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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


This is a typical tamil brahmin style pickle from Tamilnadu. This one is different from the kadugumanga pickle posted earlier.


Small, tender mangoes - 10 measures
Sea salt (kal uppu) - 1 measure
Dry red chillies - 1 measure
Mustard seeds - 1/4 measure
Castor oil - 2 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 2 tablespoons


NOTE: Usually, the ratio of salt is 8:1. But, personally I felt, when I use it for a year and more, the mangoes absorb all the salt by the end of the year and maavadu becomes too salty. Hence, I use 10:1 ratio and it is perfect even for 2 years. In general, any pickle will stay longer if little salty. However, chillies and salt can be used as per individual taste.

Buy firm tender mangoes with long stalk.  DO NOT buy the ones without the stem. The pickle will spoil soon.

Cut the stalk, leaving a little stalk (1/4") in the mango and wash the mangoes well. Leave it in the water for half an hour. Take out and drain it.

Pat it dry with a neat towel. Put the mangoes in a ceramic jar (jaadi).

Pour the castor oil and mix well till all the mangoes are coated with oil.

Add salt and turmeric powder. Shake well OR turn it upside down using a dry ladle daily for 4-5 days. The mangoes will shrink. The salt will dissolve and become watery. Now, grind together dry chillies and mustard seeds to a fine powder and add to the mangoes and mix well. Again, shake well OR turn it upside down daily for another week. The solution should always be 2 inches above the mango level. 

Maavadu or Vadumangai will be ready to eat within 10 days.

Store in a small bottle for daily use. Always use a dry spoon or ladle to take out the mangoes. Never use your hand.

This can be used for a year and when refrigerated, can be used for a year or more. Goes well with curd rice and even sambhar saadam.

Monday, March 24, 2014




Big kiwi fruit - 2
Lemon juice - from half a lemon
Honey - 2 tablespoons
Salt - 1 pinch
Ice cubes - 4
A slice of kiwi - to garnish
Mint leaves - few (optional)
1/4 Cup of  drinking soda  (optional)
Water - as needed


Peel the skin of the kiwi fruit. Combine kiwi pulp, lemon juice, honey and salt. Give a quick blend using a mixie or blender. Add water as required. Mix well.

Pour in a serving glass, add ice cubes, and soda. Stir well.

Garnish with a half-cut  kiwi slices and mint leaves(if using).

Enjoy this kiwi lemonade on summer. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014


sweet potato curry. sakkaraivalli kizhangu karamudhu

These type of curries are called samaan podi karamudhu in iyengar cuisine. This is a tasty curry which and goes well with jeera rasam (Type 1 and Type 2) when mixed with hot rice and a little ghee. This is also done with brinjals and raw bananas. 


Sweet potato - 1/2 kg.
Grated coconut - 2 tsp. 
Oil - 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - as per taste
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Red chillies - 2
Hing - a pinch
Curry leaves - few
Karamudhu podi - 2 tablespoons


Cook sweet potato (sakkaravalli kizhangu) alongwith salt and turmeric powder. Peel and cut into cubes.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add mustard seeds, urad dhal and red chillies . When golden brown add hing, curry leaves and cubed sweet potatoes. Saute well by flipping it gently . Now, add the karamudhu podi and grated coconut.  Mix well. Saute for 2 more minutes. Sakkaraivalli saamaan podi karamudhu is ready.