sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Idli Podi – Dry spice powder – side dish for idli/dosa

Idli podi is dry spice powder that can be served as a side dish for idli, dosa or upma. It is blend of 3 different dried legumes, dry red chilli, asafoetida and curry leaves. It is easy to make and can be stored for a couple of months (if stored in an airtight container). It’s always good to have idli podi at home as it comes in handy when you are in a hurry and there is no time to prepare any side dish for idli, dosa or upma.

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PREP TIME: 2 Mins

COOKING TIME: 10 Mins

Ingredients

Toor Dal – ½ cup

Urad Dal – ½ cup

Channa Dal – ½ cup

Dry red chilli – 25

Asafoetida – ½ teaspoon

Curry Leaves – ½ cup

Oil – ¼ teaspoon

Salt – to taste

Procedure

STEP 1: Measure the toor dal, urad dal and channa dal. Dry roast all the 3 dals until golden brown.

STEP 2: Heat oil in a pan, add asafoetida and the dry red chillies and cook for 2 minutes on low heat. Transfer the contents to a bowl when the color of the chilli is still red.

STEP 3: In the same pan, add the washed curry leaves and roast till the leaves turn brittle

STEP 4: Add the roasted dal, red chilli, asafoetida, roasted curry leaves and the required salt to a blender jar and make a coarse powder. (You can also make a fine powder if you wish)

STEP 5: Store the idli podi in a dry, air tight container to retain the freshness and aroma.

TIP: Idli podi mixed with sesame oil tastes delicious. Idli podi mixed with sesame oil or olive oil can be served as a side dish for idli and dosa. It can be served as a dry podi (without oil) for upma, wheat dosa and adai.
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Nellikai Thayir Pachadi – Gooseberry thayir pachadi – Tangy yogurt recipe

Nellikai thayir pachadi/gooseberry raitha is a condiment that can be served with rice or roti. Below is a thayir pachadi recipe using gooseberry/nellikai. Gooseberries are rich in vitamin C and are also believed to have anti – aging properties (not sure how for this fact is true but still it is good for health).

Nellikai Thayir Pachadi 8

PREP TIME: 2 Mins

COOKING TIME: 2 Mins

Ingredients

Nellikai/Gooseberry – 2 finely chopped

Green Chilli – 2

Ginger – ½ inch piece

Grated Coconut – 2 teaspoons

Cumin Seeds – ½ teaspoon

Yogurt – 1 cup thick yogurt

Curry leaves – 1 sprig chopped

Mustard seeds – ¼ teaspoon

Oil – ¼ teaspoon

Salt – as per taste

Procedure

STEP 1: Chop the nellikai, ginger and green chillies.

STEP 2: Heat little oil in a pan and add the chopped nellikai, ginger and green chillies. Toss them in the oil for a minute and transfer to a blender jar.

STEP 3: Add grated coconut, cumin seeds and salt. Add 1 teaspoon of water and grind to a fine paste.

STEP 4: Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Wait to splutter and pour over the nellikai mixture.

STEP 5: Transfer to a serving dish, add yogurt and mix well.

TIP: Raitha tastes good with any stuffed paratha, yogurt rice or even biryani. Instead of adding plain curd to white rice, you can mix the raitha with cooked rice and make the yogurt rice tasty.

Nellikai thayir Pachadi 2 Nellikai Thayir Pachadi 3 Nellikai thayir pachadi 4 Nellikai Thayir Pachadi 5 Nellikai Thayir pachadi 6 Nellikai Thayir Pachadi 7 Nellikai thayir pachadi 9

Raitha – Onion, tomato, cucumber & mango

Raitha or thayir (yogurt) pachadi in Tamil is a condiment that can be served with rice or roti. It’s a mixture of vegetables and yogurt seasoned with herbs and salt. Below is a simple raitha recipe with just 4 vegetables, cilantro, salt and of course the main ingredient YOGURT.

Raitha

PREP TIME: 5 Mins

COOKING TIME: 0

Ingredients

Onion – 1 finely chopped

Tomato – 1 finely chopped

Cucumber – 1 small finely chopped into cubes

Raw mango – ½ finely chopped into cubes

Yogurt – 1 cup thick yogurt

Cilantro – 10 sprigs finely chopped

Salt – as per taste

Procedure

STEP 1: Chop all the vegetables and cilantro.

STEP 2: Add all the chopped vegetables to a bowl and add salt. Mix well.

STEP 3: Add the yogurt, half of the chopped cilantro and mix well.

STEP 4: Garnish with the remaining chopped cilantro and serve.

TIP: Raitha tastes good with roti, pulao rice or biryani. Instead of adding plain curd to white rice, you can mix the raitha with cooked rice and have it with pickle.

Raitha 1Raitha 2

Raitha 3

Vallarai Thuvaiyal

Vallarai Thogaiyal Final

PREP TIME: 5 Mins

COOKING TIME: 5 Mins

Ingredients

Vallarai Keerai – 1 cup

Onion – 1

Curry Leaves – 1/2 cup

Tamarind – ½ inch piece/ball

Salt – to taste

Dry red Chilli – 10

Coconut – ½ cup grated

Urad dal – 1 tea spoon

Oil – 2 tea spoons

Procedure

STEP 1: Clean and wash the Vallarai leaves.

STEP 2: Heat oil in a pan add urad dal and fry till it turns golden brown.

 STEP 3: Add red chilli, curry leaves and onion. Cook for 5 minutes.

STEP 4: Add salt, tamarind and the Vallarai leaves. Cook for a minute and turn off the heat.

STEP 5: Let the mixture cool down. Add grated coconut and grind the mixture to a fine paste.

STEP 6: Transfer to serving bowl.

TIP: Vallarai Thuvaiyal can be served with upma, idli or dosa. After transferring to serving dish you can temper the thuvaiyal with mustard, urad dal and curry leaves.
Vallarai Leaves Vallarai Thogaiyal Ingredients Vallarai Thogaiyal Final

Garlic chutney

PREP TIME: 10 Mins

COOKING TIME: 20 Mins

Garlic Chutney

Ingredients

Tomato – 1

Onion – 1

Garlic – 20 pods

Curry Leaves – 1 cup

Tamarind – ½ inch piece/ball

Salt – to taste

Dry red Chilli – 12

Mustard – 1 tea spoon

Urad dal – 1 tea spoon

Oil – 2 tea spoons

Procedure

STEP 1: Peel the garlic. Chop tomatoes and onion.

STEP 2: Heat oil in a pan add urad dal and fry till it turns golden brown.

 STEP 3: Add the garlic and cook till the garlic turns golden brown

STEP 4: Add red chilli, curry leaves and onion. Cook for 5 minutes.

STEP 5: Add the tomatoes, salt, tamarind and cook till the mixture turns mushy.

STEP 6: Let it cool down and grind the mixture to a fine paste.

STEP 7: Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, urad dal and the garlic-onion-tomato paste. Cook till the chutney becomes thick and reduces to half the quantity.

Garlic Chutney ingredientsGarlic chutney making 1Garlic chutney making 2

TIP: Garlic chutney can be served with upma, idli or dosa.

Salsa (Sauce)

PREP TIME: 10 Mins

COOKING TIME: NONE

Ingredients 

Tomato – 2

White Onion – 1

Jalapeno pepper – 2

Coriander – 6 sprigs

Cayenne pepper – ½ tea spoon

Lemon – 1 Wedge

Salt – to taste

Salsa Ingredients

Procedure

STEP 1: Finely chop the onion, tomato, jalapeno pepper (remove the seeds) and coriander.

STEP 2: In a bowl add all the chopped ingredients, add salt, cayenne pepper and squeeze the lemon juice.

STEP 3: Mix well and refrigerate the salsa.

Salsa

TIP: Preparing and refrigerating the salsa for 4 – 6 hours enhances the taste and flavor.

Salsa can be served with chips or toasted garlic bread.

Tomato Thokku

PREP TIME: 5 Mins

COOKING TIME: 30 Mins

Ingredients

Tomato – 6

Garlic – 8 pods finely chopped

Curry Leaves – 1 sprig

Salt – to taste

Chilli powder – 2 tea spoons

Mustard – 1 tea spoon

Urad dal – 1 tea spoon

Oil – 2 tea spoons

Procedure

STEP 1: Chop the tomatoes and blend it to a fine paste. You can use chopped tin tomatoes and blend them.

STEP 2: Heat oil in a pan and add mustard. Once the mustard splutters add urad dal and fry till it turns golden brown.

 STEP 3: Add the curry leaves and garlic and cook for 1 minute.

STEP 4: Turn the heat completely down and pour the tomato paste in the oil.

STEP 5: Add required salt and chilli powder and mix well.

STEP 6: Cook the mixture in slow flame for 30 minutes or until the tomato mixture condenses to half the quantity. (It can be cooked in high flame to reduce the cooking time but the mixture will start splashing all over the place)

Tomato Thokku

TIP: This thokku can be served with chapathi, dosa or idli.