Simple Poritha Kuzhambu | Poritha Kuzhambu with Chillies and Cumin | A South Indian Lentil Based Gravy with Vegetable

The second of three methods suggested by Meenakshi Ammal. A beautiful, flowing-textured dal-based dish perfect over rice.

There are three main methods for making Poritha (Poricha) Kuzhambu. The first uses sambar powder, and this recipe, the second method, uses a paste of chillies, cumin seed and coconut. The third method uses chillies and urad dal ground to a paste.

Poritha Kuzhambu (or Poricha Kuzhambu) is a style of kuzhambu that usually includes coconut in its ground spice mix – this is the most defining characteristic of a Poritha Kuzhambu. This recipe is lentil based which can be made with either Toor Dal as we do here, or Green Gram Dal (Mung Dal). Although some Poritha Kuzhambu recipes can contain tamarind, this one does not.

This dish is not spicy, with very little spice added – just chillies and cumin. It celebrates the taste and textures of the dal and the vegetable.

Sometimes Poritha Kuzhambu is called a Lentil Vegetable Stew. That is not entirely accurate. There is no real equivalent in our cuisine – perhaps it can be described as a Lentil Based Gravy with a Vegetable, to eat over rice. It flavours the rice and the rice compliments the kuzhambu. I love kuzhambu so much, I will also eat a small bowl of it like a soup.

Are you looking for other Poritha Kuzhambu recipes? Try Brinjal Chidambaram Kothsu, Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth, and Pitlai.

Feel free to browse all of our Poritha Kuzhambu recipes, our Kuzhambu recipes, and our Indian recipes. Drumstick recipes are here. You may also like to browse our easy Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Simple Poritha Kuzhambu | Poritha Kuzhambu with Chillies and Cumin | A South Indian Lentil Based Gravy with Vegetable”

Simple Poritha Kuzhambu | A South Indian Lentil Based Gravy with Vegetable for Over Rice

A beautiful, flowing-textured dal-based dish perfect over rice.

Poritha kuzhambu  or Poricha kuzhambu is a style of kuzhambu that often includes coconut in its ground spice mix – this is the most defining characteristic of a Poritha Kuzhambu. This recipe is lentil based which can be made with either Toor Dal as we do here, or Green Gram Dal (Mung Dal). Although some Poritha Kuzhambu recipes can contain tamarind, this one does not.

This dish is not spicy, with very little spice added. It celebrates the taste and textures of the dal and the vegetable. You will enjoy it. It uses a per-prepared Sambar Powder, which you can purchase at an Indian grocery, or make your own.

Sometimes Poritha Kuzhambu is called a Lentil Vegetable Stew. That is not entirely accurate. There is no real equivalent in our cuisine – perhaps it can be described as a Lentil Based Gravy with a Vegetable, to eat over rice. It flavours the rice and the rice compliments the kuzhambu. I love kuzhambu so much, I will also eat a small bowl of it like a soup.

Are you looking for other Poritha Kuzhambu recipes? Try Poritha Kuzhambu with Tamarind and Amaranth, Pitlai, Poritha Kuzhambu with Chilli and Cumin,  and Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu.

Or Drumstick recipes? Try Sampangi Pitlai, Race Kuzhambu and Drumstick Kadhi.

Feel free to browse all of our Poritha Kuzhambu recipes, all of our Kuzhambu recipes, and our Indian recipes. Drumstick recipes are here. You may also like to browse our easy Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Simple Poritha Kuzhambu | A South Indian Lentil Based Gravy with Vegetable for Over Rice”

Fennel, Potato and Tomato Salad with Garlicky Mayo

After years of not using mayonnaise in my salads (I don’t eat eggs so don’t make my own and don’t love it enough to buy it), I whipped up my Mother’s very retro eggless mayo that she always made with a can on condensed milk, white vinegar and mustard (or other flavouring).

Now we have a couple of salads that use mayo – A Quick Tomato Salad with Mustardy Mayo, and today’s salad which is sort of a wild variation on Salade Niçoise.

Are you after other Tomato Salads? Try Artichoke Hearts and Feta Salad with Tomatoes, Tomato Salad with Balsamic and Majoram, and Tomato Salad with Parsley Oil.

Or perhaps Fennel Salads? Try Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes, and Nashi Pear, Celery and Fennel Salad with Panch Phoron Crunch.

Or are you after just Salads? Try Onion Salad with Sesame Oil, Green Salad with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Feta, and Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad.

Why not browse all of our Tomato Salads, indeed explore all of our Salads. Or simple spend some time with out Mid Autumn Recipes.

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Sampangi Pitlai

We are working through the different types of Poritha Kuzhambu, where the spice paste is fried in ghee before being ground. There are Poritha Kuzhambus, Poritha Koottu and Pitlai, Gothsu and Masiyal. They can be with and without tamarind, stuffed full of vegetables or just one or two.

This is our second Pitlai, Sampangi, which traditionally has drumsticks as part of the vegetable mix, with 3 or 4 others. The spice mix used in this recipe differs from the first Pitlai recipe – it does not include coriander or channa dal (Bengal Gram), but does include peppercorns. The chillies are ground in the paste rather than left whole in the tadka. I have been explaining to some people recently how subtle differences from recipe to recipe results in a different dish, and the taste difference is remarkable IF we allow our tastebuds the time to register. This isn’t so common in our society, we eat so fast, but in India these differences are important. The other key difference in this recipe is the variety of vegetables, as many as 4 can be used in this dish, rather than 1 or 2.

Are you looking for other Pitlai recipes? They are here. And browse other Poritha Kuzhambu and Poritha Koottu dishes. You must definitely try this Pitlai, and Amaranth Greens Soup/Pitlai. (Some of these dishes will be published later. Pop back and check if the link is not returning what you might expect.)

Explore all of our Kuzhambu recipes here and all of our Sambar dishes. You might like to browse our Indian recipes. Or simple take some time to check out our Early Autumn collection.

Continue reading “Sampangi Pitlai”

Pitlai | Toor Dal with Vegetables

Pitlai is a South Indian recipe using some basic vegetables and cooked in a coconut-based gravy with specific spices that have been fried in ghee. It sits close to Poritha Kuzhambu and Poritha Kootu, but the spice mix varies from these.

South India adores its rice, and so the different cuisines of the South include a huge range of gravy-like dishes that are ladled over warm rice to be mixed and enjoyed. It makes sense, right? Rasam, Sambar, Kuzhambu, Kootu etc are the most common. Pitlai sits in that group too, and some will say it is a type of Sambar and others will say it is a type of Kuzhambu. Meenakshi Ammal sits her Pitlai recipes within her Poritha Kuzhambu and Poritha Kootu section – those with a fried spice mix/ paste. The dish varies slightly from any of the above – in consistency, spices used, and the vegetables that are added – bitter gourd and eggplant are definite favourites. Like the other Poritha dishes, it is the ground paste of spices, the coconut, and the predominance of lentils, that serve to thicken the dish. A tiny amount of rice flour can help if needed.

Pitlai includes coriander and Bengal Gram in its coconut-based spice paste, and this is the difference from the Poritha Kootu and Poritha Kuzhambu pastes. As I say about South Indian dishes – change out one spice and the dish has a different name, a different way of eating, a different time of day to eat it and different vegetables to include in it. 🙂

Pitlai is made all over South India and each region will have its own interpretation of the dish. This is a recipe from the Tamil Brahmin Cuisine.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Simple Poritha Kuzhambu, Sampangi Pitlai, Poritha Kuzhambu with Chilli and Cumin,  and Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth Leaves.

Are you looking for other Kuzhambu? Try Green Chilli Kuzhambu, Masala Kuzhambu with Gram Flour Vadai, and Tomato Kuzhambu.

You might like to try some Sambar. We recommend Moru Sambar, Classic Seasoned Sambar, and Sambar Powder and Paste.

Why not have a look at all our Kuzhambu dishes, and all Kootu. All of the Sambar dishes are here. Browse the Meenakshi Ammal recipes. Or take some time to explore our easy Early Autumn dishes.

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Malaysian Lemak-Style Vegetables | Vegetables in a Coconut-Curry Broth

Enjoy the flavours of Malaysia with this easy vegetable dish.

Fresh, crunchy and health-giving, a bowl of stir-fried vegetables enriched with a deeply flavoured Coconut Curry broth is a wonderful lunch or light dinner – even an evening snack. A Food Bowl, straight from the source, without following any current food fashion.

You might like to also try : How to Make a Bowl Salad, or some tofu recipes – How to Use Deep Fried Tofu, Tofu Stacks with Spinach, or Marinated Tofu.

How about some other Vegetable Curries? Avial is stunning, or try a Mushroom Curry, Chilli Cabbage, or Olan.

Or explore some spicy soups – Tomato Rasam, Pepper Rasam or Indian Dal Soup.

Please browse other Malaysian recipes, and S. E. Asian recipes. All Tofu recipes are here. You might like to explore our easy Early Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Malaysian Lemak-Style Vegetables | Vegetables in a Coconut-Curry Broth”

Glorious Five Bean Salad

In this up-and-down weather at the moment, one day 38C, the next down to 20C, Summer trying to heat up but seemingly running out of fuel. We need to vary our food according to weather – when H O T , we do very very cooling dishes, when it cools we look for a little more substance.

Just right for the cooler Summer days is a Five Bean Salad – the beans add substance but it is still a salad, full of the tang of lemon and olive oil, Summery full of parsley.

Are you after similar dishes? Try Pan Fried Broad Beans with Tomatoes and Thyme, and Tawa Broad Beans.

Some more Salads for you – we have so many! Try a Simple but Delicious Chickpea Salad, Easy White Bean Salad, Sprouted White Pea Sundal and Fava Bean Puree with Dill.

You might like to explore our recipes for Chickpeas, Cannellini Beans, Kidney Beans, Green Beans and Broad Beans. All of our Salads are here and here. Or browse our easy Early Summer dishes.

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Florentine Beans | Fagioli alla Fiorentina

Tuscans are known as mangiafagioli, bean eaters. White beans are a way of life, and a traditional Tuscan meal often starts with a thick bean soup that has been cooked in a terracotta pot, flavoured with herbs and heavily anointed with olive oil. This one is cooked on the stove top for convenience, and is flavoured with sage, garlic and olive oil.

Eat these Tuscan beans with thick slices of real bread – one with a delicious crust and a chewy interior. If you like, spoon the beans over bread, slightly toasted. You will love it.

You might also like Tuscan Beans Baked with Lemon and Sage. Browse our Cannellini Bean recipes and here; and our Italian recipes here and here. Or simply explore our Late Spring dishes.

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Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal with Mung Dal and Coconut

Poriyals, from Tamil Nadu, and Thorans, from Kerala in India, are quick dishes where vegetables are stirfried with spices and coconut, turning ordinary vegetables into something amazing. They can form part of a meal, or can be eaten alone with roti or chapatti.

Our Thoran and Poriyal recipes are here and here, or try our other Fry recipes here.  Are you looking for Indian recipes? Browse here and here. Or perhaps search our Beans recipes here and here. Autumn recipes can be found here and here.

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How to Cook Vegetables for Sambar

Removing the confusion around cooking vegetables for Sambar

Once you are experienced at cooking sambar, it is quite easy. However, while mastering the skill it can be confusing. Here is some advice on making sambar, and particularly on cooking the vegetables for sambar.

The advice is based on my experience and the writings of S. Meenakshi Ammal who wrote the Cook and See series of books on traditional South Indian cooking.

Browse all of our sambar recipes here. and Meenakshi Ammal’s recipes here.

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Avial | Aviyal | Vegetables in a Coconut and Yoghurt Sauce | From Kerala, India

Avial is a gentle dish from Kerala, made with vegetables and coconut.

Avial is a gentle dish from Kerala. It is a thick mixture of vegetables and coconut, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. In essence, the vegetables are boiled or steamed and then dressed with the coconut-cumin-yoghurt sauce. Each family’s sauce is different from the next family’s. In our recipe today we are using cumin in the sauce.

Avial is considered an essential part of the Sadya, the Keralite vegetarian feast. It is commonly made with elephant yam, plantain, pumpkin, carrots, beans, Eggplant, cucumber, drumsticks and snake gourd. Carrots and beans are recent but delicious introduction. Bitter gourd can be included in some regions also.

Continue reading “Avial | Aviyal | Vegetables in a Coconut and Yoghurt Sauce | From Kerala, India”

Tawa Peas | Pan Fried Peas, Broad Beans or Edamame | Street Food

Quickly pan fried with salt and chilli, these are delicious snacks.

A great snack, quickly prepared, is pan fried edamame. You can use peas as well. I like to do this with shelled peas and beans, but you can also make this with peas and edamame in their pods. Simply suck them out of the shell between your teeth after cooking. This can even be made with broad beans.

Are you perhaps after Broad Bean recipes? Try Pan Fried Broad Beans with Tomatoes and Thyme, and Pan Fried Broad Beans with Lime, Chilli and Salt.

Also try these beauties: Fava Bean Puree with Dill, Glorious Five Bean Salad, and Broad Bean and Butter Bean Spread.

Browse our Pea recipes here and here, and all of our Snacks here and here.  Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Tawa Peas | Pan Fried Peas, Broad Beans or Edamame | Street Food”

Bean Paruppu Usili | Green Bean Paruppu Puttu | Green Beans with Lentil Crumble

This is a wonderful, textural dish, a perfect compliment to an Indian meal, or a snack on its own.

This Usili is from Meenakshi Ammal’s second volume of Cook and See. In Meenakshi Ammal’s book it is called Paruppu Puttu, or scrambled lentils. Usili (or usli)  also means scrambled – confusing for us at times, but different states, regions, towns, even families in India will hold different traditions, not the least in the naming of dishes. Just part of the wonderful rich tapestry which is India. There is more information on lentil crumble types here.

This lentil crumble recipe is made with beans, but you can also use other vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, grated carrot, banana flower, other types of beans such as cluster beans or broad beans, or indeed, without any vegetable at all.

You might also like Dhal Puttu, or Carrot Curry with Coconut Lentil Crumble. Or explore our Indian dishes here and here. All lentil crumbles are here. Other Winter recipes can be found here and here.

Continue reading “Bean Paruppu Usili | Green Bean Paruppu Puttu | Green Beans with Lentil Crumble”

Avarakkai Fry | Stir Fried Indian Broad Beans with Indian Spices

One of the easiest ways to cook vegetables to serve with any type of dal and rice is to stir fry them with spices.

One of the easiest ways to cook vegetables to serve with any type of dal and rice is to stir fry them with spices, adding a little water at the end so that the steam can complete the cooking if that is necessary. They taste fresh and so healthy as they are cooked quickly and retain colour and flavour.

Recently I was given some Avarakkai Beans, so rare to find fresh ones in Adelaide. They are called Indian Broad Beans and in a way they are the nano-est bit reminiscent of broad beans. The tiniest tiniest bit in flavour, but a little different in looks.

Wanting something to go with some Urad Tamatar Dal and a Rice and Mung cooked in Coconut and Coriander, I made this quick Avarakkai Fry.

You might also want to try Sweetcorn Sundal, Banana Coconut Fry, Eggplant Fry, or a Beetroot Fry. Try all of our Indian Vegetable Fry recipes. Browse all of our Indian recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Winter dishes here and here.

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Classic Seasoned Sambar, Method Four

This is the fourth of four methods that Ms Ammal presents for her basic sambars.

Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See Part 1 has four methods for cooking basic, classic seasoned sambar. This is the fourth method that she describes for that dish.

There are other types of sambar – Yoghurt and Buttermilk sambars, kuzhambu and others that stray from the classic approach. This recipe sticks to that classic, seasoned approach.

Are you wondering what defines a sambar? You might like to read this post that answers that question. If you like to explore sambars, you could browse all sambar recipes, kuzhambu recipes, and these helpful posts – Sambar, Method One, Method Three, and Method Four.

For how to cook vegetables for sambar, read On cooking Vegetables for Sambar. For making sambar powders, go to Sambar Powders and a Simple Sambar. Finally this one will also help –  Sambar – hot, sour or salty?. A lot of info for a simple dish:)

You can see the other methods here – Method 1, Method 2, Method 3. Continue reading “Classic Seasoned Sambar, Method Four”