Monday, October 25, 2021

Two South Indian delights

 Kara Kuzhambu and Pitlai:

Both dishes are all round favorites in south India.

The Kara Kuzhambu recipe is from my friend Akila whose cooking I truly admire.

The pitlai recipe is from my mother and mil whose recipes are similar.

Kara kuzhambhu:


1. Sesame oil - 2-3 spoon

2. Mustard, urad dhal

3. Fenugreek seed

Sauté the above and until they splutter and fenugreek seeds golden brown.

Add below ingredients one by one and fry them.

4. Curry leaves.

5. Garlic pods (3-4) , cut into big cubes pieces 

6. Onion

7. Mixture of veggies ( I normally use 2-3 of any of the following vegetable combination such as tindora, avaraikai, eggplant, drumstick  )

8.  Fry until they are half cooked

9. Add 1 tomato and fry until it turn mushy.

10. Add below powders one by one: 

11.  Chiili powder - 1 tsp

12. Coriander powder - 2 tsp ( you can substitute with sambhar powder)

13. Veggies should be cooked 3/4th

14. Add tamarind extract water ( goose berry size tamarind soaked in water )

15. Boil until the raw smell disappears.

16. Grind the following mixture and add it to the kuzambu.

17. Fresh coconut - 1/4 cup, 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, 10 pepper corns with sufficient amount of water.

18. Pour desired ant of water and cook it in sum until the oil oozes out.




Pavakai- 2 or three cut into small pieces and sauté a little.

Wash in salt water if it is dark green could be very bitter

Other Vegs like eggplant, or sometimes 1 tomato along with pavakai 

Other times I will make with eggplant alone

Also sometimes I will add cooked kondakadalai one karandi

For grinding:

Roast in little oil- one or two big tablespoons chana dal, 

One teaspoon jeera,

One or two tablespoon Urdu dal 

Grated coconut up to 1/4 moodi or more if you like

Red chilies per preference 

Black pepper at least 2 tsp as preferred crushed

Tamarind squeezed small lemon size 

Toor dal cooked 

Little coconut oil

Curry leaves 


Little jaggery salt as you like


Sauté the vegetables 

Boil tamarind water with turmeric salt add sautéed vegetables 

Let boil add ground paste add jaggery add hing

Add cooked parupu

Add more black pepper 

Do thaalichu in coconut oil if you like it other oil of mustard seeds curry leaves 

Diwali Lehyam

 Fresh ginger 1 small cup about 6 oz cut fine and grind to paste

Jaggery equal or little more quantity than ginger crush it 

Dry ginger 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder 1 tsp

Cumin powder 1 tsp 

Carom seeds or ajwain small tsp 

Ghee 2 or 3 tspp

Boil jaggery to 1 string consistency add the ground ginger and little ghee and let cook toward the end all the other powders 

Mix well till it forms a nice ball consistency.

Store in cool place 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Rice flour - 3 cups
Pottukadala maavu  flour - 1 cup
Then, yellow moong dal flour -1/2 cup
or urud dal flour - 14 cup

Roast lightly before grinding to dry flour

Butter - 2 to 3 tbsp. or 1/2 stick
1tsp salt or as to taste
Hing, white sesame seeds
Red chilli powder - as needed
Also add some boiled hot oil - 2 tsp while kneading
Make into chappathi dough consistency

Then use star mould and spread in hot oil

Let cook till golden.
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