Thursday, April 25, 2013

Long Cucumber/Kakkarikka Pachadi

This one I learnt from my mother-in-law. Some days when she makes Sambar and Mezhukkuperatti (Kerala dry side dish usually made with Ghee), she also makes this simple pachadi.
Pachadi is an authentic Kerala side dish with a gravy made of coconut and yogurt. We can put the vegetable of our choice, and in this one we only put cucumber. We can literally prepare this in 20 minutes. So if you're planning on bringing up a Kerala feast and want a curry to go well with Sambar, believe you me, this is the one. It has a very fresh, crunchy taste.

Here goes-
Serves 4 - 5


1/2 of a long cucumber
2/3 cup grated coconut
2/3 cup of yogurt
3 green chillies
1 Tsp cumin seeds
1/2 Tsp pepper
3 dry red chillies
1 Tsp Mustard seeds
1 Tbsp oil
Some curry leaves
Some Salt to taste

  • Cut the cucumber into small pieces
  • In a blender, add grated coconut, yogurt, green chillies, cumin seeds, pepper and salt. Blend into a fine paste
  •  Add the above paste to the cucumber and mix well
  • In a saucepan, roast the the mustard seeds and dry red chillies in oil. Add the curry leaves. 
  • Add the cucumber-coconut-yogurt gravy to this and heat on low flame for about 5-8 minutes
Cucumber Pachadi is ready. See, how easy and quickly this can be made. Those days of the week when I prepare sambar and some Thoran/Mezhukkuperutti, if I have cucumber in the fridge I make this curry. The taste of yogurt and the crunch of fresh cucumber is a perfect counter-balance for Sambar-rice. Top this with Pappadams and you're good to go!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tangy Tomato Rice - Ready in half an Hour!

When I hear about tomato rice, I remember my school days. One of my Tamilian friends used to bring this frequently for lunch and we all used to lunge at it! Poor girl! But that is the thing with such types of rice preparations, be it tomato rice, lemon rice or spinach pulao. They are spicy and so fun to eat. They are also pretty filling I would say. No side dish needed for these if you ask me. Just get your plate-full and attack! Oh, and did I mention these are super easy to cook? Yep, it just takes 30 minutes to get this on your dining table. Lets get cracking!

Recipe customized from


2 cups White Rice (such as Basmati/Sona Masoori)
2 large Tomatoes, chopped
Half an Onion, chopped
3 Green Chillies, chopped
1 Tsp Ginger Paste (or finely chopped ginger)
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
About 2 tbsps Chana Daal (optional)
About 2 tbsps chopped Cashew nuts
1 Tsp Urad daal (optional)
2-3 red chillies
1/2 Tsp Red Chilly Powder
1/2 Tsp Garam Masala
Salt to taste
Asafoetida (or Heeng) to taste
Curry Leaves and Coriander Leaves for seasoning

  • Cook the rice (Microwave method - Add 4 cups of water and microwave for approximately 15 minutes)
  • In a wide enough saucepan, heat oil and spurt mustard seeds then cumin seeds
  • Add the red chillies, chana daal and urad daal. Saute till they slightly change colour
  • Reduce heat to low and add the cashewnuts and roast till they are light brown
  • Add the curry leaves, ginger paste, green chillies and onions and saute till onions are slightly cooked (not completely, as tomato rice needs to have a bit crunchy onion slices)
  • Now, add the chopped tomatoes, sprinkle salt and asafoetida, stir well and close the lid. Let cook for about 5 minutes
  • Open lid and add the chilly powder and garam masala. Again close lid and cook till the tomatoes are mushy and start leaving water.
  • If tomato masala is cooked well, we can add the rice. Mix the rice in well
  • Finally, season the top with coriander leaves and stir lightly
These steps took just 30 minutes for me overall. Supper was ready in a jiffy with no toiling in the kitchen at all. Perfect for those days when you know you are not upto being a "chef" in your kitchen but you (or your husband!) is craving something spicy!!