Monday, January 11, 2010

Tamilnadu Curry Families

One Page Cookbooks
Tamilnadu Curry Families – A Primer
All recipes copyrighted. No reproduction / commercial use without permission.

1.: Thayir Pachadi (Raw Yogurt curry) Basic Recipe : Carrot Thayir Pachadi Take half a handful of grated carrot. Mix in two pinches of salt and a cup of yogurt. (Consistency : Thickish) Can mix in any chopped/ grated, salad vegetable (Tomato, onions, cucumber, radish, beetroot,..), Stir fried veggies ( Bell pepper, okra, ridge gourd ) or chopped and boiled vegetables ( Potato, Banana stem etc.,) No Cook Recipe.

Tamil curries - Building blocks : Tamarind, Tuvar dal, Coconut & Yogurt
Key Starches: Rice & Millets ( Kambu, Ragi, Saamai)

Typical breakfast:: Idli, Vada, Poori, Pongal, Dosa, Upma served with sambar / chutney

Lunch : Rice with a variety of curries listed to the left.

Key Flavourings: Mustard, Curry leaves, Asafetida, Turmeric, Chili powder, Coriander powder, Cumin.

Universal flavouring /Garnish Heat half a spoon of oil. Add two pinches of mustard, a pinch of curry leaves and asafetida. This is the universal flavouring cum garnish for all south Indian curries

Making Sambar powder : Take a handful of dry red chilies, dhania, three pinches of cumin, two pinches of fenugreek. Roast and grind together with a pinch of asafetida and turmeric powder.
Instant Sambar powder :
Mix half a handful each of chili powder, dhania powder, 2pinches each of asafetida and turmeric powders.

Curry Bases: Tamarind, yogurt, Spinach, Coconut, lentils

Preferred fats : Sesame oil, Ghee,

Protein Source: Lentils (Tuvar dal, Mung dal, Channa Dal, ),
Fish and seafood), Chicken, Mutton & Eggs. Beef & Pork are uncommon.
Common Vegetables:
Eggplant, , French beans, Cauliflower, Radish, Potato, Squash, Ridge gourd, Spinach, raw banana, yam, onion, tomato. , Gourds ( snake, bottle, bitter, ash),
Souring agents :, Tamarind, Green mangoes, Yogurt, Tomatoes .Desserts : Sweets from cooked down milk (Payasam,), Sweets from milk solids (Thirittipal, Palgova), Sugar syrup based sweets (Jalebi,
Laddoo ), Mysorepak
Shopping List: 500 ml : yogurt
250 gms : carrot, ,cabbage, ridge gourd, ash gourd, radish, Porikadalai ( roasted chickpeas),coconut, Tuvar dal.
100 gms : Salt, Garlic, Tamarind paste
50 gms : Mustard, Asafetida, Dry red chilies, Asafetida, Cumin seeds, Coriander powder, Chili powder, Vatral, Jaggery, Pepper,

2.: Podi (Powdered spicy lentils) Basic Recipe : Pori Kadalai Podi In a mixie, Take half a handful of roasted, husked and split chickpeas. (Pottu Kadalai). Add two dry red chilies & two pinches of salt. Grind to a powder. (Consistency: Powdery). Can use any roasted lentil ( Tuvar dal, mung dal, chana dal, horse gram, peanuts etc). No Cook Recipe.

3.: Thogayal (Blended sour curry) Basic Recipe : Thenga Thogayal Take a handful of grated coconut. Add a dry red chili, and two pinches of salt. Optionally, add a bit of tamarind or a garlic clove. Blend to a coarse paste.(Consistency : Thick ). Can blend a variety of raw salad vegetables ( carrot, onion radish..), roasted lentils or stir fried vegetables along with coconut. No Cook Recipe.

4.: Poriyal (Dry curry) Basic Recipe : Cabbage Poriyal Heat a spoon of oil. Add two pinches of mustard, urad dal and two red chilies. Add two handfuls of chopped cabbage, two pinches of salt and half a handful of grated coconut. Stir and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Can use a variety of stir fried / boiled vegetables / lentils ( Potato, okra, eggplant,beans etc) ( Microwaving vegetables for 2-3 minutes before cooking poriyal really shortens cooking time)

5.: Kulambu (Sour Stew) Basic Recipe : Vatral Kulambu Heat two spoons of oil. Add half a handful of sun dried vegetables. Add a cup of tamarind water. Add two pinches each of rice flour, jaggery. salt, and kulambu powder. Bring to a boil & simmer for five minutes. (Consistency: Soupy ). Can use a variety of stir fried vegetables ( Garlic, okra, bell peppers, shallots, eggplant ..) or boiled veggies ( squash, sweet potato, other tubers , Drumstick )

6.: Masiyal (Boiled & Mashed curry) Basic Recipe : Chenai Masiyal: Take a handful of skinned, chopped and boiled yam. Mix in the juice of half a lemon, two pinches each of salt, chili powder and a pinch of turmeric. Mash coarsely. Can use a variety of boiled vegetables / lentils ( Eggplant, Tuvar dal / Mung dal etc)

7.: Kootu (Coconut – Lentil stew) Basic Recipe : Peerkangai Kootu Take half a handful of coconut, a green chili and a couple of pinches of cumin. Add two spoons of water and blend to a smooth paste. Mix in a cup (200 ml) of water, add half a handful of chopped ridge gourd and simmer for five minutes. (Consistency: Thickish) (Can use a variety of boiled vegetables – carrot, spinach, gourds), and boiled lentils.

8.:. Rasam (Thin curry) Basic Recipe : Milagu Rasam Mix half a spoon of tamarind paste in a cup of water. Mix in three pinches of sambar powder / rasam powder two pinches of salt and three pinches of coarsely crushed black pepper. Bring to a boil and take off the flame. Can mix in stir fried garlic, tomato, stir fried baby eggplant, fried sun dried neem flower etc. A variety of stock (lentil stock, vegetable stock, meat stock) can be used in place of water.

9.: More Kulambu (Buttermilk Stew) Basic Recipe : Pooshini More Kulambu Take half a handful of coconut, two pinches of cumin, a garlic clove and a green chili. Blend to a paste with a two pinches of salt. Mix in a cup (200 ml) of buttermilk. Add a handful of chopped and boiled ash gourd and simmer on low heat for five minutes. (Consistency: Soupy). Can use a variety of boiled vegetables (Carrot, colocasia, beans) or stir fried veggies (Okra / eggplant).

10.: Sambar (Tamarind - Lentil Stew ) Basic Recipe : Mullangi Sambar Mix half a spoon of tamarind paste in a cup of water. Add a handful of boiled tuvar dal. Add two pinches of salt and three pinches of sambar powder. Add a handful of sliced and boiled radish. Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes. (Consistency : Soupy ). ( Can use a variety of boiled vegetables – Carrot, ash gourd, colocasia or stir fried veggies ( eggplant, okra )


Anonymous said...

Wow this looks really exotic! I wanna try this once I've had more experience with eggplant. I was thinking trying something simple like this eggplant sandwich:

Whatcha think?

shaan said...

What about aviyal, varuval (eg: karunaikilangu varuval) and kotsu (katthirikkai kotsu)? Apart from Thayir pacchadi (which is raw) we have other cooked pacchadis like vendaikkai pacchadi right?

Ramki said...

@ Shaan
You can look at Varuval is a kind of poriyal made with fried veggies and Kotsu as a kind of thogayal made from boiled and mashed vegetables.
Most other pachadis are sweet and sour and can be looked at as thicker and sweeter versions of kulambu where tamarind is replaced by mango / other souring agents.

Ramki said...

Oops.. and Aviyal is a Keralite dish not tamil.

shaan said...

Its not specific to kerala. In Tirunelveli district it is ubiquitous. We also have a kolambu called 'Chothi' that is not found anywhere else in TN or even in Kerala though it is made mainly with coconut milk.

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