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Thanjavur Cuisine

Healthy, Functional and Seasonal specific dishes

1. ParangiPinjuPaalKootu (Sweet pumpkin Milk Kootu) ParangikaiPaalKootu is simple and delicious dish served with rice or as a side with rice and sambar or rasam. Pumpkin is a nutritious vegetable and you can have this dish as a sweet soup and kids will love it. Ingredients: Shredded Pumpkin (Parangikkai) 2 1/2 cups Shredded Jaggery 1/4 cup Shredded coconut 3 tbsp Boiled milk (allow it to cool) - 2 tbsp Method of Preparation: Wash the pumpkin and peel the skin. Chop them into small pieces. Boil the vegetable with a little water. Mash it well. Add the shredded jaggery and allow it to boil until jaggery melts and becomes a paste. Grind the shredded coconut to a paste and add it to the kootu. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add milk and allow it to boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the stove. Paalkootu is ready. Preparation Time: 30 minutes Servings: 4 to 5

Pidikozhukattai PidiKozhukattai is a delicious steamed rice snack or tiffin made for neivedhyams (offering to God). It can be served as dinner or as an evening snacks along with coconut chutney. It tastes like upma but it is healthier since we use less oil and it is steamed. Prepare this delicious tiffin for your kids and serve them as snacks or even pack them for lunch. Ingredients: Rice 2 cups Shredded coconut 3 tbsp Coconut oil 1 tsp Mustard seeds -1 tsp Urad dal 1 tbsp Dried chilies 2 Asafoetida a pinch Curry leaves 6 Salt to taste

Method of Preparation: 1. Wash rice for 3 to 4 times and allow it to dry on a clean cotton cloth. 2. After it is dried well grind the rice to a coarse powder, like fine rawa or sooji. 3. Make sure the flour is neither too coarse nor fine.

4. Boil 4 and 1/2 cups of water in pan on one stove. 5. Simultaneously on the other stove, heat a pan with coconut oil, add mustard seeds and dried chilies, allow to crack then addurad dal. Fry until it becomes golden brown. 6. Add shredded coconut, allow to fry for 5 minutes over low heat and add curry leaves andasafoetida. Mix well. 7. Now add the boiling water with required salt. 8. Boil the water for few seconds, then lower the heat. 9. Slowly add the ground rice flour to pan and mix well. 10. Allow to cook it for 5 minutes over medium heat and turn off the stove. Let it cool for 10 minutes. 11. Make oval shape balls from the cooked mixture. 12. Prepare the idli plates by greasing them with oil. Place the oval shape rice balls in the idli plate and steam cook for 10 minutes, just like how you make idlis. 13. Turn off the stove and let it cool. PidiKozhakattai is ready to serve. Preparation time: 45 minutes + drying time Yield: 15 to 18 kozhukattai

2. KaruveppilaiKuzhambu Curry Leaves Kuzhambu Curry leaves are used as a flavoring agent in Indian cooking especially in South Indian cooking. They have several health benefits and are rich in iron, calcium, vitamin C, and phosphorous. I have made Curry leaves Kuzhambu. It is spicy, flavorful and delicious. You can make this curry and store it in the refrigeration for 2 weeks. Serve it along with white rice, papad and a big piece of mango fruit. Ingredients: Curry Leaves- 1 cup Sesame oil 2.5 tbsp Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp Urad dal 1 tsp Toor dal 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp Asafoetida a pinch Water 1 cup Seedless tamarind one gooseberry size Salt to taste A string of curry leaves for tempering

Masala to grind: Coriander seeds 1/4 tsp Chana dal 1/4 tsp Dried chili 9 Urad dal 1/4 tsp

Black peppercorns 1/2 tbsp Oil 1 tbsp

Method of Preparation: Soak tamarind in warm water for 40 minutes. Preparation of Masala powder: 1. Heat 1/4 tsp of oil and add coriander seeds, dried chili, chana dal, urad dal, black pepper. Fry until the lentils become golden brown. 2. Transfer the roasted items to a plate and allow it to cool. 3. In the same pan heat the remaining oil and add washed curry leaves and saute over low heat until the leaves become crispy. 4. Transfer the leaves to the plate and allow it to cool. 5. Grind the curry leaves along with roasted masala and soaked tamarind to a thick paste adding a little water. Preparation of khuzambu: 1. Heat sesame oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, allow it to splutter and add urad dal, toor dal. 2. Roast until it becomes golden brown and add cumin seeds. 3. When they splutter add the curry leaves reserved for tempering and a pinch of asafoetida. 4. Then add the ground curry leaves paste with a cup of water. 5. Mix well and allow to boil until oil starts separating from the gravy and turn off the stove. 6. Curry leaves Kuzhambu is ready.

3. PudalangaiPorichaKuzhambu Snake Gourd Lentil Curry PorichaKuzhambu is a lentil stew and a traditional Tamil Brahmin (Tam Brahm) dish. It is a protein rich and nutritious stew served with rice and curry (poriyal). You can make this dish with many vegetables such as chayote, beans, bitter gourd, drumstick, etc. Ingredients: Snake gourd 1 (about 7 to 8) Toor dal 2 tbsp Moong dal 2 tbsp Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp Urad dal 1/2 tsp Oil 1/2 tsp Asafoetida 1 pinch Turmeric powder 1 pinch Salt to taste Curry leaves and coriander leaves for garnishing

Masala to grind: Oil 1/2 tsp Chana dal 1 tbsp Urad dal 1/4 tsp Coriander seeds 1/2 tsp Black peppercorns 1/2 tsp

Dried red chilies 2 Grated coconut 2 tbsp

Method of Preparation: 1. Wash and clean the snake gourd. 2. Slit it into half and remove the seeds and pith. Cut it into small pieces. 3. Wash toor dal, moong dal and chana dal and pressure cook along with chopped snake gourd and turmeric powder for 3 whistles. 4. Turn off the stove and let the pressure come down. 5. Heat the pan with 1/2 tsp of oil and add all the ingredients for masala and roast until lentils become brown. Finally add coconut and turn off the stove. Allow it to cool and grind it to a fine paste with a little water. 6. Now add the ground paste to cooked dal and snake guard along with salt. 7. Bring it to a boil and let it stand for five minutes over low heat and turn off the stove. 8. Heat a pan with 1/2 tsp of oil and add mustard seeds. Allow it to splutter and add urad dal 9. When it becomes golden brown add asafoetida powder and turn off the stove. 10. Add this to the snake guard Porichakhuzambu. 11. Finally add the curry leaves and coriander leaves. 12. Serve hot with rice. 4. VeppampooRasam Neem Flower Rasam VeppampooRasamOrNeem Flower Rasam is a healthy Indian soup. You can drink it as a soup or serve it with rice. Dried neem flower is used for this dish not the fresh ones. It has a lot of medicinal values and is good for stomach and digestive system. Easy to make and tasty. Ingredients: Whole tamarind a gooseberry size Dried neem flower 3 tsp Ghee 1 tsp Dried chili 4 Water 3 cups Curry leaves 8 leaves Salt to taste

Method of Preparation: 1. Add tamarind to 1 and 1/2 cups of hot water and let it rest for 5 minutes. 2. Extract juice from tamarind and strain the juice. 3. Add turmeric powder and salt to this and bring it to a boil and let it stand for 10 minutes over medium heat. 4. When the raw smell of tamarind is gone add another 1 and 1/2 cup of water. 5. Let it stand for 5 to 7 minutes over low heat and then turn off the stove. You will see bubbles coming up. 6. Heat ghee in a small pan and add the mustard seeds, allow to splutter. 7. Now add the dried chilies and dried neem flower. 8. Fry until the flowers become brown. Pour the tempering to the rasam. 9. Finally add the curry leaves. Rasam is ready to serve.

5. Mango Pachadi It is mango season and in a spree for making all mango recipes. Mango Pachadi is a sweet dish in which raw mango is cooked and sweetened with jaggery. You can serve this as a dessert or temper it

with mustard seeds and serve it as a side with rice and sambar or rasam or even curd rice. You can even spread it in bread or chapathi, roll it and serve. This dish is made during special occasions or festivals such as Tamil New Year. Very easy to make and kid friendly recipe. Ingredients: Big raw mango 1 Shredded jagerry 1 cup

Method of Preparation: 1. Peel the skin and thinly slice mango into pieces. 2. Pressure cook the mango pieces with 1/2 cup of water for 3 whistles. 3. Mash it with a spatula or masher and add 3/4 cup of powdered jaggery then the remaining if required. Adjust the quantity of jaggery depending on its sweetness. 4. Allow it to cook until it becomes thick. Note: You can temper the pachadi if you want to add some spice. Heat 1/4 tsp oil in a pan and add a pinch mustard seeds, allow it to splutter and mix it with the mango pachadi. If you want mango pieces to be seen in the pachadi, then just boil mangoe slices until it is tender and then add jaggery.

6. Plantain Stem Kootu Vazhaithandukootu Plantain stem contains a lot of fiber and very nutritious. It is a good medicine for stone in urinary bladder and intestine. We prepare a healthy stew with the stem which can be served with plain rice or as a side with rsam or sambar rice. Enjoy this nutritious vegetable kootu. Ingredients: Vazhaithandu (plantain stem) - 1 (about 1 feet) Cumin seeds 1 tsp Toor dal 1 tsp Green chili 1 Shreded coconut 1/2 cup Curd or yogurt 1/4 cup Butter milk + water 3 tsp + 1 1/2 cup Salt to taste Coconut oi l 1 tsp Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp Urad dal 1/4 tsp Asafoetida a pinch Curry leaves, Coriander leaves one string each

Method of Preparation: 1. Soak the toor dal, cumin seeds in water for half an hour. 2. Cut the vazhaithandu into small pieces and add it to butter milk water (if you put it in plain water, it will turn black).

During the cutting some thread like portion will come, remove the thread. Boil vazhaithandu with the same buttermilk water for about 10 minutes or until cooked. Grind the cumin seeds, toor dal and shreded coconut & green chili to a fine paste Add the paste with curd and salt to the boiling vazhaithanduand allow it to cook for 5 minutes and turn off the stove. 7. Heat coconut oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds, allow it crack. Add urad dal, asafoetida and curry leaves and the lentils become golden brown. 8. Add this to the mixture. Vazhaithandukootu is ready. 9. It is a good side dish for rice and sambar/rasam/vathakuzhambu. 7. Mysore Rasam Mysore rasam is another popular type of rasam prepared in many of the South Indian households. We use coconut and freshly ground rasam powder for this rasam which makes it more flavorful and special. You can mix this rasam with plain white rice and a tsp of ghee (optional) and serve along with any type of Poriyal or papad. The thick mixture settled at the bottom of the rasam (called vandal) can be served with curd rice which taste so good. This rasam is very good for kids above 2 years. Ingredients: Tamarind Small gooseberry size Coriander seeds 1 tsp Dried chilies -2 Black peppercorns -1 tbsp Cumin seeds 1 1/2 tbsp Toor dal 4 tbsp Shredded coconut 1 tbsp Tomato 2 Turmeric powder a pinch Ghee 1 tbsp Mustard seeds 1 tsp Curry leaves 6 Coriander leaves 1 tbsp Salt to taste

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Method of Preparation: 1. Soak tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes. 2. Wash toor dal, add turmeric powder and pressure cook for 4 whistles or until toor dal is mashed. 3. Heat a pan with 1 tsp of ghee add coriander seeds, dried chilies, fry for a few minutes and transfer it to a plate. 4. Then add black pepper and fry it for 2 to 3 minutes over low heat. Transfer it into the plate. 5. Then add cumin seeds, when it splutters, transfer it to the plate. Add a few drops of ghee if necessary while frying. 6. Add 1 tbsp of toor dal and fry it in the same pan until it turns into slight brown colou and add it to the plate. 7. Finally add shredded coconut and fry over low heat until it becomes slightly dry. 8. Allow all the above items to cool. 9. Add some more water and extract the tamarind juice. 10. Mix tamarind juice, salt and chopped tomato in a pan and boil it for 10 minutes or until the raw smell of tamarind is gone. 11. In the meantime grind the above fried items to a coarse paste with a little water. 12. Mash the cooked toor dal and add it to the pan with 3 more cups of water. Let it boil until foam forms on the surface. Turn off the stove. 13. Heat a small pan with ghee add mustard seeds, allow to splutter then add cumin seeds. Turn of the stove. 14. Temper the prepared rasam with this and some curry leaves, coriander leaves.

Preparation time: 30 minutes Servings: 6 to 8

8. Thiruvathirai Kali ArudhraDarisanam or ArudraDarshan is celebarated in the tamil month of Margazhi, which falls between December January. In this month, on the day of Thiruvadirai star and the new moon, we celebrate the ecstatic dance of Lord Shiva as ArudhraDarisanam. Lord Shiva is also known as Nataraja as he is depicted as a cosmic dancer who performs his divine dance representing five activities Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. It is celebrated as a mega event in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu which is one of the most celebrated Shrines in the world. It is religious as well as historic and cultural significance. Lord Shiva is known as Nataraja in Chidambaram and the prime deity of this temple is in his dance form. It is one of the ancient temples in Tamil Nadu. Shiva is said to have revealed a vision of dance here in front of his devotees. On the day before the ArudhraDarisan the temple car procession would be held and on the same night laksharchana would be performed at the Thousand Pillar mandapam. Early in the morning special pujas would be performed to the presiding deity. On the next day the fete would conclude with the muthupallakku procession. Ingredients: Rice 1 cup Grated jaggery 1 1/2 cup Shredded coconut 1/2 cup Toor dal 2 tsp Ghee 2 tbsp Cardamom 5 Cashew nuts 6 Raisins 8 Nutmeg powder a pinch Salt a pinch

Method of Preparation: Divide rice into two parts. Heat a pan add 1/2 cup of rice and fry it until it becomes golden brown. Similarly fry the other half of the rice. When you fry a large quantity of rice at a time there are chances for not frying it evenly. Allow the rice to cool for 15 minutes and grind it to a coarse mixture (like a mix of sooji and cracked wheat because we do not want it to be very fine like sooji). Measure the ground rice. Water ratio is 1: 2.75 cups (i.e) if the measured rice is 1 cup, then required water is 2 and 3/4 cups. Boil 2.75 cups of water and add washed toor dal. Turn off the stove. Now add the ground rice in the boiled water and mix well. Pressure cook this for 3 whistles if you cook it directly in the pressure cooker. You can also transfer the contents in a container and pressure cook it for 4 or 5 whistles. Turn off the stove and let the pressure come down.

During the preparation of the syrup release the pressure, open the lid of the cooker and stir the cooked rice well. It will be like upma. Add the grated jaggery and add 3/4 cup of water in a pan and allow to boil until the jaggery melts. Turn off the stove and filter the jaggery syrup to remove any dirt. Again allow it to boil it starts thickening. To check the consistency add 4 to 5 drops of the syrup in a cup of water and if you are able to roll it to a ball then turn off the stove and remove from heat. Add the syrup to the cooked rice and mix well. Kali is ready. Heat 1 tsp of ghee in a pan and roast cashew nuts until golden brown. Then add raisins allow to fry until it puffs up. Finally add nutmeg powder and fry it for few seconds and add it to the Kali. In the same pan add the shredded coconut and fry it well until ir becomes dry. Turn off the stove and add the fried coconut witht he remaining ghee to the Kali. Mix well. Kali is ready for Pooja. Preparation Time: 1.5 hours Servings: 5 to 6

9. Suzhiyan Stuffed Sweet Balls Suzhiyan or Seeyam or Suzhiyam is a delicious sweet dish in which coconut puran stuffed in maida or urad dal batter. We make this dish for festivals and special occasions such as Diwali, VinayagarChaturthi, etc. It is a simple recipe and if you want to make it even easier, you can prepare a thin batter with maida (all purpose flour) and water with a pinch of salt. Dip the puran balls in the batter and fry. Ingredients: Urad dal 1/2 cup Sweet puram 1/2 cup Oil 2 cups

Method of Preparation: 1. Wash urad dal and soak in water for 30 minutes. 2. Strain and grind the urad dal for about 15 minutes or until the batter is smooth and fluffy. I ground the batter in a wet grinder. 3. Mix in 1/4 tsp of salt in the batter. 4. Prepare coconut puran by following recipe of Kozhukattai. 5. Heat oil in a deep pan. 6. Make small balls from the sweet puran and dip each of them in the urad dal batter and let it cover all over the puran. 7. Drop them slowly in oil and fry turning both sides until golden brown. 8. Remove from oil and place it on a plate lined with paper towel. 9. Repeat the procedure with the rest of the puran balls. Preparation time: 60 minutes Servings: 12 to 15

10. AshokaHalwa ( My beloved Home Town Thiruvaiyaru special)

AshokaHalwa is a popular sweet in and around Thiruvaiyaru, Thanjavur District. This tastes different from the wheat halwa and is very delicious. Stirring time is less and the recipe is easy. You can make this dish for any special occasions and festivals such as Diwali. Ingredients: Moong dal 1 Cup Wheat flour 2 tbsp Ghee 2 cups Sugar 3 cups Cardamom 4 pods (ground) Whole cashew nut 5 Raisins 1 tsp Orange food colour one pinch Water 4 cups Nutmeg powder 1 pinch

Method of Preparation: 1. Wash and cook moong dal in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles or until mashed. 2. Over low heat, add 1 and 1/2 tbsp of ghee to a pan, add the wheat flour fry till it turns slightly brown in colour. Turn off the stove. 3. Add cooked and finely mashed moong dal to the pan and mix well with the fried wheat flour without forming any lumps. 4. Now add sugar and keep stirring till the sugar melts and starts thickening. Add ghee little by little to avoid sticking to the pan. 5. Continue stirring till a thick consistency is formed like Halwa. Add food color 5 minutes before turning off the stove. 6. AshokaHalwa is ready. 7. Heat a tbsp of ghee in a small pan and fry broken cashew nuts till golden brown and add then add raisins. 8. When it puff up, add cardamom and nutmeg, remove from heat and add it to halwa. Mix well and serve. Preparation time: 60 minutes Servings: 7 to 8

11. Sweet Appam Fried Rice Cakes Sweet Appam is a quick and easy sweet dish made during festivals such as Krishna Jayanthi, Ganesh Chaturthi, KarthikaiDeepam, etc. All you have to do is prepare a quick batter and deep fry it in oil. It can be served as a snack and kids will love it. Ingredients: Wheat flour - 2 cups Powered jaggery - 1 cup Cardamom - 3 pods Oil - 250 ml Water - 150 ml

Method of Preparation: 1. Take 150 ml of water in a container and soak the powered jaggery for half an hour. 2. Filter the jaggery water and add wheat flour , cardamom (in powder form) and mix well till you get a consistency of a thick dosa batter.

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Make sure it is not so free flowing. When you drop it from the ladle it should fall slowly. Let it sit for an hour. After an hour, heat 250 ml of oil in a pan at a little over medium heat. When oil is hot enough, take a spoon of batter and drop it slowly into the oil and let it fry till it becomes golden brown. 7. You can make 3 to 4 appams at a time depending on the size of your pan. 8. Repeat the same procedure with the rest of the batter. 9. Now the appam is ready.

12. More Kali More Kali (Mor Kali) is a traditional South Indian dish made with rice flour. It is a type of upma which is very easy to make and perfect for dinner or breakfast. The specialty of the dish is the browned part (called kaandhal) which is very tasty and crispy. Of course it will add some extra calories to your diet but once in a while it is fine. Ingredients: Rice flour 1 cup Yogurt (curd) 2 cups Water 1/2 cup More milagai (sun dried chilies) 3 to 4 Oil 1/2 cup Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp Urad dal 1/2 tsp Curry leaves 6 to 7 leaves Asafoetida a pinch Salt to taste

Method of Preparation: 1. In a container combine rice flour with yogurt, water and salt. Mix well without forming any lumps. 2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in pan and add mustard seeds. Allow it to splutter then add urad dal and let it become golden brown. 3. Break sun dried chilies (more milagai) into small pieces. 4. Add curry leaves and asafoetida, mix well. 5. Now add the rice curd mixture in the pan and cook over medium heat stirring constantly. Add one tbsp of oil every five minutes and stir. 6. After the rice mixture is cooked well, add the remaining oil, reduce the heat and allow it cook for some more time till the bottom part becomes brown. 7. More Kali is ready. 8. Grease a tray or plate with oil and transfer the kali. Smoothen the surface and cut into squares. 9. Serve hot with chutney. Preparation time: 30 minutes Servings: 2 to 3

13. Kunukku Crispy Rice Lentil Fritters

Kunukku is a deep fried rice and lentil fritters. They are very easy to make and it will be a change from the same old vada. Serve this dish with coconut chutney. Ingredients: Rice 1 cup Boiled Rice 1 cup Toor dal 1/2 cup Chana dal 1/2 cup Urad dal 1 tsp Curry leaves 8 leaves Chopped coriader leaves - 1 tbsp Asafoetida a pinch Salt to taste Oil for frying (about 1.5 cups)

Method of Preparation: Wash both the rice and soak in water for 4 hours. Wash chana dal and urad dal and soak in water separately for 2 to 3 hours. Grind soaked rice and lentils to a coarse and thick paste. Transfer it to a bowl, chopped curry leaves, coriander leaves, asafoetida and salt. Mix well. Heat oil in a deep pan or kadai over medium high heat. Using a small spoon slowly drop a dollop of batter one by one. 6. Turn both the sides and fry until it becomes golden brown. 7. Kunukku is ready. Serve hot with chutney. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.