Raw Onion Chutney / Pachai Vengaya Thuvaiyal

This chutney is very simple to make and needs very few ingredients and can be done in a jiffy.

Onions have a lot of health benefits, especially when eaten in raw form, because of the organic sulfur compounds present in it. Onion is considered anti bacterial. In olden times they used to keep cut onion in the room corner of a sick patient, the onion will absorb the germs and is then discarded. Eating raw onions is good for developing the immunity. This chutney is a good way for the intake of raw onions. Since this recipe uses raw onions, it is a little pungent. Those who do not like the strong taste of raw onions can add a tea spoon of  gingelly oil to the chutney before consumption. This chutney can be made with shallots/sambar onions too, which gives a unique flavor.


Raw Onion Chutney / Pachai Vengaya Thuvaiyal


2 large onions / 20-25 no shallots

3-4 red chillies (Adjust according to taste)

Salt as required

2 flakes garlic (optional)

A large marble size ball of tamarind


  1. Soak the tamarind in little water for 2 minutes.
  2. Chop the onion into big pieces.
  3. Blend all the ingredients in a blender/mixie to get a smooth paste. Add little water if required to get a smooth mix.
  4. This chutney  can be had with any type of idli or dosa but tastes  best with ragi dosai/fingermillet dosa and kurunai dosai/whole blackgram dhal dosa





July 9, 2015. Tags: , , , , . Chutney, Healthy Recipe, Raw food recipe, Sidedish. Leave a comment.

Cucumber Chutney / Vellarikkai Thuvaiyal

My MIL saw this in a cookery program in Jaya TV and asked me to give this a try. I tried this…and I thought it was a ‘cool’ way to add cucumber to our diet in this scorching summer. This chutney tasted too yummy…

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Cucumber Chutney / Vellarikkai Thuvaiyal

Ingredients :

1 medium sized cucumber-deseeded

1 tomato

1 onion

3 tsp gingelly oil

3-4 red chillies

1 tsp urad dhal

Few coriander leaves (optional)

salt as required


  1. Chop cucumber into large pieces. Make sure that the cucumber is not bitter before you go ahead with the recipe.
  2. Chop onion and tomato into large pieces.
  3. In a pan add 3 tsp oil. Roast the chillies and urad dhal and keep aside.
  4. In the same pan saute onions, cucumber and tomato one by one.
  5. Cool and grind in the mixie into a smooth paste. Serve with idly/dosa.

May 13, 2015. Tags: , , . Chutney, Healthy Recipe, Sidedish. 2 comments.

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.

Raw Food Feast / Iyarkai Unavu Virundhu

6 years back I had the chance to attend Isha yoga basic course. During the course one day full raw food meals were provided. I was very impressed by the fact that a full course of raw food could have so many varieties and so fulfilling. Even though we have salads and raw foods at home( from time to time, not consistent though 😦 ) I had always wanted to recreate the full raw food feast. Finally got a chance to do that. When my students arranged for the college culturals, they had asked for staff participation too. There was one event that suited my interest.NO FIRE COOKING – ONLY RAW FOODS. I devised a plan in advance and along with my two team mates prepared 18 dishes in one hour. The result was better than expected and we won the first prize. For now i have added the recipe names and pictures. Will explain the recipes in detail after some time.We prepared the following dishes.
























































August 31, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , . Antidiabetic recipe, Healthy Recipe, Pachadi, Raita, Raw food recipe, Salad, Sidedish, Snacks, Starter, Sweet/dessert. 4 comments.

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.

Verkadalai Chutney/Kadalai Chutney

I learnt this recipe from my chithi, though I didn’t try it more than once. Recently in an health article about kambu(pearl millet/bajra) we read that kadalai chutney is a good combination for kambu dosai (will post recipe soon). From that time DH has been asking me to make kadalai chutney. We tried it with kambu dosai and varagu arisi dosai, tastes yummy. It even tasted good with regular idli and dosa.

Verkadalai Chutney/Kadalai Chutney


1/2 cup roasted peanuts

3-4 red chillies

a big marble size tamarind

6 flakes of garlic

salt to taste

1 tsp oil

For tempering:

1/2 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp urad dhal

a sprig og curry leaves

1 tsp oil



  1. Soak the tamarind in little bit of water.
  2. Roast the red chillies in 1 tsp of oil.
  3. Grind together the chillies, peanuts, tamarind, garlic and salt.
  4. This chutney is quiet thick, so dilute with water if necessary.
  5. Tempering is done with mustard seeds, urad dhal and curry leaves.

May 10, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . Chutney, Sidedish. Leave a comment.

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