Tag Archives: dish

Zucchini Thogayal


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.


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


  • 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


  •  Transfer the content to a plate and let them cool


  • 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



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

Sutta Kathirikai Chutney


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.


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


  • 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)


  • 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


  • 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


Paneer Tikka Masala


Recently when I had buffet in Indian restaurant I tasted Paneer Tikka Masala. It was delicious, I could taste paneer butter masala flavor along with paneer tikka taste. I tried to combine my tofu butter masala and tofu tikka recipe; prepared this Paneer tikka Masala and happy with the results:-)

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Marination time : 2 hours | Cooking Time : 45 mins

Recipe Category: Side dish


For Tikka:

Paneer – 1 packet (225 gram)

For marination:

Hung Curd/Sour Cream – 3 tbsp +1 tsp (I used Sour Cream)

Pepper Powder – 1/4 tsp

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Garam Masala powder – 1/4 tsp

Tandoori Masala  – 1 tsp

Chat Masala – 1/4 tsp (optional)

Lemon juice – 1 tsp

Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp

Oil – 1 tbsp

How to make hung curd:

Hang 1/3 cup curd in a muslin cloth or any thin cloth for an hour to make the required hung curd.

For Gravy:

Onion – 2

Tomato – 3

Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp

Garam Masala powder- 1 tsp

Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Heavy Cream – 3 tbsp

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Cinnamon Powder – 1/4 tsp

Salt – as needed

Butter – 1 tbsp



  • Preheat the oven at 400 deg F
  • Cube the Paneer and keep it aside. In a separate bowl Mix the ingredients listed under ‘for marination’ and keep aside. Mix paneer with the marinated ingredients and keep refrigerated for 2 hours (minimum an hour). Take it out and arrange the Paneer in the baking tray

paneer tikka masala

  • Bake them for 15-18 mins, turning over in between for even cooking. Paneer tikka is ready


  • Boil onion and tomato in hot water and strain the water. When it comes to room temperature, blend them into fine paste© TraditionallyModernFood
  • Add butter to the pan. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the blended tomato and onion puree and cook for 3-5 minutes


  • Add garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and allow it to cook for 2-3mins


  • Add heavy cream and cook till it starts boiling. Add paneer tikka and cook for 2 minutes and switch off

© TraditionallyModernFood


My Notes:

  • Instead of fresh cream you can add 1/3 cup of milk and cook for 5-8 minutes till the gravy become thick
  • If you are using a cinnamon stick, add it while tempering
  • Can marinate capsicum and onion along with paneer while preparing tikka and use it
  • This gravy goes well with any variety rice like fried rice as well as with naan/rotis
  • I boiled the onions and tomatoes, blended them, instead can sauté them in oil and grind them

Vengaya Thogayal


Thogayal is one of the quick Rice Accompaniments. Rice, thogayal and sesame oil taste heavenly. Even if you don’t find time to cook side dish, sutta Appalam goes well with Thogayal. There are a variety of thogayal options available, but mild sweetness in Onion thogayal is some thing I love. It goes well this Milagu Kuzhambu

Preparation time : 5 minutes | Cooking time : 10 minutes


Onion – 3, big roughly chopped

Urad dal – 1/3 cup

Red chillies – 4 (Adjust according to your taste)

Tamarind –  small piece or 1/2 tsp tamarind paste

Coconut – 1/4 cup

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Salt – as needed

To temper:

Coconut oil – 1/4 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/8 tsp

Urad dal – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig


• Add little oil to pan and cook urad dal and red chilli till urad dal is golden brown. Keep aside

• Add onion and remaining oil to the same pan and cook till they are translucent. Add coconut and saute for a minute and switch off. Transfer it to plate containing urad dal and red chilli

• Allow this to cool and grind this along with tamarind and salt into a smooth paste. If required sprinkle little water

• In a pan add oil and items under “to temper” and let them splutter. Add it to the thogayal


My Notes:

  • Shallots can be added instead of big onion
  • Add more water to make it chutney of your desired consistency


Pressure Cooker Thakkali Vengaya Thokku (Onion Tomato Gravy)


Thakkali Vengaya Thokku is my favorite side dish for many breakfast items like Paniyaram, dosa, idli, and many more. Though its preparation is simple, usual procedure demands  stirring occasionally. After trying this method, I started preparing this way regularly, which doesn’t require me to stay in the kitchen for long.

Pressure Cooker Thakkali Vengaya Thokku (Tomato Onion Gravy)

Preparation Time : 10 min | Cooking Time :  20 mins | Serves : 2

Recipe Category: Side dish


Onion – 2,  roughly chopped

Tomato – 4, roughly chopped

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Green Chilli – 1 (Adjust accrording to your taste)

Curry leaves – few

Mustard Seeds – 1/8 tsp

Channa dal – 1/2 tsp

Oil – 1/2 tsp

Salt – as needed


  • Put a pressure cooker on the stove and add oil. When the oil is hot add mustard seeds and channa dal. Once they start spluttering, add onion and green chilli and saute for a minute. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients and close the lid without adding water

© TraditionallyModernFood

  • Switch off after 2 whistles. Once steam releases, open the cooker lid



My Notes:

  • Water in tomato and onion is enough for the gravy so no need to add water. Excess water will make the gravy thinner
  • If gravy becomes runny, add 1/4 tsp of rice flour and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Can add ginger garlic paste/ garam masala
  • Red chilli can be added instead of green chill
  • I directly cooked this gravy in pressure cooker, instead it can also be cooked in pan. Saute onions till they turns translucent then add tomatoes
  • Can avoid tempering and prepare this gravy oil free

Avarakkai Kadala Paruppu Curry


Usually my Amma prepares Avarakkai without adding onion. During my schools days, when mom is out of station, we used to have meals in “Data Udipi Hotel” in Chennai. One day, Avarakkai curry was there in the menu. After seeing that, I was totally disappointed, as I was expecting some fried stuff like Potato, Plaintain etc. But after tasting the curry, I was pleasantly surprised with the taste. I never tasted this combo before – onion, dal and coconut in Avarakkai curry, with coconut oil flavor. Since I liked the taste my Amma use to re-create their preparation in her own style. This side dish goes well any Rice Accompaniment.

Avarakkai Kadala Parappu Curry

Preparation time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | SoakingTime :10 mins | Serves: 3

Recipe Category: Side dish


Avarakkai / Broad beans – 2 cups, chopped

Channa dal – 1/4 cup

Grated coconut – 4 tbsp 

Onion – 1, finely chopped

Coconut Oil – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/8 tsp

Urad dal – 1/4 tsp

Channa dal – 1/4 tsp

Green chillies – 1

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Asafoetida – a pinch

Salt – as needed



  • Soak Channa dal in Luke warm water for 10 minutes
  • Cook Broad beans and Channa dal (can cook in boiling water or microwave for 8 – 10 minutes) and strain the water


  • Add oil to the pan, and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal. After the dal turns light brown color, add red chillis and  curry leaves. Add onion and cook till onions are translucent


  • Add the cooked Broad beans and channa dal to the onions and cook for 2 -3 minutes. Add coconut and saute for a minute and switch off



Malai Kofta


Malai kofta is my sister’s favorite dish. I still remember those days, when we went to restaurants, she used to order butter Naan and malai Kofta most of the times. Rich creamy gravy creates so much addiction. Have tried both white and red gravy, but white gravy is my personal choice. I happened to see  Harpal Singh‘s video in youtube, and inspired from his preparation, here is my version.


Paneer Kofta – 10

Onion – 1 big, roughly chopped

Green chilli – 1 (Adjust according to your taste)

Cashewnut – 3 tbsp

Cardamom – 2 pods

Cinnamon – 1/2 piece

Fennel seed powder – 1/4 tsp

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp

Milk – 1/3 Cup

Butter/Oil – 2 tbsp (I used 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter)

Cardamom powder – 1/4  tsp

Salt – as needed

Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp

Heavy  cream/ Fresh Cream – 3 tbsp

Chopped nuts – 1 tbsp (Optional) to garnish


  • Add about 1 cup of water to a pan and bring water to boil. Add chopped onions and cook them. Strain the water and cool the onions. Once the onion comes to room temperature, blend them into a fine paste without adding water


  • Add water to the pan again and bring water to boil. Cook the cashew and cool. Blend them into a fine paste by adding little water
  • Add oil and butter to the pan, when the pan is hot, add cinnamon, fennel seed powder and cardamom, and  sauté for ½ minute.
  • Add  onion paste and ginger garlic paste and saute for 3-4 minutes


  • Add cashewnut paste and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes


  • Add milk and 1/2 cup of water. When the mixture comes to  boil, add  heavy cream and green cardamom powder


  • Place the koftas in a serving dish and pour the gravy over the Kofta (Make sure the koftas are in room temperature, else they will break)





Stuffed Brinjal


I love the masala powder my Amma prepares for Vaangi Bath. I always wanted to cook brinjal with that powder as a stuffing. Have added additional ingredients, and prepared a new version of masala for stuffing. Loved this way of stuffed brinjal 🙂 If you get small brinjals, both stuffed brinjal and Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu are great dishes to try.

Stuffed Brinjal

Preparation Time : 10 min |  Cooking Time : 25 min

Recipe Category : Side Dish


Brinjal/Eggplant/Aubergine – 15 medium sized

Salt – as needed


Onion – 1, roughly chopped

Garlic – 2 pods

Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp

Bengal gram/Chana Dal – 2 tbsp

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

Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp

Pepper – 1/2 tsp

White Sesame seeds – 1 tsp

Peanut – 3 tbsp

Grated coconut – 2 tbsp (Optional)

Oil – 1 tsp

To Temper:

Sesame Oil – 2 tbsp

Mustard – 1/4 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 spring



  • Wash brinjals and make 2 slits to form a cross, leaving the stalks intact. Put the brinjals in water to avoid them turning black
  • Add oil to the pan. once the oil is hot, add onion and garlic, and saute till the onions are cooked. Add remaining items listed under “Stuffing” and saute till they are golden brown. Cool them and blend them into a paste by adding little water


  • Add oil to the Pan, when the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add  brinjals and curry leaves. Cook on low flame


  • When the brinjals are half cooked, add the stuffing paste and mix gently. Cover the lid and cook. Sprinkle some water if required. The stuffing goes inside the brinjal slits, and also coats the outside



My Notes:

  • Can add tamrind/ tomatoes if you want it to be tangy
  • Instead of grinding onions, you can also saute them directly

Beans Paruppu Usili


Paruppu Usili is one of the traditional dishes prepared in our home. Though its a side dish, I like to mix it with rice. In our custom, without paruppu usili, a wedding meal is incomplete. Usili goes well with any rice accompaniment, but my personal choice is Usili with Venngaya Vetha kuzhambu, Milagu Kuzhambu, Enna kathirika Kuzhambu and Moor kuzhambu. Two types of lentils are typically used for preparing this.

Beans Paruppu Usili:

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Soaking time : 1 hour | Cooking Time : 25 mins | Serves : 3

Recipe Category: Side dish


Beans – 2 cups, chopped

Salt – as needed

Toor Dal – 1/4 cup

Chana Dal – 1/4 cup

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

Hing – a generous pinch

To temper:

Coconut Oil – 2 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Urad Dal – 1/2 tsp

Chana Dal -1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – a spring

Turmeric powder – a generous pinch



  • Soak toor dal and chana dal for atleast 1 hour (I soaked them in warm water)
  • Wash and boil the the Beans and keep aside
  • Drain water from the soaked dal and grind them along with red chillies, 1 tbsp of water, salt (for Dal) and hing, to a coarse mixture.
  • Boil water in idli pan, grease the Idli plate and spread the coarse mixture on the  plate and steam it for 6-7 minutes (like steaming idlies) and switch off

brinjal annd beans2

  • Take the steamed dal and keep in a plate, and once they come to room temperature, crumble them with your hands (Can also pulse once in mixie) and set aside.
  • Add oil to the pan, and once the oil is hot, add the items listed under ‘to temper’ and let them splutter. Add the crumbled Dal and saute till they are golden brown

brinjal annd beans4

  • Add the cooked  beans and mix well. Add required salt (For beans). Cook for  2-3 mins until the dal crumble combines well with the Beans

brinjal annd beans5


My Notes:

  • Traditionally paruppu usili is done with cluster beans, but i have used green beans.
  • Usili can also be prepared with bell pepper (Capsium), broccoli, vazhaipoo, cabbage etc

Appam – Without Yeast


Aapam is one of my favorite breakfast items. During our childhood days, Amma used to do Appam in an Iron skillet. Then she brought this nonstick pan and started preparing with this. When my parents came to visit us, I had prepared a list of item to be brought from India, Appam pan and Kuzhi panniyaram pan were top priority items in the list 😉

Aappam – Without Yeast

Preparation time: 5 Minutes | Soaking time : 7 hours | Fermentation Time : 8 hours

Category: Breakfast


Raw rice – 1 cup

Par boiled rice/Idli Rice – 1 cup

Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp

Whole Urad dal – 2  tbsp (whole urad dal without skin)

Baking soda  – 1/2 tsp

Salt – as needed



  • Soak raw rice, par boiled rice, fenugreek seeds and urad dal overnight, or atleast for 7-8 hours. Add water and grind well, making a bater which is slightly thinner than dosa batter consistency. Leave it  overnight to ferment. In the morning, add baking soda and sugar to the fermented batter, and mix well. Keep it aside for 10 – 20 minutes


  • Switch on the stove and keep the aapam pan in low heat. After the pan is slightly hot, add oil to the pan (Spread oil all over the pan using cloth or brush). Add a ladle full of batter and hold the handle of the pan and rotate the pan in such a way that the batter spreads all around in a circle (This is the traditional way, instead, you can spread the batter with the ladle, and because of the pan texture, remaining batter will come in the center)


  • After that close the pan with the lid. Once the Aappam is cooked and the edges start turning brown, remove the Aappam from the pan. Do not flip side. Serve Aappam with sweetened coconut milk/ Vegetable Stew/Vegetable Kurma/Theeyal


My Notes: 

  • If you do not have Aappam pan, you can make it in any other curved non stick pan with lid
  • Can add 1 tbsp of coconut milk before making Aappam, for nice flavor
  • If you want crispy edges can add 1/4 tsp of sugar before making Aappam