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South-Indian
Vegetatrian Recipes



On this page you will discover a variety of South Indian recipes. There is a vast difference in the usage of spices and other items between the north and the south and hence the evolution of a totally different menu and ingredients. Most South Indian recipes are easy to cook and low in fat.

South Indian Recipes







Singiwala Sambhar

Ingredients:

1 cup tuvar dal, soaked in water for 30 minutes.
4 drumsticks, peeled, cut into 6 cms pieces.
1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
1/2 tsp coriander powder.
1/2 coconut, grated.
7-9 red chillies.
1 tsp cumin seeds.
1 tsp mustard seeds.
1/4 tsp asafetida.
1/4 cup tamarind pulp.
8 curry leaves.
1 cup coriander leaves, chopped.
Ghee.
Salt to taste.

Method:

Boil drumsticks with half the turmeric and salt to taste. Cook dal in 2 1/2 cups of water in a pressure cooker till soft. Blend and keep aside. Grind half the coconut, chilli, coriander and turmeric powders and the cumin seeds. Heat 1 tbsp ghee and add the asafetida and mustard seeds. Add curry leaves. Add the ground paste and stir. Add the rest of the grated coconut and put in the dal. Add the tamarind juice, salt to taste and the drumsticks. Simmer. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice.

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Adai

Ingredients:

Rice 1 cup
Urad Daal 1/3 cup
Chana Daal 1/3 cup
Yellow Split Peas 1/3 cup
Salt 1 tsp.
Red Chili Powder 1 tsp.
Onion (opt.) 1 (large)
Carrot (opt.) 1
Coconut - grated (opt.) 1/4 cup


Method

Mix Rice, Chana Daal, Urad Daal, and Yellow Split Peas in a large vessel. Soak in a lot of water for about 2 hours. Grind the soaked mixture with Chili Power and salt coarsely, without adding much water. Ferment for about 3 - 4 hours, then refrigerate or freeze. In cold weather, the fermenting process might take longer, and it might be a good idea to ferment in an oven (the pilot light will keep the mixture warm). Add either onions (finely cut), carrot (grated) or coconut before preparing.

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Avial

Ingredients

Mixed vegetables 3 cups
Salt to taste
Haldi 1/2 tsp
Coconut (grated) 1 cup
Green Chillies 6
Buttermilk 4 cups
Coconut Oil 1 Tsp
Curry Leaves 5 or 6 for the garnish

Method:

Boil vegetables with salt and haldi until all of the water has evaporated. This is very essential for a good avial. Grind coconut and green chillies along with buttermilk. Grind to a fine paste and then add the mixture to the vegetables. Bring to slight boil until the bubbles begin to form and turn off the stove and take tht pot off of the stove. Add curry leaves and before serving add a drop or two of coconut oil.

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Dosai

Ingredients

Rice 1 1/2 cups
Urad Daal 1/2 cup
Salt 2 tsp.

Method:

Soak the rice and daal separately in slightly warm water for 2 - 8 hours. Grind separately to a smooth paste and mix in a large vessel with salt. Mix thoroughly (use blender if possible). Ferment for 12 hours.

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Kootu

Masala Ingredients

Urad Daal 2 tsp.
Black pepper 1/3 tsp.
Red Chillies 2
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp.
Coconut (grated) 3 tbsp.

Masala Preparation

Roast Urad Daal, Black Pepper and Red Chillies until the Daal is golden yellow. Add Cumin seeds to the mixture after removing from stove. Add the coconut when the mixture is cold. Grind with water.

Ingredients

Yellow Split Peas 1/2 cup
Chili powder 1/4 tsp.
Turmeric pinch
Spinach 10 oz. or Vegetables etc. 4 - 5 cups

Method:

Boil Yellow Split Peas. Keep aside. Boil vegetables(spinach or combo of cabbage, squash, beans, etc.) with salt, chili powder and turmeric until just cooked. Add masala and daal.

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Molahu Kozhambhu

Masala Ingredients

Black Pepper 1 tsp.
Red chillies 6
Chana Daal 1 tbsp.
Toor Daal 1 tbsp.
Coriander Seeds 1 tbsp.
Coconut(grated) 1 tbsp.

Masala Preparation

Fry all ingredients (except coconut) in as little oil as possi- ble. Add coconut, grind (very fine) in blender.

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Mor Kozhambhu

Ingredients

Yogurt 2 Cups
Buttemilk 11/2 cups
Methi seeds 1/4 tsp.
Coconut (grated) 2cups
Salt 2 tsp.
Mustard 1 tsp.
Turmeric pinch
Green Chilies 8-9

Method:

In a pan bring a little water with salt and turmeric to a boil and do so until all the water has evaporated. Grind the coconut with the butter milk, yogurt, green chillies and the methi seeds, until fine. Add to the evaporated water mixture. Bring to a slight boil until the bubbles start to form in the sides and take it off of the stove. Make sure you do not boil it else the buttermilk will split. Heat oil and mustard seeds & methi and add to the mixture. Serve with rice.

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Rasam

Ingredients

Tomatoes 2
Haldi 1/4 tsp.
Tamcon 1 1/2 tsp.
Toor Daal 3/4 cup
Ghee 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds 1 tsp.
Coriander leaves bunch

Method:

Boil tamcon in water. Boil toor daal in water. Cut tomatoes, add to tamcon solution. Add hing and salt. Boil for a couple of minutes. Add mashed toor daal and rasam masala. In a pan, heat ghee, fry mustard seeds. Add fresh coriander leaves and mustard seeds.

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Uppuma

Ingredients

Oil 2 tbsp.
Water 3 cups
Onion 1
Rava 2 cups
Mixed vegs. 1 cup
Mustard seeds 1 tsp.
Urad Daal 1 tsp.
Chana Daal 1 tsp.
Ginger 1 tsp.
Green chilis 2
Red Chili 1

Method:

Roast rava until light brown. Separately, fry mustard seeds, urad and chana daals, chopped onion, (crushed) red and (chopped) green chilis in oil. (Optional: can add cumin and coriander powders, peas, mixed vegetables, etc. and fry these too.) Add water to the fried mixture, bring it to a boil, lower the flame, and add the rava slowly, stirring while doing so.
Optional: add cashews.

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Vada

Ingredients

Moong Daal 1/2 cup
Urad Daal 1/2 cup
Onion 1
Coriander 2 tsp.
Green Chili 1
Chili powder 1/2 tsp.
Salt 1 tsp.
Ginger 1 tsp.
Baking Soda 1/4 tsp.

Method:

Soak urad daal and moong daal for 2-3 hours. Grind daals into a coarse paste. Add finely chopped onion, salt, coriander powder, chili pow- der OR green chili, ginger and soda. Mix well and set aside for 4-5 minutes. Fry small spoonfuls of the mixture in hot oil.

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Vellirikkai Thogayal

Ingredients

1 large or 2 medium cucumbers
3 tbsps oil (sesame, if you have it)
1 tspn black mustard seeds
1 tspn white urad dal
1/2 tspn fenugreek (methi)
2-4 dried red chillies
1/2 tbsp tamcon paste
a good pinch asafoetida
salt to taste.

Method:

Peel cucumber, slit into half, scoop out seeds. Slit into further narrow strips and cut tiny pieces as for kachumbar. Should not be grated as this gives no 'bite' feel in the mouth. Next, warm the oil and fry all ingredients except the tamarind. Mustard should stop spluttering and dal/methi should turn brown. Drain out these fried spices into a blender, leaving oil behind in pan. Add cucumber and stir fry for two mins, no more. Add tamcon to spices in blender and with half the cucumber run on low speed till everything looks coarsely ground and blended. Remove into a bowl, add remaining cucumber pieces and mix well.

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Katirikkai Thogyal

Ingredients

One Bhima eggplant
3 tspns urad dal
3-4 red chillies
a litle asafoetida
1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
salt to taste
oil to fry dal

Method:

Wrap eggplant in foil nicely and keep inside a 400 deg oven for about 45 mins or until soft. Alternately you could broil it over a gas flame till it gets evenly charred. Cool and peel off skin. Drain of any juices. Chop into large bits. Fry dal, red chillies and asafoetida in oil till brown. Drop into a blender, add tamarind, salt and some of the eggplant. Run the blender on low speed till coarsely blended. Add remaining eggplant and whir for one minute. Scrape out and serve.

Other Thogyals/Chutneys

Substitute lightly sauteed onion/zuchini/canadian (hot house) cucumber in above recipe for a variety.

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Pulikacchal

Ingredients

Soaked tamarind about the size of a large lemon
1 1/2 tbspn jaggery
2 tbspns sesame seeds roasted dry
6-8 green chillies, slit into two (more, if it isn't hot)
2 inch ginger cut into thin strips
1 tspn mustard seeds
1 tspn chana dal
3-4 tbspns oil, preferably sesame
good pinch asafoetida
pinch turmeric
curry leaves

Method:

Squeeze out the pulp from the tamarind. You can add a little fresh water each time to extract the pulp. When you have a about a small bowl full, set aside. Warm oil, season with mustard seeds first. When they start to pop throw in red chillies, chana dal, asafoetida and curry leaves. When dal turns red, add the green chillies and fry. Throw in the ginger, add tamarind extract carefully, a pinch turmeric, salt to taste and jaggery. Simmer on low heat till raw smell disappears and the sauce has reduced to one-third or thickened yet spoonable. Crush the roasted sesame seeds with a rolling pin on paper or in a spice mill rather coarsely. Add this at the end to the pulikacchal Mix well so there are no lumps.

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Gotsu

Ingredients

One small to medium eggplant
1/2 tbsp tamarind paste or extract
from a tamarind size marble, soaked
one large onion, chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
6 hot green chilles, slit and cut into pieces
curry leaves
1 tspn mustard
1/2 tspn turmeric
garlic (optional)
salt to taste
3-4 tbspn oil

Method:

Chop the eggplant into very tiny pieces. Heat oil, add mustard seeds, when popping add curry leaves, chillies, onions and fry till onions become transcluscent. Add tomatoes and eggplant and fry for another five minutes. If using tamarind paste add a cup and half of water, or pour equal quantity of extract from fresh pulp. Throw in the turmeric, salt and garlic. Let it simmer for a while until eggplant becomes really soft and is barely able to retain its shape. Remove from heat.

Tomato-Onion Gotsu

More tomatoes can be substituted instead of the eggplant for a tomato- onion gotsu. Add more chillies if necessary.

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Anai Pachadi

Ingredients

One small butternut squash
3-4 green chillies
3 tbs coconut
1 tspn tamarind paste
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
a little jaggery/sugar
turmeric and salt to taste
For seasoning:

A little mustard seeds
fenugreek
red chilli
curry leaves and oil.

Method:

Cut squash into inch square and 1/4 inch thick slices. Wash and in about a cup and a half of water, add tamarind paste and sliced squash. Add turmeric, salt and cook on low heat till done. Grind coconut, green chillies, 1/2 tspn mustard seeds and stir into cooked squash. Can wash out blender and add this water too. Let mustard seeds splutter in oil, add fenugreek, red chilli, curry leaves and in a couple of minutes pour onto pachadi.

Variations:

Instead of tamarind paste can use yogurt at the end. Can use cut okra or, okra and eggplant pieces, instead of squash.

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Katirikka Rasavangi

Ingredients

One Bhima eggplant
1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 1/2 tspn coriander seeds
1 tspn chana dal
3-4 dried red chillies
4 tbsp coconut (dry will do but fresh is better)
1/2 cup cooked toovar dal (with turmeric)
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
a pinch asafoetida
curry leaves
A little oil for roasting and seasoning
salt to taste

Method:

Cube eggplant. In about a cup of water dissolve the tamcon paste. Set on stove, add eggplant to tamarind water, a little turmeric, salt and let cook until eggplant is done but has not lost its shape. In a pan with very little oil roast red chillies, coriander seeds, chana dal and asafoetida. When you can get the aroma of roasted coriander or the red chillies have turned a dark, dark red remove from heat and let cool. Throw into blender with coconut, add 3 tbsp water and grind slowly into paste. Add a little water if blade gets stuck. Remove from jar and wash it out with water and save this. Mash cooked dal with a spoon until blended and add to cooked eggplant. Now add the coconut paste and its water. Keep on low heat till it starts to simmer a little. Take off heat. Season with spluttering mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Variations:

You can throw in a handful of chick peas from a can into this, thin it out somewhat and have it as katirikka sambar. Alternately, you can make the cooked dal with half toovar and half chana dal, in which case you should not cook until mashed. Remove a trifle before it gets fully done.

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Onion Rava Dosa

Ingredients

one cup semolina/rava
one cup maida
1/2 cup rice flour
4-5 green chillies finely chopped
3/4 inch ginger chopped fine
1 1/2 tspn jeera slightly crushed (enough to bring out its flavor)
salt to taste
good pinch asafoetida
2-3 chopped onions
a bunch cashews
oil to make dosas

Method:

Mix rava, maida, rice flour together into a thick batter adding little water at a time so no lumps are formed. Mixing by hand is a good idea if you don't have a whisk or electric mixer. Add salt, crushed cumin asafoetida and leave in a warm spot for six to seven hours at least. When ready to eat, spray a non-stick pan lightly with oil and warm. Thin out the batter to the consistency where it can be drizzled onto the pan with a spoon. Drop chopped green chillies and ginger into batter. Sprinkle some of the cut onions and cashews onto the pan and now continuing on low-medium heat, drizzle the batter such that there is a latice work effect. A lot of holes is just the thing. Dribble a bit bit of oil around it and when the edges start turning brown coax it off the pan with a flat, wide spatula and flip it over. Remove in a few minutes and make more. For the plain rava dosa leave out the onions.

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Pesarattu

Ingredients:

1 cup mung dal
1/3 cup rice
4 green chillies
1 tspn cumin seeds
1 inch piece ginger
salt to taste
oil for making dosas
1 cup chopped onions
chopped coriander

Method:

Soak mung dal and rice five to six hours. Grind to rava consistency with chillies, ginger and cumin. Add chopped onions, coriander and mix well without beating. Lay out thin crepes in non-stick pan and do same as for regular dosas.

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Onion Vetha Kozhambu

Ingredients

lemon size tamarind soaked in about a cup of water
2 Cups pearl onions peeled
2 dried red chilli pods
1 1/2 tspn sambar powder
1 1/2 tspn rice flour mixed
with a little water for thickening
salt to taste
mustard
chana dal
curry leaves for seasoning
a pinch asafoetida
2 tbspn oil

Method:

Warm oil. Season with mustard , chana dal and curry powder. Saute peeled onions till translucent. Add squeezed out extract of tamarind. Throw the sambar powder, salt and asafoetida in. Let simmer till onions are cooked. Add dissolved rice flour water for thickening. Stir and wait till it simmers again a couple of minutes.

Variations:

Tomatoes with chick peas makes a delicious vatha kozhambu. Add some slit green chillies if you would like to spike it up. Other suggestions are diced sweet potato, diced butternut squash, daikon (chinese radish), drumsticks (available fresh in Indian stores or canned, pre-cooked) all on their own.

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Pavakai Pitla

Ingredients

2 med bitter gourds (karela)
1/2 cup cooked toovar dal
3 green chillies slit
1 1/2 tspn tamarind paste
3-4 red dry chillies
2 tspns urad dal
1 1/2 tspn coriander seeds
1/2 cup grated coconut
few peppercorns
turmeric
salt to taste
mustard seeds
curry leaves
oil for seasoning

Method:

Slit karela into four quarters and cut 1/2 inch thick pieces across. In a little oil, saute cut karelas and green chillies. Add 2 cups water, tamarind, turmeric and salt. Let simmer until karelas are tender. Add chickpeas and jaggery/sugar. While karelas are cooking, in another pan sprinkle a little oil and fry coriander seeds, urad dal, red chillies and peppercorns until well roasted. Add coconut, stir a min or two and then grind in a blender. Add a little tomato paste if handy for color. Blend in cocunut paste into the karela-tamarind mixture. Add the dal. Mix well and reheat a till it begins to simmer. Take off stove. Pour seasoning on top.

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Molagootal

Ingredients

1/2 cup mung dal
1/2 a small head cabbage chopped fine
1 large baking potato, diced
a bunch frozen peas
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
3/4 cup fresh coconut
soaked in a little water
1/4 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp uncooked rice
1/4 tsp mustard
urad dal
dry red chilli,
curry leaves and oil for seasoning

Method:

Set dal to cook in about 2 cups water and a touch turmeric. When dal is three-quarters done add shredded cabbage, potatoes and a little more water if needed on top of the dal. Add salt. Cover with a lid and let it simmer away another 10 to 15 mins. Veggies should be done but still holding their shape. Grind fresh coconut with roasted red chilli and roasted urad dal, jeera and rice. Add to the cooked vegetables and boil. Remove from heat. Top with seasoning as explained in previous recipes.

Variations:

You can do a keerai (spinach) kootan with a little modification. Add fresh coconut ground with roasted red chillies, urad dal and a little cumin. Also you can cook toovar dal separately or throw veggies + dal in a cooker for a few minutes, if you like. This tends to overcook veggies but can be done fast.

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Erucheri

Ingredients

2 plaintans
1 1/2 cups fresh coconut
crushed black pepper
turmeric,
salt to taste.
mustard,
1 red chilli,
1 tsp urad dal
curry leaves
oil for seasoning

Method:

Peel plaintanos and cut into small pieces after slitting lengthwise into quarters. Cook with water well above level of veggies, salt turmeric and pepper added on low heat until plantanos get really done. Takes about 25 mins or so. Grind half the fresh coconut and add to cooked plaintanos. In a separate pan season with mustard, urad dal, curry leaves and fry remaining grated coconut until a reddish brown. Pour this onto the plaintains and ericheri is ready.

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Venn pongal

Ingredients:

2 cups rice
3/4 cup mung dal, dry roasted to a golden brown
cracked black peppercorns
1 1/2 tspns lightly crushed cumin
turmeric, salt to taste
A good bunch curry leaves
a little chopped ginger
5-6 tbspns ghee/melted butter turned brown
bunch cashews

Method:

Wash rice and roasted dal. Add water to one inch above level of rice. Add turmeric and let it simmer. Add a little more water if not semi- solid. When done remove from heat. Warm ghee and roast cashews until a golden, remove carefully and set aside. Throw in cumin seeds, cracked pepper, curry leaves into the ghee and in a minute or two pour int onto the pongal with the cashews. Add the ginger. Mix well.

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This page was last updated on March 22, 2000


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