Thursday, June 27

Neer Mor Saadam

Coming from a village in Tamil Nadu, I am very much acquainted with pazhayathu or pazhanjaadam or neer  mor saadam. Though it is not a regular summer practice at our home, we did relish it often during the scorching summer while on vacation to our native. But now, knowing its benefits I have made this as our summer breakfast at least thrice a week. It cools the body, acts as a wonderful probiotic, very light and yet nutritious, completely medicinal yet tastes heavenly (of course, you need to have a taste for it.)

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 2 minutes

Cooking Time: NA

1.      Steamed rice – 2 cups (Should not be hot or warm)
2.    Water – 1 lt
3. Salt – 1 tbsp (Body requires more salt and water to fight summer)
4.    Butter milk – ½ cup
Ø Preferably a mud pot to soak in.
Ø To accompany peeled raw shallots (madras vengayam or sambar vengayam) are the best, though green chilies or yoghurt chilies or the like would go well.

Step 1: Take the clean mud pot and put the steamed rice into it. The rice should not be hot.

Step 2: Add a litre of water, butter milk and enough salt.
Step 3: Mix well and leave it closed overnight.

Step 4: In the morning, stir well and serve with onion or chilies.


*My mom adds citrus leaves and curry leaves to give it an awesome flavour. Sometimes I fancy it with lemon rinds.

*My mom’s aunt makes tempering to it with mustard, asafoetida, yoghurt chilies, and crushed garlic with peel.

*Some people add chopped onion and chilies to it so that they don’t have to take them separately; I prefer them freshly bitten (oru kadi, oru kudi ;) that’s the classic way to have the dish)

Dosakai Kababs

Dosakai is a vegetable that seems like a yellow ball and is used mainly in Andhra recipes. I had got them from my vegetable vendor and was hunting for a novel recipe to try with it. I happened to come across a snake gourd recipe which I adapted, replaced snake gourd with dosakai and tried the recipe. This is a super hit starter with our friends. This is a must try for deep fried snack lovers or even as party starters. 

Serves: Yields 25 kebabs

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

1.     Dosakai – 1
2.     Snake gourd finely chopped – ¼ cup (Optional)
3.     Green chilies – 2
4.     Gram flour – 3 tbsp
5.     Bread crumbs – ½ cup
6.     Salt to taste
7.     Corn flour – 1 tbsp
8.     Red chili powder – 1 tsp
9.     Asafoetida – 1tsp
10.            Lemon – 1
11.             Cumin powder – 1 tsp
12.             Oil for deep frying

Dosakai / Dosakaya


Step 1: I had chopped the dosakai and snake gourd after peeling but I think grating coarsely should be better. Chop green chilies finely.

Step 2: Add gram flour, corn flour, chili powder, asafoetida, cumin powder, salt and juice of a lemon and mix well. No water must be required as the vegetables leave water. If in case it is too water to roll into balls, add some gram flour, corn flour or even bread crumbs.

Step 3: Make them into to small lemon sized balls and roll them in bread crumbs. Once done, refrigerate it for at least half an hour. You can even freeze them for longer in case you want to.

Step 4: Heat oil in a deep kadai, and deep fry the kebabs till golden brown.

Step 5: Serve with ketchup, green chutney or fresh salad.

Vendhya Pathartham

This is a very noble recipe that my akkama, paternal grandma had learnt from a north Indian Jain cum neighbour. I have never seen anybody not falling for it once tried; be it for taste, health, medicinal values, and simplicity of making or versatility of the dish. Through this recipe, it has never been difficult for us to consume good amounts of fenugreek which otherwise was not possible.

Serves: 3

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

1.     Fenugreek Sprouted – 1cup
2.     Curds – 1 ½ cups
3.     Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
4.     Fennel seed powder – 1 tsp
5.     Carom seeds – ½ tsp
6.     Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
7.     Chili powder – 1 tsp
8.     Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
9.     Asafoetida – 1 pinch
10.            Salt to taste
11.             Ghee – 1 tsp (optional)
12.            Oil – 3 tbsp

Step 1: Cook the sprouted fenugreek seeds until soft with some turmeric and salt. Drain off the excess water if any.

Step 2: Heat oil & ghee in a pan and when hot, simmer before adding all dry ingredients. The spices tend to release beautiful aroma on frying, be sure that you don’t burn the spices. It kind of foams the oil in the right temperature.

Step 3: Now add the cooked fenugreek and mix to coat masala over it. Adjust salt and cook for a couple of minutes before turning off the heat.

Step 4: Once the dish comes to normal temperature, add fresh curds to it and mix well. Add more salt if required.

Step 5: Serve with steamed rice or rotis.


*My grandma does not sprout for religious reasons but I do for health reasons. So you can do it the way you like. I personally feel, after sprouting the bitterness of fenugreek is less.

*You can soak, sprout, cook and use fenugreek or directly cook for a little longer time or if it is sprouted, you can also cook in the masala directly by covering for longer time (it is instant but sometimes it tastes bitter). My grandma explored all possible ways and so have tasted; I’ve written the best way I liked.