Sambhar Powder

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sambhar is a very common dish in the South made using Toovar Dal, Tamarin and Sambhar powder along with few vegetables.

The very name brings in a lot of memories. My husband always compares the Sāmbhar that I make to what is made at his place in India. I believe there is a difference. My Mom makes very good “Vendakai (Lady’s Finger/Okra) Sambhar” .

I think in any place the taste of Sambhar is completely dependent on the key ingredient used which is the Sambhar powder. Let me share my aunt's recipe here,who indeed is a great cook.Don’t get amused with the quantity mentioned below, Sambhar powders are always made in abundance and used as and when required.The round red chilies that we get is called the “Gundu Milagai” in tamil. The measurement varies if the long ones are used.

Ingredients :

Red Chillies(round) – 1kg
Dhaniya (Coriander Seeds)– 1/2 kg
Toovar Dal (Pigeon Peas)– 200gm
Methi (Fenugreek seeds)– 50gm
Channa Dal(Split chick peas) – 50gm
Black Pepper – 50gm
Turmeric – 50gm (This is the thick turmeric that we get in the Indian Stores, turmeric powder is obtained from this)

1.Saute each ingredient separately in a dry kadai. (Saute till the raw smell disappears)
2.Cool it and make a fine powder.

For best results, Grind the Red Chillies and the rest of the ingredients separately and add them as per the ratio below.

Mix 4 cups of red chili powder and 2 cups of the other mixture and store the rest. Keep mixing the remaining ingredients as and when required.

My Aunt uses this method and she says that this tastes better. However, it is easy to grind all the ingredients together.Ensure that it's kept in a air tight container always.

If long Red Chillies are used :-

Red Chillies(long) – 1/2 kg
Dhaniya (Coriander Seeds)– 1/4 kg
Toovar Dal (Pigeon Peas)– 100gm
Methi (Fenugreek seeds)– 25gm
Channa Dal(Split chick peas) – 25gm
Black Pepper – 25gm
Turmeric – 25gm (This is the thick turmeric that we get in the Indian Stores, turmeric powder is obtained from this)

Note - The taste of this powder completely depends on how well the ingredients are sauted.



My Grandmom has shared a lot of recipes with me which i have written and kept it carefully.I don't think anyone can beat her cooking skills in my family.

Pulikachal or so called the Puliyogare Gojju in the south is what I have shared below.These days its not difficult to have "Puliyogare" thanks to the MTR and the other readymade powders which are easily available.However, the authentic Puliyogare is made by mixing rice with the home made "Pulikachal"

Here is my granny's recipe!

Ingredients :

Dry Tamarin - 1 ball size(li'l smaller than cricket ball size)
Red Chillies - 8-10 (increase the number based on the spice level required)
Methi seeds - 1/2tsp
Dhania(coriander) seeds - 1tsp
Sesame Oil - 4-5 tbsp
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Groundnuts(peanuts) - 1/4 cup
White Sesame seeds (Til) - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Turmeric - 1/4tsp
Salt - as per taste
Asafoetida powder(hing) - a pinch

1.Soak the tamarin in water for 2-3 hrs.Extract the water and keep it aside.
2.In a Kadai, add 1/2 tsp of oil and saute the Red chillies,Methi,til & Dhania till the time the seeds turns a li'l brown in color. Cool it and make a fine powder.
2.In the same kadai add the remaining oil.When hot, season it with mustard,hing,two red chillies,curry leaves.Add groundnuts, saute till it changes its color and then add the extracted tamarin water.To this add turmeric powder and salt.
3.When it starts boiling, add the powdered mixture and stir well.
4.Cook till the time the tamarin water gets drained and you end up with a thick gravy.

Mix as much as the gravy you want with Hot rice and "Puliyogare" is ready to eat.

You can keep the Pulikachal for long by refrigerating it and use it as and when needed.

In the South, Karnataka especially people do add jaggery to give it a sweetish tinge.Some add dry coconut powder so called the "copri".

Note - The tamarin water which is extracted should be a li'l thick.Don't add alot of water


Morvendha saar/ Kadi

My Granny is a great cook.She is 90yrs old now and still helps me with her ideas.When i was in school, she taught me this recipe which is a typical Tirunelveli( a small city in Tamilnadu) dish and I make this often.This one I could call a "boon to bachelors" too as its very simple to make (jes takes 5mins).Its actually very similar to the Kadi thats made in the North

Whenever I am in a hurry I end up making this and relish it!


Curd - 1 cup
Besan - 1 tbsp
Red Chillies - 4
Curry leaves - a few
Mustard - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida/hing - a pinch
Oil - 1 tsp
Methi seeds - very li'l (6-7 seeds approx)
Salt - as required

1.Beat the curd well and add Besan & Salt.
2.In a Kadai, heat oil.When its hot drop the mustard,methi,hing,Red chillies & curry leaves.
3.Add the Curd and stir well.
4.Switch of the gas as soon as you see it boil.

Hot Morvendhasaar is ready, you can have this with rice.

Note - The catch in this recipe to switch of the flame as soon as u see it boil a li'l.This would actually take only 3mins or so.The more you boil, it becomes watery.


Garden Veg Salad

Monday, November 10, 2008

I used to always think that "Salads" are like "ghaas poos" type of food.Somehow it never interested me.All of a sudden i had this wild thought about loosing weight and decided to come up with my own recipe to suite my taste buds:-P

I had been to my husband's office team outing and one of his clents Pam had made a lovely salad with poppy seed dressing.I couldn't get the recipe from her, but i came up with my own stuff keeping the taste in mind.

Actually you can add any fruit to this salad.I use Apples, Pineapple,Grapes,Strawberries,Rasberries etc.Banana,Watermelon,Papaya should be avoided.


Lettuce - Few of them (rinsed and torn)
Olive Oil - 2tsp
Fruits - as mentioned above
Pecans(walnuts) - a few crushed into pieces
Black Pepper - a li'l
Salt - a pinch
Croutons - a few
Raisins - 10-12 of them
Honey - 1 tsp
Poppy seed dresser (readily available, I use the Marzetti brand)- 1 tbsp

1.In a large bowl, add olive oil,combine it with Pepper,Honey,salt & Poppyseed dresser.
2.Add the rest of the ingredients and toss it well.

Fresh healthy Salad is ready to eat.


Dal Tadka

In India, i used to have the Dal only with rotis, some how the concept of Dal Chawal never amused me.My husband loves the Dal I make and he likes it more with rice. I have my own variation and it gets better and better everytime I make.

Dal Tadka

Ingredients :

Moong Dal - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Tomato - 1 or 2
Salt - to taste
Lemon - 1/2 of a lime
Coriander - for garnishing
Ghee - 2 tsp

Mustard - 1/2tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Green chilli - 4 finely chopped
Red chilli - 2
Curry leaves - a few
Asafoetida(hing) - a pinch

1.Boil Moong dal along with the tomato and turmeric powder in a pressure cooker.
2.Remove the boiled tomato,peel skin, mash it and keep it aside.
3.In a Kadai, add ghee.Once hot, add the seasoning ingredients.Add the cooked dal and salt,mix well.Bring it to boil for few mintues till the dal becomes thick.Add the mashed tomato too.
4.Once the dal turns thick, sprinke lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves.

Dal Tadka is ready to serve.This one is a very simple Dal and doesnt take a long time.By just adding Palak to the same recipe you end up with Dal Palak.

P.S - Ensure that the lemon juice is added just before serving, sometimes it gets a li'l bitter.


Bell Pepper Gravy

Ahhh...atlast i found sometime for my blogs.I've been procastinating for a while now.My husband forced me to get onto my hobbies and here i am.Not sure how much i will blog...but here it goes.

This ones is my all time fav recipe and this has made me quite popular amongst my friends circle.Any potluck/dinner... people request me to make this side dish.


Bell Peppers (mix of all colors- chopped into big pieces(an inch length)) - 3
Onion - 1 (chopped into big pieces)
Cashewnut powder - 2tbsp
Oil - For seasoning
Jeera- 1/4tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/3tsp
Salt - as per taste
Coriander leaves - for garnishing

1. Take oil in a kadai, add jeera and then the Onions.Saute the onions till it turns pink.
2.Add the Bell Peppers,turmeric powder,chilli powder,salt and mix well.
3.Cook the vegetable in low flame till it becomes soft.
4.Finally add the cashewnut powder and switch off the flame.
5.Garnish with coriander leaves and serve it with hot rotis/phulkas.

The gravy looks very colorful and is delicious.

P.S - If needed you can add garam masala and kasoori methi too.It gives the recipe a north indian touch.


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