Kadambam – My Recipe Book

A collection of Vegetarian recipes

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Archive for the ‘Traditional Iyengar Recipes’ Category

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 »

Iyengar Sambar Powder

Posted by Sneha on March 31, 2007

My mom makes the absolutely best and delicious sambars and rasams! As in most Iyengar households, I grew up eating sambar almost everyday of my life! Ask any Iyengar, or even any Tamilian for that matter, they will tell you that sambar is not a single dish, but, every sambar is different depending upon the vegetables used, the way it is made, etc, etc. For us, Vendakkai sambar, Kathrikkai sambar, murungakkai sambar, vengaya sambar, aracha kuzhambu (kuzhambu = sambar), poricha kuzhambu, podi kuzhambu, vagera, vagera, each one of them is unique and different from the other! Such being the importance given to sambar in an Iyengar household, the best sambar recipes naturally come from there. Here I proudly present my mom’s sambar powder recipe. So far, I have not come across even a single person who did not love this sambar and have not asked for the recipe! So, here goes a family secret ;-)!



1 cup dhaniya(coriander seeds)
2 cups dried red chillies
1/4 cup kadale paruppu (Channa dal)
1/4 cup Uzhutham paruppu (Urad dal)
1/4 cup venthyam (methi seeds)



1.Dry roast all the ingredients separately until they give a nice aroma. (The dals should just about start turning to a pale brown)
2.Let cool and dry grind everything together and store in an air tight container.
3.Stores well for a couple of months.

Posted in Chutneys/Pickles/ Powders, Traditional Iyengar Recipes | 48 Comments »

Molagu Rasam

Posted by Sneha on March 12, 2007

The black pepper as a culinary spice and condiment is well known throughout the world. Grown predominantly in the Western Ghats region of India, it also has lots of medicinal values. It is used to soothe sore throat, in aiding digestion, improving appetite and also has anti-bacterial qualities. Read more about black pepper here . In my house, it has kind of become a tradition to make this rasam the moment someone sneezes or even complains of sore throat. What better dinner on a cold wintry day than the Molagu Sathumudhu (sathumudhu = Rasam),also called pepper-jeera rasam or even kali mirch ki rasam (by my Punjabi friend 🙂 ), with hot steaming rice and roasted papad?
This is the way my mom makes it and now I do too…



For the powder
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp jeera
1 tsp dhania

For making rasam
1/2 cup cooked Tur dal
3-4 medium sized tomatoes
1/2 tsp tamarind paste (or to taste)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

For seasoning:
oil 2 tsp
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves


1. Take a drop of ghee and roast the black pepper, jeera and dhania, seaparately until they give a nice aroma.
2. Dry grind the dhaniya first to a smooth powder and then add pepper and jeera and grind very coarsely.
4. Mix the cooked tur dal, tomatoes, tumeric, tamarind paste, salt and boil till tomatoes are softened and give out the juices.
5. Add water and make it to rasam consistency (thinner than sambar) – about 2 cups approx. would work.
6. Once it starts boiling, add about 2tsp of the spice powder(more if u need spicy or if your taste buds need tickling, due to the cold 😉 ) and boil for 5 more mins and take off heat.
7. Season with mustard, curry and coriander leaves and asafoetida.

Enjoy Iyengar style Molagu sathumudhu!!!.

Posted in Main Dishes, Traditional Iyengar Recipes | 5 Comments »

Tomato Pachadi

Posted by Sneha on February 13, 2007

Come winter, I get all lazy trying to get cozy! I like to cook something real quick and simple and be done with it. And tomato pachadi is a purrrrrrrrrrfect dish for such times!



Tomatoes – 4
Green Chillies – 4
Curd/yogurt – 2 cups
Turmeric – a pinch
Salt to taste

For seasoning:
Oil 2 tsp, mustard, jeera
Coriander and curry leaves


Heat oil, add seasoning, then add green chillies, saute a minute.
Then add tomatoes and let it cook until soft
Then add turmeric powder, salt to taste, curry leaves and coriander leaves, boil for a minute.
Remove from heat and let cool for sometime.
Finally add curd. Mix well and serve with hot rice !

Posted in Main Dishes, Traditional Iyengar Recipes | Leave a Comment »

Kathrikkai Podimas/Brinjal Curry

Posted by Sneha on January 17, 2007


Kathrikkai/Eggplant/Brinjal/Aubergine – As most of my fellow bloggers say, is a very versatile vegetable. When it come to this vegetable, we see people on both ends of the spectrum – some eternal eggplant lovers and some, eternal haters!!! Kathrikkai Podi

I like eggplant when its cooked not mushy, but kind of fry/cooked in oil as in Vangibath, Ennegayi, Podimas, etc. We went grocery shopping y’day and seeing the fresh, tender eggplant, hubby dear said, “I never used to eat this, but, the way you cook it now, I started liking this vegetable!”. Ofcourse, I was glad to hear that, and yes, you guessed it! I made Kathrikkai Podimas today!!
If you have the powder done already, this is one of the fastest dishes you can cook, it hardly takes 15 mis to cut and cook!!!

Here goes the recipe:
For the masala powder:

1 cup urad dal
1 cup channa dal
1 1/2 cups dhania
1 cup red chillies

Dry roast(separately) all these till u get a nice aroma and powder coarsely. This stores well for a couple of months.

And now for the Kathrikaki podimas:

1 lb firm, tender Brinjal, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I prefer either the small round or long purple ones)
1 tsp of masala powder (more if u prefer more spicy)
2 tsp oil
1/4 tsp Amchur powder or tamarind powder or paste (for a slight tang)
A pinch of turmeric powder

To Temper:
Mustard seeds



1. Heat oil, temper and add the cubed eggplant.
2. Let cook in medium flame for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occassionally, take care not to make it mushy, the cubes should be cooked but still firm!
3. Add turmeric, salt to taste and the amchur powder, stir.
4. Finally, sprinkle the masala powder, mix well, turn off the heat.
5. Delicious Kathrikkai podi is ready, its that easy and quick!

Posted in Side Dishes, Traditional Iyengar Recipes | 2 Comments »