Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Simple Lunch for Rama Navami

I was happily lazing around, till this morning, when I realized that the main cook (mom) had to go out and the assistant cook (sis) had to stay out of kitchen. So I had to do a fine juggling between protecting my manicured nails and cooking – chopping vegetables and cleaning with water.

My cooking is usually dependent on the available vegetable at home. When am in a mood to experiment, I do a search based on the vegetable and typically at least 25+ recipes from various cuisines come up for each vegetable. Then based on the prime eater’s choice the recipe is fixed.

This morning, mom had prepared moong dal sambar, coconut chutney and karuvepuillai (curry leaves) chutney for idlis and happily went out for arranging rooms for guests. Fencing is going on. So for the 2 fencers, we periodically gave chilled whisked butter milk (with a dash of fried powdered curry leaves, cumin seeds and a bit of asafoetida), chilled panagam and bottles of water.

Our Simple Lunch

For lunch the vegetables available were Ridge gourd, Brinjals and Paruppu Keerai. My brother declared that he would boycott lunch if I added peerkangai in anything. Non veg eaters seldom appreciate the less popular vegetables. So it was a very simple varathu araicha kathrika sambar, tomato rasam, poricha keerai kootu with moong dal, curd, arisi vathal (vathal was made by our carpenter’s niece). Since it was Rama navami I also prepared Panakam (just like our usual sukku malli kapi – instead of sukku, it is fresh ginger, no malli but with a dash of pepper , flavoured with divine cardamoms).

Today most of the things – Brinjals (aggravates pitta), keerai and vathal happened to be vata aggravating. It is very difficult to cook considering each of our body constitution and its suitable vegetable and pulses. I have vata-pitta, my sis has purely kapha, my brother has vata-kapha. I prefer ghee in all my dishes while my siblings keep away from ghee. So I ensure, collectively the dishes have ingredients that pacify our respective body doshas.

Panakam (ginger – aggravates pitta, stimulates kapha, pepper – aggravates pitta, good for vata and pitta, jaggery – increases pitta, decreases kapha, Cardamom balances vata and kapha)

Paruppu Keerai


1. Bathua finds a use in the treatment of some skin conditions, and the oil made from these leaves is used to treat hook worms.
2. It is rich in vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, trace minerals, iron and fibre.

This was another mini virundhu, I had prepared long before. It had avarakkai sambar, kothuvaranga paruppu usili (my favourite), chow chow kootu, murukku, motichoor laddoo, mysorepa and nellika oorukai with poovam pazham. Usual rasam, curd followed later.

Yet another mini virundhu: In it is Bharwan bindi, murunga keerai poriyal, potato poriyal, radish sambar, badam payasam.

For Ammayi - Semiya Payasam, Pumpkin Halwa, Carrot Poriyal, Pumpkin Poriyal, Manathakkali Kootu, Karunai Kilangu Roast, Maanga Inji Thokku, Sweet Bonda, Manathakali Keerai Pakoda, Vazhaikai Bajji, Avarakai Sambar
Moong Dal Payasam, Avarakai Sambar, Beetroot Poriyal, Drumstick Leaves Poriyal, Curd, Poovam Pazham

Akaravadisal, Neiparuppu sadham, Murungai Keerai, Carrot Poriyal, Thakkali Chutney, Vathal, Curd

 Am slowly building a doc over the years that has a CCP (cut copy paste) of various RCI to international cuisines - recipes, based on seasonal or difficult vegetables that I had not tried at home. (7 recipes with gongura, 6 with bitter gourd, 16 with cabbage, 12 with ridge gourd, 10 with capsicum and so on)

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