Puliyogare – Tamarind Rice

Puliyogare or Tamarind Ride – As the name suggests, the main ingredient in this rice item is tamarind.  Since this dish has a long shelf-life even without refrigeration,  it is often packed for train journeys and other long trips.  Puliyodarai can be consumed even the day after preparation as it retains its taste and freshness.

Puliyodharai 1


Servings: 3

Cooking Time: 45 minutes


1.  Raw rice 2 cups or 300 grams
2. Tamarind 50 grams
3. Coriander seeds: 2 tablespoon
4. Dry Red chili: 12 no
5. Fenugreek seeds: 1 teaspoon
6. Sesame seeds (til): 1 teaspoon
7.Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
8. Bengal gram Dhal: 2 tablespoon
9. Turmeric Powder: 1 teaspoon
10. Asafoetida: small piece (0.5 teaspoon)
11.Curry leaves: a few sprigs
12. Salt: 1.5 teaspoon
13. Gingelly oil (sesame): 0.25 cup
14. Cashew nut: 10
15. Groundnut (peanuts): 0.25 cup


Using just a teaspoon of oil in a pan, fry the coriander seeds, 9 red chili, sesame seeds, and fenugreek seeds separately till they are a golden brown color. Blend into coarse powder and set aside. Again use some oil to fry the cashew nuts and set aside along with the fried ground nuts. If possible, remove the ground nut skins. Extract thick tamarind pulp using half cup water, strain and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and add the mustard seeds. When it starts to splutter, add bengal gram dhal, asafoetida and the remaining 3 dry red chili with curry leaves.  Then add the turmeric powder along with tamarind pulp and salt.  Simmer over low flame for 10 minutes.  Before taking off the stove, the powdered mixture from the first step should be added. Cook rice in 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker for 8 minutes. The rice should not be over cooked for this dish.

Puliyodharai 2

Allow the rice to cool in a big vessel or plate and mix well with the tamarind pulp, cashew and groundnuts.

Mutton Fry – Virudhunagar Style

Mutton Fry : When mutton is deep fried crisp in oil,  it is an excellent choice as side dish for a rice based meal along with sambar or any other curry.   This dish gets its name from the place called Virudhunagar as it is commonly served in this part of Tamil Nadu.  Unlike many other mutton preparations which need too many ingredients, this delicacy is prepared with only a few spices.

Mutton Virudhunagar 1
Mutton Fry


COOKING TIME: 40 minutes


1.  Mutton: 1 Kilogram

2.  Shallots (Small onions): 1/2 kg

3.  Dry Red Chili: 20 nos

4.  Cumin Seed (jeera): 2 Table spoon

5.  Salt: 2 Teaspoon

6.  Turmeric Powder: 2 Teaspoon

7.  Oil ( preferably Gingely Oil): 250 ml.

Mutton Virudhunagar 2


Cut the mutton pieces into even sizes of one inch cubes. Peel, wash and chop the shallots into big pieces. Split the Red chili. Heat Oil in a skillet and add the mutton cubes with turmeric powder and salt and cook it over medium heat for 15 minutes stirring it now and then. You can keep it covered. When the meat is half cooked,  add the chopped
onions,  cumin seeds and dry red chilies. Fry the mutton till it is cooked crisp.

Tips:   Only if the mutton cubes are of the same size, they can be cooked evenly at the same time.
While chopping the shallots also, care should be taken to see that they are of same big size.
Oil is used profusely in this dish and you can drain the excess oil before serving if necessary.


Carrot Halwa – Halva

Carrot Halwa or Halva is a type of sweet preparation that is found across cultures from India to the Middle East and North Africa. It is often compared to the puddings of Europe. Different regions have their own unique ingredients and way of preparing it. In India, carrots are used commonly to make carrot halwa (gajer ka halwa). This dessert item is very easy to make.
Carrot Halwa

Cooking Time : 30 minutes

Servings              : 2


250  grams                        – Carrot (Orange color)
225  grams                        – Refined Sugar
500  ml                              – Milk
3                                          – Cardamom
Ghee (Clarified butter)   – 3 teaspoon


Grate carrot finely. Take a thick bottomed vessel or non stick pan and boil milk on high flame. When it starts to boil, add the grated carrot. When the milk is reduced to just a half a cup, add the sugar, powdered cardamom and ghee into the vessel. Now you have to lower the flame and keep stirring continuously till you get a sticky ball consistency.

Carrot Halwa
Carrot Halwa

Semiya Payasam (Seviyan Kheer)

Kheer or Payasam

Payasam is usually the last item served in a traditional South Indian meal, as dessert.  Many varieties of payasams are made using different ingredients like broken wheat, rice (basmati) sago, and pulses like green gram dhal etc. This recipe uses vermicelli (semiya) as the main ingredient. Vermicelli in India is made from semolina and is known as seviyan in Hindi and as semiya in Tamil. Semiya payasam is also known as kheer in North India.


Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3


Milk: 500 ml
Refined sugar: 100 grams or ½ cup
Vermicelli (Semiya):1 cup or 40 grams
Cashew nuts: 10
Raisins: 10
Cardamom: 2
Ghee (clarified butter) 1teaspoon
Grated coconut: 2 tablespoon

Payasam 2


Adding one teaspoon ghee (clarified butter) roast the cashew and raisin and set aside. If vermicelli is not roasted, you will have to roast it lightly in the remaining ghee.

Allow the milk to boil on high heat in a thick bottomed vessel. When it starts to boil, stir it for 5 minutes. Reducing the heat to medium add the roasted vermicelli and let it cook for another 5 minutes. Add the sugar, cardamom powder, grated coconut and cook for a couple of minutes. Garnish with raisins and cashew nut and serve hot.

Laddu (Ladoo) – Sweet


Laddu is a sweet delicacy prepared not only in Tamilnadu but all over India and South Asia, for festivals and special occasions.

Different types of laddus are made using different key ingredients such as Bengal gram, dhal(chickpea), flour ( besan), wheat flour, semolina (suji or rava ) and so on. Here the recipe is for the most common kind of laddu in India, using Bengal gram.

Laddu 1



Cooking time: 11/2 hours
Servings: 10

  1. Bengal gram flour ( besan or kadalai mavu):  360 grams or 4 full cups
  2. Refined sugar: 600 grams or 31/2 cups
  3. Water: 2 cups
  4. Rice flour(raw rice): 2 1/4 teaspoon
  5. Soda bi-carb( cooking soda): 1/2 teaspoon
  6. Cardamom: 7
  7. Clove: 7
  8. Cashew: 50 grams
  9. Raisins: 40 grams
  10. Ghee(clarified butter): 100 grams
  11. Oil(preferably refined oil): 11/2 litre

You also need a perforated  ”boondhi” ladle, for frying the boondhi.


Mix the Bengal gram flour with rice flour and soda bicarb and add some water to make batter. This batter should be similar to ‘dosa’ batter consistency. Set aside. Take a thick-bottomed vessel and add both sugar and water(2cups). Heat on medium flame to make sugar syrup. You have to keep stirring often till you reach a certain consistency, which can be tested by taking some syrup between your thumb and index finger and spreading the fingers out. If the syrup is sticky and extends like a thread between the two fingers, it is ready. Set this aside. Powder the cardamom. Heat oil in a frying pan on high. When the oil is very hot, take a big spoon of flour batter. Place the ”bhoondhi” ladle over the hot oil, pour one spoonful of batter into the bhoondhi ladle and press down. Small balls of the dhal batter will drop into the oil. Once they are cooked, remove with another spoon, draining the excess oil. Let the fried batter balls (Boondhi) soak in the sugar syrup. Do the same with the rest of the batter. Using a big heavy spoon, pound the cooked mixture to a pulp. Fry the raisins and cashew in ghee and add to the pulp with the remaining ghee. Now you can add the powdered cardamom and the whole cloves, and make round laddus, pressing the pulp into spheres using your hands.

Laddu 2

Tips: Making the sugar syrup to the right thread-like consistency is the tricky part in the preparation of laddus. Adding colours and other ingredients like edible camphor, saffron or  ”diamond kalkandu”(sugar crystals) is optional.