As most of you know, Idli is one of the most popular breakfast dishes in South India, especially Tamilnadu. It is the staple breakfast food in most south Indian homes. A dish as popular as Idli should have countless accompaniments, right? Yep, these accompaniments or chutneys, as locally known, come in all varieties and made from different ingredients. Here I have posted the recipe of one such chutney called the Milagai Chutney, as learnt from my mom.
Milagai Chutney, as the name suggests, is a very simple but tasty chutney made from chillies. Milagai is the tamil word for chilli. And Milagai chutney is made from dried red chilli, also known as Vaththal in Tamil. I know, making a chutney from just dried red chilli sounds ludicrous but trust me, it tastes heavenly with hot idlis. The first time I had Milagai Chutney was in Madurai back when I was a kid. Our neighbor aunty used to make tasty Milagai Chutney and I always pestered my mom to make it exactly the same as the neighbor aunty did.
Milagai Chutney is my favorite chutney, hands down. After several attempts, I think I have perfected my mother’s recipe. The best kept secret of this recipe is the correct balance maintained between red chilli and tamarind. A slight variation might change the taste completely. Though Milagai Chutney pairs well with idli, it can also be had with Dosa, chapati etc. Try this spicy and tasty recipe at home and let me know if it is indeed the best chutney to go along with hot idlis 🙂
Grind all the above ingredients in a blender without adding water.
Season with mustard, urad dal and curry leaves.
Have the spicy and tasty milagai chutney with hot idlis or dosas. Enjoy!
1. You can store this chutney in the refrigerator for 10 days. 2. You don’t have to sauté the ingredients before or after grinding them. Just add the seasoning on top. 3. This milagai chutney is super spicy and so I would recommend adding a tsp of gingely oil on top before serving.
There are times when you want to make a dish that you don’t normally give much thought about but kind of crave for it once in a while. Today I have posted one such dish that is a staple in almost all Indian homes. It is the Egg curry. Egg curry is a simple dish that consists of gravy and eggs, usually boiled. Variations are usually done with the gravy but here I have given a slight variation with the egg 🙂
Whenever I am stuck with what to cook, Egg curry is the go-to gravy in our home. The curry in this dish is a blend of spices, each with their own unique flavor. And when all these spices come together in the gravy, it gives an appetizing aroma and a taste to match for. As I had mentioned earlier, the variation I had given with the eggs here is that instead of having them boiled, I have used them as omelets instead 🙂 The cooked omelets are rolled, cut and then dropped in the gravy, similar to how we do it for Dosa Kuzhambu.
Egg curry normally goes well with white rice and usually with no sides since the eggs themselves are the sides. Try this unique but very tasty Egg curry in your kitchen and if you think of an apt side dish to this gravy, please do share 🙂
Hello everyone. It has been quite a while since I posted new recipes. But I am back and I hope that you had tried as many recipes as possible while I was away. Today, I am going to post an authentic Tamilian gravy dish called the Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu (it means Lentil dumplings gravy in english). It is one of my favorite gravy and is a favorite of my HB as well. It is packed with protein (lentils), hence healthy for all age groups.
The first time I had Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu was in my friend’s home during my school days. I loved it instantly. Though it might look like a time consuming process to prepare this gravy, given the preparation of the lentil dumplings and the gravy (we make them separately), it is actually an easy to make recipe. There are subtle variations to the gravy (and the dumplings as well) and the most common one is where the gravy resembles Puzhi Kuzhambu (tamarind gravy). It is a common occurrence in south Indian cuisine where you can prepare different recipes using one common gravy. For example, the tamarind gravy can be used to make Meen Kuzhambu (Fish gravy) and Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu (Lentil dumplings gravy) as well. I personally like to have a distinct taste, wherever possible, in each of the recipes that I prepare and for that reason my gravy in this recipe does not have tamarind as an ingredient:)
As I had mentioned earlier, Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu is a two step process. One is the preparation of the gravy and the other one is the making of lentil dumplings. For those who are a bit apprehensive about the preparatory method for the lentil dumplings, worry not. You can steam the dumplings first and then drop them in the gravy. One reason why I don’t steam is that the gravy does not get absorbed by the dumplings if you do that and that will alter the taste. So do try this authentic recipe from my home state in India and as always post your comments.
Soak dal in water for one hour. Drain the water completely and grind them coarsely in a blender. Just pulse them like how you make for paruppu vada.
Crush the garlic cloves and chop the shallots. Make tomato puree and keep it ready. Grind grated coconut along with a shallot to a fine paste and keep it aside.
Heat a pan with oil and season with cloves, cinnamon and fennel seeds.
Add shallots and sauté well. Add the crushed garlic cloves.
Add tomato puree and sauté for a minute.
Add turmeric powder, sambar powder and salt. Add enough water, close the lid and bring it to boil.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix the dal, finely chopped shallots, crushed garlic, a pinch of turmeric powder and ½ tsp sambar powder and a pinch of salt.
Make small dumplings.
Add ground coconut paste and enough water to the gravy and bring them to boil.
When the gravy starts to boil, check the salt and add the dumplings. Do not stir the gravy once the dumplings are added. Cover and allow them to cook for five minutes. The dumplings will start to float on top when they are cooked. Simmer and cook for another couple of minutes and switch off the flame.
Enjoy the paruppu urundai kuzhambu with steamed rice and fryums on the side. 🙂
1.You could also steam the dumplings in pressure cooker for 10 minutes and add them to the gravy instead of adding them directly. 2.The gravy must be thin while you add the dumplings. So that it gets cooked. 3.If you feel like the gravy is so thin, take out the cooked dumplings carefully and place on a wide pan or plate. Simmer the gravy and cook until the desired consistency. Switch off the flame and transfer the gravy to the pan where the dumplings are transferred. 4.You could also use coconut milk in place of coconut paste.
It has been quite a while since I had posted a chutney recipe. Chutneys are a type of accompaniment that is specific to South Asian cuisine. It is similar to relish and mustards in western cuisines. The word chutney is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Catni’ which means to lick (courtesy-Wikipedia). There are literally hundreds of varieties of chutneys made from a wide range of spices, vegetables and fruits. Today I have posted one such chutney variety made from tomato called the Tomato chutney or thakali chutney.
Tomato chutney is one of the most popular chutney varieties in south Indian cuisine. It is most often had for breakfast along with idli and dosa. Tomato chutney is very easy to make and uses very minimum ingredients. One interesting fact about chutneys in general is that they were originally used as a method of preserving food which was later adopted by Roman and British empires during colonization.
Tomato chutney can be stored for three to four days (using the refrigerator). Also, you can customize the chutney to suite your palate by making it spicy or mild. Try this easy yet tasty chutney recipe in your home and have it with hot idlis or ghee roast along with idli podi.
Chicken Mappas is a traditional chicken gravy from the state of Kerala, India. It is a very recent dish that I tried and very much liked it 🙂 Mappas is Kerala Christian style of cooking dishes entirely using coconut milk. So as the name suggests Chicken Mappas is chicken cooked in coconut milk 🙂 Chicken Mappas is one dish that tastes totally different than how it looks. It is a watery (stew like) gravy packed with full of flavor. Also, it is one of the easiest and simplest non vegetarian dishes to make. All you need is chicken, coconut oil, turmeric, green chilli and coconut milk. As you might know Kerala cuisine is known for its generous use of coconut oil and in Chicken Mappas that comes to the fore. It serves to be a major source of the dish’s distinct flavor. Chicken Mappas is an excellent combination for Idiyappam (String Hoppers). It can also be served as a soup. Since coconut milk is used, Chicken Mappas gives you that fullness quiet easily even when had in small quantities. Do try this Mappas in your kitchen and do let me know what else it would go well with other than Idiyappam 🙂
Today, I am posting a recipe given to me by my friend who hails from Kovilpatti, a southern town in my home state of Tamilnadu in India. Kovilpatti is famous for its yummy kadalamittai (a sweet variety made from peanuts), matchstick and fireworks industry. Actually, the recipe is of chicken gravy but I have named it as Kovilpatti chicken kuzhambu in honor of my dear friend.:) Kovilpatti Chicken Kuzhambu is a very tasty chicken gravy and the recipe does not have coconut as one of the ingredients. One other uniqueness of this gravy is the use of castor oil and believe it or not, it enhances the flavor. And Kovilpatti Chicken Kuzhambu is my HB’s favorite chicken gravy and is one of the recipes that are often made in our home. Kovilpatti Chicken Kuzhambu goes well with white rice, dosa, chappati etc. Also, I would suggest using country chicken (naatu kozhi) for the gravy, if available since that is what is used back home for any chicken recipe. It gives excellent taste to the gravy and also an authenticity to the recipe. 🙂
Whole black pepper, freshly ground, powdered – 1 tbsp
Cumin powder -1 tsp
Garam masala powder – a pinch
Salt - as required
Chicken – ½ kg (750 grams)
Cilantro – for garnishing
Castor oil – 3 drops
Grind all the given ingredients under ‘to grind’ and make a fine paste.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed sauce pan and add bay leaf, cinnamon and fennel seeds. When they start to sizzle add in the chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent.
Add the ground paste and sauté until the raw smell of shallots disappear.
Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté until oil gets separated.
Now add in all the powders (chilli, coriander, cumin, pepper, garam masala) along with salt and give a quick stir. Lower the flame and add very little water. Sauté until the raw smell disappears.
Finally add in the cleaned chicken pieces, stir well until the masalas are well coated on the chicken. Add a cup of water and check for salt. Cover the lid and cook in low to medium flame for 15 minutes or until the chicken is well cooked.
Add few drops of castor oil on top and cook for another couple of minutes. Switch off the flame and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
Enjoy this excellent kovilpatti chicken kuzhambu with white rice or any Indian rotis!
1.Adding castor oil is to enhance the taste. You could also use coconut oil instead. 2.This gravy tastes good as it is. In case if you want add richness to the gravy (or making a big batch) you can either add ½ a cup of coconut milk and cashew paste or you could just add yogurt. 3.I like my gravy to be thick so I added just a cup of water. You can adjust it according to your own taste.
Coimbatore is a southern city in my home state of Tamilnadu. It is popularly known as Manchester of the south due to its textile industry. When you think of Coimbatore, the first that comes to your mind is the lilting Tamil (Kongu Tamil) accent spoken by the people there. I have had the fortune to hear that from friends at college. Thanks dears. Since mine is a food blog and I do know of a popular dish from Coimbatore, I would like to share that here. The dish is the famous Coimbatore Anganan Biriyani.Anganan Briyani is a very light biriyani in the sense that you won’t feel that usual heaviness that you have after eating biriyani. That is because of the less masala that you use in this variety. I have never had Anganan Biriyani back in India but seems that my HB had had (of course he did since it is ‘BIRIYANI’ ;)) It has been a while since I had made this variety of Biryani. I was going through my recipe collection the other day and came across it and here I am posting the recipe. The recipe below is for chicken biriyani and you can modify it other types like mutton or fish as desired.Try this Coimbatore specialty Anganan Biriyani at your home and experience the lightness that I talked about earlier. And yes, my HB did say that my version of Anganan biriyani tasted similar to the original! As always share your comments and experience below. Now, I am off to make Anganan Biriyani and until then, ciao 🙂
Kollu Kuzhambu is a traditional gravy from my home state in India, Tamilnadu. Kollu or horse gram (in english) is a bean variety and is widely used in the cuisine of south Indian states. In Tamilnadu, kollu is widely used in a variety of chutneys, poriyals, rasam etc. In Siddha medicine, kollu is considered to be a bean with medicinal qualities.
I came across this kollu kuzhambu recipe online and as soon as I saw it, I decided to give it a try. I have never had kollu (in any form) in my life and was curious the moment I saw it. And it was worth the try because kollu kuzhambu is the best gravy variety that I have ever had in my life, hands down! The recipe that I have given here requires some ground work. You need to grow sprouts out of kollu before you use it in your recipe. Back to the medicinal properties of kollu, I recently learnt that kollu has anti-glycemic properties and prevents insulin resistence, hence an apt food for diabetic patients. I also learnt from my MIL that it increases your body heat and hence having it in moderation is advisable – as with any other food items.
Without any further delay, below is the recipe to my most favorite gravy of all time, the one and only Kollu Kuzhambu. Try it in your kitchen and let me know if it had become your favorite dish as well 😉
Soak the bean with enough water and leave it overnight or atleast 8 hours.
Transfer the sprouts to a muslin or cheese cloth, drain the water completely, and tie the cloth with a knot holding the beans inside.
Let it hang overnight leaving the excess water to drain.
The next day you will notice tiny sprouts grown out of the beans.
Let the sprouts grow more for another day which adds taste to the food.
To make gravy:
Half boil the sprouted horsegram along with little salt (for 1 whistle). Keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add shallots. Sauté well. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves. Give a quick stir. Add grated coconut. Sauté well and add all the above given powders and switch off the flame. Allow them to cool and blend to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a pan and add shallots. Sauté well and add tomato. When they turn mushy, add half cooked sprouted horsegram and give it a stir. When the horsegram is half done, add the ground paste and enough water. Add enough salt. Bring the gravy to boil for 15 minutes. Cook until all the raw smell disappears. Garnish with cilantro.
Kadalai Paruppu chutney or chana dal chutney is a popular side dish to idli and dosa in south Indian homes. It is my HB’s favorite chutney. I normally prefer onion chutney but do try other varieties as well. During my recent visit to India, my MIL prepared Kadalai Paruppu chutney and after having it, I realized how much I missed it. And now, it has joined to my list of chutneys to go for when there is a time constraint 🙂 Kadalai Paruppu chutney, though is had with idli and dosa, it really goes well with idli. It is easy to make and tasty as well. Kadalai Paruppu chutney with idli, podi and gingely oil is a combination that has to be tried at least once :). As I had mentioned above, even though it is popular in South Indian homes, I have never seen it served in restaurants!? (or I might not have recognized it when served ;)) The main ingredient in Kadalai Paruppu chutney, as the name suggests, is kadalai paruppu. As with all other tasty dishes, there is a slight drawback to this chutney as well, i.e., fat. Kadalai paruppu is one of the grams that is used to extract oil and hence the fat content. However, having tasty chutneys once in a while is a welcome relief to otherwise mundane dishes, what say? Do try this recipe in your home and share your thoughts.
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.