Vazhakkai Podimas | Plantain Mash

Podimas is the Tamil (South Indian) equivalent to a mash – potato podimas is quite divine. Here we are using plantains – the variety of banana that is primarily used green or raw. The plantain is simmered until tender, mashed or crumbled, then mixed with spices. It is a great side dish.

Similar recipes include Sweet Potato Mash with Lime Salsa, Plantain Kari, Plantain Mor Kootu, Vazakkai Poriyal, and Thani Kootu.

Browse all of our Plantain dishes and our Podimas recipes. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Poritha Kootu with Beans

Here is another Poritha Kootu to add to our list of about a dozen recipes.  It is a delicious way to serve a range of vegetables (or make it without vegetables), with the health benefits of lentils as well. A Vegetarians dream!

Today I am using Green Beans and Italian Flat Beans – they are readily available here and quite delicious. They make an excellent kootu.

I find mung is one of my favourite dals, one that nourishes and makes me feel relaxed and comfortable. I tend to use split, hulled (yellow) mung in Summer and whole or split, unhulled (green) mung in Winter, in various dishes.

Similar dishes include Poritha Kootu with Snake Gourd, Ridge Gourd Masiyal, and Eggplant Kothsu.

Browse all of our Poritha Kootu recipes and all of our Green Bean dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Vendakkai Puli Kootu | Okra Tamarind Kootu

Okra is so very good in the shops right now, as I write, so I grabbed some from the Asian market in my last shopping trip. Lovely thin, tender, long spears of goodness – how we love them.

You will love this recipe. It is as simple as Indian cooking can get. The okra is sliced and cooked with tamarind, green chillies and a little toor dal. Other recipes will add tomatoes, onions, garlic, sambar powder or other spices, coconut, etc, but I prefer this simple, honest preparation from the Palghat (Palakkad) area of Kerala. I have made it quite thick, as you can see, as I prefer it that way, but you can have more sauce if you prefer. I found this approach in the book Classic Tamil Brahman Cuisine by Viji Varadarajan.

Similar recipes include Pumpkin Kootu with Coconut, Cluster Bean Kootu, Okra Patia, Bhindi Bhaji, and Okra Kuzhambu.

Browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Kerala recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer 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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Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi | Crispy Sautéed Okra in Yoghurt

Yoghurt is as important in our kitchen as it is in general in Indian cuisine. Desi yoghurt is used all over India, in different ways, of course, in the different regions. This recipe brings together one of our much loved vegetables – okra – with yoghurt and spice to form the South Indian version of Raita, called Pachadi. There is something very special about okra with yoghurt. Divine.

This recipe takes okra slices and sautés them (which eliminates the sliminess) until crisp before mixing with the yoghurt. This is a great dish for Festival days too. It is a simpler version of this Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi.

Are you looking for other Pachadi recipes? Try Dried Okra Pachadi, Vendakka Khichadi, Teeny Dried Okra Vathal, Ginger Coconut Pachadi, Nilgiri’s Carrot Pachadi, Eggplant Pachadi, and Spinach Pachadi.

Or try other Yoghurt dishes – Aryan, Green Peppers in Yoghurt, and Yoghurt Curry with Lentil Dumplings.

Okra recipes include Crispy Battered Okra in Tomato Sauce.

Browse all of our Yoghurt recipes and all of our Pachadi and Raita dishes. All of our Indian dishes are here. Or try our Late Autumn collection of recipes.

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Murungakkai Sambar | Drumstick Sambar With Crushed Curry Leaves

Drumsticks, such a funny name, are stick shaped vegetables that grow on a tree. They are funny, skinny, long vegetables with a hard outer covering that gives them the name drumsticks. You have to be in the know to eat this vegetable, as you would never guess it. There is a soft interior that is delicious. The pieces of drumsticks have to be picked up with the fingers, the exterior is squashed in the mouth and the tender interior can be scraped out with the teeth. You come to love this little procedure. The harder skin, once all flavour is extracted from it, is discarded on the side of the plate.

Drumsticks are particularly delicious in Sambar and Rasam. They are best bought fresh, but frozen drumsticks are readily available in Indian groceries if you can’t find them locally. This recipe is from the classic book Classic Tamil Brahmin Cuisine, such a great book of classic South Indian / Tamil traditional recipes. The method is somewhat different to Meenakshi Ammal’s seminal recipes from Cook and See, in that the tadka is added to the base gravy before the cooked dal is added. Ammal usually also includes tomatoes in her sambar as well, and thickens the dish with a little rice flour or besan at the end. I have added the thickening trick to the recipe as it really does add to the texture of the dish.

Similar recipes include Okra Sambar, Drumstick Sambar with Lime, Onion Sambar, Poritha Koottu, Poritha Kuzhambu, Drumstick Kadhi, and Pitlai.

Browse all of our Drumstick recipes and all of our Sambar dishes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Late Spring dishes.

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South Indian Boondi Yoghurt | Crispy Fried Balls in Yoghurt | Boondhi Thayir Pachadi

A delightful pachadi with texture. From Tamil Nadu.

There are North Indian and South Indian versions of Boondhi Yoghurt – those little crispy balls made from chickpea flour. The North Indian version is chock full of spices, but the South Indian version, as with so much of their food, has pared it back to essential flavours and textures to let the ingredients shine in the undercurrent of spice. Boondhi Yoghurt is very cooling – a great summer dish.

Boondhi is chickpea flour crispies deep fried with spices. You can buy Boondhi in Indian grocers, or you can make your own on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

We have other Boondi recipes scheduled, so check back here later.

Try other Pachadi dishes with yoghurt – Ginger Coconut Yoghurt Pachadi, Cucumber Yoghurt Pachadi, and Carrot Sambol.

Similar recipes include Apple and Celery Creamy Yoghurt Salad, Cucumber and Pineapple Kachumber, and Boondi Salad with Chickpeas and Coconut.

Are you looking for Tamil Pachadi recipes? You will enjoy them. Or perhaps Andhra style Pachadis? They are here. All of our Yoghurt dishes are here, and our Indian recipes are indexed here. Or take some time to browse our Late Summer recipes.

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Inji Thengai Thayir Pachadi | Ginger Coconut Yoghurt Salad or Chutney

Have I mentioned how important yoghurt is in our kitchen? We use it a lot – from lassi drinks, to salad dressings, to yoghurt curries, chilled soups, to pachadi dishes like this one, to all sorts of Middle Eastern dishes. We drain it to make it thick, we pile it on our overnight oats for breakfast and we drizzle it over fruit salads.

This dish, Ginger and Coconut Pachadi, can be used as an Indian Chutney (ie as a little on the side to eat with the main dishes) or more like an Indian Yoghurt Salad.

Try these recipes too: Dried Okra Pachadi, Bitter Melon Pachadi, Spinach Pachadi, Carrot Pachadi, Boohdhi Pachadi, Eggplant Pachadi, and Cucumber Pachadi.

If you would like some more ginger in your life, try this tea, Pickled Ginger, and a Ginger and Garlic Soup.

Take some time to browse all of our Pachadi dishes, all Yoghurt dishes and all Ginger dishes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Vellarikkai Thayir Pachadi | Cucumber Yoghurt Salad

The joy of yoghurt is beautifully expressed in this flavoursome recipe for Cucumber Pachadi. Cucumber and yoghurt feature all over the world. The combination, in what ever form or from what ever cuisine, is so well known. Both ingredients are cooling, so it makes this a special dish for hot weather. But this does not mean that you need to forgo it on cooler days. An essential part of an informal gathering, Cucumber Pachadi always wins over your guests.

Similar dishes include Cucumber Raita, and Tomato Pachadi.

You might like to read more about Pachadi and browse our Pachadi recipes. Or explore our Yoghurt recipes. Our Indian dishes are here and Indian Essentials here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes too.

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Thakkali Paruppu Rasam | Tomato Lentil Rasam | A spicy tomato based broth

A definite favourite, and one of my first rasam experiences.

We struggle to describe Indian food in Western terms. Rasam isnt really a soup, but it would be the closest term that we have to describe it. It is a spicy “soupy” “drink” that is often eaten as part of a meal in Sth India, particularly Tamil Nadu.”Broth” is a good term. That would be close. Served in a metal cup, it can be sipped from that cup, or poured over rice or other parts of the meal to moisten drier curries. It is truly a delicious and very versatile part of an Indian meal.

Rasams may or may not involve lentils. The most simplest rasams are water, chillies and spices, perhaps some tamarind. I love to make them from the top water when I am cooking lentils for a dal – ie remove the water on top of the lentils when they have cooked, before you turn the lentils into a dal. Use that wonderfully flavoured water to make a rasam.

At the opposite end of the scale are rasams that are based on lentils. Today’s recipe is one such recipe, made with red gram dal.It is quite different to this Tomato Rasam which I first made some years ago.

Similar recipes include Mysore RasamKottu Rasam, Pepper Rasam, and Tomato Rasam.

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You might like to browse other Rasam recipes. Or explore our Indian dishes Our Indian Essentials are here. And browse our Mid Winter recipes too.

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