Thayir Sadam, Kootu, Avial

Thayir Sadam, Kootu, Avial

Thayir Sadam, Kootu and Avial as a meal may appear strange due to their nature but there is a unique unity in diversity here. Not only are these dishes an essential part of Tamil feasts, but also they are unique in their non-usage of onions. While Thayir Sadam is often served as Prasadam, Kootu has been the must-have dish for people recovering from illness. Avial, always a part of religious celebrations, is a major dish in the Sadiya (feast) thali. Known as the most popular Sunday meal plan for Tamilian households, there is a sequence of serving the three signature dishes: First, a portion of salt and fried yellow chillies is served. Then comes the Kootu, which can be eaten without steamed rice or idli. Avial follows and then the chilled Thayir Sadam is served alongside a plate of fried papadums.

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Thayir Sadam (Curd Rice)
  • Duration:20 minutes
  • Serves:2 people

Authenticity Slice

Tamil

Traditionally, a mix of pre-cooked rice and par-boiled rice is used to make Thayir Sadam. To add a healthy twist to the recipe, toss in some vegetables like carrot and beetroot. A dash of pomegranate seeds will give the rice some sprightly colour. Tamilians prefer to eat Thayir Sadam cold, while Malayalis like the dish served at room temperature.

Ingredients

  • Rice, cooked (2 cups)
  • Curd (Dahi) (3 cups)
  • Green chillies (Hari mirch), chopped (3)
  • Ginger (Adrak), grated (1 inch)
  • Split chickpeas (Chana dal) (½ tsp)
  • Mustard leaves (Sarson) (1 tsp)
  • Dry red chillies (Sabut lal mirch) (2)
  • Curry leaves (Kadipatta) (5)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Oil (1 tbsp)

Method

  • In a pan, heat oil on high flame. Add in the chana dal, sabut lal mirch, sarson, and kadipatta.
  • As the sarson begins to splutter, add the chopped hari mirch and grated adrak and sauté for a minute.
  • Add salt and sauté for a minute more.
  • Take the tadka off the heat and immediately pour over the cooked rice.
  • Thoroughly mix the tadka with the rice. Then, place the rice on a low flame.
  • Add the dahi and keep stirring till it blends well with the tadka rice. Take the Thayir Sadam off the flame and let it cool to room temperature.
  • Refrigerate the curd rice for an hour.
  • Serve the Thayir Sadam cold, accompanied by pickle and pappadam.

 

Kootu
  • Duration:30 minutes
  • Serves:4 people

Authenticity Slice

Tamil

Traditionally made Kootu follows Ayurvedic principles of cooking, which means more of kali mirch (pepper), jeera (cumin), methi dana (fenugreek seeds), rai (small, reddish mustard seeds), and hing (asafoetida). Among the vegetables, beans, broad beans, and carrots—all rich in proteins and vitamins—are preferred over potatoes and brinjals. For more nutritive value, you could also add some spinach.

Ingredients

  • Mixed vegetables (preferably beans, carrots and spinach), diced (1 cup)
  • Green gram dal (Hari moong dal) (¼ cup)
  • MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder (1 tsp)
  • MTR Sambar Powder (1 tsp)
  • Oil (2 tsp)
  • Mustard seeds (rai), small black (¼ tsp)
  • Black gram (Urad dal) (½ tsp)
  • Cumin (Jeera) (½ tsp)
  • Asafoetida (Hing) (a pinch)
  • Fenugreek seeds (Methidana) (¼ tsp)
  • Pepper (Kali mirch) (½ tsp)
  • Curry leaves (Kadipatta ) (5-6)

Method

  • Thoroughly wash the hari moong dal for about 3-4 times.
  • Put all the vegetables and the dal in a pressure cooker. Pour in water till it rises an inch over the level of the vegetables. Add MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder and close the lid. 
  • Pressure-cook on high flame, timing it to 3 whistles.
  • Turn off the heat and allow the steam to escape naturally. 
  • Remove the lid and lightly mash the vegetables.
  • In a pan, heat oil on high flame. Add the rai and once it begins to splutter, toss in the urad dal, jeera, hing, methidana, kali mirch, and kadipatta. Sauté for a few seconds. 
  • Add the MTR Sambar Powder and keep stirring for a couple of minutes. 
  • Place the vegetables back to heat. Lower the flame and add the tadka. Stir for a few minutes. Check and adjust the seasoning. 
  • Serve the Kootu piping hot with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee on the side.

 

Avial
  • Duration:35 minutes
  • Serves:4-5 people

Authenticity Slice

Tamil

Authentic avial contains neither imli (tamarind) nor hing (asafoetida). You can add to the dish any number of vegetables you have at hand, but remember, yam, raw banana, and carrot are its signature ingredients.

Ingredients

  • Yam (kachlu) (350 gm)
  • Raw banana (kaccha kela) (250 gm)
  • Drumstick (sahjan) (100 gm)
  • Snake gourd (padval) (100 gm)
  • Carrot (100 gm)
  • Long beans (lobia ki phalli) (50 gm)
  • Coconut, freshly grated (150 gm)
  • MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder (1 tsp)
  • Cumin (jeera) (½ tsp)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Curry leaves (kadipatta) (10-12)
  • Mango (raw), optional (50 gm)
  • Coconut oil (2 tsp)

Method

  • Cut the kachlu, kaccha kela, sahjan, padval, carrot, and lobia ki phalli into 1-inch cubes. 
  • Put all the vegetables in a pressure cooker and add in water till it rises half an inch over the level of the vegetables. Add a pinch of MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder and salt.
  • Pressure-cook on high flame, timing it to 2 whistles. Remove from flame and let the steam escape naturally.
  • Open the lid and put the cooker back to heat on medium flame. 
  • Add coconut, MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder and jeera and stir for a minute. 
  • Add the kadipatta and adjust the seasoning. Keep stirring the concoction on a slow fire till the gravy dries up.
  • Remove from flame and add the coconut oil just before serving.

 

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