February 2013
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Kovakkaai Fry(Kovakkaai Vadhakal) is a mouth-watering yummy poriyal. In these days, we are blessed with nonstick pan, hence we don't need to worry about oil for frying these vegetables. In my childhood days, my mom used to fry the vegetables in iron pan where she need to pour more oil and fry them. Even after adding more oil, sometimes the vegetables tend to stick to the pan. But with these non-stick pans in use, we use only less oil and we get richly fried vegetables.Try this yummy recipe and let me know your comments!!!

Puliyita Poritha(Poricha) Kuzhambu is another variety of kuzhambu popular in Southern part of TamilNadu, especially in Tirunelvelli district. Rich in vegetables and have a wonderful flavour. Goes very well with fried poriyal such as Lady's finger fry, Kovakaai Fry etc. My mom used to make this often when I was young as this dish is dainty and also we get more quantity. Puliyita Poritha(Poricha) Kuzhambu with Sutta Appalam a delightful lunch I love to have...

Puliyita Poritha(Poricha) Kuzhambu
Puliyita Poritha(Poricha) Kuzhambu

Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time 45 mins

Tamarind1 small lemon size
Thur dal3/4 Cup
Raw Banana1 /2
Curry Leavesfew
SaltTo taste
Snake gourd(Pudalangaai)1/2
Turmeric1/2 Teaspoon
Chick Peas(Optional)2 tablespoon

Ingredients for Grinding:
Oil1 teaspoon
Red Chillies6
Urid dal1 tablespoon
Pepper Corns1 teaspoon

Ingredients for Seasoning:
Oil1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds1 teaspoon
Bengal Gram Dal1 teaspoon
Grated Coconut1 tablespoon
HingA Pinch

  1. Cook the dhal in pressure cooker till soft and smash it nicely and keep it aside. 
  2. Soak the tamarind in the water and extract the juice. If we plan to use chick peas, soak it in water for the whole night and pressure cook it and keep it ready
  3. Pour the oil in the pan and fry the red chillies, urdhal and pepper and grind it to a paste.

  4. Finely chop all the vegetables and cook the vegetables in a pan by adding a pinch of turmeric.

  5. When the vegetables are half cooked add the tamarind extract

  6. Add the ground paste along with salt. Let the mixture boils for 5-10 minutes in medium flame till the raw smell of ground paste goes off

  7. Then add the smashed dhal and stir well

  8. In a separate pan pour the oil and once the oil is heat add the mustard seeds and when the mustard seeds start to sputter add the channa dhal and fry till it becomes golden color 

  9. Add Hing and curry leaves and grated coconut and fry it till the coconut becomes red color.

  10. Add these seasoned ingredients to the kuzhambu

  11. The tangy and spicy Puliyita poritha kuzhambu is ready to serve with plain rice.
  12. Puliyita Poritha(Poricha) Kuzhambu
    Puliyita Poritha(Poricha) Kuzhambu

  • We can add 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds while frying the ingredients for grinding. But it is optional
  • Chick peas is also optional. But the flavour of cooked chick peas bring a nice taste to this kuzhambu

Murungaikaai Kootu(Drumstick Stew) is one of my favourite stew. We usually use drumstick in sambar/kuzhambu, but if we try once making this scrumptious stew, then I bet we would surely love to do it again and again. I have seen many doing this stew with drumpstick piece, but I prefer to cook the drumstick and take the pulp and use it instead of cooked drumstick pieces. Lets see the recipe now...

Upma is one of the simplest breafast/Tiffen dish, which is popular across India. There are different versions of Upma, but i would prefer to stick to the simplest version of the upma which taste heaven to me every time when I tasted it.  The simplest version is the plain upma with little onion, curry leaves and green chilli.  And I prefer my upma to be fluffy and separate.  I do make a different version of upma with many vegetables which is called Rawa Kichadi.

This Kara kuzhambu is chettinad special. Specially for spicy lovers. We can use drumstick, brinjal or ladys finger for this kuzhambu. In this kara kuzhambu recipe, I have used tara root and drumstick. Kara Kuzhambu rice with little gingelly oil is a wonderful delight. 

Kara Kuzhambu
Kara Kuzhambu

Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time 30 mins
Servings3 - 4

Drumstick10 pieces
Tamarind1 lemon size
Coriander Powder2 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder1/2 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder2 teaspoon
SaltTo Taste

Ingredients for Grinding:
Cumin Seeds1 tea spoon
Channa dal1 teaspoon
Raw Rice1 teaspoon
Pepper1 teaspoon

Ingredients for Seasoning:
Gingelly Oil2 table spoon
Hing1/4 tea spoon

  1. Cook the tara root in pressure cooker and allow 2 whistles. Once cooked, peel the skin and make medium sized pieces and keep it aside with drumstick pieces. Chop the onions and keep it ready. Soak tamarind in water and extract the tamarind juice
  2. Heat a heavy bottomed pan, add cumin seeds, raw rice, channa dal and pepper and fry till the dals turn golden brown color. Take the fried items in the mixer and grind it to a nice powder.

  3. Heat oil in the pan, add mustard seeds

  4. When the mustard seeds starts to sputter, add cooked tara root and drumstick pieces and fry for 2 minutes

  5. Add chopped onions, and fry till the onions become transparent. Add a pinch of salt 

  6. Now add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder and fry for 2 minutes

  7. Add 1 cup of water and allow the drumstick to cook completely. 

  8. Once the drumstick is cooked completely, add tamarind juice, hing and salt and allow it to boil for 5 minutes so that the raw smell goes off

  9. Finally add ground powder and mix well. Keep the kuzhambu in low flame and allow it to boil for 5 minutes and remove from flame

  10. The spicy and tangy kara kuzhambu is ready to serve with plain white rice and a drop of gingelly oil
Kara Kuzhambu
Kara Kuzhambu

Normally we do sambar and other varieties of kuzhambu very often which uses tamarind, dal and sometimes coconut. Sometimes I feel bored of using these and really wanted to do some light dishes. Immediately Thuvayal comes to my mind. Onion thugayal is one variety which I love to make as I always love to have spicy dish. Onion Thugayal with Bittergourd/Ladysfinger fry or with simple sutta appalam/Pappad great combination for our appetite.

Vengaya Thuvayal(Onion Thugayal)
Vengaya Thuvayal(Onion Thugayal)

Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time15 mins


SaltTo Taste
Mustard Seeds1 teaspoon
Urid Dal2 teaspoon
Red Chillies
TamarindSmall Goesberry size
Oil1 teaspoon

  1. Peel the onions and chop it to bigger pieces

  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds

  3. When the mustard seeds starts to sputter, add urid dal and fry till it becomes golden brown color

  4. Remove the fried urid dal and mustard seeds and keep it aside. Add red chillies to the pan and fry them in oil for 20 seconds. Take care to fry the chillies as they tend to become black very quickly. Take the fried chillies in a mixer

  5. Now add chopped onions to the oil in the pan and fry it 

  6. Switch off the flame when the onions are sauted nicely and they turn transparent. The reason why we saute nicely is to get rid of the raw smell of onions 

  7. Grind the fried chillies along with tamarind and salt in a mixer to a nice powder

  8. Now add the saute onions to the mixer. We need to grind the onions before grinding the dal as the saute onions will be ground to a smooth paste, but thugayal should not be too smooth

  9. Just grind it once or twice so that the onions are ground in the mixer. Even if we have some small bits of onions we can leave them. Biting these bits of onions are so delicious

  10. Finally add urid dal and mustard which we fried to the mixer 

  11. Just give a pulse or two to break the dals coarsely

  12. The spicy Vengaya Thuvayal(Onion Thugayal) is ready to serve with plain rice with ghee/Gingelly oil. We can serve with Lady's finger fry/sutta appalamVengaya Thuvayal(Onion Thugayal)


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