Kondaikadalai Theeyal -Nagercoil style

I first tasted this delicious dish when I was residing in nagercoil. My mom learned it first, later I learnt it from her. This is more or less similar to puli kuzhambu but the major difference is that lots of roasted coconut is ground and added to this curry giving a distinct flavour. Theeyal is also made with garlic-shallots or other vegetables combination, but this is our favourite.


Kondaikadalai Theeyal

Ingredients :

1 cup white chick peas/garbanzo beans/kabuli channa (soak for 8 hours)

A small lemon size ball of tamarind

2 tsp of gingelly oil

1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

salt as required

To roast and grind into paste:

5-6 red chillies (adjust according to taste)

2 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp gram dhal

few sprigs curry leaves

1/2 tsp raw rice (optional)

1 cup shredded coconut

For tempering :

1 tsp gingelly oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp urad dhal

2 sprigs curry leaves


  1. Cook the soaked chick peas in pressure cooker for 3 to 4 whistles. Add required salt to chick peas after it is being cooked.
  2. Extract the juice from tamarind and keep aside.
  3. In a pan dry roast all the ingredients given under roast and grind, one by one separately. Roast the shredded coconut in a tsp of oil till golden brown in colour.
  4. Grind all the roasted ingredients into a smooth paste.
  5. In a pan heat a tsp of oil and add fenugreek seeds. After they sizzle add tamarind juice, ground paste with required salt. Bring to a boil.
  6. Now add the cooked chick peas and allow to simmer for 7-10 minutes. Do the tempering. Serve with rice, any vegetable kootu and appalam.



May 13, 2015. Tags: , , , . Curry/Gravy, Sidedish, Sprouts/Legumes, Vattara samaiyal. Leave a comment.

Sundakkai Pachadi/Turkeyberry Pachadi

Sundakkai also known as turkeyberry is a plant commonly grown in the backyard. It has small green colored berries which can be cooked fresh or dry. The berries are soaked in salted buttermilk and sun dried to get the dried version called as sundavathal.
Many people do not like sundakkai due its bitter taste. But it has lots of health benefits. Our diet should be a balance of all the six tastes…including bitter foods. So let’s include bitter tasting foods in our diet too for optimal health. Moreover if cooked in certain ways…by adding proper combination of sweet,salt and sour ingredients the bitter ness of this vegetable is reduced. One such recipe is sundakkai pachadi. Before going to the recipe let’s learn about the health benefits of sundakkai.

1. By regular intake of bitter foods like sundakkai, bitter gourd, neem flower etc. the germs in our intestines are killed. And our general immunity against diseases is improved.

2.  If taken 4 times a week sundakkai helps to control diabetes.

3.  Sundakkai improves digestion and relieves gas related problems.

4.  Sundakkai is supposed to strengthen our bones and nerves if consumed regularly.


Sundakkai Pachadi

Ingredients :
1 cup fresh sundakkai
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
2 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp chilly powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt as required
3 tsp oil
1 lemon sized ball of jaggery

To grind:
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 small onions (optional)

For tempering:
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp urad dhal
Curry leaves

1. Wash the sundakkai thoroughly and chop in halves.
2. Heat 3 tsp oil in the pan. Add onions and saute.
3. Next add chopped sundakkai and saute till it softens.
4. Add tomatoes and saute till soft.
5. Now add chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt along with 1 cup water. Cover and cook in medium flame.
6. Grind coconut, cumin and small onions to a smooth paste.
7. After the sundakkai is cooked add the coconut paste and jaggery. Allow to boil and simmer for 5 minutes before removing from flame.
8. Do the tempering with mustard, urad dhal and curry leaves.
This pachadi tastes best with rice and rasam, but can also be had with rice and any other curry or even curd rice.

April 27, 2015. Tags: , , , , , . Antidiabetic recipe, Curry/Gravy, Healthy Recipe, Nellai Samaiyal, Pachadi, Pathiya samaiyal, Sidedish. Leave a comment.

Kathirikkai Kuruma / Brinjal Kuruma

This is a different yet tasty side dish for chappati and dosai. It can cooked in little time too.


Kathirikkai Kuruma / Brinjal Kuruma

Ingredients :
10 no. medium size brinjals – chopped into small dices
2 large onions – chopped finely
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
3-4 green chillies
1 tbsp fried gram
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
Oil for sautéing
Salt as required

Method :
1. Add oil to the pan. After it is hot add fennel seeds. Let them crackle.
2. Now add ginger-garlic paste followed by onion and saute.
3. Add chopped brinjal pieces and saute.
4. Wet grind coconut, green chillies and fried gram into a smooth paste
5. By this time the brinjal would have cooked. Add the paste. Add salt . Add 1/2 cup water to adjust the consistency. Bring it to a boil. Serve with chappatis.

August 31, 2014. Tags: , , , , . Curry/Gravy, Sidedish. Leave a comment.

Brinjal Chutney / Kathirikkai Thuvaiyal

This is a easy yet different chutney recipe I learnt from my MIL. This recipe uses tender brinjals / pinju kathirikkai, but can be made with the bigger variety of brinjals too. In old times ,every kitchen had a veetu aduppu ,these were stoves using wood as fuel.The authentic recipe used brinjals roasted on charcoals in the veetu aduppu. Even I don’t have such a stove, so roasted the brinjals in pan with oil. I feel that this is the south indian version of baingan bhartha.

Brinjal Chutney / Kathirikkai Thuvaiyal
Ingredients :

10 -12 no tender brinjals

4-5 red chillies (Adjust acc to taste)

1 big marble size ball of tamarind

salt as required

2 tsp gingelly oil

For tempering :

1 tsp gingelly oil

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp urad dhal

few curry leaves (optional)

a pinch of hing / asafoetida

10-15 no shallots / small onions – finely chopped



  1. Wash the brinjals and chop them into big pieces.
  2. Add 2 tsp oil to a heated pan and saute the brinjal pieces in medium flame thill they are finely roasted and keep aside to cool.
  3. Dry roast red chillies.
  4. In a mixer add red chillies, salt and tamarind and grind coarsely.
  5. Now add the roasted brinjal to the mixer and pulse it for few seconds so that you get a coarsely ground chutney. Dont add water or dont make it into fine paste.
  6. Do the tempering ingingelly oil with mustard , urad dhal and finely chopped onions. Add this to the chutney. Taste with idly and dosa.

August 12, 2014. Tags: , , , , . Chutney, Curry/Gravy, Sidedish. 1 comment.

Theeyal – Chetti veetu murai / Theeyal – Chetti style

Theeyal is an exotic dish. Theeyal is of many types, the other ones being ulli theeyal and kondaikadalai theeyal of nagerkoil district. Chetti people of Madurai and surroundings make a different theeyal, using drumstick, raw banana and brinjal, which has lots of medicinal ingredients like pepper , cumin and garlic. Another version of theeyal is the thuvatta kuzhambu which is made during local pongal festivals using bitter gourd, brinjal, drumstick and raw banana and has dry ginger as one of the ingredients. Thuvatta Kuzhambu is mixed with rice and arai keerai and murungai keerai, with liberal doses of oil and ghee along with roasted sesame powder to make a flavourful dish  called keerai choru. This thuvatta kuzhambu and keerai choru are made in chetti house holds in virudhunagar on panguni pongal (festival for local rain goddess).Sometimes you can taste these recipes only during these festivals. They are not prepared on regular days. I assume that these recipes take a lot of preparation time and it is easy to prepare these on festival days when you have more helping hands in the kitchen. Other recipes of panguni  pongal include karuppati  pongal and karuppati kozhukkattai. Will post more on these recipes later. Now over to theeyal chetti style…

We basically need 3 powders for this recipe, which can be prepared a day in advance to make the recipe easier.

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Theeyal – Chetti veetu murai / Theeyal – Chetti style


Powder  1: Mel podi (means powder sprinkled on top)

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp jeera

1 tsp fenugreek

Like the panchporan of bengalis, I find that chetti house holds use the combination of the above three ingredients for seasoning.

Powder 2: Pori arisi posi (roasted rice powder)

½ cup boiled rice

Powder 3: Uluntham podi (urad dhal powder )

½ cup white urad dhal

For paste:

20 flakes of garlic

1 tsp raw mustard

2 tsp jeera

½ tsp pepper

3-4 sprigs of curry leaves

15-20 no. dry roasted red chillies (Adjust according to taste)

Other ingredients:

1 big lemon size of tamarind

1 raw banana

1 drumstick

3-4 brinjals

10-15 no. ulundhu vadagams (optional)

¼ tsp  turmeric powder

1 small lemon size of jaggery

Salt as required

For tempering:      

2 tbsp ghee

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp jeera

1 sprig of curry leaves


  1. Soak tamarind in 3 cups of water and extract the juice.
  2. For powder 1 – dry roast all the ingredients and make it into a fine powder.
  3. For powder 2 – Dry roast boiled rice till crisp and make it into a not so fine powder (rava/sooji like consistency).
  4. For powder 3 – Dry roast urad dhal till you get a nice aroma and make it into a powder of rava or sooji like consistency.
  5. For paste –Roast the red chillies with a drop of oil. All the other ingredients are added raw. Wet grind all the ingredients into a smooth paste.
  6. Cut the raw banana and brinjals into ½ inch thick round pieces. Cut the drumstick as you would do for any other curry.
  7. Deep fry the ulundhu vadagams in oil and keep aside.
  8. Now mix the ground paste to the tamarind juice along with salt and turmeric and allow it to boil.
  9. Add the vegetables. Keep the flame in medium mode.
  10. After the vegetables get cooked, add the ulundhu vadgams. Add the jaggery too.
  11. Now add the powders one by one to the gravy, constantly stirring so that you don’t get any lumps. An alternate way is to mix the powders separately in water without any lumps and then add it to the gravy.
  12. After adding the powders you may find that the gravy is getting thicker. Add water if necessary, so that the final consistency is a little bit thicker than sambhar.
  13. Do the tempering with mustard , jeera and curry leaves in 2 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp of oil. The ghee adds a special flavour to the theeyal.
  14. Theeyal can be had with rice, ghee and dhal as an accompamiment, with rice alone or as a side dish to curd rice. It even tastes good with idli and dosa. It stays well for the next day even without refrigeration.

October 22, 2013. Tags: , , , . chetti veetu samaiyal, Curry/Gravy, Festival special, Healthy Recipe, Sidedish. Leave a comment.

Agathi Keerai Saaru

This is a simple yet delicious preparation. Agathi keerai has lot of medicinal properties. In this recipe keerai is cooked in rice water along with cumin seeds and shallots. Finally poppy seed and coconut paste are added.

This recipe is good for people with ulcers and acidity problems. Poppy seeds, coconut and agathi keerai all cure these ailments.Cooking agathi keerai with small onions improves the intestinal functions. Agathi keerai has lots of calcium and is good for the elderly with joint problems.In older days rice water was never wasted. This contains water soluble B-vitamins from the outer surface of rice.It is milky in colour and gives thickness to saaru.

The final recipe is a watery preparation like rasam. It is typically had with hot rice and ghee with puli kuzhambu as the accompaniment.

Agathi Keerai Saaru



1 bunch agathi keerai

5-6 cups rice water ( water in which rice is washed, esp. boiled rice) puzhungal arisi kazhani

10-15 no shallots

1 tsp cumin seeds

salt as required

1/2 cup shredded coconut

2 tsp poppy seeds

1/2 cup cow’s milk(optional)


  1. Clean agathi leaves, wash and keep separately.
  2. Wash boiled rice in water(2-3 times) to get rice water. Strain it to remove impurities.
  3. In a big pan boil rice water.
  4. Add agathi leaves, shallots and cumin seeds. Let the leaves cook till soft. You can add some more plain water if necessary, so that the final consistency is thin.
  5. Add the required salt.
  6. Grind coconut and poppy seeds to a fine paste and add. Let it boil for two more minutes. Finally 1/2 cup cow’s milk can be added. This step is optional.(MIL’s mom used to do). No tempering is done. Not even a drop of oil is added.Enjoy agathi keerai saaru with rice.


June 25, 2013. Tags: , , , , . chetti veetu samaiyal, Curry/Gravy, Healthy Recipe, Pathiya samaiyal, Sidedish. 4 comments.


Aviyal is a delicious medley of vegetables in creamy coconut and yogurt sauce. I read somewhere that aviyal is usually made in Kerala during weekends, when there is a little bit of all vegetables remaining in the vegetable basket, along with old curds. But it is not necessarily so. You can make aviyal with fresh vegetables and curd also. I cant imagine any festival / auspicious day at home without aviyal.

Some times my mom adds a little bit of tamarind extract instead of curd, that tastes good too..Infact I like Puli aviyal way better than Thayir aviyal 🙂 Aviyal is very simple to make, now over to the recipe…

Posting this recipe for The keralakitchen event conducted by Geetha of Sunmoonandpotatoes and started originally by Rose of The Kerala Kitchen.


Ingredients :

1 raw banana

1 drumstick

3-4 brinjals

1 medium sized carrot

10 no beans

1 potato

A small piece of yam

½ cup green peas

A small piece of ash gourd

2-3 tbsp curd/2 tbsp tamarind juice

¼ tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

To grind:

2/3 cup shredded coconut

2-3 green chillies

1tsp jeera

2-3 shallots

To temper:

3 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp urad dhal

Few curry leaves





  1. Wash, peel and cut all the vegetables lengthwise. You need not use all the vegetables, Raw banana, drumstick, brinjal,carrot are must..others you can vary according to choice.
  2. Grind all ingredients under ‘to grind’ to a coarse paste.
  3. Cook vegetables in a pan with water, turmeric and salt till they are firm. Alternatively you can pressure cook the vegetables for 2 whistles.
  4. Now add the curd/tamarind juice and the ground paste. Let it simmer in a low flame for 5-7minutes.
  5. Do the tempering in coconut oil with mustard, urad dhal and curry leaves.
  6. Aviyal can be served with sambhar, rasam,vathal kuzhambu along with steamed rice. Aviyal can also be served with adai. And aviyal is the best accompaniment for ulundham paruppu saadham.


  1. Tempering with coconut oil adds a special flavour to aviyal.
  2. As a side dish for ulundham paruppu saadham, aviyal is made in a little thinner consistency.

July 17, 2012. Tags: , . Curry/Gravy, Foods from Kerala, Nellai Samaiyal, Saiva pillai samaiyal, Sidedish. Leave a comment.

Puli Milagai

This is a hot and sweet pachadi, that goes well with idly, dosa  and curd rice. You can make this recipe when you are tired of the regular chutneys. This is a saiva-pillai recipe which I learnt from my mom. This recipe is typically made with young and tender green chillies -my mom calls them pinju milagai / kunju milagai. When the chilly season ends the chillies which remain in the plant do not mature and remain small in size. Such chillies are ideal for this recipe. These green chillies are not very hot and spicy and they can be eaten along with the pachadi. Green chillies and shallots are sautéed in gingelly oil and simmered in tamarind sauce to which jaggery is added to create this yummy sidedish. This stays at room temperature for 2 days and in fridge for 3-4 days.

Posting this recipe for “spotlight-curries and gravies” event conducted by Chandhrani of Cuisine delights, originally started by Indrani of Recipe Junction.

Puli Milagai


1 tbsp. gingelly oil

10 12 no. young & tender greenchillies

25 no.shallots / sambar onions

¼ tsp turmeric powder

A big marble size tamarind

A small lemon size ball of jaggery

Salt to taste

For tempering:

1 tbsp.gingelly oil

½  tsp mustard

½ tsp urad dhal

A pinch of hing

Few curry leaves


  1. Wash and slit the green chillies half way through .
  2. Peel  the shallots .
  3. Extract juice from tamarind.
  4. In a pan heat 1 tbsp. gingelly oil. Add the chillies and shallots and sauté well, till they are half cooked.
  5. Now add  ½ cup of water. Let the chillies and onions get cooked thoroughly.
  6. Now add the tamarind juice, turmeric powder and salt . Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add jaggery  to the mix, let it simmer for few more minutes and remove from fire.
  8. The tempering is done liberally with gingelly oil. Enjoy puli milagai with hot Idli or Dosa.

June 19, 2012. Tags: , , , . Curry/Gravy, Nellai Samaiyal, Pachadi, Sidedish. Leave a comment.

Kumbakonam Kadappa

Though I have been a foodie all my life, I have never heard of kumbakonam kadappa till I entered the world of blogosphere. Well… I have been wanting to try this recipe for such a long time. Got the recipe from my friend Priya Sreeram of Bon Appetit.
For people who don’t know what is kadappa ….
Even though the name sounds similar to a place in AP or a variety of  stone for making slabs, to the people of kumbakonam,tanjore and surrounding areas it also means a flavorful side dish for idli and dosa made from moong dhal and potatoes in a mildly spiced gravy. In my family’s opinion it tastes good with chappatis and puris too. It is a very easy recipe to make and after tasting this I was thinking- OMG! why haven’t I heard about this recipe earlier…

Kumbakonam Kadappa


2 medium sized potatoes

1/3 cup of moong dhal

2 medium sized onions-thinly sliced

1 green chilly-slit into half

Salt as required

To grind :

1/2 cup grated coconut

1-2 green chillies ( adjust according to taste )

2-3 garlic flakes

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 medium sized tomato

1 tsp roasted gram ( optional )

For tempering:

2 tsp oil

1/2 inch piece of cinnamon

1 bay leaf

1 cardamom

1 star anise

2-3 cloves


  1. Pressure cook the dhal and potatoes till soft. Mash well and keep aside.
  2.  Grind all the ingredients given under to grind into a fine paste.
  3. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan. Add the whole spices and sauté.
  4.  Next add the sliced onions and green chilly.
  5.  Now add the ground paste and sauté for a minute or two.
  6. Now add the mashed dhal and potatoes.
  7.  Add required salt and allow it to simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with idli or dosa.

Instead of grinding the tomato, you can chop and sauté them along with the onions.
Instead of adding tomato, you can also add juice of half a lemon after you switch off the stove.

September 20, 2011. Tags: , , . Curry/Gravy, Sidedish. 3 comments.

Green Peppercorn Recipes for ARUSUVAI SEASON 2

Due to shifting homes ( not to mention the nonavailability of Internet ) and a bout of viral fever, I am posting the recipes for “ARUSUVAI  SEASON 2 ” very late. Sorry Sayantani.

Arusuvai season 1 was an initiative of Srivalli, Bharati and Season 2 has been activated by Sayantani. Check out the beginning posts of BharathySrivalli and Lathamma for more info on season 1.

I thank Sayantani for hosting this wonderful event, because of which I made 3 good friends in the food blogosphere – Priya, Nisa and Sayantani. I realize that organizing such event is not an easy job and kudos to dear Sayantani for that.

When I opened the mystery ingredient parcel from Sayantani of ahomemakersdiary, it took me few minutes to identify the ingredient. Well it looked like pepper but not black in colour.  My MIL helped me in identifying that they are green peppercorns. I have seen fresh green peppercorns in the market but not the dried ones and I have never used them for cooking. I googled a little and found that the green peppercorns have a mild flavor and are not as pungent as the black ones. They are used in western cuisine for flavoring meat dishes.

I have tried 2 recipes with the green peppercorns which are regularly made using black pepper. Both came out good, but my personal favorite is the green pepper garlic kuzhambu which was aromatic and flavorful. DH was suffering from cold that time and said that the pepper kuzhambu was very good.

Green peppercorn rice


1 cup cooked raw rice

1 tbsp green pepper corns

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp urad dhal

1 tbsp gram dhal

Few sprigs curry leaves

A pinch of hing

Salt as required

2 tbsp oil ( preferably gingelly oil )


  1. Spread the cooked rice with a tsp of oil on a large plate and allow it to cool.
  2. Dry roast the green pepper corns and after cooling, grind into powder.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds followed by urad dhal, gram dhal, curry leaves and hing.
  4. Add this to the cooled rice.
  5. Add the green peppercorns powder, salt and mix well.Serve with papad of your choice.

Green peppercorn garlic kuzhambu


15-20 no garlic flakes

A small lime size ball of tamarind

1/2 tsp fenugreek

A pinch of hing

2-3 tbsp gingelly oil

To roast and grind:

2 tbsp green peppercorns

1 tbsp black peppercorns

1 red chilly

2-3 sprigs curry leaves

1 tbsp gram dhal

For tempering:

1/2 tsp gingelly oil

1/2 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp urad dhal

Curry leaves


  1. Soak the tamarind and make 11/2 cups tamarind extract .
  2. Dry roast all the items given under ‘ to roast and grind ‘ and wet grind to a smooth paste.
  3. In a pan heat gingelly oil and add hing and fenugreek. Add the garlic flakes and saute tillthey are half cooked.Now add the ground paste and tamarind extract with required amount of salt.
  4. Let it boil and allow to simmer for around 10 minutes till you get a thick consistency.
  5. Do the tempering with mustard seeds, urad dhal and curry leaves. Serve hot with white rice and ghee.

February 13, 2011. Tags: , , . Curry/Gravy. 3 comments.

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