The first step towards cooking is – learning the recipes and creating them. The second step is to cook with a combination.
Combination cooking will bring-out the taste of each dish. Even though we have cooked all the dishes well – if they don’t form a good combination – they cannot be enjoyed.
One deadly combination is Poricha Kuzhambu, Pulli itta Keerai and Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi.
I got married and within 6 months – One day, I was talking with my granny over the phone and cribbed that I am unable to cook well.
She immediately gave the recipe of these 3 dishes and said ” even a mad person can create these dishes well. It is so simple – for sure you cannot go wrong “.
The very next day – I made them and to my surprise – they cameout very well.
This is one dish – I am making very well from the first time.
After, this incident – Whenever I had guests at home- my standard menu was these 3 dishes. I got so much praise for this deadly combination and the guests said ” how did you think of these dishes for the guests (because people think – these are simple home food)”. But unfortunately, they were unaware that these were the only dishes I could do well at that time.
Arhar dal or Toor dal or Thuvaram parruppu – 1/4 cup.
Vegetables – I have used Cluster beans (Kothavarangai) – can use cabbage, snake guard, brinjal, drumstick, bottle guard, carrots, raw banana, Yam, Potato, Peas – we can use single vegetable or any combination of vegetables of your choice.
Sambar powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut – 1 1/2 cups.
Black pepper – 2 tsp.
Jeera – 1 1/2 tsp.
Coconut oil – 2 tsp ( can use any oil)
Urad dal – 2 tsp for seasoning.
- Pressure cook the toor dal.
- Boil the vegetables with 2 cups of water – also add sambar powder, turmeric and salt.
- Once the vegetables are cooked add the cooked dal and give it a boil.
- Grind the coconut with black pepper and Jeera.
- Add this coconut paste to the kuzhambu. Add water and adjust the consistency.
- For the seasoning – add coconut oil – add urad dal (dulli) – add 1 tbsp of grated coconut.
- When the coconut and the urad dal has turned golden colour add it to the kuzhambu.
- It is ready.
- Can cook the vegetables with the dal in the pressure cooker. As the dal takes a longer time to cook – the vegetables are over cooked and loses the nutrients. It is preferable to cook the vegetables separately. But, don’t be rigid – finally, comfort is what matters. If you have time pressure – go head and add the vegetables with the dal.
- There are some people who will reduce the quantity of coconut and add fried urad dal with the coconut and grind it. Believe me adding coconut gives a very nice flavour than roasted urad dal. If for any reason – you cannot use so much of coconut then please go ahead by replacing the coconut with roasted urad dal. Then, the measurement will be coconut 1/2 cup and urad dal – 1 tbsp. There are some people who will add raw rice instead of coconut. In that case, the ratio will be coconut – 1/2 cup : raw rice – 2 tsp.
- Some others increase the quantity of cooked dal and reduce the coconut. According to me, coconut has to be more in this recipe.
- This is a no tamarind in this kuzhambu.
Pulli Itta Keerai
The spinach is cooked with tamarind and seasoned with some spices.
This goes very well with Poricha Kuzhambu because it has no tamarind.
Spinach – I have used palak – (can use any spinach variety) – I have used slightly less than 1 kg.
Tamarind – small lemon size – 2 tbsp.
Hing – 6 pinches.
Oil – sesame seed oil or any oil of your choice – 1tbsp.
Mustard – 1 tsp.
Methi – 10 nos.
Urad dhal – 1 tbsp.
Red chilly whole – 4 nos.
- Wash and chop the spinach.
- Cook with salt and hing.
- Once cooked add the tamarind.
- Add the seasoning oil – methi seeds – allow it to brown.
- Add mustard seeds.
- Add Red chilli.
- Add urad dal.
- Add this to the keerai (spinach preparation).
- Boil till the raw smell of tamarind goes.
- Pulli itta keerai is ready.
- Can add the tamarind along with the spinach while cooking it. I feel then the colour of the spinach is not green – so I prefer cooking the spinach and then adding the tamarind pulp.
Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi
- Vendakkai – bindi – 1/4 kg.
- Curd – 400 gms.
- Oil – 1 tsp.
- Mustard – 1 tsp.
- Green chilli – 1 no.
- Hing – 2 pinches.
- Add oil
- Add mustard allow it to splutter.
- Add green chilli and hing.
- Add the bindi and salt – fry well.
- Once roasted, cover it and cook it.
- Once cooled – mix it with curd.
- Bindi raitha is ready.
Please use curry leaves in all the 3 recipes. I didn’t have it so I didn’t use it .