Tirunelveli Sodhi / Maapillai Sodhi

This recipe has been in my ‘to do’ list for a long long time. I mean – to post about this recipe.

Sodhi is a classic recipe from tirunelveli. Tirunelveli saiva pillai marriage is a two day affair. ‘Sodhi sappadu’ is the second day lunch , which is served on behalf of the boy’s side to the girl’s side and the guests ( a way of saying thank you ). Because of this it is also known as ‘Maapillai Sodhi’. It is a very rich dish made of coconut milk and vegetables served as a classic combo of – rice, sodhi, potato roast ( urulaikilangu varuval), inji pachadi/inji thuvaiyal along with papads and rice vadaams. The ginger pachadi is supposed to help in digestion of the heavy coconut milk.

My mom says that in olden days one coconut per person was used for getting the coconut milk- it means if you want to serve four persons you have to extract milk from four coconuts!!! Well gone are those golden days! Because of the increasing vegetable prices and the increasing calorie consciousness among people we are using less coconut now. Nowadays we use 1 coconut for 2 persons as an average…You can adjust the amount according to your taste 🙂

One of my non-veg colleague used to mock me – what variety do you have in veg dishes? I don’t understand what you people serve when you have guests at home….. She doesn’t realize that – Heaven! Thy name is SODHI!!!

Reposting this recipe for Walk down the memory lane event hosted by Kalyani of Sizzling tastebuds, started originally by Gayathri’s cookspot.


Tirunelveli Sodhi


1 large sized coconut ( I used this for 3 persons)

1 drumstick

2 large potatoes

2 carrots

2 large onions

4-5 green chillies

1 tsp oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt as required

For tempering:

2 tsp oil

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp urad dhal

Few curry leaves


  1. The first and crucial step is to extract the coconut milk. Take 2 cups of thick milk and 2-3 cups of thin milk from the shredded coconut.
  2.  Cut the drumstick into long pieces and cube the potatoes and carrots. Cut the onions into long but thick slices.
  3.  Sauté the onion in oil and add it to the thin milk along with the chopped vegetables. Allow the vegetables to cook in the thin milk in a medium flame.
  4.  In the mean time grind the green chillies and required salt into a fine paste and add it to the thick milk.
  5.  After the vegetables are cooked well and the thin milk has reduced in quantity add the thick milk to the pan.
  6. Allow to simmer in a low flame till you see froth on top. Do not allow to boil. Switch off the stove.
  7.  Add the juice of lemon after the sodhi has cooled off a little( when warm). Otherwise it will curdle. Alternatively the lemon juice can be omitted ( some of my family members like it that way- so my mom makes two versions each time , with and with out lemon juice).
  8. Tempering is optional and can be done with mustard, urad dhal and curry leaves.
  9. Serve sodhi with rice, potato roast and ginger pachadi. Sodhi also tastes good with aappam and idiyappam.

May 1, 2011. Tags: , , . Nellai Samaiyal, Saiva pillai samaiyal.


  1. Reva replied:

    This is my favourite… It tasted yummy with the inji patchadi… lovely pics… it looks like a feast:)

    • hema replied:

      Thank you Reva…It sure was a feast 🙂

  2. sayantani replied:

    I love these recipes as they are part of our tradition. great post Hema, loved knowig about the culture and the dish simply is lip smacking

  3. hema replied:

    Thank you Sayantani…Would love to post more on such traditional recipes:)

  4. Inji Pachadi / Ginger Pachadi « Chef Hema replied:

    […] Pachadi / Ginger Pachadi This is a very  simple dish served as an accompaniment to sodhi. It also tastes good with curd rice. It is very good for […]

  5. Divya replied:

    Good one! I’ve heard of Sodhi but never knew it was something like a stew with coconut 🙂 Your procedure is easy to follow and I want to eat it right now with some idiappam !

  6. sheila replied:


    in our house and my grandmother’s house as well in thirunelveli, moong dal is always used along with vegetables..its nicely overcooked and made into a past and the boiled veggies as you hv described go into it, and then the first milk is added…it provides a slightly more thicker consistency..have you heard of this version?

    • hema replied:

      Hi Sheila,
      I have heard of the moong dhal version,as you have mentioned. But in our households they make sodhi with out adding moong dhal only.
      Thank you for your input….

  7. Palanikumar replied:

    Nanri ! Mikkae Nanri!!

    • hema replied:

      Nandri.Palanikumar avargale 🙂

  8. JananiRCC replied:

    Hi hema,
    I was so happy to see ur recipe.Whenever I talk to someone abt sodhi they dont seem to know it.My orgin is from thirunelveli so I know this sodhi/mapillai sodhi word was smiling the minute I saw that line in ur site.Nice site it has ur native touch keep up ur work.

    • hema replied:

      Hi Janani…happy to know that you are a fellow tirunelveliian(?)
      Thank you for your comment 🙂
      I have posted some more nellai recipes and planned for some more…keep visiting..

  9. Manikandan replied:

    Hi enga ooruke poyi sodhi sappadu sapta oru feel thanks ka

  10. suthan replied:

    simply relevant

  11. mathy replied:

    hi nice blog. i belong to nellai. as said this keeps up our tradition go ahead and pls help me to make our special pillai idi. i fai;l terribly with idlis

    • hema replied:

      Thank you gomathy , glad to meet some one from nellai …

  12. Subaash Manakaval replied:

    my favorite…
    eppo veetuku (ambasamudram) ponalum Amma kaiyala sapdura mudhanmai unaku…

  13. Lakshmi replied:

    Hi Sathya, I could not guess it was you until appa told me. Great job. I always ask amma over phone to get her recipes. This is very useful to see all our recipes in one place. Keep up. – Vani

    • hema replied:

      Hi Vani akka, thank you for your kind words..The world is small..isn’t it? Keep visiting…

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