Archive for the ‘Pickles’ Category

Mango Channa Pickle(Avakkai with channa)

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Continuing with the summer specials- mom makes mango avakkai,thokku, mavadu etc., But this is a recipe that we tried one summer when “Arusuvai Arasu” Natarajan shared it in a magazine(vikadan I guess). It came out so well that we started making avakkai just like this recipe year after year. The instructions are so simple, you just have to remember to use clean dry utensils and you cannot go wrong.

I made it with one mango(started the process on Monday, so it will take 5 days for it to soak and get to the correct consistency and texture) but the original recipe is for 12 mangoes. I have given the original recipe ingredients and you can adjust it according to your requirements.

Ingredients for 12 mangoes:

Firm green mangoes- 12
Coarsely powdered dry chilies- 1/4 kg
Finely powdered mustard seeds(black)- 100 g
Turmeric powder- 50 g
Asafoetida- 50 g
Channa(dry)- 200 g
Salt(salt crystals)- 100 g
Gingerly oil- 250 ml.


I keep repeating to myself whenever I make pickles:
Use only a dry wooden spoon to mix and scoop the pickles. Use dry blender to blend each ingredient. Use good quality ingredients.

Channa in this recipe is the dried garbanzo beans, not the cooked one. When you use the dry channa and let the pickle soak in the oil, you can see that the channa will get into the cooked consistency after 4-5 days.

Wash the mango and pat it dry with a clean cotton cloth. Cut it into equal shapes and let it air dry inside the house(not in the sun).

Pour the gingerly oil in a bowl and keep it in the sunlight for atleast half a day to warm the oil(I cover it with a netted sieve to prevent any dust from settling in, if you use a full lid then water will settle in and there is no use in making pickle with that oil)

In a dry pickle jar or a glass bowl or a glass jar:

Layer the mango pieces and dry channa. Add salt on top of it, followed by turmeric powder, mustard seed powder,asafoetida and chili powder made from whole dry chilies. Do not mix.

Pour the warm gingerly oil on top. Cover the mouth of the pickle jar or bowl with a clean cotton cloth. Place the lid on top. Leave it as it is.

Gently mix the pickle the next day. Keep mixing it once a day for atleast another 4-5 days till you can see the oil floating on top and the mangoes looking like a pickled mango(???)- the best indication that the pickle is ready to use is the channa getting to a cooked consistency and will be soft to the touch.

Store the pickle in a clean jar with a lid and use only a dry wooden spoon to serve the pickle. Enjoy this pickle with parathas, yogurt rice,pongal, khichdi or molagootal!

This is one recipe that is a keeper! Tastes amazing and the color looks gorgeous.

Want to know how the final product looks like? Visit this place on Friday and you can see the pickle ready to use, till then I will be updating pics every day! Already N has been giving the pickle jar tempting looks and has been saying ,”hmmm…smells great”!!

Day 1(Today) -A day after mixing all ingredients;

After it soaked well in the oil and ready to use:

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Puli Milagai Pachadi- Can you take the heat?

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Somedays I miss Mom’s cooking a lot. Especially when I think of what to cook on a busy weekday evening with a toddler running around, I wonder how she managed everything. This past week I have been cooking a lot of her recipes and one such recipe is this Pachadi. It is so simple yet so delicious. Yogurt rice with this pachadi on a summer evening is my favorite way to gobble up this pachadi. You just cant go wrong with this and it takes about 10 minutes to make. This goes very well with Pongal, Arisi Upma, Kozhukattais or even with molagootal.


Green chilies- 6 to 8
Ginger- 1″ piece
Salt- as needed
Turmeric powder- 1 pinch
Asafoetida- 1 pinch
Thick tamarind extract- 1 cup( use 1/4 tsp paste in a cup of water)
Gingerly oil- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves- few


Chop the green chilies and ginger. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter add curry leaves and asafoetida. Stir once, then add green chilies and ginger and fry well in oil for 2-3 minutes. Now slowly add the tamarind extract along with turmeric powder and salt. Let it simmer for 10 minutes till the water evaporates and the pachadi comes together like a thick paste yet pourable.

If you want you can even add a pinch or two of jaggery to balance the spice. This will be an excellent combination of something spicy-salty-tangy to go with yogurt rice! This is almost a pickle but not a pickle but as good as one! Sometimes when you feel like eating something different a simple side dish like this can light up an entire meal :) Besides you can make it according to your taste- more spicy or more tangy or just balanced with that jaggery.

You can store this in the refrigerator for up to a week also.

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Recipe Marathon: Day 1: Sun dried tomato thokku and spicy egg dosa

Friday, December 25th, 2009

I thought of taking part in this
marathon hosted by Nupur
with a 7 course meal concept. Before I started blogging, I’d be randomly reading blogs and I had marked a couple of recipes to try out. These recipes are from different categories, breakfast, gravies, elegant dinners and twists in traditional ones.

I’ll be starting with recipes in breakfast and moving on to the elegant dinner as we move forward in the marathon.

Recipe 7: Sun dried Tomato thokku

I saw this recipe from Sheela’s space. I immediately fell in love with the recipe as I love pickles and thokkus like anything. And I have never heard of sun dried tomato thokku. I just use them for pastas. And Sheela’s recipes are very creative, like this adai waffle.

My first step in the marathon is tomato thokku dosa. This is how it goes. The thokku part is very simple and uses 3 major ingredients.


To make the thokku:

Sun dried tomatoes(without oil)- 5 each
Dried red chilies- 5
Fresh roma tomato- 1
Salt- to taste
Sesame oil- 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Hing- one pinch

Soak red chilies and dried tomatoes in hot water for 10 minutes to plump them up. Blend chopped tomato, red chilies and dried tomatoes without adding water to a smooth paste.

Make sure that you add the fresh tomato while grinding and do not just use sun-dried ones.

Heat oil in a pan and add hing and mustard seeds. When they splutter, add this blended tomato and salt and let it bubble and thicken (5 mins) till the oil is absorbed and let out again. Store in a air tight container.

Now, this is what I did with the tomato thokku. N had visited Kanyakumari in the 90’s and he was after me to make a special tomato egg masala dosa he had there. And I made my adapted version of the dosa with this thokku for breakfast.

Dosa batter- 1 cup
Tomato thokku- 1/4 cup
Sliced onions- few
Cilantro- well chopped- few strands
Green onions- few strands
Oil- 2 tsp

1) Ladle the dosa batter thin like how we’d make a dosa. Make sure that the pan is hot.

2) Break an egg on top of this dosa and scramble it quickly, spreading it all over the dosa.


3) Spoon some thookku on top and scramble it as well.


4) Add the sliced onions, cilantro, green onions and pour some oil on top.

5) When the egg is cooked on top, flip and cook the other side.


Serve hot as it is or with any chutney. To be honest, it tastes good on its own.


We liked the combination and were thinking about different fillings on top of the egg thokku – grated panner, chopped baby spinach, cheese etc., up as many layers as you want. The tomato thokku keeps the dosa moist and it is not heavy, greasy food. And its much lighter than the potato masala dosa. My favorite part : No need to grind chutney or make sambar or gulp down podis with it.

Besides, this thokku can also be used as a tomato paste for gravies/tomato rice and I always like ingredients which can be used for more than one recipe.

Stay tuned, we are going to enter into the Lunch Territory with a spicy-tangy combo!
See you all tomorrow.

This dosa is going to srivalli’s kids delight event

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Mango Pickle and an Award

Monday, December 21st, 2009


I love pickles and my favorite combination is yogurt rice or dal rice with pickles. Mom makes these amazing vadu mango(baby mango), avakkai, more milagai (chili), poondu(garlic), Mahali pickles during summer. Even now, whenever some relative travels this side, she sends boxes of sambar powder and dry pickles like mahali. I mean it, I cherish these stuff more than a real gift. Nothing could give relief like seeing this home made sambar powder by amma. N can smell stuff like a mile away and he’d be the first one to figure out the difference and crinkle his nose disapproving the taste and aroma and will proceed to give me a lecture on making authentic sambars.

To cut a long story short, N picked up some mangoes from the desi shop this weekend- Some young, green,firm mangoes and we unanimously decided(phew!!) on making Kara Manga- That is Mangai kari in kerala- Instant mango pickle.
This is how it goes:

Firm, green mangoes- 2

For tempering:
Salt- 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder- 1 tsp
Asafoetda- 1/4 tsp
Sesame oil- 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp


Wash the mangoes well and scrub away any dirt. I peel the mangoes slightly but you can use it with the skin also. Chop them roughly first and remove the seeds. Then,finely chop the mangoes. Transfer them to a ceramic/glass bowl. Sprinkle salt and chili powder on top (but do not mix them) and keep aside.


Heat sesame oil in a pan and add asafoetida and mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, pour this sizzling hot oil on top of the cut mango-salt-chili powder. Mix well. There is no need to stir fry this as the hot oil will cook the mango and make it juicy along with the chili powder and salt. You can let is sit at room temperature for a couple of hours for the mango to release the juice or store it.


Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This pickle can last for 2-3 weeks. Use a dry spoon every time and make sure that you mix well before serving. This mouth watering pickle never lasts more than 3 days in our house. We finish it by using it for everything from pongal to khichdi to rice dishes.

Malar of Kitchentantra shared this cheerleading blog award with me. This is my first award and I am so happy to receive it, been grinning ear to ear since I saw it. Thanks Malar!


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