Brinjal Rasam | Eggplant Rasam | and Eggplant Rasam with Rosewater

Brinjal Rasam is a type of Mysore Rasam, but with eggplant added. It is a delightful combination – whether in sambar or Rasam, toor dal and eggplant are a match made in heaven. It is another recipe from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See.

One of the interesting notes that Ammal Auntie makes in Mysore Rasam is that the addition of Rose petals (or rose water) to Mysore Rasam (the second method) brings out the flavour and provides a nice rose scent. She is right! If you are going to try this, best leave out the asafoetida. The rose water has a tang of its own, and it tames some of the rasam’s spiciness. The scent is certainly there and it is not unpleasant, as strange as it may seem. It does go well with the eggplant.

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Easy Tomato Pepper Rasam

Sometimes, particularly when cooking large batches of dishes, we skip corners and the steps that enhance the complexity and sophistication of the dish go by the wayside. And this is Ok – it still tastes jolly amazing.

This rasam is in that category. The recipe is for 2’ish cups (four small serves or 2 large ones), but it can be scaled up. This is the way that rasam is often cooked when 30 or so people need to be fed, and in our house, it might be made this way when it is 15 mins to dinner time and we just need to get it on the table.

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Bitter Melon Pachadi | Paharkkai Thayir Pachadi

There are two types of Bitter Melon (also called Bitter Gourd) – a light green Chinese variety and a dark green Indian variety (Karela).  Both melons have the same hardiness and bitter flavour. The only real difference is the appearance. Indian bitter gourds are narrower than the Chinese type, rather like a zucchini. They have irregular ridges and triangle-shaped “teeth” all over the surface of the skin, along with slightly ragged ridges. Chinese ones can grow more more than 25cm long and they have blunt ends. Broader than Indian gourds, they have light green skins dotted liberally with wart-like bumps rather than teeth. Both types have thick skins and white seeds.

Luckily, both types are available to us locally. I have used the Chinese type in this dish, but either variety could be used. The Indian varieties would be more traditional.

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Poritha Kootu with Finely Diced Snake Gourd

Kootu is a favourite in our house – well, we just love toor dal, truth be told. With a snake gourd in the fridge, left over from making Snake Gourd Pachadi, we make this Snake Gourd Kootu. The same recipe can be made with cabbage, kohlrabi, amaranth leaves or spinach instead of snake gourd.

The gourd is finely diced in this recipe, so it disappears into the dal, and is a delightful surprise as you are eating. Gorgeous pops of green-tasting snake gourd in your mouth. It is wonderful served with rice.

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Brinjal Kothsu with Tamarind | Sutta Kathirikkai Gothsu | Roasted Eggplants in a Spicy Tamarind Gravy

This Kothsu (also spelled Gothsu or Kosthu) is a tamarind based South Indian curry that is made by roasting and mashing eggplant and popping it into a spicy tamarind gravy. It is the second Kosthu of this kind that we have posted. The first one, Brinjal Tamarind Kothsu, uses a different spice mix with the eggplant. These Kothsu recipes are different to many others as they are made with roasted eggplants which gives them a smoky flavour.

Some people get these two Brinjal Kothsu dishes confused with Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu, but they are different. Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu is made with toor dal and without tamarind. Today’s Brinjal Kothsu is made without any dal, and includes tamarind. There is only a little gravy which is thickened with some rice flour, so it just coats the eggplant. You can see that the two dishes are quite different.

This recipe can also be made with plantain (green banana) or onions instead of eggplant. See the notes below the recipe for more details.

Are you after other Kothsu recipes? Try Brinjal Tamarind Kothsu, Cabbage Kosthu, and Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu.

Or would you like other Eggplant dishes? Try Pitlai, Aubergines in Coconut  Milk, and Baingan ka Bharta.

Or browse all of the Kothsu dishes, and all of the Eggplant dishes. Meenakshi Ammal’s recipes are available here, and all of our Indian recipes are here. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Pudalangai Thayir Pachadi | Snake Gourd Yoghurt Pachadi

Snake gourd is commonly available in our Indian and Asian grocery shops, so it appears periodically in our kitchen. This is an easy dish to make with the snake gourd – the ginger-coconut yoghurt a wonderful foil to the green crispiness of the vegetable. It is another of the wealth of yoghurt pachadi dishes (vegetables in yoghurt) of South India, Tamil Nadu in particular.

Similar dishes include Bitter Melon Pachadi, Tomato Pachadi, Smoky Roasted Eggplant in Yoghurt, and Crisp Okra Pachadi.

Browse all of our Pachadi dishes and our Snake Gourd recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Keerai Molagootal | Spinach with a Peppery Coconut Gravy

A bunch of beautiful spinach leaves from the garden – what can be better than cooking them with toor dal and coconut with a pepper hit? This recipe is a Palakkad recipe – from that region in Kerala on the border of Tamil Nadu. The area is a melting pot of influences especially Tamil and Malayalam. This dish is quite traditional. Some recipes include pepper and others do not. As it’s name indicates with pepper, that is how we cooked it. It is quite similar to a kootu, but subtly different. It is much like the Poritha Kuzhambu of Tamil Nadu.

In Kerala, many different greens are used for this dish, even cabbage. It can be made with chowchow, long beans, snake gourd and yellow pumpkin. Mixtures of vegetables such as plantain, carrot, yam, potato and chowchow, are also excellent. Indian greens include mulai keerai, paruppu keerai, thandu keerai, palak keerai, and ara keerai – oh to have the same range of greens here.

Similar dishes include Moringa Leaf Dal, Poritha Kootu, and Ridged Gourd Masiyal.,

Browse all of our Spinach dishes. Our Kootu recipes are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Mysore Rasam | Second Method

This is our second version of Mysore Rasam from Meenakshi Ammal. It varies slightly from the first version, but as we know with Indian cooking small changes can make significant taste differences.

Mysore Rasam is similar to Kottu (Plain) Rasam, in that it includes toor dal to give the rasam a beautiful silky texture. It also uses the water from cooking the dal to round out the flavours. It is also rather like Plain Dal Rasam with different spices. And in this recipe, rasam powder is not used, rather the spices are sauteed and ground while the toor dal cooks.

You might also be interested in reading about the difference between Rasam and Sambar.

Similar recipes include Eggplant Rasam, Easy Tomato Rasam, Cumquat Rasam, Spicy Tomato and Dal Soup, and Pepper Rasam.

Browse all of our Rasam recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

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Uppadam | Okra Kuzhambu with Sundakkai Vatral

Uppadam is an older recipe, one which people recall their Grandmothers or perhaps Mothers making, but which seems to have lost favour in the current generations. It is generally made with okra, and, as Uppadam means something that is preserved, with vatral, sun-dried vegetables, as well. Manathakkali vatral is traditionally used, and I searched high and low for it. It is difficult to obtain here, it seems, so Sundakkai is the recommended alternative. Sundakkai is sun-dried Turkey Berry/Pea Eggplants.

There are a few ways of making Kuzhambu style dishes with okra, but I particularly like this way. It has that sense of connecting one with past generations of women cooking in the kitchens of South India, or directing the making of similar dishes with a specialist’s hand. The okra is cooked with spices and the vatral, before tamarind and a paste of toasted rice, fenugreek, and chillies is added. This thickens the dish, so it is half way between a Rasam and a Sambar. Meenakshi Ammal has a similar recipe, and I will share that one too, in due course.

Roasting the rice will interest you. It releases more moisture that you thought possible, and the grain itself therefore changes somewhat. Roast until it is aromatic.

Similar dishes include Green Chilli Kuzhambu, Fenugreek Kuzhambu, and Vatral Kuzhambu.

Browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Kuzhambu recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Green Tomato Sambar with Crushed Curry Leaves

It has been a great year for green tomatoes – both our Asian grocery and our local Middle Eastern green grocer have stocked them at various times. So we have indulged our love of them with a range of recipes.

Some of our most loved green tomato recipes are from India, and today’s dish is a gorgeous sambar from Tamil Nadu. As green tomatoes have a sourness to them, the amount of tamarind is reduced for this sambar.

Similar dishes include Green Tomato and Onion Subzi, Green Tomato Pachadi, and Green Tomato Bhaji.

Browse all of our Green Tomato dishes and all of our Sambar recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Vendakkai Mor Kuzhambu | Okra in a Spicy Yoghurt Sauce

Mor (or Moar or More) Kuzhambu is a yoghurt based dish of South India, forming a wonderful spiced yoghurt gravy that is delicious served over rice. In this recipe, ladyfingers (okra) are sauteed until crisp and then added to the yoghurt sauce. It is a flavoursome use of okra, and the crispiness contrasts beautifully with the silkiness of the yoghurt sauce.

The yoghurt is flavoured with a coconut flavoured spice paste which also contains rice flour. The rice flour helps to stabilise the yoghurt so it doesn’t split, and will slightly thicken the yoghurt sauce.

Find out what Kuzhambu is here.

Are you after similar dishes? Try Mor Kuzhambu with Lentil Dumplings, Moar Kuzhambu with Vatral or Vegetables, and another version of Mor Kuzhambu with Lentil Dumplings.

Similar Okra dishes include Sri Lankan Okra Curry.

Or browse all of our Kuzhambu recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. All of our Okra dishes are here, and our Yoghurt recipes are here. Or spend some time browsing our Mid Winter collection of dishes.

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Kottu Rasam | Plain Simple Rasam | Third Method

This recipe is another from Meenakshi Ammal’s books Cook and See. It is a plain rasam, very simple and quick to make as it does not contain any significant amount of toor dal. She has three methods for making this rasam, each one treats the 1 teaspoon of toor dal that it does contain, in a different way. This is Method 3. Method 1 is here, and Method 2 is here. They are all very similar, but the taste and texture difference is subtle but noticeable.

This rasam may be simple and quick but it does not lose anything in flavour. It is amazing – tangy, spicy, and the taste of coriander complimenting the rasam. Make double the recipe, you might need seconds.

Just a note on Rasam powder – if you are going to make your rasam powder fresh for this recipe, make one without much toor dal. But, really, if you have some already made or purchased, it will still work well, so use whichever type you have. Even Sambar Powder will be Ok.

Are you interested in other Rasams? Try Mysore Rasam, Tomato Lentil Rasam, Tulsi Rasam, Cumquat Rasam, and Pepper Rasam.

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Our simply explore all of our Rasam recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

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Poritha Kuzhambu with Tamarind

Poritha Kuzhambu is a delicious dish defined by the addition of coconut and cumin seeds. Many of our recipes for this dish have been made without tamarind, but today’s recipe includes that wonderful, sour tang.

What makes Poritha Kuzhambu different from Sambar and Pitlay is its ground masala with coconut, cumin and urad dal (black gram dal). Some households use black pepper instead of cumin. Poritha Kuzhambu with Tamarind can be made with a medley of vegetables or a single one, often with the addition of a legume. Meenakshi Ammal always suggests using only one vegetable for Poritha Kuzhambu and a mixture of vegetables for Kootu. Although in this one, when listing the vegetables, she seems to relax that rule just for a moment for this recipe, suggesting that vegetables can be used in combination, but later instructions imply again that for Kuzhambu, one vegetable is best.

Another feature of Poritha Kuzhambu with Tamarind is that it often includes lentils and/or beans together with the traditional toor dal (red gram dal). We have made this with toor dal and chickpeas. Delicious!

This recipe is indeed one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from the first volume of Cook and See. This recipe is a tangle! Like the first ones in the book, for Sambar, this recipe definitely takes some detective work to untangle. Thoughts have been put down without logic and structure, so I have done my best to add sequence and process to the instructions. I do hope that you enjoy.

Would you like to try other Poritha Kuzhambu recipes? Try Simple Poritha Kuszhambu, and Ammal’s “Method Three” Poritha Kuzhambu.

Are you looking for general Kuzhambu Recipes? Try Green Chilli Kuzhambu, Fenugreek Kuzhambu and Race Kuzhambu.

Why not browse through the recipes of Meenakshi Ammal? They are here. She certainly is my guru of Tamil cuisine.

Then browse all of the Poritha Kuzhambu recipes. All of our Sambar and Kuzhambu dishes can be browsed here. Have a look at all of our Indian recipes. Or you may like to explore our Early Autumn recipes.

I would also suggest trying the Kootu recipes – these are very similar but have a thicker consistency.

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Yam Masiyal with Fenugreek Seeds | Karunaikizhangu Masiyal

India has so many types of yams, ones that we don’t even dream of here. Two favourites are Elephant Yam and Elephant Foot Yam. Luckily these are available in a frozen from from Indian groceries.  (Note that these yams are often confused, understandably, but are in fact, different yams.)

And luckily, Meenakshi Ammal, in her books Cook and See, has some recipes for these yams. In Tamil, the yams are Karunaikizhangu and Chenai (or Senai) Kizhangu. Don’t confuse it with Seppankizhangu, which is colocasia (taro), slightly smaller than karnaikizhangu. The Hindi name for the Elephant Foot Yam is Suran Jingikand. This recipe is for Elephant Yam but can also be made with Elephant Food Yam.

Similar recipes include Poritha Kootu, and South Indian Yellow Pumpkin Soup.

Browse all of our Elephant Yam and Elephant Foot Yam recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Drumstick Rasam

Drumstick Rasam is extra tasty and can be made either with pieces of drumstick (a vegetable from South India), or if your drumstick is well grown but tender, the pulp can be scraped from the inside and added to the rasam. It is very delicious! I have to admit that I adore drumsticks.

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

You might also be interested in reading about the difference between Rasam and Sambar.

Similar recipes include Eggplant Rasam, Mysore Rasam, Kottu Rasam, Cumquat Rasam, Spicy Tomato and Dal Soup, and Pepper Rasam.

Browse all of our Rasam recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

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