Category Archives: Side Dish

Perugu Pachadi (Tomato Pachadi)

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I first heard about perugu pachadi from my friend, during our phone conversation. I asked what she cooked for lunch, and she said perugu pachadi, and as I was not familiar with that term I asked her what it is. She explained the preparation, and I told her its tomato raita and I know it. My friend told its different from raita, as sauted tomato gives different taste to it. When we met she cooked this pachadi, eggplant curry and pappu. Ever since that day I started cooking it regularly in home. My hubby calls it “Easy Moar Kuzhambu”.

Recently my blog friend Aruna –  Aaharam suggested me some other variations with eggplant, coconut, ladies finger. I should try it soon

Ingredients:

Tomatoes – 2, chopped

Curd – 1 cup + 1/3 cup, beaten well

Turmeric Powder – a pinch

salt – as needed

To Temper:

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp

Curry leaves – few

Green chilli – 1/2, slit and de-seeded

Dry  Red chilli – 1 , de-seeded and teared (optional)

Asofetida – pinch

Oil – 1 tsp

Method:

  •  Add oil to the pan, when the oil becomes hot add the items under to temper and let mustard seeds splutter
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 6 – 8 minutes till the tomatoes become slightly mushy and fully cooked.  Switch off
  • Add the cooked tomato mixture to  the beaten curd. Add salt; mix well and  Serve with rice/rotis

My Notes:

  • I prefer my food to be less spicy so I reduced the chilli my friend old also desseded

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Microwave Ladies Finger Fry

IMG_4402My hubby loves ladies finger, even If I cook It daily he will be happy. For me more than cooking ladies finger pre work is the one which demands a lot of time – Washing and patting well with a dry cloth or dry in a paper towel for a longtime. These days with my little one running around my legs I find it difficult to do the steps my mother usually does to avoid mushy ladies finger. As I mentioned in my Bhindi Masala, microwave helps me to skip those steps. One  day when I had microwaved ladies finger, I thought of giving a try with cooking the entire curry in microwave and it worked.

Ingredients:

Chopped Ladies Finger – 2 cups

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

Coriander Powder – 1/4 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/8 tsp

Rice flour – 1/8 tsp

Asofetida – generous pinch

Curd – 1/2 tsp

Salt – to taste

Oil – 1/2 tbsp

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Method:

  • In a small bowl combine sambar powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, rice flour, asofetida and salt
  • Cut the washed ladies finger into small pieces and place them in a paper towel. In a bowl add oil and ladies finger; mix well

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  • Microwave them for 3 minutes, take out and add curd. mix well. Microwave for another 3 – 4 minutes till the mushy texture changes
  • Add the spice powder mix and combine well

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  • Microwave for 6 – 8 minutes or till the bhindi cooks well with spice powders flavors well incorporated. Serve it with rice/roti

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My Notes:

  • Can do tempering separately and add it to the curry but I skipped it
  • Curd is optional. Add it of you thinks Okra is very sticky than usual
  • Can bake ladies finger instead of using microwave method. Bake it for 375 degree Fahrenheit 20 to 25 minutes if its cut like this. If  cut pieces are lengthy baking time changes
  • Can add coconut for extra taste during the last minute
  • Can cut ladies finger into big pieces, slit and stuff the spice powder
  • Can add garam masala, chat masala or any other spice powder of choice

Zucchini Thogayal

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I have a happy news to share with you all. My 25 recipes under the title “Paarampariya Muriyal Naveena Samyal (Traditionally Modern) got published in a magazine called Sneghidi, as a supplement 🙂 I thought I will tell this note with one of the recipes I gave them.

After moving abroad, I started eating Zucchini. Usually I add it in dishes like pasta, panang curry etc. One lazy day I wanted to do some quick rice accompaniment and when I was searching in my fridge Zucchini pulled my attention. Inspired from Ridge Gourd ( Peerkangai) thogayal, this is a version using Zucchini.

Ingredients

Zucchini  – 2, peeled and cut into small cubes

Urad dal – 1 tbsp + 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/8 tsp

Red chilli – 2 (Adjust according to your taste)

Tamrind – 1/2 tbsp, without seed

Asofetida – generous pinch

Salt – as needed

Oil – 1 tsp

To temper:

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Urad dal – 1/2 tsp

Coconut oil -1/2 tsp

Method:

  • Add oil in a heavy bottomed pan; add the zucchini with a pinch of salt and sauté until they turn soft and tender. Add mustard seeds, dry red chillies and urad dal and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes until urad dal changes color

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  •  Transfer the content to a plate and let them cool

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  • Grind the cooled mixture along with tamarind, required salt and little water; into a smooth texture. Add water according to the desired consistency
  • Add oil to the pan, when the oil becomes hot, add mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. Allow it to crackle and add it to the zucchini thogayal. Serve the Zucchini Thogayal along with a rice and ghee/idli/dosai/uthappam

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Notes:

  • Zucchini and urad dal can be cooked separately
  • Coconut can be added if desired

Vellai Poosanikai Kootu (White Pumpkun Gravy)

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During our childhood days, both myself and sis were not big fans of kootu (for no reasons:-)) so Amma won’t prepare kootu frequently. On the contradictory hubby loves kootu, and even if I repeat kootu twice a week he will happily eat. Now a days I have one more kootu lover in home – my Little hero.

There are lot of variations for kootu with many lentils, different grinding methods etc. This is one way of preapring it with channa dal.

Checkout my other recipes with White Pumpkin,

Kasi Halwa

Udipi Sambar

Ingredients

White Pumpkin/ Ash guard – 1 medium size, peeled and cubed

Channa dal/ Kadalai Paruppu –  1/3 cup

Turmeric Powder – a pinch

Salt – as needed

To grind:

Grated Coconut (Fresh/Frozen) – 3 tbsp

Green chillies – 1

Cumin Seed – 1/2 tsp

To Temper:

Coconut Oil – 1 tsp

Mustard – 1/4 tsp

Asofetida – generous pinch

Curry leaves – few

Method:

  • Pressure cook dal and white pumpkin for 1 whistle.

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  • Grind coconut, green chilli and cumin seeds into a fine paste with little water
  • Add oil to the pan, when the oil is hot add the ingredients under “To temper” and let it splutter
  • Add cooked dal and pumpkin to the same pan. Add the ground coconut paste, salt and turmeric powder; mix well

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  • Cook for 3 -5 minutes and switch off. Serve it with rice

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My Notes:

  • Toor dal can be used instead of Channa dal or combination of both dals can also be used
  • Coconut oil gives nice flavour to the kootu. You can use any oil instead

Aviyal

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I love coconut based dishes, and of all the coconut based dishes I do, Aviyal is my favorite. I still remember those childhood days when I question my Amma what is Aviyal. I knew koottu, sambar, curry (dry side dish), kuzhambu etc., as these are the basic ones we frequently eat at home. My Amma somehow convinces me telling its koottu. I now disagree, as I have noticed three factors in most of the koottu – turmeric powder, cumin seeds and dal). Aviyal cooked at home doesn’t have that and so is the argument 🙂 My son is yet to start arguing with me as he is just 16 months, but knowing my history I know I have a challenge 🙂 Coming back to Aviyal, I cooked Aviyal on kaanum pongal with puliyodarai, Sakkarai pongal, coconut rice and semiya bagala bath and was it my draft for almost 2 months. Saturday is nombu for us, and I was thinking what was the recent festival. Remembered pongal and also remembered about the Aviyal in draft. Here it is 🙂

Ingredients:

Mixed Vegetables –  3 cups, peeled and chooped into bite size pieces (I used potato, white pumpkin, carrot, beans, ashgourd, drumstick, raw banana)

Thick Curd – 1/3cup

Salt – to taste

To grind

Coconut – 1/2 cup

Green Chilli – 1 (Adjust according your taste)

To Temper:

Coconut Oil – 2 tsp

Curry leaves – few

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Method:

  • Boil water in a vessel and when the water boils, add carrot, beans, potato, drumstick, white pumpkin with little salt; cover and cook. Once the veggies are half cooked add raw banana; cook till veggies are fork tender. In a colander drain the veggies and keep the water

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  • Blend the coconut and green chilli into coarse paste with little water
  • In the same pan add the cooked vegetables along with the coconut paste. Sprinkle the veggie cooked water according the consistency you desire (generally Aviyal is thick so I add very little water) and cook for 3 – 5 min
  • Add salt and curd to the aviyal cook for a minute and switch off

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  • In a separate pan add oil, once the oil becomes hot, add add curry leaves allow it splutter. Add to the aviyal.  Serve it as a side dish for variety rice or with plain steamed rice

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Checkout other coconut based recipes,

Thengai Sadam (Coconut Rice) with coconut milk

Patishapta from Aruna Panangipally – Aharam

Udipi Sambar

Kadala Curry

Sweet Kozhukattai

Paal Kozhukattai

Ammani Kozhukattai

Thengai Podi

Thengai Aracha Kuzhambu

Pavakkai Pitalai

Thiruvathrai kalI

Vengaya Thogayal

Thaala kuzhambu

Aval pidi Kozhukattai

Arisi Thengai payasam

Frozen pattani Sundal

Vegetable Stew

My Notes:

  • I sprinkle water and prepare aviyal in the thick consistency as I got use to that texture, adjust water according to the consistency you desire
  • Adding coconut oil enhances the flavor. If you use any other oil and cook curry leaves, finally add a drop of coconut oil for taste

Aloo Palak

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I love green gravies because of the vibrant color. Usually I prefer either finely chopped onions/ ground onion in my gravies, but for a change this time I thinely sliced onion and added little chat masala to the Aloo palak (Am I crazy????) But believe me the gravy was super duper hit in home. Jagadish  kept asking me what did I add extra this time.  When a little change can make hubby think its a happy smiley 🙂

Checkout my other recipes with Spinach and potato

Spinach Corn gravy

Keerai pappu

Oats Cracked Wheat Dhokla

Pesto

Potato Curry

Potato Tikka

Potato Fry

Potato Wedges

Microwave Potato Chips

Spinach Potato Gravy

Preparation Time : 5 min | Cooking Time : 25 mins | Serves : 3

Recipe Category: Side dish

Ingredients:

Spinach –  2 cups

Potato –  2, big

Onion – 1, thinely sliced

Green Chilli – 1 ( Adjust according to your spice level)

Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp

Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Chat masala – 1/4 tsp

Sugar –  generous pinch

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Salt -as needed

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Method:

  • Pressure cook potatoes until tender (for about 2 whistles or microwave the potatoes for 10 minutes). Peel off the skin and cut into bite-sized pieces and keep aside
  • Rinse the spinach well in water. Boil water with pinch of sugar and salt. Add the spinach to the boiling water. Cook and switch off the flame, after 3-5 mins drain and quickly pour cold water over the spinach. Transfer them into a blender and make fine paste, with green chilli

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  • Add oil to the pan, when oil becomes hot add cumin seeds and it splutters. Add onion and ginger garlic paste and saute till the onions are translucent

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  • Add the cooked  potatoes and saute for a minute. Add turmeric powder, garam masala,  chat masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt; gently mix everything cook till the potatoes are well coated with masala

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  •  Add spinach puree and cook for 3 – 4 minutes

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My Notes:

  • Add water if you think the gravy is too thick
  • Sugar helps to retain the green color in spinach
  • To make rich Can add milk/fresh cream/coconut milk to the gravy
  • Whole spices (bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom etc) can be added
  • Butter can be added for flavour
  • Tomatoes can be added while cooking onion
  • As chat masala already contains salt adjust the salt accordingly

Vazhakkai Varuval

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I am not a big fan of Plantain, occasionally I buy it. In our home we generally prepare Vazhakkai podimas or Vazhakkai podi curry as side dish for rice. This particular preparation I learnt from my friend’s mom and I liked it, so started cooking this frequently. This is similar to Plaintain chips but marinated and cooked
Vazhakkai Varuval
Ingredients

Vazhakkai (Raw banana) – 1, peeled and thinly sliced

Ginger garlic paste  – 1/4 tsp

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp (Adjust according to your taste)

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Garam masala –  1/8 tsp 

Asofetida/Hing(Perungayam) – pinch

Salt – as needed

Oil – 2 tsp

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 Method:
  • Parboil the raw banana ( I microwaved them for 5 minutes. You can also boil it in a cup of water until soft). Strain the water and keep aside
  • In a mixing bowl add raw banana, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, ginger garlic paste, garam masala, asofetida and salt. Mix gently and Marinate them for atleast 30 minutes

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  • Heat the pan and brush (add) oil to the pan (Dosai tawa can also be used)  when the oil is hot, add the marinated raw banana slices and cook on both sides until they are golden brown

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My Notes:
  • Instead of shallow frying can also deep fry the plantains
  • Can keep the marination in refrigerator if you are running out of time

Poondu Kuzhambu

Poondu Kuzhambu

Garlic is very good for health and I love any food prepared with garlic  This tangy Kuzhambu is  perfect for rice / idlies or even dosa. Like Milagu Kuzhambu this Kuzhambu  can be kept for 3-4 days

Poondu Kuzhambu

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 25 mins

Ingredients:

Garlic –  1/3 cup

Shallots – 1/3 cup

Tamarind – lemon sized ball

Sambar powder – 1 tsp (Adjust according to your taste)

Pepper powder – 1/8 tsp

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp

Sesame oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1/8 tsp

Channa Dal – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – few

Asofetida – a pinch

Jaggery powder – 1/2 heaped tbsp

Salt – as needed

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Method:

  • Soak tamarind in Luke warm water for 15 minutes and extract the juice with around 3 cups of water
  • Add oil to the pan. When oil is hot add mustard seeds,channa dal, curry leaves and fenugreek and let them splutter. Add garlic and onion and sauté till the onion raw smell goes off they are cooked. Add sambhar powder and sauté for 30 secs
  • Add tamarind extract, turmeric powder, pepper powder, coriander powder and salt; allow it to boil for 10 minutes to get rid off raw smell of tamarind juice

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  •  Add  jaggery and cook for another 5 – 10 minutes or till the Kuzhambu becomes thick

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My Notes:

  • If you think kuzhambu is watery take a ladle of Kuzhambu in a small bowl add 1/4 tsp of rice flour and mix well without lumps add it to the Kuzhambu
  • Tomatoes  can be used for more tangy flavour
  • Instead of using coriander powder and sambar powder, Coriander seeds along with 2 shallots and red chilli can be dry roasted and added to boiling Kuzhambu
  • Red chilli can be used instead of sambar powder
  • Large onion can be used instead of small onion
  • Veggies like brinjal and ladies finger can be added after onions and garlic are cooked

kadala Curry

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Recently my Amma told she prepared Appam and coconut milk for breakfast, after hearing that I was so tempted to eat Appam. I soaked rice for the batter and for side dish I prepared kadala curry. Coconut creates magic in food and I love coconut flavor. I have posted few coconut based recipes like Thengai Podi, Thenga Aracha Kuzhambu, Thaala kuzhambu, Paal kozhukattai, Arisi Thengai Payasam, Sweet Kozhukattai,  Vegetable Stew  etc.

Kadala Curry Recipe

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Cooking Time : 30 Mins |   Serves : 4

Ingredients:

Brown Kondaikadalai/Kala channa – 1 cup

Onion – 1, big finely choped

Tomato – 1, finely chopped

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Garam Masala – 1 tsp

Salt – as neededneeded

For Masala

Grated coconut – 1/3 cup

Chopped onion – 1 tbsp

Coriander Seeds- 1 tbsp

Red chilli – 4 – 5 (Adjust according to your spice level)

To temper:

Coconut   Oil – 2 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp

Asofetida/ Hing – a pinch

Curry leaves- few

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Method:

  • Soak channa overnight or atleast for 5-6 hours. Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook channa for 3 whistles. Wait till the pressure releases naturally and strain the channa, keeping the water for gravy

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  • Dry roast Coriander seeds, onion, red chilli and coconut on medium flame till aroma comes (for a minute). Grind it to a smooth paste with 2 -3 tbsp of water

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  • Add oil in a pan, when the oil is hot add cumin seeds, curry leaves and cook. Add onion and ginger garlic paste; saute until the raw smells goes off. Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes become mushy

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  • Add turmeric powder, garam masala and salt; cook for a minute. Add the cooked channa, ground masala paste and 2 cup of channa cooked water and continue cooking. Cook for 10 minutes  and switch off

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My Notes:

  • Instead of grinding red chilli and coraimder seeds in masala for the kadala curry, chilli powder and coriander powder can be used
  • Adjust water according to the consistency you want the gravy. If gravy becomes watery,mash some channa add them and boil for 2-3 minutes
  • Coconut oil gives nice taste to the gravy. If you want to reduce the amount, cook the gravy with olive/sunflower oil and add a drop of coconut oil before switching off

Sutta Kathirikai Chutney

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I am among the few who love brinjal. I have already posted some brinjal recipes like Brinjal Rice, Enna Kathirkai Kuzhambu and Stuffed Brinjal. Usually in India, Sutta Kathirikai Thogayal is prepared by roasting brinjal directly in flame. Here i dont have gas stove since its electric, i always go for Oven/Microwave method.  Whether its taken as a side dish for breakfast or rice accompaniment its tastes yummy.

Ingredients:

Brinjal – 1 (Big size)

Sesame Oil – 1/2 tbsp

Red chilly – 4 (Adjust according to your taste)

Urad dal – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Tamarind – gooseberry size

Asofetida/Hing – a pinch

Salt  – as needed

Water – as needed

To temper:
Sesame oil – 1 tsp
Curry leaves –  few
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Urad dal –  1/2 tsp
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Method:

  • Cut the brinjals into big chunks and transfer them to a bowl. add oil and mix well. Microwave the brinjals for 4 – 10 minutes till the skin shrinks (Depends on the oven temperature, mine is 700 watt and it took 7 minutes. Keep an eye after 5 minutes)

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  • After they are cooled the skin will come out easily and the brinjals would have cooked. Remove the skin and set aside
  • In a pan dry roast urad dal, mustard seeds and red chilli till the dal is golden brown and add to the plate containing brinjal

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  • Grind brinjal, urad dal, red chili along with tamrind, salt, hing with little water
  • Add oil to the pan and when the oil is hot add mustard, urad dal and curry leaves and let it splutter. Add the temper to the thogayal
  • Instead of big brinjal few leftover small brinjal can also used
  • Instead of microwave oven brinjals can also be cooked directlyin stove top or oven (450 degree broil for 25 minutes turning side in between)
  • Adjust the water according to consistency you want if its side dish for breakfast add more water if its rice accompaniment add less water

Checkout Charanya’s space for middle eastern version of brinjal chutney

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