November 1, 2009

Kathrikai Gotsu / kotsu

Posted in Gravy, Indian Lunch, sides at 10:32 am by kalpana



  1. Indian eggplants – 8 to 10
  2. Gingelly oil – 4 tablespoons
  3. Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  4. Urad dal – 1  teaspoon
  5. Chana dal – 1 teaspoon
  6. Curry leaves – few
  7. red chillies – 5
  8. Green chilli – 1
  9. Finely chopped Onion – 1 cup
  10. Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
  11. Tamarind pulp – 1/2 cup
  12. Powdered Jaggery – 2 pinches.
  13. Salt to taste.


  • Brush the eggplants with oil.
  • preheat the conventional oven to 425 deg  F .Place the eggplants in a baking sheet pan and roast the eggplants for about 30 to 35 minutes.You can cook the eggplants directly on the stove top too.Either way is fine.
  • Take the roasted eggplants out of oven and allow it to cool.
  • Peel the skin ,mash it well and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add the mustard seeds,urad dhal ,chana dal,curry leaves ,cilantro and fry for for few seconds.
  • Add the chopped garlic,ginger,red chillies ,green chillies ,onion and saute themfor 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the mashed eggplants,salt,turmeric powder,tamarind paste and mix well.
  • Cook it for about 7  to 8 minutes till everything blends together.
  • Add little grated jaggery at the end to balance out all the different  flavors.Mix well and take it out of heat.
  • Serve with rice.

September 24, 2009

Arachuvitta Sambhar

Posted in Dinner, Gravy, Indian Lunch at 3:20 pm by kalpana


This sambhar tastes just like hotel sambhar.


  1. Chopped veggies (carrots, eggplant,beans)- 4 cups
  2. onion medium -1
  3. Toor Dal – 3/4 cup
  4. Tomatoes – 2
  5. Tamarind pulp – 1/2 cup
  6. Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
  7. Mustard seeds – 1
  8. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  9. Ghee – 3 tablespoons

To Toast and grind

  1. Freshly grated coconut – 3 tablespoons
  2. Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
  3. Chana dal – 2 teaspoons
  4. Cumin seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  5. Dry Red chillies – 3 (can be adjusted to suit your taste)


  • Soak the toor dal in water for 4-5 hours.
  • Pressure cook the veggies,finely chopped tomatoes,toor dal,turmeric powder,tamarind pulp,salt with little water.
  • You can also cook the dal and veggies seperately, if you want to.This way, you need not worry about overcooking the veggies.In this case ,no need to soak the dal in water.
  • Heat a pan.slowly toast the coconut till it turns to a nice caramel brown color and keep it aside.This is a very important step for a delicious sambhar.
  • In the same pan ,toast chana dal,cumin seeds,red chillies till you get a nice aroma.
  • On a low heat,toast the coriander powder as it may burn easily.If you using whole coriander seeds,you can toast it along with the other ingredients.
  • Add a little water to the toasted ingredients and grind it to a fine paste.
  • Now ,add the paste to the cooked toordal-veggie mixture and bring it to a boil.Add water if it is too thick.
  • For tempering,heat ghee in a pan,add the mustard seeds,curry leaves,finely chopped onion and saute them for few mins.
  • Add it to the sambhar,mix well and garnish with cilantro.

July 9, 2009

Vatha Kuzhambu

Posted in Dinner, Gravy, Indian Lunch at 12:19 pm by kalpana



  • Gingelly oil – 3 tablespoons
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2  teaspoon
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Urad dal – 3/4 teaspoon
  • Toor Dal – 1 teaspoon
  • Red chillies – 3
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Sundakkai vathal ( dried turkey berry) – 1 tablespoon
  • Urad dal appalam (pappadam) -1 or 2
  • Chilli powder – 2 teaspoons ( I use good old sambhar powder)
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Tamarind pulp -Less than 1/4 cup ( Adjust  to suit your taste)
  • Salt
  • Rice flour – 1 teaspoon
  • Coconut – 1/4 cup (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a pan.Add mustard seeds ,fenugreek seeds,toor dal,urad dal ,red chillies,curry  leaves,Asafoetida and fry for few seconds.
  2. Now tear the appalam and add it to the oil.fry for few seconds.
  3. Add the dried turkey berry and fry for a minute.It is usually fried separately and added to the kuzambu at the end.But the former works just fine for me.
  4. Dilute the tamarind pulp in 2 cups of water.
  5. Add the tamarind pulp, chilli powder,turmeric powder,salt and bring it to boil.
  6. Let it boil for 5mins.
  7. Dilute a teaspoon of rice flour in little water and add it to the kuzambu.This is just to thicken the gravy.
  8. If you want to add coconut, grind it in a mixer and add it to the gravy. ( In this case, you can skip step 7)
  9. Serve with piping hot rice and appalam.I am not even  going to bother describing the taste.It’s beyond words 🙂

April 28, 2009

Fish kuzhambhu (Fish gravy)

Posted in Gravy, Indian Lunch, Non Vegetarian at 11:58 am by kalpana

My mother, though a strict vegetarian didn’t deprive us of goodness of non vegetarian dishes.Since my dad is a  meat person, as kids we were shown  the best of both worlds.My mother makes this dish twice or even thrice a week. She used to be so scared to even see the meat but  she always made sure that we ate what we loved to eat.All the prep work would  be done by the sweet helper lady, my mom would do the cooking part and i would happily do the taste testing 🙂 .Here is my mom’s fish recipe…



  1. Tilapia  – 1 pound  ( or any fish of your choice)
  2. Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 teaspoon ( or less if you think it’s gonna be bitter)
  3. Fennel seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  4. Curry leaves – 3 sprigs
  5. Garlic – 4 cloves
  6. Roma tomatoes – 4
  7. Chilli powder – 2 teaspoons
  8. Coriander powder – 3 teaspoons
  9. Turmeric – 1/4  teaspoon
  10. Grated Coconut – 3/4 cup
  11. Oil – 4 tablespoons.
  12. Tamarind pulp – 1/4 cup


  • Heat oil in a deep pan.Add the fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, curry leaves ,sliced garlic and fry them .
  • Add the finely chopped onion and pinch of salt.Saute them for few minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute the tomatoes till the oil separates from the tomatoes.
  • Add the chilli powder, coriander powder,turmeric, salt and mix them well for a minute.
  • Grind the grated coconut to a fine paste.Add the coconut paste, tamarind pulp and bring it to a boil.
  • Check for seasoning before adding the fish.
  • Now ,add the fish  and cook till the fish is done.
  • Serve hot with rice.

April 20, 2009

Keerai kootu ( Spinach Gravy)

Posted in Gravy, Indian Lunch at 9:28 am by kalpana



  1. Spinach (Finely chopped) – 4 cups
  2. Moong Dal – 3/4 cup
  3. Tomatoes -3
  4. Green chillies – 3
  5. Onion (medium size) – 1
  6. Garlic cloves – 3
  7. Cumin seeds -1/2 teaspoon
  8. Fennel seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  9. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  10. Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
  11. Red chillies – 2
  12. Oil – 3 tablespoons.
  13. Salt to taste.
  14. Turmeric –  A pinch


  • Pressure cook the moong dal with water,salt and little turmeric.
  • In a deep wide pan, Add spinach,green chillies (slit lengthwise),finely chopped tomatoes,1/4 of  finely chopped one onion ,1/2 cup water,salt and Cook it on medium flame until the spinach and tomatoes are well cooked.
  • Add the moong dal to the spinach and cook for 5 more minutes until everything blends.
  • Tempering is the very important part.Heat oil in a pan .Add the mustard seeds.
  • When the seeds splutter,add the urad dal,cumin seeds,fennel seeds,finely chopped garlic ,red chillies and rest of the onion.
  • Cook it on a medium flame until the onion turns to light brown color.
  • Add it to the spinach  and mix well.
  • Serve it with rice.

This recipe is participating in FIC – Red and green, hosted by neha .The FIC event was started by Sunshinemom.

March 30, 2009

Stuffed eggplant gravy (ennai katrikai method 2)

Posted in Gravy, sides at 9:37 am by kalpana

Okay..i admit 🙂 .This is not a traditional recipe.I was in a mood to try something new.I just tried it out with whatever i had on hand.It turned out  to be a decent  one 🙂 .



  1. Green indian eggplant – 10-12
  2. Coconut grated – 1 cup
  3. Cashews – 1/2 cup
  4. Homemade sambhar powder – 3 teaspoons
  5. Garam masala – 1/2 teaspoon
  6. Fennel seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  7. Tomatoes -3
  8. Onion (medium size)  – 1/2
  9. Tamarind paste – 1 tablespoon
  10. Mustard seeds -1/2 teaspoon
  11. Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  12. Salt to taste
  13. oil – 1/2 cup


  • Toast the grated coconut till it  turns to a light brown colour.
  • Toast the fennel seeds and cashews until you get nice aroma.
  • Seed the tomatoes to get rid of all the moisture from tomatoes.Reserve the seeds and pulp to add it to the gravy later.(I seeded the tomatoes just so the stuffing doesnt become too runny)
  • In a mixer, add the grated coconut,cashews,fennel seeds, salt, tomatoes,sambhar powder,garam masala  and grind them to a fine not add water.
  • Slit the brinjal lengthwise .Leave the stem to hold the brinjal together.
  • Stuff the brinjal with the stuffing and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a flat pan .Add mustard seeds ,cumin seeds,finely chopped onion,tomato seeds and pulp. saute them well.
  • Place the brinjal carefully in the oil and shallow fry them.Turn them using tongs every 4 minutes.
  • Now add the left over stuffing and little water to the brinjal.Mix them carefully and cook them for another 8-10 minutes.(At this point you have to make sure that the eggplants and the stuffing inside are thoroughly cooked in oil before adding the leftover stuffing).
  • check  if the eggplant  is  well cooked.Take it out of heat and serve.

February 23, 2009

Kaara Kuzhambu

Posted in Gravy, Indian Lunch at 8:22 pm by messycooks



  • Indian eggplant -5
  • Drumstick ( 2 inch pieces) – 10
  • Roma Tomatoes – 4
  • Chilli powder – 2 teaspoons (can be adjusted  to taste)
  • Dhania powder – 3 teaspoons
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 2 springs
  • Garlic – 4 cloves
  • Onion (medium size) – 1   (or)   2 cups of pearl onion
  • Fennel seeds -1/2 teaspoon
  • Grated Coconut – 1 cup
  • Tamarind paste – 3 to 4 tablespoons (can be adjusted to taste)
  • Salt
  • oil



  1. Cut the eggplants lengthwise.
  2. Heat about 3 tablespoons of oil in a deep pan.Add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and let it pop.
  3. Add the curry leaves ,finely chopped garlic and onion and saute it for few minutes.
  4. When the onions turn golden brown add the finely chopped tomatoes and cook the tomatoes.
  5. When the tomatoes are well cooked, add chilli powder, dhania powder,turmeric powder and salt.
  6. Mix it well until everything incorporates with the tomatoes and cook for a minute.
  7. Now ,add the brinjal and drumstick.Add about 2 cups of water and mix everthing well.
  8. Check for seasoning.Close it with a lid and cook on a medium flame until the vegtables are well done.
  9. Grind the grated coconut and Fennel seeds with little water into a paste.
  10. When the vegetables are done add the coconut paste and tamarind paste and mix well.
  11. Cook for 2-3 minutes till the kuzhambhu bubbles up and take it out of heat.
  12. Garnish with curry leaves.
  13. Serve hot with rice.

Tip:  Tear the curry leaves before adding it  to oil.It helps bring out the flavor of curry leaves.

* my hubby is upgrading the site.kindly bear with anything(recipes,pictures) that is not working   🙂 .We will fix it soon.

February 12, 2009

Aapam weds Potato Kurma :)

Posted in Gravy at 2:54 pm by messycooks

When i came across this event the first combo came to my mind was aapam with potato kurma.The soft aapam tastes  awesome  with the spicy kurma.Since we use only less oil it will surely leave you guilt-free and satisfied.It is so made for each other and hence it goes to made for each other.  🙂


Ingredients for Aapam

  1. Rice  – 5 cups
  2. Uradh dhal – 1 1/4 cups
  3. salt – 1 tablespoon
  4. baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon


  • Wash rice and urad dhal.Soak in water together for 5-6 hours.
  • Grind it to fine batter using grinder.
  • Add salt, baking soda and mix well.
  • Leave it in a warm place and ferment it for about 8 hours.
  • I usually leave it in my conventional oven with lights on if the weather is too cold.It helps fermentation.
  • To make aapam, heat a pan (omelette  pan works perfect).
  • Add about a ladle full of batter in the center of pan and slowly tilt the pan in circular motion by holding the it until the batter coats the entire pan.
  • Cover with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Take it out when its done.
  • If the pan becomes very hot sprinkle with water and bring down the heat before making next aapam.


Ingredients  for potato kurma

  1. Potatoes (medium size) – 3
  2. Roasted Chana dhal – 1/4 cup
  3. Grated coconut –  1/4 cup
  4. Tomatoes – 3
  5. Green Chillies -3 slit lengthwise
  6. Garlic – 3 cloves
  7. Bay leaf – 1
  8. Cloves -4
  9. Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
  10. Red chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  11. Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  12. Cilantro
  13. Oil – 2 tablespoons


  • Boil water and cook the potatoes .Do not overcook them.Roughly cut them into chunks.
  • Grind the coconut, roasted chana dal with some water.
  • Slit the green chillies lengthwise and finely chop the onions and garlic.
  • Heat  oil to in a  deep pan.Add the cloves,cinnamon and bayleaf.
  • Add the green chillies,finely chopped garlic,  and onion .Saute it for few minutes.
  • Finely chop the tomatoes and add it to the pan.
  • When the tomatoes are done ,add the potatoes ,chili powder,turmeric powder,salt and about a cup of water.
  • Bring it to a boil and add the ground  mixture.If the gravy is too thick add some water.
  • Check for seasoning and garnish with cilantro.
  • Serve it with aapam.


Note : You can add garam masala if you want.Three green chilies and 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder make it medium hot.Add less or more to suit to your taste.

January 24, 2009

Madras onion sambhar

Posted in Gravy at 11:38 am by messycooks



  • Madras onion or pearl onion – 1/4 pound
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Fennel seeds- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cloves -3
  • Cinnamon stick – 1/2 inch
  • Garlic cloves – 3
  • Tomatoes (medium size) -4
  • Toor dhal – 3/4 cup
  • Home made sambhar powder – 1 tablespoon (can be adjusted to taste)
  • Turmeric powder -1/2 teaspoon
  • Tamarind paste – can be adjusted to taste
  • salt to taste
  • oil
  • Cilantro to garnish
  • Asafoetida – A pinch


  1. Cook the Toor dhal with little salt ,water and asafoetida in a pressure cooker.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy pot.Add the mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cloves and cinnamon.
  3. Add the garlic when the mustard seeds splutters.Cook it in a low flame so that you dont burn the spices and garlic.
  4. Add the pearl onions and slowly caramalize the onions.It takes a little time but it is what gives the sambhar that unique taste.
  5. Cook the onions till its golden brown and add the tomatoes .
  6. When the tomatoes are done ,add the sambhar powder ,turmeric powder ,salt.
  7. Mix well and add enough water and toor dhal.
  8. Bring it to a boil.
  9. When it bubbles add the tamarind paste. I usually add more tamarind than recommended as I enjoy the taste.About 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste will suffice for this recipe.
  10. Check for seasoning and garnish with cilantro.
  11. Serve it with rice and ghee.

December 3, 2008

Sukku Kuzhambhu

Posted in Gravy at 11:14 am by messycooks

Sukku is nothing but dried form of ginger.We use only fresh ginger for making this kuzhambu.I have no idea how it got the name “sukku kuzhambhu”  🙂 .It would be more appropriate to call it ginger kuzhambhu.


  • Tomatoes (medium size) – 4
  • Ginger – 2 inch piece
  • Garlic cloves- 2
  • Urad dhal – 2 1/2 tablespoon
  • Fenugreek – little less than1/4 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Onion (medium size)-1
  • mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Tamarind pulp – 3 tablespoon ( Add more if you want it more tangy)
  • Chilli powder – 2 tablespoon (Add less if you want it less spicy)
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Add a little oil to a pan and toast the urad dhal and fenugreek seeds until golden brown.Using a mixer grind it coarsely.
  2. Chop the onion,garlic and crush the ginger.
  3. Add oil to a hot pan.Add the mustard seeds and let it pop.
  4. Add the garlic,ginger curry leaves and saute for  a minute.Add the onion and saute for few mins.
  5. Now add the tomatoes and saute it until the tomatoes r well cooked.
  6. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder ,salt ,water and bring it to boil.
  7. Add the tamarind pulp and cook for 2 minutes.
  8. When it boils add the ground urad dhal powder and mix well to make sure there are no lumps.
  9. Serve hot with Rice and ghee.

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