There are so many different dishes in Tamilian cuisine that they can be categorized based on the locality. One such cuisine is that of Tirunelveli, whose dishes are very popular and known for their unique taste and recipes. Here I have given a very popular dish from Tirunelveli called as Sothi. I also learnt recently that it is a popular dish in Srilankan cuisine as well. Sothi is a coconut milk based dish that has a creamy texture (somewhat like alfredo sauce, texture only not the taste) and a mild taste.
Whenever I cook Sothi, my dear friend’s mom come to my mind because she is the one who taught me to cook this dish and she is from Tirunelveli (no wonder :)). She always prepares Sothi when we visit their home for holidays. Compared to many other dishes from Tirunelveli, the number of ingredients used to prepare this dish is less. Coconut milk is the main ingredient and that gives a richness and thick consistency to Sothi.
Sochi is a pretty heavy dish in the sense that you feel the fullness even when had in small servings. Back home, Sothi is the main accompaniment for Idiyappam (string hoppers) along with diluted coconut milk with sugar. It can also be had with rice along with any spicy curry like Crunchy cauliflower. Try this ethnic dish from Tirunelveli right in your home and let me know if you like it with Idiyappam or rice. FYI, I love to have it with both 🙂
Grate the coconut and pulse them adding some water. Strain the milk using strainer. This is first (thick) milk. Add some water to the extracted coconut and pulse them again for couple of seconds and strain the milk. This is second (thin) milk. Repeat this process and extract third milk as well.
Pressure cook the dal for 1 whistle.
Grind ginger and chilli in a blender to a fine paste and keep it aside.
Chop all the vegetables and keep it ready.
In a kadai add a tsp of oil and season it with fenugreek seeds.
Add in onions, garlic and green chillies.
When the onions turn golden brown add the second and third extracted coconut milk.
Then add all the vegetables and bring them to boil. I used drumstick and carrots today. I added drumstick first as it takes lots of time to cook. After 10 minutes I added carrots.
Add the cooked dal to the vegetables and again bring it to boil.
Now add the ground mixture (ginger and chillies) along with salt.
When the gravy becomes thick, add cumin and coriander leaves.
When the mixture comes to boil for the last time add the first extracted coconut milk to it and immediately switch off the stove.
You can sprinkle lemon juice after 10 minutes(optional).
Keerai (also called as spinach, greens etc) is one of the most healthy foods around. It is a very good source of iron and Vitamin A. Keerai (spinach) is a very popular ingredient and is found in almost all cuisines around the world. Keerai kootu (spinach side dish) is one such item that is popular in south Indian (Tamilian in particular) cuisine. It is a simple and tasty dish that can be eaten as is with rice, or as a side dish to another gravy like sambar etc.
When ever I think of Keerai, my childhood comes to my mind. I was not a big fan of spinach (as do most other kids I would say) and would always make my mom to cook another side dish whenever Keerai kootu is made. My hate relationship with spinach continued during my college days as well and there my friends made sure that I had some just because it is healthy (thank you dears!).
In general, when you cook spinach, make sure not to cover the pot since they lose color and I believe loses some of its nutrients as well. As I had said earlier, Keerai kootu is very easy to make that it literally takes 15 minutes to prepare. Try this wonderful, healthy, simple, tasty (I am running out of adjectives here!) dish in your home and let me know your comments.
Adai is a dosa like dish synonymous to Tamilnadu (specifically from Chettinad cuisine, I believe) and is made using different varieties of Dal (Moong, Urad and Channa). It is a very healthy dish and usually eaten for breakfast and sometimes for dinner. I started making Adai mainly as an alternative to dosa. For dosa, as you know, the main ingredient to make the batter is rice and rice is rich in carbohydrates which in turn is one of the contributing factors in weight gain (if the intake is often, of course). My HB is very health conscious (and that has rubbed off on me as well, sometimes ;)) and so I started my search for a healthy and easy alternative for the usual fares that we have at our home. Then I came across this Adai from the web and found it to be the perfect alternative. Making the Adai batter does not involve fermentation. So the entire process of preparing the batter to cooking Adai is very quick. Also, you don’t need a grinder to prepare the batter. A blender will suffice. In our home, we normally have Adai with coconut chutney but by making the batter a little bit spicy (described in the cooking instructions below), you can have Adai without a side dish (how awesome is that!). In restaurants, Adai is often served with butter and Avial (another south Indian dish for which I will post the recipe sometime soon).
So try this very healthy and easy to make Adai in your home and let me know your comments.
Adai is a dosa like dish synonymous to Tamilnadu (specifically from Chettinad cuisine, I believe) and is made using different varieties of Dal (Moong, Urad and Channa). It is a very healthy dish and usually eaten for breakfast and sometimes for dinner.
Toor dal - ¼cup
Moong dal -1/4 cup
Urad dal - ½ cup
Idli Rice or Raw Rice - ½ cup
Whole Red chillies - 6
Salt-as per taste
Shallots(small onions) – 2 (chopped)
Hing - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tbs
Chopped Coriander leaves – ¼ cup
Water as required
Oil required to smear around adais
Wash and soak urad dal, moong dal, toor dal and rice together in water for 4 hours.
Grind the soaked dals and rice, along with half a tsp cumin seeds, whole red chilli, salt and hing together until smooth. - like dosa batter.
To the ground adai batter add chopped shallots, coriander leaves and little water.
Mix well the batter, the consistency should be similar to dosa batter. Set aside the adai batter to rest for atleast 30 mins.
Heat a dosa tawa, add a ladle full of adai batter to the center of tawa and start spreading the batter from center in circular motion like making dosa or pancakes.
Smear 1 tsp oil around adai and cook on medium heat until both sides of adai are golden brown and crisp.