Friday, August 8, 2008

Some forgotten Kerala Iyer recipes

Old but forgotten Kerala Iyer Recipes


Over the years some of the very special dishes have gone out of fashion from the Kerala Iyer family. It is not because they are not good nor because they are difficult to prepare but because of the migration of families to different areas and their adopting to the recipes of the new area, that these are not prepared. Some of these are given here.
1.Arachu Kalakki
Normally these are prepared using mangoes or Nellikais preserved in salt in Kerala Iyer homes and used to be prepared in off seasons for vegetables. The only exception is Chenai. The method of preparation is given below: -
1.Take sufficient quantity of Kanni Mangai or Nellikkai preserved in salt or Chenai (Thoroughly washed tender mango pickles can be used instead of Kanni Mangai)
2.Grind it in Mixie with coconut and green chillies
3.Pour the ground mixture in sour buttermilk and mix thoroughly.
4.Season it with mustard, red chillies and fenugreek (Menthiyam) and garnish with curry leaf.
5.Add small amount of salt in case of salt preserved pickles and sufficient quantity in case of Chenai.
2.Manga Kadi
This can be prepared only in the mango season. The method is extremely simple: -
1.Boil cut pieces of green mango (with skin removed) in water.
2.Add salt and small amount of chilly powder and boil till mamgo pieces are cooked well.
3.Season it with mustard, red chillies and fenugreek.
3.Mezhukku Peratti
This is another very simple side dish, which was extremely popular in Kerala Iyer homes. The method of preparation is: -
1.Cut into small pieces Plantains (cooking type banana) and chenai. (In places where Chenai is not available we have found that carrot can be used) Jack fruit seeds if available or Koorkan Kizhangu during seasons are also added
2.If available at cut pieces of jack fruit seed and/or Koorkan Kizhangu
3.Boil with salt and turmeric powder in pressure cooker.
4.Take coconut oil and heat it. When sufficiently hot, put the boiled vegetables and mix well.
The kari tastes good even if other oils are used
4.Puliyitta Keerai
This is another very simple dish prepared using either amaranth leaves or tender non-itchy type of colacasia (Chembu) leaves. The method of preparation is as follows:-
1.Cut the leaf into very small pieces.
2.Boil the leaves in tamarind water, turmeric and salt , till the leaves are cooked well. Add also green chillies while boiling.
3.Take out the green chillies and grind them and mix with the boiled leaves
4.Season with mustard, red chillies and fenugreek.
5.Puliya Kuthi Upperi
This is a peculiar dish prepared only in Kerala iyer homes. In some homes , it is directly mixed with rice and in some others it is used as a side dish for Mulagootal.The method of preparation is as follows:-
1.Cut plantains, brinjal . ash gourd (Or Chowchow) and red pumpkin into thin long pieces similar to aviyal.Traditionally bundled non-itchy colacasia leaves used to be added in Kerala.
2.Boil in tamarind with turmeric and salt. Till well cooked. The tamarind water should be just sufficient to soak the cut pieces. And after boiling, very little watery portion should be there.
4.Fry without oil, rice, red chilies and fenugreek and powder.
5.Take some oil . splutter mustard and Uzhuttan Parippu..Put mixture of the boiled vegetables and the powder and stir till it becomes semi solid.
This is possibly one of the very simple Kerala recipes. It is also called Karingalan by some Here is the method:-
1.Choose either plantains and Chenai(Where Chenai is not available choose carrot instead).Cut into small pieces.
2.Boil till coked with turmeric powder, pepper powder and salt with medium water.
3.Season it either with raw coconut oil or mustard and uzhuttam parippu
7.Mulagu Vellam
This needs very sour buttermilk to prepare. Here is the method
1 Cook pepper powder in water for some time.
2,Add sour butter milk , salt and turmeric powder and boil till it is reduced to half the quantity,
3.Season it with mustard, red chillies and fenugreek.
8.Moru Charu
This is an instant recipe when you don’t have time and nothing else except sour buttermilk. Here is the recipe.
1.Heat Oil , splutter mustard , red chillies, uzhuttam parippu and fenugreek
2.Pour buttermilk and add salt.
3.Remove from the stow before buttermilk comes to boil.
9.Podi Podicha Pulungari
This is possibly the Kerala substitute for Tamil Nadu Sambhar.Here is the recipe:-
1.Cut into long thin pieces, Brinjal, red Pumpkin, ash gourd or Chow Chow.
2.Cook in pressure cooker in tamarind water.
3.Fry in a dry pan rice and red chillies.The colour of the rice should turn ivory.
4.Powder the rice , chillie mixture.
5.Add to the vegetables and boil.
6.Season with mustard and garnish with curry leaf.
a. The interesting variant is prepared by using only Jack fruit instead of all the above vegetables.
b. A super variant is the Puducode Pulungari prepared only on all days of Navarathri in the temple at Palakkad. The recipe of this is given below: -
Pumpkin 150 g, Yam 150 g, Ash gourd 150 g, Plantains 50 g,
Raw rice 10 g, tur dhal 25 g, dried chillies 3, Fenugreek (Mentha) 5 g, Tamarind 50 g, Coconut (shredded) 25 g, Mustard 2 g, green chillies 5 g, Jaggery 20 g, curry leaves, Coconut oil 25 g and some quantity of curry leaves and salt to taste.
1.Cut and cook Ah gourd and yam together in a cooker
2.Also cook Tur dal in the cooker
3. Cut and boil pumpkin and plantains
4. fry rice till they pop and powder it
5.fry fenugreek (Mentha) to golden brown and powder it
6.Grind coconut and green chillies together
7 Extract Tamarind juice and boil it for 5 minutes
8. Add all vegetables, jaggery, and cooked dhal for 10 minutes
9.Add rice powder and boil for 5 minutes
10. Take out from stove and immediately add coconut paste, mentha powder, coconut oil and curry leaves and stir.
11. Season it with mustard and dry chilies in coconut oil.
10.Murunga ilai Adai
This was a popular Tiffin item of yester years. Here is the method:-
1.Soak parboiled rice for more than 6 hours
2.Grind in to smooth paste adding sufficient salt
3.Add cut drumstick leaves to this mixture
4.Prepare thick adais from this batter
11.Chakkai Adai
This used to be prepared in jack fruit season in yester years.Here is the recipe
1.Soak parboiled rice for more than 6 hours
2.Grind in to smooth paste adding sufficient salt
3.Add also cut pieces of jackfruit and small quantity of jaggery half way while grinding.
4.Prepare Adais with this batter
This is normally prepared only when batter prepared for Verumarisi adai becomes sour. Being very tasty many families used to prepare the batter and allow it to become sour to make Koozhu.The method is as follows:-
1.Soak and grind par boiled rice and allow the batter to become very sour.
2. Mix the sour batter in more water and make it of thinner consistency.
3.Heat gingelly oil (sufficiently more) , splutter mustard, uzhtham Parippu, Milagai Vettal. Perungayam, and thairu milagai in the oil.
4.Pour the semi liquid batter in to this and keep on stirring till , the colour changes and the batter does not stick to the vessel
5.Keep ready an oil-coated plate(Olden times oil smeared banana leaves were used)
6.Pour the hot Koozhu in to this and allow it to cool.
7,Cut in to small pieces and serve
13.Koozhu dosai
For dosai normally par boiled rice is being used. In the olden times for Vritha days, it was felt that it was Vetthu. So it was necessary to eat some thing prepared of wheat or Pachaarisi(ordinary rice).But tiffins prepared by Pacharisi were not tastey.The following is the recipe for making tasty dosas out of Pacharisi.
1.Soak Pacharaisi and grind into smooth paste,Add salt
2.Take out a small portion and mix it with water
3,Put little oil and heat it. In this pour the liquefied batter and keep on stirring, till the colour changes and it does not stick.
4.Remove from the stove and mix thoroughly with the main batter,
5.Prepare very soft dosas now.
14. Aracha Kozhakattai
Normally on Amavasya days , at night Kozhakattai used to be prepared in olden days.The method is as follows:-
1.Soak Parboiled rice and grind it to coarse consistency.When the grinding is about to be over add shredded coconut (about quarter of the dough) and grind for a few minutes further.
2.Heat oil splutter mustard, Uzhutham Parippu , Milagai Vettal and Perungayam
3.Add the batter in to this and keep on stirring till it becomes solid
4.Make small balls using this batter
5.Put it in boiling water gently and cook for more than 15 minutes (Other alternative is steam cooking)
6,Remove and serve with Sambhar or Chutney.
15,Mooda Kozhakkattai
This can be prepared only in jack fruit season.Method is as follows:-
1.Heat water and bring it to boil
2.Add jaggery and jackfruit pieces and boil till jackfruit is cooked
3.Add the rice powder gently and keep on stirring till it becomes solid
4.Make it in to small balls, roll these balls in banana leaves and tie them
5.Steam cook these balls.
There are possibly many other very special dishes of a Kerala Iyer household which , I may not even know. If you know any please contribute .So that we keep living the culture of tasty food of Kerala Iyer households.
I am adding the recipe for Kalan’
1.Prepare sour butter milk
2.Take little water , add pepper powder and turmeric powder and boil for some time
3.Gently add the churned butter milk to this mixture
4.When it comes to boil add well cooked plantain pieces also(normally Chenai is used.)
5.Allow to boil.after adding salt
6.Unless the vessel is a deep one , it will boil and spill out.To avoid this keep on removing the froth
7.Reduce to half the quantity
8.Grind coconut and green chillies without adding much water
9.Add it to the boiled buttermilk
10 Heat for some time
11.Remove from tava and add curry leaves
12.Season it with mustard red chillies and mentha
(If buttermilk is not sour enogh , the boiled mixture will curdle. Put the entire mixture without vegetables and blend)


Unknown said...

Dear Raja Thatha

Some really fabulous recipes. Most of them reminded me of my parents cooking particularly the Koozhu. I came across your blog whislt researching a dish that i can make with red boiled rice. (like verum arishi dosai or coconut/rice kozhakattais....) Thank you for documenting these forgotten ancient beauties. Regards - Geethanjali

Mohana Rajan said...

DearRaja Thatha,

Please give me the receipe for mambaya kootan.

Anonymous said...

Dear raja thatha,
came across your blog and loved it.all your recipes reminded me of my mother who is no more.though i make most of them reading about them brought back memories.thanks to you ,now i can correct my methods and also keep in touch with my roots.

Anonymous said...

Dear PR Sir,
From the very beginning I am a follower of your postings. I have gone through your blog and enjoyed so many . This one the forgotten recipe is excellent. Though people like me are knowing the taste of these people have really forgotten to do these as you said. Thanks for kindling in me those old days of enjoying these.

parameswaran said...

yes this is unique for Kerala aiyers nala bhagam
all are remembered for their specific taste
thanks for bring it to our reach

Anonymous said...

These preparations are so cumborsome that only Osama could have found time to prepare (since he was holed up in a building for 5 years)

.... Shantha

Sailesh said...

really fabulous dishes of forgotten days.. Mouth watering dishes.

Anonymous said...

kalaki raja thatha adichu polichu in malayalam...hi i am a keralaiyer(palakkad iyer )i am looking for iyer recepies specifically palakkad side these are rare dish now people make in their daily life

Shruti said...

Please also add:
Parikka pittila
Verumarichi Dosai
Veppala Katti

Mmmm, mmm


Sangeetha said...

:) fun to read and nostalgic memories.. Can you add these too?

murunga elai molakoottal,
devasha thogayal,
keera mashiyal,
pulikachal :)

Anonymous said...

I prepared kalan according to your recipe. It came out very well. It was delicious. All of us enjoyed it. Thanks a lot.


Dear Sri Ramachandra Iyer

I hail from Pushpagiri village, Punkunnam P.O., Trissur Dist., Kerala and am 72 years old, now living in Mumbai. Your blog is really good. It reminded me of my mother, who was really good at coming up with some really tasty dishes which were unique in nature but very rich in quality but not very costly since we were not very well to do at that time.

Vidhya said...

Thanks for bringing back the nostagic memories of my patti. I am from Palaghat, married to a Thanjavur iyer. Some times i miss my patti's cuisine.

subbalakshmi said...

Dear anna,
Excellent recipes.
Good idea.
Waiting for more.........

Jithin R. J. said...

Thank you for the recipes

Maragatham said...

Very nice togo thru' all my porandathu items.

Jayameenakshi said...

Yes, these are really getting obsolete as the modern families have no time to cook these super dishes. they don't know what they are missing.thanks for rekindling fond memories of my porandathu. please give us more such forgotten treasure troves.

Anonymous said...

Hello sir,

Very nice recipes and I make quite a few of them still.. My mom and MIL and my aunt were so good with Palakkad cooking and I am so familiar with all this.. loved your recipes.. quite authentic.. keep it coming..

Subhalakshmi :-)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ekam-trial said...

Dear PR Sir,
I enjoyed reading your recipes which reminded me of my Mom Narayani and our family of Ennappadam Palakkad. I also read your stories and slokas for the day which are most needed for children as well as adults these days who live in far off places.
I am working with an educational institution and am involved with a concept called "BrainTrain" which comprises of personality development, thinking skills, memory skills, vedic maths in addition to creative hands(finger maths and crafts)and abacus. I have taken some stories that i have read in your blog. Hope you do not mind spreading these further down.Keep your services on... hoping to meet you in Bangalore or Chennai.Best regards, Gita Venugopal

Raja Thatha said...

Please search for Raja Thathas corner. I have written lot of stories for children there. Your project sounds interesting ,Please contact me at ramya475 at hotmail dot com , Ramachander

Mallikavaidya said...

I am looking for such forgotten recipes of kerla iyers. I do prepare some those mentioned by you. Let me know more about pachadis.

Uma Maheswar Nakka said...

Dear Rajaj ji,
Good Evening
Excellent site. Very useful and the method of preparing some items are easy. I would try some of these as soon as possible,of course with the cooperation and assistance of my beloved wife.
thanks and regards.

Divine blessings be with you and your family.
My blessings to you and your family.
Uma Maheswar Nakka

vaidyanath said...

Whisks me back to childhood days @ Madras, Trichur(during Pooram), when all these and more were the order of the day. "Those were the days my friend, we thought would never end .............." so goes a 1968 song by Mary Hopkin.

Web Application Development Company said...


This is the best Dishes list in Kerala, i like All the Dishes. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Dear Raja Mama,

Your dishes are reminiscent of my youth in a Palakkad village (Ramanathapuram), born in a large house, with everyday, being a feast of chakkai, mangai, and tengai (LOL). My mom, periammai and others used to make this item-which in those days made me rage -as it was considered a low down kind of dish :-). Now I cherish it like anything, particularly the tang of mindayam in the porichu kootal. So much so, I experimented with arachu kallaki, using kadugu mangai which had become dry and shriveled (treating them like kanni mangai). My wife also loved it, and I plan to do brined nellikai arachu kalakki in the same fashion. One of my other favs was/is the chemb elai thalappam (colocasia leaves and batter steamed and seasoned). Alas, my mom is no more, and our once large family is all scattered across now, and as small families. And the leaves are not available here...keep up the good work, Mama ... Murali Iyer

Lead Management Software said...


This is the Wonderful Recepie for sharing.. Very Good thanks for sharing..

Oh My cake said...

Very inspiring. I really like this.You tried something is fantastic to see a useful blog.

Hospital Management System said...

Wow.. Beautiful Recepies.. Awesome I am very Happy.. Thanks

Sougandhi said...

Mama, Namaste. can I access your "stories for children" ? My children love listening to them. When I run out of stories I have listened to, read or heard, I have to create for them. Would be thankful if I could have access to your collection too. They even love listening to Nochur's Bhagavatham. The chikdren are 8 and 6 years old.

Raja Thatha said...

Please read my stories in
Peculiar place to ask for it.May God bless you and your children

Unknown said...

excellent pl continue this yomen service mohan tripunithura

pranavamravi said...

Thanks for these forgotten recipes.
They remind me of my grand parents especially my "muthashi"

vytheeswaran said...

Dear Mama,

We still make many of these at home. For example, arachu kalakki at least once a month, if not more frequent. Kanni mangai itself can be eaten as it is (this is the time). Then Kadu manga vallam and rice, and so on.

My parents are here with me now in Madras.

Easwaran (Rajaji nagar Bangalore)

Raja Thatha said...

Hey Easwar , So nice to see your comment.TRue in both our houses some of them are made .Do contact me ramachander926 at gmail dot com

jith said...

wow... i like all the recipes..because palakkad is my i love the Special Dishes in Palakkad