What did you cook?

(Since you asked! And since this is quite different from banana bread. Plus I am happy to have you all over or bring this for a feast if that eventuates.)

Last night I cooked. It was a Tamil meal. And saw an opportunity to connect back with my roots. My Tamil Iyengar roots. And challenge my children (though there was a bowl of leftover pasta in the fridge).

I made – boiled rice, Sambar, Satrumadu (rasam), Vendakai (okra) kari, Pooshnikai (pumpkin) skin thogayal, Appalam (poppadum). Follwed by Besan laddoo.

I probably didn’t achieve that colour of Sambar.


My sambar (just a random recipe link) was a generic attempt using the following ingredients:

  • Frozen Sambar Veg (Vadilal)
  • Boiled mixed dals (mung and red dal)
  • Tamarind paste (Priya)
  • Sambar Powder (MTR)
  • On a base of: red chillies, chopped onions, tomatoes.
  • Fresh coriander garnish
Nice clear rasam.


The rasam was a seera milagu (cumin pepper) using:

  • Cumin seeds
  • Whole black pepper
  • One dried red chilly
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tomatoes
  • One tsp tamarind paste
  • Fresh Coriander for garnish
This photo is of a slightly different recipe for the okra.

Okra stir fry

I stir fried dried mung dal, then mustard seeds, followed by red chilly, then onion. The okra then went in. Followed by grated coconut. Salt taste.

PavisPassion: Pumpkin Skin Chutney | Parangikai thol thogaiyal

Pooshnikai thogayal

The thogayal/ thuvaiyal is a chutney. I roasted dried mung lentil, added the skins and transferred to a blender with a bit of tamarind paste.


The noisy Microwave has a second life ever since I discovered it makes great roasted appalam (poppadums).

Besan laddoo

Straight out of the box.

(The Rasam ws taken away/ stolen by the guests. The Thuvaiyal will be binned – I had the skin in the fridge for a week before I made this, so it was somewhat bitter.)

By Soumitri Varadarajan

Soumitri lives in Melbourne, Australia - #probonodesign #codesign #sustainability #patientexperience #quantifiedself #mdg

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