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Southern comfort

Indulge yourself in a Southern treat, right from rasam to payasam. Chef Pavan Chennam suggests some recipes.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2007, 12:15 IST
Vidhi Bharagava
Vidhi Bharagava
Hindustan Times

Traditional South Indian meals go much beyond the standard fare medu wada, idli, dosa - popularised by Udupi. Here's how to cook up a Southern treat, right from rasam to payasam.

Mudicho Rasam
500 grams ripe toma toes
50 grams toor daal
20 grams coriander stems
10 grams coriander seed powder
10 grams chilli powder
5 grams turmeric
15 ml tamarind
salt for seasoning
15 grams cumin seeds
10 grams whole peppercorn
10 grams garlic
10 ml oil
hing, one pinch
10 grams mustard
pinch of sugar
1 sprig curry leaves

1. Boil the daal and keep aside. Do not throw away the water.
2. Slice the ripe tomatoes coarsely and add the chilli powder, coriander seed powder, turmeric and tamarind extract and sugar. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
3. Add the coriander stems and sufficient water for boiling.
4. Boil the mixture on a simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile crush cumin, pepper and garlic and keep aside.
6. Stir in the daal water and adjust the seasoning.
7. Add the crushed cumin mixture and bring to a boil and remove from the flame.
8. Prepare the tempering by heating oil in a pan and adding the mustard seeds, curry leaf.
9. Stir into the rasam. Strain and serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

Meen Varuwal
8-10 pomfret fillets, cut into half vertically
20 grams chilli powder
5 grams turmeric
20 grams refined flour
20 grams roasted besan powder
20 ml lemon juice
10 grams ginger garlic paste
15 ml oil

1. Wash the fillet thoroughly and pat dry.
2. Mix in all the ingredients together and make a thick marinade. Add a little water if necessary .
3. Apply the marinade to the fillets and leave aside for at least an hour.
4. Shallow fry the fillets till light golden brown in colour with a little oil and serve hot, garnished with lemon wedges and curry leaves.

Ennai Kathrikai
200 grams baby brinjal
75 grams fresh grated coconut
20 grams roasted besan
15 g r a m s g a r l i c cloves
5 green chillies
20 ml gingelly oil
10 grams fennel seeds
75 grams onions
10 grams ginger garlic paste
50 grams tomatoes
20 ml tamarind extract
10 grams chilli powder
10 grams coriander seed powder
5 grams turmeric
salt for seasoning

1. Make a fine paste of coconut, roasted besan, garlic cloves and green chilli and keep aside.
2. Cut quarters of the brinjal and soak in salted water.
3. Heat oil in a deep vessel and add the fennel seeds. Let them crackle.
4. Add the chopped onions and fry till golden brown.
5. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw flavour is extracted.
6. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they start leaving oil from the sides.
7. Add the paste and cook on a simmer for a few minutes stirring occasionally,
8. Add the chilli powder, coriander seed powder and turmeric and stir.
9. Stir in the tamarind extract and cook the gravy thoroughly.
10. Adjust the seasoning and add the brinjal quarters.
11. Cook till the brinjal is tender. Remove from the flame and serve hot garnished with curry leaves.


This goes well with steamed rice.

Tomato Papu
500 grams ripe tomatoes
300 grams toor daal
15 grams chilli powder
10 ml tamarind extract
a pinch of turmeric
5 green chillies, slit
salt for seasoning

For tempering:
5 ml ghee
10 grams mustard seeds
10 grams cumin seeds
5 red chillies
1 curry leaf
8-10 garlic cloves

1. Boil the toor daal till mushy and keep aside.
2. Make a fine puree of the tomatoes and add the chilli powder, turmer ic, salt, slit green chilli and tamarind extract.
3. Cook the tomato mix ture on a sim mer for 15 minutes till it loses its raw flavour.
4. Add the boiled daal and cook further for another 10 minutes on a simmer.
5. Adjust the seasoning.

For tempering:
1. Crush the garlic cloves coarsely and keep aside.
2. Heat ghee in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, cumin, red chilli and curry leaves. Let them crackle.
3. Add the crushed garlic cloves and fry till golden brown in colour.
4. Stir the tempering into the daal and serve hot.

Neer Payasam
500 grams coconut milk powder
75 grams sugar
5 grams green cardamom
100 grams tender coconut, chopped

1. Mix the coconut milk powder with hot water till pouring consistency .
2. Add the sugar and stir well till the sugar is dissolved and there are no lumps.
3. Put the mixture on a double boiler and simmer for at least 1/2 hour.
4. Remove from flame. Stir in the crushed cardamom and chill thoroughly .
5. Serve chilled, garnished with chopped tender coconut and almond flakes.

Courtesy - Pavan Chennam, sous chef, Dakshin, ITC Maratha Sheraton, Sahar.

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