Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Vendakkai sambar (okra sambar)

1cup medium cut okra
½ cup medium cut onions
1cup thoor dal
1cup tamarind water
1cup tomato puree
1tsp dhaniya powder (coriander)
½ tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tsp sambar powder
Chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and water as per requirement.

For tempering
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
Red chillies
Curry leaves
2tsp oil or ghee


Fry the okra in 2 tsp oil in a pan for 10 –13 min till it gets soft. Keep separately. In a saucepan add tamarind water, turmeric and salt and bring to boil. Now add the okra, onions, sambar powder and dhaniya powder and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
Add tomato puree to this and again it should come to a boil. Finally add pressure-cooked and mashed dal and stir together. Add water if the sambar gets too thick. That depends on how you want the sambar to be. Temper with given ingredients and add cilantro. A small tip. As soon as you temper, cover the sambar or rasam with a lid. This will keep the aroma trapped inside the dish and will later fill the whole house with mind blowing aroma.

Ennai Kathirikai


10-12 Small sized Eggplant
2tbsp Dhaniya powder (coriander)
3tbsp Idly or dosa powder
2tbsp Besan (gram flour)
1tbsp desiccated coconut
3-4 tbsp oil, Salt


Slit the eggplant in to 4 from the bottom alone. Mix all the above given powders together and fill it into the eggplant as shown in picture. In a deep-bottomed frying pan add oil and gently place the eggplants.

In medium heat gently stir the eggplants so that each one gets a coating of oil. Cover it with lid for 5-10 minutes and toss gently to check if it’s cooked.

Serve hot this heavenly tasty Ennai Kathirikai with rice.

Veggi Pulav


1. Wash and soak rice in water for 10 mins. Then heat about 1 tsp of ghee and fry the rice for 2 mins until a good smell comes. When transfering rice to frying pan, try to squeeze out as much water as possible. 1 cup of basmati rice should be good to serve 2 ppl for 1 meal.

2. I use fresh vegetables for the pulav. Carrots, Beans, Potato and beet root. Peel and dice as needed and keep aside . You can also use frozen veggies too .When using frozen veggies measure about 2 cups of veggie.

3. Mix 1/2 or 1/4 cup canned coconut milk + 1/2 cup tomato pulp(u can blanch the tomatoes, remove skin and whip into a pulp or just use campbell tomato juice) + 1 cup water and keep aside.

4. Grind together : coriander(small bunch), green chillies(3 /4), khasa khasa (poppy seeds - 1/2 tsp), 2 tsp ginger garlic paste, 1/4 tsp saunf(ani seed), 2 tbl grated coconut, 1 or 2 elaichi, 1 inch patta(cinnamon) and 2 cloves and keep aside.

4. Heat pressure cooker with a little oil and ghee. Season with bay leaf (brinji elai or biriyani elai), cloves, cardomom and cinnamon and then fry 2 onions that have been cut lengthwise. When it turns transparent, add 1tsp ginger garlic paste. When a good smell comes, add all the veggies(step 2) and fry till they are cooked. Use a little water if needed. Add the masala paste (step 4) and fry for some more time. Now pour the coconut/tomato/water mixture and allow to boil. Add salt, rice and close lid and pressure cook for 10 mins on low flame. Switch off the stove and allow to cool. Open and mix gently and serve!

Recipe Courtesy : my friend Aarathi .