DODDAPATRE THAMBULI (Spiced Yogurt with Coleus n Coconut)

Cold, cough, sore throat, congestion, indigestion…oho!….then no more procrastination! Off to the garden, pluck them…those succulent, strong scented (has the aroma of oregano but a bit more pungent), thick, roundish, spongy, green foliage with toothed edges from an evergreen shrub that grows and spreads so easily even in gentle weather.

Pluck a leaf or two, boil them in hot water and sip the decoction (kashaya) when you feel sick especially with common cold or abdominal ailments. Wanna add a drop of honey and lime for that zing thing….yes please!

Thambuli, a simple yogurt and fresh coconut based preparation, cool dish ideal for hot summers, so healthy n tasty, so lovingly prepared and sweetly served by moms, yet so easily turned down by kids, only to realise later in life….”Well, it’s our turn now to be turned down by our kids”!!! Fortunately, I for one, at a very young age … by teenage, that’s right, had realized the importance of eating healthy, which made my Amma happy! How about you?

Dish Type:  South Indian Side Dish Doddapatre Tambuli edit copy

Preparation Time:  5 min

Cooking time:  10 min

Serves:  4 persons


For sautéing:

Ghee                            ½ tsp

Cumin seeds                ½ tsp

Pepper corns               ½ tsp (5 to 6 nos.)

Doddapatre leaves      12 nos.

Green chilli                 1 no.

For grinding:

All the above sautéed ingredients

Salt to taste                             ½ tsp

Fresh grated coconut              1 tbsp

Asafoetida                               A pinch

Jaggery                                    1 tsp (optional)

Curd                                        1 cup

For seasoning:

Ghee                            ½ tsp

Mustard seeds                        ½ tsp

Cumin seeds                ½ tsp

Curry leaves                4 to 6 nos.

Red chilli                     1 no. (split to half or a tad smaller)


Wash doddapatre leaves thoroughly in salt water. Drain out the water and keep the leaves aside. Wash curry leaves also and keep aside.

Grate fresh coconut and keep aside.

Heat ghee in a skillet. Add cumin seeds and pepper corns. When jeera turns brown, add green chilli and washed doddapatre leaves. Sauté them on low flame for 3 to 4 min. till you see the leaves wilting, watering and changing colour. Switch off the flame and transfer the contents to a plate. Let it cool.

Now added grated fresh coconut, salt and asafoetida to this plate. Grind them in a mixie jar using minimum amount of water to a paste consistency. Transfer the contents to a bowl and now add fresh curd / buttermilk and blend them well with a spoon. It’s time to do seasoning….

Heat ghee in a small skillet. Add cumin seeds, red chilli and curry leaves (in that order). Fry for five seconds. Switch off the flame. Pour this seasoning on to the bowl.

Doddapatre Thambuli is now ready. Serve it cool with hot steaming rice, pickle and papad.

Also view Methi Jeera Thambuli in this blog


Leaves can even be chopped to smaller size before sautéing.

You can use pepper corns / green chillies or a combination of both for the spicy taste.

Coleus Aromaticus, Plectranthus Amboinicus, Cuban Oregano, Country Borage, French Thyme, Spanish Thyme, Mexican Thyme, Mother of Herbs, Saviara Sambara, Sambrani soppu, Sambara balli, Karpooravalli are a few other terms used to describe Doddapatre leaves.


IDLI PODI (Miligayi Pudi /Malaga Pudi)

A stunningly simple spice powder that’s a perfect partner for idlis and dosas. This long lasting, gently spiced coarse powder mix comes in handy either as a standalone side dish with idli/dosa or as a snap dip along with chutneys. Button idlis or chopped idli pieces tossed in this pudi makes for a favourite finger food.

(“Miligayi” in tamil means red chilli and “Pudi” or “Podi” means Powder.)

Dish Type:  South Indian Spice Powder Miligayi Pudi

Preparation Time:  3 min

Roasting time:  5 min

Cooling time:  10 min

Grinding time:  2 min

Yield:  225 gms


White til seeds            25 gms

Red chillies                  50 gms (approx. 45 nos. of long variety)

Black gram dal                        150 gms

Salt to taste                 1 tsp

Asafoetida                   A pinch

Dry fry all the above ingredients separately (in the order mentioned above) in a skillet on medium flame and transfer each of them to a plate. Let it cool thoroughly. Grind them in a mixie to a not too fine powder. While grinding, first grind dal coarsely, then add red chillies followed by other ingredients. Watch out…sesame seeds may turn out oily and sticky in case of overgrinding.

Did you cough in the first round of grinding itself? Wow, you are well on your way to making a great spicy powder! For, that is what a good spice powder makes you do first!!

Enjoy the grinding while coughing J! Let the texture of the powder be a bit coarse. Transfer this powder on to a plate. Mix well and spread it on the plate. Let it cool completely. Store it in an air tight container.

This powder is a perfect side dish for idli and dosa. Traditionally, it is mixed with sesame oil or gingelly oil or any other cooking oil before serving. To make friendlier idlis for those fussy ones, make a “Quick n Spicy Idli” recipe in a jiffy.

Chop the steamed idlis into bite size pieces.

Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add urad dal and curry leaves. Add chopped green chillies and idli pieces. Sauté for about 2 min. Toss well while sautéing. Switch off the burner. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve it hot.


Groundnuts can also be used in place of til seeds.

Bengal gram dal can also be used along with black gram dal, usually 1/3rd the quantity of black gram dal. You can experiment and achieve the taste that suits you.

A handful of dried curry leaves, dry fried and powdered along with the other ingredients adds to the flavour of the powder.

Kerala version of Miligayi pudi  will have few peppercorns added cutting down on the quantity of red chillies.

You can add a pinch of jaggery for a tinge of sweet taste and a pod of tamarind for a tangy taste.

Spoilt for choices?…..yeh!


BISI BELE BHAATH (Rice Variety with Lentil and Veggies)

Spicy, traditional, authentic delicious dish from Karnataka, India. A typical rice and lentil combination dish with a generous mix of veggies, giving you lot of flexibility to choose from among a variety of vegetables. While rice, lentil and vegetables contribute the most to the nutrition factor; curry leaves, asafoetida and tamarind play dual roles to give not just nutrition but also that unique flavour. However, the secret behind the awesome taste of this dish lies in the spice powder.Scroll down and get started….to discover more about this dish, also known as “Bisi Bele Huliyanna” or “Hot Lentil Sour Rice”.

Dish Type:  South Indian Vegetarian Rice Variety Bisi Bele Bhaath

Preparation Time:  20 min

Cooking time:  40 min

Serves:  4 persons


For cooking:

Rice                 100 gms

Toor Dal          100 gms

Water              500 ml

Oil                   1 tbsp

Turmeric pwd A pinch

Beans              50 gms  (chopped to 1” long pieces)

Potato              1 no. (chopped to ½” cubes)

Double Beans  30 gms

Carrot              1 no. (chopped to 1” long pieces)

Knol khol         1 no. (chopped to 1” long pieces)

For preparing masala:

Tamarind paste           1 tbsp (or soak 1 lime size ball of tamarind and extract the juice)

Salt to taste                 1 tsp

Spice powder              2 tbsp approx. (refer “Bisi Bele Bhaath powder” recipe in this website)

Water                          50 ml

For seasoning:

Oil                               2 tbsps

Mustard seeds                        1 tsp

Bengal gram dal         1 tsp

Black gram dal                        1 tsp

Asafoetida                   A pinch

Curry leaves                1 sprig

Onion                          1 no. (chopped to ½” cubes)

Turmeric powder        A pinch

Salt to taste                 1 tsp approx.

Capsicum                    1 no. (chopped to ½” cubes)

Tomatoes                    2 nos. (chopped to ½” cubes)

For garnishing:

Ghee                            1 tbsp

Coriander leaves         2 tbsps


Wash rice and toor dal separately and thoroughly in water. Drain out the water.

Put 300 ml of water, washed toor dal, few drops of oil and a pinch of turmeric powder into a pressure cooker and keep it for boiling. When the dal is half cooked (this can be known by pressing the dal with your fingers. The dal just splits without getting mashed) add all vegetables, salt (listed above under “for cooking”) and washed rice. Mix them well; add another 200 ml of water. Now close the lid of the pressure cooker and let it cook upto 2 whistles. Switch off the flame. Let it cool.

Put tamarind paste in a bowl. Dilute it to juice consistency by adding 50 ml of water.  To this add salt and bisi bele bath powder. Mix them well. Boil this mixture in a small thick vessel or skillet on low flame for 5 to 10 min. If the mixture becomes too thick, add some more water, mix well and again keep for boiling till it reaches “gojju” consistency.

By now, the pressure in the cooker would have subsided. Remove the lid. Add this boiled mixture into the cooker, stir the contents well and again boil it for another 10 min. Switch off the flame. While this is boiling, prepare the seasoning. For this,

Heat oil in to a kadai. Put mustard seeds. When they crackle, add bengal gram dal followed by black gram dal. When they turn golden brown in colour, add asafoetida, curry leaves, chopped onions, salt and turmeric powder. Sauté till onions turn transparent and golden brown. Now add chopped capsicum. Continue sautéing till capsicum is just cooked and feels crisp and crunchy. Don’t overcook capsicum. Now add chopped tomatoes. Stir for 2 or 3 min. till the tomatoes are slightly cooked and the rawness disappears. Do not overcook tomatoes either. Switch off the flame. Pour this seasoning on to the boiling bisi bele bhaath in the pressure cooker to form a top layer. Do not mix this till you start serving.

Garnish with ghee and finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Bisi Bele Bhaath is now ready.

Serve it steaming hot topped with a spoonful of ghee with fried papad, potato chips, fresh khara boondi, raitha or salad giving the bhaath cool company.

Also view other rice varieties in our blog “Vegetable Biryani“, “Greens Pulao“, “Ellina Chitranna” and “Raw Mango Rice


Broken wheat may also be used in place of white rice. Similarly rice can be substituted by Poha or Avalakki. Poha needs to be soaked for about 30 min. before mixing and boiling with cooked lentil and veggies.

Ensure Toor dal retains its shape even after it is cooked.


Gently spicy, subtly sweet, trickily tangy, clear soup consistency and a divine drink! You just can’t miss making this uber cool recipe that saves you, every time you are going through trying times, say when guests appear from nowhere taking you by surprise and shock, putting your culinary skills to test! What better way to greet them than with this health drink!

Excellent source of Vitamin C and also in Vitamin B, raw mango, in dried powdered form (also known as Amchur), is helpful for treating scurvy. Raw Mango Soup is an ideal summer drink to combat negative effects of excessive heat. It prevents excessive loss of sodium chloride and iron that happens due to sweating. It is also known to cure blood disorders, increase body resistance etc. Eating raw mango with salt prevents dehydration.

Dish Type:  South Indian Soup Variety Spicy Mango Drink

Preparation Time:  5 min

Cooking time:  5 min

Cooling time:  5 min

Grinding time:  2 min

Serves:  2


For boiling:

Raw mango grated     3 tbsps

Salt to taste                 1 tsp approx.

Jaggery                        2 tbsps

Turmeric pwd             A pinch

Water                          200 ml approx.

For grinding:

Pepper corns               6 nos.

Cumin seeds                ½ tsp

Coriander seeds          1 tsp

For seasoning:

Oil                               1 tsp

Mustard seeds            ½  tsp

Red chillies                  2 nos.

Curry leaves                3 or 4 nos.

Asafoetida                   A pinch

For garnishing:

Coriander leaves         1 tsp


Wash raw mango thoroughly in water. Peel the skin. Grate and transfer to a vessel. Add salt, jaggery, turmeric powder and 100 ml. water to this and boil them together for about 5 min. till mango gets cooked properly. Let it cool. Store the boiled water that is settled on top to a vessel for later use.

Dry fry pepper corns, cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a small skillet. Let it cool. Powder it in a mixie. To this add boiled and cooked raw mango. Grind them so as to blend the spices and mango. Transfer this ground mixture to the stored boiled water. Add more water (say 100 ml.) if required depending on the desired consistency. Boil once again for 3 to 4 min. Switch off the flame. Now is the time for seasoning.

Heat oil in the same skillet. Add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add red chillies and curry leaves. Switch off the flame and immediately add asafoetida.

Garnish with fresh, thoroughly washed and finely chopped coriander leaves.

Spicy Mango Drink is now ready. Serve it hot or warm or cool. Any which way is fine.

RAGI HURI HITTU (Finger Millet Roasted Flour) AND RAGI MALT

Humble cereal; brownish maroon coloured; can easily be mistaken for mustard seeds by newbies in the culinary kingdom; rich in calcium and fibre; low in fat and hence best for calorie curbing; most favoured flour for baby’s bone development; diehard fan of diabetics; that’s Ragi (Finger Millet) for us. Ragi is most commonly used in flour form. So get ready to prepare this flour and what to do with it? Well….Ragi Malt, Ragi Lassi, Ragi juice, Ragi laddus, Ragi soup. One flour, multiple uses. Can’t imagine cooking getting simpler than this! Ultra simple dishes from a staple cereal….all of these helping us grow richer in health and nutrition.While Ragi is the core ingredient in this recipe, many others are added to supplement, enhance and balance the nutrition value.

Dish Type:  South Indian Malt Powder Ragi Malt Flour

Preparation Time:  5 min

Roasting time:  45 min

Cooling time:  30 min

Grinding time:  20 min

Yield:  400 gms


Ragi                 125 gms (sprouted and dried in shade)

Wheat             50 gms (sprouted and dried in shade)

Mung Bean     50 gms (sprouted and dried in shade)

Rice                 50 gms

Peanuts           25 gms

Cashewnuts     25 gms

Almonds          25 gms

Pista                25 gms

Dried dates     25 gms

Nutmeg           ½” pc

Cardamom      4 to 6 nos.


Dry fry all the above ingredients individually, in a skillet on low flame. Transfer each of them to a plate. Let it cool thoroughly. Else lumps will form while grinding. Grind them in a mixie (or in a flour mill) to a fine powder.While grinding, first grind hard ingredients like dried dates, almonds, cashewnuts, pista, peanuts and nutmeg followed by other ingredients. Do the grinding at intervals with short breaks in between so that heat generated by the appliance doesn’t get transferred to the contents. Even so, when the powder is completely done, it would have warmed up. Hence, immediately spread the powder in a thin layer form on a clean thick paper or on an absolutely clean and dry cotton cloth laid over a dry table kept in a cool, dry place. Let it stand till it completely cools down. Transfer it to an air tight container.

Recipe for Ragi Malt?

Put 1 tbsp. of jaggery powder or liquid jaggery or sugar and 1 tbsp. of Ragi Hurihittu in a glass or tumbler. Put 1 or 2 tbspns. of water and mix them. By doing this way, jaggery and Hurihittu get blended well without any lumps. Now add hot boiled milk to fill the glass. Stir well. Ragi Malt is now ready. Drink it hot and stay energized rest of the day!


Sprout Ragi, Wheat and Mung Bean a day before you plan to prepare this powder. Make sure they are dried completely in shade before dry frying them.

Sprouted and dried in shade Jowar and Channa dal (brown) may also be included.

The ingredients’ list mentioned in the recipe is only near close to ultimate! While we recommend using all of them and more! don’t get exhausted by the list. Try to use as many as you can. It will still be tasty.

Few words we share since we care…..

Dry frying requires regular stirring and careful monitoring. The process calls for a lot of patience, proper attention and complete concentration. Nonetheless it is extremely enjoyable, turning you into a meditative mood and totally worth the effort. Do it just for the joy of it and enjoy the experience!

Well, how to make Ragi Lassi, Ragi Laddus……etc. All of these for sure in one of our future posts.