Avarakkai Poriyal – Avarai Kootu

Avarakkai (Tamil, Kannada) or Avarai is a vegetable eaten in South India. It comes from a vine with the botanical name of Dolichos lablab and it is grown as a food crop through Asia and parts of Africa. It is also known as field bean or lablab bean in the U.S. , where it is usually grown as an ornamental. The Chinese are known to have cultivated the plant for its beautiful flowers and beans, for centuries. In South India, Avarakkai Poriyal is traditionally cooked as a side dish for rice during Pongal.  The commonly found variety around the world is the  bright violet phenotype, but the green variety found in India known as Pachchai Avarai in Tamil, is a better food crop.

Avarai Kootu (Field Bean Dish) 1



Pachchai Avarai Kootu: Cooking Time: 20 minutes.


  • Shelled beans    – 200grams
  • Oil:                    – 1 table spoon
  • Mustard seed     – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt                     – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cumin (jeera)      – ½ teaspoon
  • Red chili              – 3no
  • Small onion (shallots) – 5no
  • Cloves garlic                 – 2no
  • Coconut grating         – 2 tablespoon

Avarai Kootu (Field Bean Dish) 3


Boil the shelled beans along with turmeric powder and salt with enough water till the beans are soft and tender. Grind all the other items coarsely and put aside. In a pan pour oil and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seed start to splutter, add the ground masala (spice mixture) and fry. Then add the boiled beans and stir for a few minutes till you get the right consistency.

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Muttakos (Cabbage) Kootu

Muttakos Kootu

Muttakos  or Cabbage is grown and eaten all over the world. Originally from the Mediterranean region, it was developed from the mustard species by human selection over thousands of years.

Muttakos (Cabbage) Kootu 1

Cabbage is grown and eaten all over the world. Originally from the Mediterranean region, it was developed from the mustard species by human selection over thousands of years. It has low calorific value, high fiber content and is rich in antioxidants. Cabbage is called Muttakos in Tamil and is available throughout the year in Tamil Nadu. Muttakos Kootu is one of the simplest dishes made using cabbage.

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Servings : 4


250 Grams    – Cabbage

25 Grams or (1/4 Cup)   – Green Gram Dhal)

1 Onion

2 Green chillies

Ginger Garlic paste – ½ Teaspoon

Curry leaves  – 2 Sprigs

Mustard seeds  – ¼ Teaspoon

Grated Coconut – 2 Tablespoons

Oil – 2 Tablespoons


Cook the dhal well and keep aside. Shred the cabbage and slice the onion.

Heat a pan with oil and add mustard seeds when hot. Add cut onions and green chillies and sauté.  Now the curry leaves can be added along with the ginger-garlic paste.. Finally, the shredded cabbage should be added along with ¼ cup water. Allow the vegetable to cook on a simmer for a few minutes. When half done, add the mashed dhal, grated coconut and salt to taste. Let it cook for a few minutes.

Tips: This dish can be eaten along with rice or chapatis.

Muttakos (Cabbage) Kootu 2

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Potato Fry (Mash) – Urulai Podimas

Potato Fry (Podimas) or Potatu Mash is a quick and tasty side dish that can accompany a rice main course or a breakfast snack like dosai.

Urulai (Potato) Podimas 1

Although potatoes are native to South America, they have become part of Indian cooking over the years. Dozens of potato dishes are prepared around the country in many styles now considered traditional. The potato’s nutritional benefits combined with its productive capacity, has made it a staple of the Indian diet.

Cooking Time : 30 minutes

Servings            : 3


  • Potato : 350 Grams
  • Onion: 1
  • Ginger: 1 Small piece
  • Green chilly: 2
  • Curry, Coriander leaves : 2 Sprigs
  • Mustard: 1 teaspoon
  • Urad dhal: 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder: ½ teaspoon
  • Salt: ½ teaspoon
  • Oil: 2 tablespoon

Method: Boil potato in a pressure cooker with enough water and mash it well till there are no lumps. Mix in the turmeric powder and salt thoroughly and keep aside.

Finely chop the onions along with green chilly and ginger.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard and urad dhal. When they start to splutter, add the chopped onion, g,chilly and ginger. Sauté till they turn light brown and add the curry leaves. Finally add the mashed potato mixture and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes over a low flame.

Potato Fry
Potato Fry

Tips: This side dish goes well with rice or even breakfast items like chapatti and dosa.

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Vendaikai Poriyal – Lady’s Finger Fry

Vendaikai (Tamil) also known as Bhindi (Hindi) and  Okra or Lady’s Fingers (English) is a commonly used vegetable in Indian cooking.  It is of North African/ Arabic origin but has been adapted into local cuisines all over the country. In South Indian cooking, Vendaikai is sautéed or cooked with gravy based preparations. It adds to the taste and nutrition of traditional South Indian sauces like sambar. The simplest preparation of Vendaikai in Tamil Nadu is as a sautéed side-dish (poriyal).

Vendaikai Poriyal 1


Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 2


Lady’s Fingers (vendaikai):  250 Grams
Onion        : 1
Chili powder: 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder: ½ teaspoon
Mustard seeds: ½ teaspoon
Urad dhal: ½ teaspoon
Asafetida: a small pinch
Coconut Grating: 2 tablespoon
Curry Leaves: 1 sprig
Oil: 2 tablespoon
Salt: ½ teaspoon

Vendaikai Poriyal 2.jpg

Method: Split the Lady’s Fingers down the middle and cut them into tiny pieces. Chop onion.
Pour oil in a nonstick pan and when hot add the mustard seeds, urad dhal, and asafetida. When they start to splutter, add the chopped onion and curry leaves to stir-fry for a couple of minutes on medium heat. Finally add the cut Lady’s Fingers with salt, turmeric and chili powder. You have to stir often for 6,7 minutes till the vegetable is tender and cooked completely. Finally, add the grated coconut and mix well.

Tips: After washing the okra, wipe the water completely off the vegetable before cutting.

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Pudalangai Kootu – Snake gourd recipe

Pudalangai Kootu: Snake Gourd belongs to the cucumber family and it is consumed widely mostly in the Southern states of India.  It has good fiber content with several vitamins and minerals. Usually it is prepared as a vegetable side-dish for rice.

pudalangai kootu
pudalangai kootu


Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4



Snake gourd: 2 small gourds, weighing approximately 500 grams
Bengal gram dhal (kadalai paruppu) : 75 grams
Onion: 2
Green chili: 3
Grated Coconut: ¼ cup
Turmeric powder: ½ teaspoon
Cumin seed (jeera) : ½ teaspoon
Aniseed: ½ teaspoon
Salt: ¾ teaspoon
Oil: 2 tablespoon
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs


Wash and scrape the skin off the snake gourd. Slit the gourd open and remove the seeds. Cut it into small pieces. Soak the dhal in water for 10 minutes. Chop onions and green chili. Cook the dhal with turmeric powder and cumin adding enough water for ten minutes on high flame. Cook till the dhal is half done. Take a frying pan and heat oil. Add the aniseed, chopped onion and green chili. Fry till the onions turn light brown. Then add the curry leaves with the cooked dhal and  the snake gourd pieces.  Keeping on medium heat, add water and cook the content covered with a lid for another ten minutes. When the vegetable is cooked add the grated coconut with salt and stir for a couple of minutes. Now the pudalangai kootu is ready.


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