Spring Onion Soup is less common than, say Onion Soup, but it isn’t unusual. It is delicious with a different taste to the long-cooked onions in Onion Soup. The base of the soup is made with potatoes which gives the soup some texture. This recipe also uses cream and a flour roux to add body to the soup, sticking with the usual simplicity of the soups from Vol 4 of Cook and See, the addendum to Meenakshi Ammal’s triology, this one written by Priya Ramkumar.
I do love exploring the soups in this volume. Theoretically, reading them op paper, they should not be worth making. Compared to other Soups that we usually make, they are so very simple, sort of 1950’s simple. But they are always amazingly good. Simple, unspiced or simply spiced, their flavours are unusual and unexpected.
I have spoken about South Indian Soups before – so gentle, just with the flavour of the vegetable, no chilli and little other spice. I am even more convinced that they are a left-over from the time of the British occupation (I have just read The Complete Indian Housemaker and Cook, written for British women spending time in India during the time of occupation). But nevertheless, I love these soups because of their quaintness, and perhaps because they remind me of the soups my mother made when I was but a wee girl.
Are you after other South Indian Soups? Try South Indian Beetroot Soup, South Indian Summery Tomato Soup, and South Indian Cauliflower Soup.
Or a Spring Onion recipe? Try Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Spring Onion.
If you want to browse all Indian Soups, they are here. Or have a look at our Spring Onion recipes. Perhaps you would like to explore all Indian dishes. Or maybe all of our Soups. Or simply take some time to have a look at our Mid Autumn dishes.
Continue reading “South Indian Spring Onion Soup”
This Kothsu (Gothsu, Kosthu) is a tamarind based South Indian (Tambrahm) curry that is made by roasting and mashing eggplant and popping it into a spicy tamarind gravy.
Some people get this dish confused with Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu, but it is different. Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu is made with toor dal and without tamarind. This 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.
It is a quick dish to make once the eggplant is roasted. The aroma of the roasting is a wonderful smell. I do it outside on the BBQ grill, and I am sure that all neighbours must suddenly become hungry, due to the aroma.
Are you after other Kothsu recipes? Try Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu. Others will be posted shortly, and you might like to check back.
Or would you like other Eggplant dishes? Try Baingan ka Salan – Eggplant in a Creamy Gravy, Sampangi Pitlai, and Eggplant Makhani.
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.
Continue reading “Brinjal Tamarind Kothsu | Eggplant Tamarind Kothsu | Roasted Eggplant in a Spicy Tamarind Sauce”
Pulse balls, or lentil dumplings, are added to the moar kuzhambu (spicy yoghurt gravy) to make a delicious South Indian dish.
Moar (or Mor, More or Moru) Kuzhambu is commonly prepared in South India and is extremely easy to make, taking almost no time at all. This one includes the lentil dumplings and so takes a little longer. The base for this dish with the lentil dumplings is Moar Kuzhambu, but rather than add vegetables or vatral, balls of ground lentils and spices are made (pulse balls) and added to the base.
S. Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See set of books has 2 Moar Kuzhambu (Buttermilk/Yoghurt spicy gravy) with Lentil Dumplings made from ground lentils.
This Pulse Ball Moar Kuzhambu differs from the first version of this dish. The ground lentil balls are simpler and cooked in the buttermilk and coconut gravy rather than steamed. It is very delicious.
You might also like to try Avial – Veggies in a Yoghurt and Coconut Sauce, Yoghurt Curry with Drumstick Vegetables, Moar Sambar, or a host of different lassi drinks.
You can find other Kuzhambu recipes here. If you would like to browse them, all of our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Autumn recipes.
Continue reading “Pulse Ball Moar Kuzhambu | Buttermilk & Coconut Gravy with Ground Lentil Balls | Yoghurt Curry with Lentil Dumplings”
The best Gothsu, they say, is definitely Chidambaram Gothsu, and the Gothsu made in this temple town is certainly different to varieties from elsewhere. Chidambaram Kothsu (also spelt Kosthu), or Gothsu (also spelt Gosthu or Gotsu), is a South Indian curry that is made using roasted and mashed eggplant. The Gothsu was originally made by the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple’s Dikshithars (special priests). They make it with Samba Sadham (lentils and rice) as an offering to Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram. It certainly does taste divine.
They say that Gothsu is a very old Tamil recipe, about 2000 years old. Traditionally the eggplants would be roasted over coals, but sadly today they are deep fried or sautéed. This recipe is without onions, just as the Dikshithars would make it. However, Chidambaram Gosthu is also made for many marriages in Chidambaram and for those occasions sambar onions are included.
This recipe is from Meenakshi Ammal’s treasure of TamBram recipes. It is different to other varieties of Gothsu in that it uses smoky roasted and shredded eggplants along with toor dal. You will see recipes without any dal, but if Ammal was making it this way it is probably more traditional. Ammal also includes this recipe in the chapter on Poritha Kuzhambu because of the dal and the spice mix fried in ghee.
There are other versions of Brinjal Gothsu that claim to be Chidambaram Gothsu, but they are not. The Chidambaram Gothsu includes Toor Dal. Without the dal, it is just Gothsu.
Are you looking for similar Poritha Kootu type recipes? We have some coming up and you should check for them here. In the meantime try Pitlai, and Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth Leaves.
Or are you looking for Eggplant Recipes? Try Babaganoush, Potato and Eggplant Curry with Punjabi Wadi, and Madras Curry with Eggplant, Sweet Potato and Spinach.
Want more? Check out our Meenakshi Ammal recipes and all of our Indian recipes. You might like to browse Indian Essentials. Have a look at all of our Eggplant dishes. Or take some time to explore our easy Early Autumn dishes.
Continue reading “Brinjal Chidambaram Kothsu | Eggplant Gothsu From Chidambaram”
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 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 other Kuzhambu? Check out our Poritha Kuzhambu dishes. Also 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.
Continue reading “Pitlai | Toor Dal with Vegetables”
The concept of soup in South India is unusual but not unknown. Even Meenakshi Ammal and Priya Ramkumar covered them in the classic books Cook and See. I have not been able to trace the origins of South Indian Soups – perhaps the British occupation – and many people that I ask deny their existence. But no, they are part of the cuisine, albeit a limited part, and I have been served them in India on several occasions.
Indian soups are basically un-spiced thin but flavoursome broths, with perhaps the addition of some cubed vegetables. This one is from Priya Ramkumar herself, in Vol 4 of Cook and See, and is a beetroot soup that extracts the flavour and colour of beetroot for the soup without including the vegetable. It is surprisingly delicious! I was quite amazed by the flavour of this soup and it has become a favourite. And why would you make soups any differently in a country that produces so many thick, nourishing, soupy, spicy dishes that are eaten as an accompaniment to rice?
Are you after Beetroot Soups? Try Chilled Beetroot Soup. Or some Beetroot recipes include Beetroot with Yoghurt-Tahini Dressing, Roast Beetroot with Cumin, and Warm Beetroot and Carrot Salad.
Or perhaps some Indian Soups. Try South Indian Spring Onion Soup, South Indian Cauliflower Soup, Light Summery Tomato Soup, and Amaranth and Tamarind Soup.
Are you looking for more? Check out our Beetroot Soups, and then for more Indian Soups, browse here. You might like to have a look at our range of Soups here. Or explore all of our Indian dishes. Or cook seasonally with our easy, Mid Spring dishes. Enjoy!
Continue reading “South Indian Beetroot Soup”
Sakkarai Pongal is short grained, raw rice cooked in jaggery and milk with mung dal, simmered until thick and then garnished with ghee, cashew nuts and raisins. It is not the traditional Milk Pongal cooked completely in milk, but is a definite favourite. It is a distinctive dish from Tamil Nadu, and also cooked in Sri Lanka and some other states in South India.
Pongal is a festival in January where we thank the Sun for the bounty that it brings us. Sakkarai Pongal is cooked in the morning as the sun rises and is presented as part of the devotions. Read more about the Pongal Festival here. And all of our dishes for the Pongal Festival are here.
But Pongal, the dish, can be made at any time. There are sweet versions like this one (called sakkarai), and you might like to try the other versions: Sakkarai Pongal from Jaffna; and Sakkaria Pongal without Milk. Check to see if we have since posted other version.
And there is are savoury versions, and we have a couple of versions of Ven Pongal. You can see recipes here.
Otherwise, browse all of our Rice dishes, and all of our Indian dishes. You might like to take some time and browse all of our Mid Summer recipes.
Continue reading “Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal with Milk”
Dry Mango for year round summer flavours
South India, I guess all of India, has a culture of drying vegetables, mixtures of lentils and spices, and pastes made from rice, sago and similar. This is sensible of course – it preserves summer produce for use throughout the year, and thus in leaner seasons it extends freshly available ingredients.
Although terms are used interchangeably, strictly speaking:
- Vathal are dried vegetables and fruits
- Vadagam are dried balls of lentils and spices
- Vadam is a paste or dough made from rice, sago etc that is dried and then fried before using. Also called Fryums.
You might also like other Mango recipes here and here. Browse our Indian Recipes here. Or try a collection of easy Summer dishes here and here.
Continue reading “Mango Vathal | Dried Mango for Indian Dishes”
A classic dessert of Tamil Nadu
Sago Payasam is a classic dessert in Tamil Nadu in South India, along with Vermicelli and Rice Payasams. Payasams are sweet desserts, the milk condensing and thickening as it cooks and the sugar sweetens this thick mixture to a level almost beyond the experience of cooks outside of India. Hold back on the sugar to begin with if you do not have a sweet tooth.
You might also like our Payasam recipes here and here. Or our Sago recipes here and here. Explore our Indian Desserts here, or the more general Dessert recipes here and here.
Continue reading “Sago Payasam | South Indian Dessert”
Rasavangi is a spicy, tamarind based eggplant dish that is a wonderful change from a regular sambar. It is similar to a Kootu or Pitlay and is very common in South Indian households.
Rasavangi is a close cousin of the Arachuvitta Kootu/Sambar, but with different spices. It is also very close to Pitlay. It is a good example of how a small change in spices can make a dish taste very different. This has a wonderful flavour profile of coriander and coconut. All you need with it is some rice and perhaps a simple potato dish, papadums or a vegetable curry.
You might like to browse our Sambar Recipes or all of our Eggplant recipes here and here. Feel free to browse the Indian Recipes. Our Kuzhambu recipes are here.
Continue reading “Kathirkkai Rasavangi | Brinjal Rasavangi | Eggplant and Toor Dal”
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.
Continue reading “Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal with Mung Dal and Coconut”
A warming rice combining the dark flavours of pepper and cumin
Pepper-Cumin rice is another great favourite of South India. Rice is flavoured with the warmth of black pepper and the earthiness of cumin. You can adjust the pepper levels to your individual taste preferences.
You might like to have a look at Pepper Rice, and to browse our rice dishes here and here. Our Indian dishes are all here, or have a look at our Winter recipes here and here.
Continue reading “Pepper Cumin Rice | Milagu Jeeraga Saadham”
A dish for Thai Pongal especially, but also wonderful at home.
Pongal is a creamy rice and mung dal dish from South India (and from the Tamil cuisine in Sri Lanka) which can be made savoury and sweet. In many ways, pongal is similar to the kitchari dish of North India.
Sweet pongal is made at home, but also made as naivedyam and prasadam – gifts to the gods during the different festivals. It is the essential dish for Thai Pongal, a festival each January where families cook sweet pongal over an open fire (if possible).
I love it for breakfast, particularly in the coldness of Mid Winter.
You might like to browse other Pongals, and some Kitcharis. Have a look at our other Naivedyam and Prasadam dishes, and other Thai Pongal dishes. Read about Thai Pongal, or browse other Rice dishes.
Continue reading “Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal from Jaffna (without milk)”
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. I have detailed Method 1, and this is Method 2.
Have a look at the types of rasam powder. Rasam powders vary as much as rasam recipes themselves. It is interesting that recipes that use a pre-ground rasam powder (rather than individual spices) don’t specify the type of rasam powder to be used. For example, if your intention is to make a plain rasam without toor dal, Meenakshi Ammal recommends using a mix that does not contain large amounts of toor dal. That is the case with this rasam. So if you are going to make your powder fresh for this recipe, choose one without much toor dal. But, really, if you have some already made or purchased, it will still work really well, so use whichever type you have. Even Sambar Powder will be Ok.
Are you interested in other Rasams? Try Spicy Tomato and Dal Rasam, Tulsi Rasam, and Tomato Rasam.
You might also be interested in the following articles:
You might like to explore all of our Rasam recipes. Our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to browse our Mid Winter recipes.
Continue reading “Kottu Rasam | A Simple Plain Rasam | Method 2”