This is a popular side-dish for idlis and dosas in Tanjore region. Brahmins from that region also prepare this side dish without onions. This is also a speciality dish in South-Arcot district. I made this as a side dish for chappathi and it tasted awesome. However, if using as a side dish for idlis and dosas, it can be diluted with little water.
Moong dhal - 2 tablespoons
Potatoes - 3 (medium sized)
Onion - 1
Green chillies - 3
Aniseed (sombu, saunf) - 1 tsp.
Pottukadalai - 1 tablespoon
Coconut scraped - 1/4 cup
Cinnamon - 1" piece - 1
Cloves - 3
Bay leaf - 1
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 3 tablespoons
Coriander leaves - few
Pressure cook moong dhal or cook moong dhal in water till soft and mash it well.
Boil potatoes and mash it roughly. Chop onions.
Grind pottukadalai, sombu, green chillies, and grated coconut to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a pan, and temper with the whole spices. Add chopped onions and saute well. Now add the roughly mashed potatoes, moong dhal and salt. When it starts boiling add the groung paste. Check for salt and allow it to boil till the raw smell is diffused.
Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with idli and dosas.