Category Archives: Rice Accompaniments

Thaala Kuzhambu


During my college days, when went for a family picnic, my Aunt’s Amma brought this Kuzhambu as a Rice Accompaniment for lunch. I loved it and I asked my Amma to cook that for me. She got her recipe and wrote in my book for my reference.

Checkout my other recipes with mixed vegetables

Bisi bele bath

Vegetable biryani

Thengai Aracha Kuzhambu


Potato –  1, big peeled and diced

Brinjal – 2, diced

Drumstick – 1

Carrot – 1

Beans – 6

White pumpkin  – 1 cup after dicing

Turmeric powder – 1/4 tso

Tamarind – small lemon size

Coriander leaves – few

Asafoetida – generous pinch

Salt – as needed

To temper:

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

For paste:

Toor Dal – 1 tbsp

Channa Dal –  1 tbsp

Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp

Fenugreek – 1/4 tsp

Pepper – 1/2 tsp

Black Sesame  seed – 1 tsp

Rice – 1 tsp

Grated cocunut – 1/2 cup


  • Soak tamrind in 3 cups of lukewarm water for 15 minutes and extract the pulp
  • Add oil to the pan. when the oil is hot add mustard, fenugreek, asafoetida and curry leaves.  After they splutter add the vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and cook the vegetables


  • In a spearate pan add 1/4 tsp of oil and roast red chillies, toor dal, channa dal, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek, pepper and  rice until they turn golden brown. Transfer them into a plate


  • In the same pan sauté the coconuts till they slightly change color. Tranfer them to the plate. After the mixture comes to room temperature, add little water and make a fine paste

thala kuzhambu

  • Meantime after the vegetables are half cooked, add tamrind pulp, turmeric powder and salt. Cook till the raw smell of tamrind goes and vegetables are fully cooked


  • Add the ground paste and cook for 5  minutes


  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice

My Notes:

  • Any vegetables of your choice can be added

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu


Post after a longtime! Felt good while drafting this:-) Thank you all for stopping by, and noticing my absence and asking me. I feel blessed to have such sweet people around me:-)

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu is a traditional dish prepared with lentils.  Whenever we get bored of sambar, vatha kuzhambu, moor kuzhambu, milagu kuzhambu etc., my mom prepares this. Takes little extra time when compared to other Kuzhambu, but after tasting the dish we won’t mind spending the extra time. Yet another recipe from my Amma’s cookbook.

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Preparation Time : 10 minutes | Soaking time – 2 hours | Cooking Time : 30 mins | Serves : 4


For lentil Balls:

Toor dal – 1/2 cup

Channa dal  – 1/4 cup

Fennel Seeds – 1/4 tsp

Red Chilli – 2 (Adjust according to your taste)

Ginger – 1/4 tsp

Kuzhambu (Gravy):

Onion – 1

Garlic – 3 pods, finely chopped

Tomato – 1

Tamarind – 1 lemon sized ball

Coconut grated (optional) – 3 tbsp

Sambar powder/ chilli powder – 1 tsp ( I used Sambar powder)

Salt – to taste

To temper:

Sesame Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp



  • Soak the dal and red chilli for 2 hours and strain the water. Add ginger and fennel seeds to the dal, and grind them into coarse mixture without adding water. Add onion and required salt to the mixture and combine well. Make marble sized balls out of it and keep aside.


  • Soak tamarind in 1 cup of luke warm water and keep aside for 5 – 10 minutes, and extract the juice
  • Add oil to the pan. When oil is hot add ‘to temper’ ingredients and let them splutter. Add garlic and onion and sauté till the onion is translucent. Add tomato and cook till becomes mushy


  • Add sambar powder and give a quick stir. Add the tamrind juice, 2 cup of water, salt  and cook till the raw smell goes off


  • From the side, gently add the lentil balls one by one and cover with lid. Lentil balls initially sink, and float after cooking



  • Avoid sauting till the lentil balls are cooked, to prevent them from breaking. Add grated coconut and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes and switch off


My Notes:

  • While lentil balls are cooking avoid sauting, as the  balls may get mushy
  • Can grind and add coconut
  • Instead of cooking lentil balls directly in gravy, can also steam them and add it to the gravy
  • Gravy thickens overtime, so switch off before it comes to gravy consistency
  • Can also saute and grind (onion and tomatoes) instead of adding directly
  • Can also grind lentil into fine paste

Milagu Kuzhambu



When ever we catch cold, Milagu Kuzhambu and Milagu rasam are instant home remedies my mom makes. Not only during cold, Milagu Kuzhambu also helps in digestion. After having heavy outside food, I generally prefer Milagu Kuzhambu the next day. Milagu Kuzhambu, paruppu thogayal and sutta appalam – what a combination!!! (Since I have an electric stove, I microwave the appalam for 20 sec). Milagu Kuzhambu can be stored in the fridge for a week.

Milagu Kuzhambu 

Preparation time: 10 mins  |  Cook time: 15 mins

Recipe Category: Rice Accompaniment


Tamarind – 1 (small lemon size)

Jaggery – 1/2 tsp

Salt – to taste

Asafoetida  (hing) – a generous pinch

For Kuzhambu paste:

Pepper corns (Milagu) – 2 tsp (Adjust according to your spice level)

Sesame seeds – 1/4 tsp

Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp

Channa dal – 1/2 tbsp

Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 tsp

Garlic – 4 pods

Curry leaves – 1 spring

Sesame Oil – 1/4 tsp

To temper:

Sesame oil – 2 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 tsp


  • Soak tamrind in warm water
  • Add 1/4 tsp oil to a pan. Add the ingredients under ‘For Kuzhambu Paste’ and sauté over low flame to a golden brown color. Turn off the stove and add curry leaves, and allow them to cool


  • Blend them along with the tamarind into a paste, adding little water
  • Add 2 tbsp of oil to the pan, add the ingredients under ‘To temper’ and let them splutter
  • Transfer the ground paste, salt, and add water (I prefer my Milagu Kuzhambu in thick consistency, so added around 1/2 cup of water). Cook on medium flame till it starts boiling. Once it boils, add the jaggery just before switching off



.My Notes:

  • If you are not using garlic, then you can dry roast the ingredients for Kuzhambu
  • Insead of grinding, you can add curry leaves directly but i prefer this way so that it cannot be omitted while eating 🙂
  • If you are keeping them for more days, add extra sesame oil

Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu


Ennai kathirikkai kuzhambu is yet another “Mom’s recipe”. Whenever she gets small brinjals from the grocery store, she prepares this dish. If you love brinjal, then this is a must-try recipe. This Stuffed Brinjal kuzhambu goes well with any fried curry/ paruppu usili.

Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Soaking Time :15 mins | Cooking Time : 30 mins | Serves : 3

Category:Rice Accompaniments


Eggplant/Brinjal/Aubergine- 8  (preferably small brinjal, since I didn’t have them, used medium sized)

Tamarind –  lemon sized

Salt – as needed

Spice Powder:

Channa dal/bengal gram – 1 tbsp

Coriander seeds/Dhania -1 tbsp

Urad dal – 1/2 tsp

Red chillies – 3 ( Adjust according to your spice level)

Black Sesame seeds – 1/2 tsp

Fenugreek –  1/8 tsp

Rice – 1/4 tsp

Pepper – 1/4 tsp

To Temper:

Mustard seeds -1/4 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp

Asafoetida/hing – a generous pinch

Curry leaves – one spring

Sesame Oil – 2 tbsp (Typical 4/5 tbsp are used but I have reduced)



  • Soak tamarind and extract the juice
  • Dry roast the ingredients mentioned under spice powder till golden brown and switch off. Grind into a coarse powder.
  • Wash Eggplant, discard the stem and make two cuts leaving the bottom intact. Stuff the Eggplant with the spice powder and keep it aside

brinjal annd beans

  • Add oil to that pan and add the items under ‘to temper’ and let it splutter. Add the stuffed brinjals, turmeric powder and salt for brinjal. Cook on low flame, stirring it occasionally till the eggplants are half cooked. Add tamarind extract, the remaining spice powder and salt for gravy

brinjal annd beans1

  • Cook till the gravy thickens. Serve the Kuzhambu with Rice and any side dish. We had it with Beans Paruppu Usili


My Notes:

  • Coconut can added in a spice powder
  • For Kuzhambu, shallots and garlic can be added


Pakarkaai Pitlai

Pavakkai Pitlai

Pakarkaai Pitlai (Bitter gourd pitlai) is yet another recipe from my Amma’s cook book. As a child, I always hated Bitter gourd, though its a healthy vegetable. If I see Bitter gourd in fridge, I go crazy, even without tasting it. I will say a big no. I always want some other dish when bitter gourd is cooked at home. One day I was with Amma in the kitchen when she was preparing pitlai. I saw her adding a tsp of jaggery to the dish. I was so happy seeing jaggery, and tasted it that day. After tasting the dish, I liked it, and surprisingly didn’t feel the bitterness. From that day onwards I started eating Pitali. Later when I started cooking, I realized even without Jaggery Pitalai tastes good. But i started liking the dish because of jaggery, so I add it even now 🙂

Pakarkaai Pitlai

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Soaking time : 4 hours |Cooking Time : 30 mins

Category:Rice Accompaniments

Ingredients :

Bitter gourd – 1

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Toor Dal – 1/2 cup

Chickpea/Channa – 1/3 cup (Soak Channa overnight/ in hot water for 4 hours)

Sambar Powder – 1 tsp

Curry Leaves – Few

Tamarind –  small Lemon size

Jaggery – 1 tsp

Asofedtida – generous pinch

Salt – as needed

For Grinding:

Grated Coconut – 1/4 cup

Red Chillies – 2 ( Adjust according to your spice level)

Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp

Channa dal – 1/2 tbsp

For Seasoning:

Oil – 1 tsp

Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp



  • Soak the tamarind in warm water for 10  -15 minutes  and extract the pulp. Pressure cook the toor dal and channa, and keep it aside. (To save time I generally cook both together)
  • Dry roast red chillies, coriander seeds and channa dal till they turn golden brown color, and switch off. After it comes to room temperature add coconut and grind everything to a fine paste by adding water and keep it aside


  • Add turmeric powder and small pieces of tamrind (Adding both removes the bitterness) to bitter gourd and cook it (I microwaved for 5 minutes). Strain them


  • Add oil to the pan, when the Oil is hot add mustard seed and fenugreek. let it splutter. Add the cooked bitter gourd and saute for 3-4 mins. Add tamarind extract, Sambar powder, hing, turmeric powder and salt and allow it to boil for 5 minutes till the raw smell goes off tamarind


  • Add the cooked toor dal and channa, cook for 5-10 mins till you get the aroma. Add grounded paste and jaggery. When Bitter gourd  Pitlai starts boiling, switch off the flame


© TraditionallyModernFood

Thenga Aracha Kuzhambu

Thenga Aracha Kuzhambu (Ground Coconut Gravy) is a recipe originally from my Aunt’s mom, which was passed on to me through my aunt and my mom. This is a great accompaniment with rice, and also tastes good with any tiffen item. Being a South Indian, rice is our main food, so preparing accompaniment for rice is such a big deal. More than cooking, to think what to cook is a big task. Whenever I ask Hubby gives a one word answer always – “anything”, and that is something I hate to hear. Last week the same thing happened and I was thinking what to cook, and I flipped some pages from my Amma’s book, so that I can get some idea. Found this recipe and quickly checked my fridge to see if I had the veggies to cook this. I am not sure whether this is how it should be cooked, but I love my Aunt’s version.


Thenga Aracha Kuzhambu

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Soaking Time: 15 minutes |  Cooking Time : 20 mins | Serves : 3

Recipe Category: Rice Accompaniment/Side Dish


Drumstick – 1, cut into finger sized pieces

Mixed Vegetable –  1 cup (I took brinjal, carrot, ladies finger and potato)

Tamarind – A gooseberry size ball

Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp

Curd – 3 tbsp

Salt – as needed

Jaggery – 1 tsp

For the spice paste

Urad Dal – 1 tbsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp

Rice – 1/8 tsp

Dried Red Chilli – 3 – 4 (According to your spice level)

Shredded Coconut – 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp

For Tempering

Coconut oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard Seeds – 1/8 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp

Curry Leaves – few



  • Soak the tamarind in warm water for 10 – 15 minutes and extract the juice from it, by adding 2 cups of water
  • Dry roast the urad dal,  fenugreek seeds, rice and red chillies till it becomes golden brown. Once it comes to room temperature, add coconut and little water to make a  paste


  • Add oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and fenugreek. Once it splutters, add the chopped vegetables, turmeric powder and saute for 5-6 mins till its half cooked


  • Add tamrind puree and salt. Cook till raw smell goes and vegetables are cooked. Add the ground paste and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add curd and switch off. We had it with Rice and Vazhakkai Podi Curry




Dal Tadka

Dal tadka is an easy and tasty side dish for roti, and a good accompaniment for rice. Usually when I prepare dal tadka, I use moong dal alone, as my Amma used to prepare that way. But when I have it in restaurants, I always get the flavor from 3 types of dal. I liked that, and I have tried one version of dal tadka with moong dal, toor dal and chana dal.Image

Dal Tadka

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Soaking Time : 30 mins | Cooking Time : 20 mins | Serves : 2

Recipe Category: Sidedish/Rice Accompaniments


Toor Dal – 1/2 cup

Chana Dal – 1/4 cup

Moong Dal – 1/3 cup

Onion -1 chopped finely

Tomato – 1 chopped roughly

Ginger and Garlic paste – 1 tsp (you can also use fresh minced ginger and garlic)

Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

Coriander powder -1/2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp

Water – 3 cups

Salt – to taste

Oil – 1 tsp

To temper:

Ghee – 1 tsp

Jeera – 1 tsp

Red Chillies – 2



  • Soak moong dal, toor dal and chana dal for 30 mins. I soaked them in warm water
  • Put a pressure cooker on the stove and add oil, and ginger garlic paste. Saute for 30 seconds. Add the onion and tomato and saute till raw smell goes. Add the garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and turmeric powder. Allow it to cook for  2 mins


  • Add the soaked Lentils and mix well. Add required salt and 3 cups of water and cover the cooker. Switch off after 3 whistles


  • Add ghee to the pan, add cumin seeds and red chillies, let it splutter. Once steam releases, open the cooker lid and add the tadka to the cooked lentils. Dal tadka is ready to be served

Image Image

Keerai Pappu (Spinach Dal)

Keerai pappu (paruppu) or keerai sambar – I do not Know what to call this recipe. Whenever I buy spinach , I invariably make kuttu with moong dal. This time, I added toor dal as well along with moong dal, and as always used direct pressure cooker method to prepare this dish. Here is the recipe for what I call as spinach pappu.


Keerai Pappu

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Soaking Time : 30 mins | Cooking Time : 25 mins | Serves : 3

Recipe Category: Rice Accompaniments/Side Dish


Toor dal – 1/2 cup

Moong dal – 1/4 cup

Spinach – 2 cup, chopped

Shallots –  10 (can even use finely chopped onion)

Garlic – 2 pods

Turmeric pwd  –  1/8 tsp

Sambar powder – 1 tsp

Tamarind – 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp

Salt – as needed


  • Soak toor dal and moong dal in hot water for 30 min.
  • Add oil to the pressure cooker. When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and let them crackle. Add onions and garlic, sauté till onions are cooked. Add spinach and continue sautéing for 1 minute.
  • Add the soaked toor and moong dal, turmeric powder, coriander powder, tamrind and salt. combine well


  • Add 2 cups of water and cook for 3 whistles.


  • Serve with white rice or hot rotis


My Notes:

Instead of using tamarind you can also add tamarind pulp.