Saturday, May 07, 2011

Recipe: Cabbage Thoran

Thoran comprises stir fried vegetables garnished with coconut and green chillies. They are very easy and simple to prepare and delicious. Thorans are served as side dishes. Thorans can be prepared with a single vegetable like cabbage, carrot, beet root, beans, etc. or as a combination of 2 or 3 vegetables. Sometimes boiled toor dal is added to the thoran, which gives it added flavour.


Cabbage chopped very fine: 2 cups
oil : 1 tbsp.
mustard : 1 tsp.
urad dal : 1 tsp.
Red chillies :1 no.
Curry leaves : few
Grated coconut : 2 tbsp.
Green chillies : 1 no.
Ginger : 1 small piece
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp.
Salt : to taste
Hing powder : a pinch


Wash the chopped cabbage. Heat oil in a wide pan. When oil is hot, add the hing powder and mustard. When the mustard stops spluttering, add the urad dal and red chillies broken into small pieces. When the urad dal turns light pink in color add the curry leaves. Add the cabbage, mustard powder and salt. Stir well and cook closed, at low heat. Stir in between.

Grind the grated coconut, green chillies and ginger coarsely.

When the vegetable is cooked, add the ground coconut. Stir well and remove from stove.

Cabbage thoran is ready!

Cabbage thoran is good side dish for rice and sambar, rotis, chappathis, dosa, etc.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Recipe: Vendakkai Pachadi (lady's fingers (okra) in tamarind gravy)

Pachadi means different things in different south indian languages. In Telugu Pachadi refers to all pickles. In Tamil, pachadi means fresh grated/cut or stir fried vegetables in curds seasoned with salt and the spices(the name for the same dish in Kerala is thayir pachadi or kichadi and in Karnataka it is known as Masuru Bajji).The Kerala Pachadi is vegetables in tamarind gravy, except in the case of Manga pachadi, where tamarind is not used. This dish is unique to Kerala.

Pachadis are prepared with lady's fingers, kanivellarikka, red pumpkin, brinjal, mango(raw and ripe,) ripe jackfruits, etc. The vegetables are cooked in tamarind syrup and a ground mixture of coconut, green chillies and mustard is added to it. The ground mustard seeds give a special flavour to the dish. This dish is a requirement in all the feasts. The feast menus (Sadhya vattam) usually start with, pachadi, kichadi, kari,....

Pachadis are usually served as a side dish. At home, pachadi is served as a main dish with a stir fried vegetable (mezhukkuvaratti) as a side dish. Pachadi prepared with kanivellarikka is very popular with hubby dear.

On to the recipe.


Ladys fingers(okra): 250 gms
grated coconut: 1 cup
green chillies: 3 or 4
mustard: 1 tsp.
tamarind: size of a small lemon
turmeric powder: 1 tsp.
jaggery: 1 tbsp.(according to taste)
salt: according to taste

for tempering:
oil: 2tsp.
mustard : 1 tsp
red chillies: 1 or 2
curry leaves: 1 sprig


Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of warm water.Wash and cut the lady's fingers into 1"
long pieces. Squeeze the tamarind and strain the pulp. Boil the tamarind pulp with 2 cups of water.When the tamarind syrup starts boiling, add the cut vegetables. Add turmeric powder and salt, allow the vegetable to cook.

Grind the coconut,green chillies and mustard to a fine paste.

When the vegetables are cooked, add the jaggery and ground paste. Allow to boil. Switch off the stove.

Heat the oil in a pan. When the oil starts smoking, add the mustard and red chillies broken to small pieces. When the mustard stops spluttering, remove from heat, add curry leaves and pour over the pachadi.

If pachadi is used as side dish, the consistency should be thick (dropping consistency). If it is used as the main dish(for mixing with rice) then it should be of pouring consistency.

Pachadi is an excellent side dish for all types of molakoottals.