Kadambam – My Recipe Book

A collection of Vegetarian recipes

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Archive for April, 2007

Vepampoo Rasam!

Posted by Sneha on April 25, 2007


Here’s a last minute entry for the Regional Cuisines of India event hosted by Lakshmi K of Veggie Cuisine, this month being TamilNadu. I was thinking long and hard(I guess that explains “last minute 🙂 ) to make something uncommon, that Tamil Nadu and tamilians can claim as exclusively theirs… Then I thought what could be better and more unique to Tamil cuisine than Vepampoo Rasam??? Vepam is Neem and Poo simply means flower in Tamil! Indians have known the therapeautic properties of Neem from time immemorial. It has been extensively used in the Indian ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine. Read more about Neem here and here and, ofcourse, Google is your best friend! If such a wonderful flower can be made into a delicious tasting rasam(even my 6 year old, savours this!) what could be better ever?? So, here’s my entry for the event….Thanks Lakshmi for coming up with such a nice event! I am sure we all can learn a lot from this!



Dried Neem Flowes (vepampoo) – 1/4 cup
Dal Stock – 2 cups (Pressure cook dal with lots of water and take the stock)
Tomatoes – 4
Tamarind – 1/2 tsp or to taste
Rasam Powder – 1 tsp (or to taste)
Turmeric – a pinch
Oil – 2 tbsp,  approx.
Coriander and Curry Leaves


1. Take 2 tbsp oil in a pan, when its hot, put the vepampoo in it and fry for a few minutes.
(Care should be taken not to burn them. The entire vepampoo should be covered in oil,  take more oil, if needed. Fry until they turn a dark brown and when it starts smoking, take off heat and keep aside.)
2. Boil together chopped tomatoes, tamarind, turmeric and salt.
3. Add rasam powder and let boil for a few more minutes.
4. Finally, add the fried vepampoo and curry and coriander leaves and simmer for about 5 minutes on low flame.
5. Temper with mustard and asafoetida.
6. Serve with steamed rice and fire roasted papad!



Posted in Main Dishes, Traditional Iyengar Recipes | 14 Comments »

Puthandu VazhthukkaL!!!

Posted by Sneha on April 14, 2007

Happy Tamil New Years Day to all! May this new year bring peace and happiness to all!

Clockwise from left top Thondakkai karamudhu/palya,Manga pachadi,paruppu vada
bottom- appalam, morkuzhambu,payasam, rice and paruppu.

In my house, a typical New Year spread  would contain 2 kinds of karamudhu(dry veg dish, usually garnished with coconut),paruppu, manga pachadi, morkuzhambu, vadai/thayir vadai, payasam, appalam, vattal. I tried to do as many of these as possibly today also, but just missed out on the thayir vadai! May be next time! Today I will try and elaborate on just 3 of these – typical festival dishes – Mangai Vepampoo pachadi (Mango-Neemflower Pachadi)and Arisi Thengai Payasam(Rice-Coconut payasam)! Both of these are very simple and yummy dishes!

Paruppu Vada/Ambode

Since we do not use onion garlic during festivities, I made this with Dill leaves. This version is pretty popular in Karnataka actually! And I happened to have it at a birthday party recently. I am used to making pruppu vadas, but, my version is crispy only if eaten hot. After a while, it would become soft. But, my friend’s way of making it, keeps it crunchy for a long time! The trick is to use the food processor to grind the dal, so the dal doesn’t become completely smooth, but, remains grainy!


1 cup channa dal soaked for about 2 hours
1/2 bunch dill leaves(about a cup whenpicked and chopped)
15-20 green chillies
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying


1. First chop the chillies in the food processor.
2. Then add the drained channa dal and dill leaves.
3. Process them until the dal is grainy.
4. Add salt to taste.
5. Pat them into small circles on your palm and deep fry until golden brown.
6. Remove to paper towels and serve.

For the Manga-Vepampoo pachadi, you will need:

1. 1 Med raw mango
2. 5-6 green chillies
3. 1/2 tsp jaggery crushed
4. Vepampoo 1 tsp
5. Oil
6. Salt to taste
7. Mustard to temper
8. Curry and coriander leaves to garnish


Chop the mango into big cubes.
Boil it with csliced green chillies and salt.
When its cooked(not too soft), add the jaggery.
Temper with mustard seeds and fried vepampoo(fry the neemflowers a spoon of oil till the start turning brown and the oil starts smoking)
Garnish with curry leaves and coriander leaves. Enjoy!

Arisi-Thenga payasam:


1 tbsp raw rice soked in water for about 1/2 hour.
2 tbsp coconut
dry fruits of choice 2tbsp
Jaggery to taste(approx. 1/2 cup)
Milk – 1 cup (approx.)


1. Grind the soaked rice and coconut to a nice smooth paste.
2. Boil the jaggery with a tablespoon of water until you get a nice aroma.
3. Add the ground mix and keep stirring(a whisk works best) until it starts boiling.
4. Add elaichi, dry fruits and regular milk to make the payasam consistency to your liking, remove from heat.
5. Enjoy!

Posted in Appetizers/Snacks, Festival, Rice dishes, Side Dishes | 10 Comments »

Winter Blues in April!!!

Posted by Sneha on April 13, 2007

Update April 15th: We managed to dodge the snow this time! Its pouring dogs and cats though! But, I dont have any complaints!!!

Anyone remember the movie The Day After Tomorrow??? Well, we are seeing a preview of that movie here in Central Penn, this weekend. Weather channel has forecast a severe winter storm warning for this weekend with snowfall between 6 to 12 inches!!! Man! This is the second week of April…….we are officially well into spring! Cant take snow nomore! I am at my wits end! I just packed all our winter clothes, and trying to get some spring cleaning done 😦 . No one would believe how incredibly jealous I am of people who are enjoying the sun and the sand at this time! I am especially thinking of my parents, sister and everyone in Bangalore! They are all in high spirits for tomorrow’s Tamil New years day and here I am………..lost all my enthu and sitting and whining on and on………Oh! BTW, did I mention I am seriously on the lookout for an apartment with a fireplace , in case the movie does come true!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Look at these Cuties!!!

Posted by Sneha on April 3, 2007


Wow! Look at them! Aren’t they cute or what??? Every time I look at them, I feel like just taking one and popping in my mouth!!! Do you feel the same?? As a matter of fact, you can! These are edible! Yes! thats right! You can eat them, except for the stem and leaves. They are a kind of Thai snack/sweet, made from Mung beans, I call them Thai Mung bean sweet!

We frequent this Thai restaurant in Harrisburg ever sooo often, that the chef/owner has become a great friend of ours! Ofcourse, she makes some great food too. Anytime we go there, she makes sure she comes out of her busy kitchen and talk to us and also, gives my daughter a special treat. The last time we were there, she gave our little one this snack. She said its made of mung beans and its very healthy too. I was more interested in taking a picture of these little cuties, I wouldn’t let my daughter touch them until we came home and took a picture of it! And, yes, she did get to eat them after that, and we did too, and it tasted delicious! Thought of sharing the picture here! Enjoy!

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments »

Mushroom Biriyani

Posted by Sneha on April 2, 2007

These days, almost every morning goes by just browsing other blogsites and drooling at the new recipes I see all the time, thanks to all my forever enthusiastic blogger buddies. Indusladies is one such other site that I am a regular visitor of. I love Mrs. Chitra’s collection of recipes there. She is untiringly inspiring other ladies to try new dishes and improve our cooking skills constantly. Thanks to Mrs. Chitra, I found this easy to make, delicious Mushroom Biriyani. Made it for lunch today, both me and N liked it very much. The recipe goes as follows:



Sliced mushrooms (8 oz pac)
Basmati rice – 1 ½ cups
Onion – 1, sliced
Tomatoes – 3 medium, chopped
Cinnamon – 1 one inch pieces
Cloves – 3 to 4
Small cardamom – 3, crushed
Ghee – 2tbsp
Saffron strands-a pinch
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 3, chopped
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

For garnishing:

2 onions sliced & deep fried


1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 mins.
2. Melt 1 spoon of the ghee, add cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms & saute or 2 mts.
3. Add drained rice & fry for 2 minutes.
4. Add 2 ½ cups of hot water, saffron strands & salt to taste.
5. Cover & cook till almost done.(Grains should be separate)
6. Heat oil, add sliced onion & fry till golden brown.
7. Add tomatoes & all the remaining ingredients.
8. Saute, stirring often till ghee separates.
9. Add mushrooms & fry till cooked.
10. In a baking pan, take half of the prepared rice.
11. On that spread the mushroom gravy & over that the remaining rice, add a spoonful of ghee.
12. Cover with aluminium foil & bake for 15 mts.

Serve with any raitha.

Posted in Rice dishes | 13 Comments »

Tomato Onion Uthappam

Posted by Sneha on April 2, 2007

Uthappam is one more South Indian breakfast delicacy. If you have left over idli batter, this is a breeze to make. Else, here’s how to.



2 cups Idli rice
1 cup Urad dal
Handful of poha/avalakki
Handful of cooked rice

Soak the idli rice and urad dal for about 6 hours, and grind them to a thick batter along with the poha and cooked rice.
Let it ferment overnight, or keep in a warm place for about 8-10 hours.

To make Uthappam, you will need:

Finely sliced small red onions
Thin sliced tomatoes
Fine sliced green chillies and coriander leaves.


Pour the batter over a hot tava like you would, for a dosa, garnish with all the ingredients above.
Serve hot with onion chutney or coconut chutney.


Posted in Breakfast | 20 Comments »

Small Onion Chutney

Posted by Sneha on April 2, 2007

This cutney goes excellent with any kind of dosa. I first had it at my friend S’s place and it was just awesome, got hooked to it.


10 small red onions
1 tsp chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil


1. Peel and chop the onions very finely.
2. Add salt and chilli powder.
3. Heat the oil and pour it over, mix thouroughly, slightly crushing with a spoon.
4. Serve with any dosa.


Posted in Chutneys/Pickles/ Powders | 5 Comments »