Carrot Broccoli Dal Gravy

Carrot broccoli gravy


  • Broccoli – 2- 3 bunches, cut into floret (I add a lot of broccoli)
  • Carrots – 1 or 2, sliced
  • Toor dal – 1/4 cup
  • Moong dal – 1/2 cup
  • Water – as required to dilute the gravy
  • Hing – 3 pinches
  • Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
  • Salt – to taste

Grind the ingredients below to a fine paste using water:

  • Shredded coconut – 1/4 cup
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Dry red chillis- 3 or 4

For seasoning :

  • Oil
  • Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves


  • Steam cook the broccoli and carrots separately. Set them aside. Do not over cook the vegetables.
  • Pressure cook moong dal and toor dal together with water for 4 whistles.
    Mash the dal.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters.
  • Add curry leaves, broccoli and carrots.
  • Mix well and add the cooked dals and coconut paste.
  • Add water, hing, turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  • Let it cook on medium heat until the gravy boils.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Serve with white rice.



Spinach Dal

Spinach dal gravy 3


  • Spinach – 1 bunch, rinsed and drained
  • Toor dal – 1/2 cup
  • Tomato – half a tomato chopped
  • Garlic – 2 big or 4 small cloves, minced
  • Salt – to taste
  • Hing/ Asafoetida – 8 pinches
  • Cilantro – for garnishing
  • For Seasoning:
    • Oil/ Ghee – for seasoning
    • Mustard seeds – 1/8 tsp
    • Curry leaves – 6 leaves
    • Serrano pepper – 1, slight lengthwise


    • Pressure cook toor dal, tomato, garlic and spinach together with water, salt and hing for 4 whistles.

Spinach dal gravy

Spinach dal gravy 1

    • Mash the spinach-dal mixture.

Spinach dal gravy 2

    • Add water as required to dilute the dal. If you are going to add more water, let the spinach dal mixture boil for 2 minutes.
    • Prepare the seasoning by heating ghee/oil in a small pan.
    • Add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters.
    • Add curry leaves and serrano pepper.
    • Turn off the heat and add the seasoning to the dal.

Spinach dal gravy 3

  • Garnish with cilatro and mix well.
  • Enjoy with a steaming bowl of rice.

Keerai Masiyal

Keerai masiyal 8

When I was a kid, I remember my mom making keerai masiyal in man chetti/ clay pot and she used to mash it with a wooden masher. I tried it and it turned out really well.  Keerai masiyal can be served with plain rice and roasted potatoes or any spicy side dish. It can be served as a side dish as well.

I did not measure the amount of water I added in the recipe. The water I used to cook the dal was enough and the spinach will give out water as it cooks. The masiyal consistency must be between thick and watery.

Keerai masiyal can be prepared using spinach, arai keeerai, paruppu keerai or manathakkali keerai. Manathakkali keerai is my favorite.


  • Moong dal – 1/3 cup
  • Garlic – 4 big cloves
  • Water – as required
  • Salt – to taste
  • Spinach – 1 bunch, chopped and cleaned
  • For seasoning:
    • Oil – for seasoning
    • Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
    • Curry leaves – 8
    • Dry red chilli – 2
    • Hing – 2 big pinches
    • Ghee – 1 tsp


    • Cook moong dal and garlic together using water on high heat in a man chetti/clay pot.

Keerai masiyal 1

    • Keep stirring at frequent intervals and make sure that the water does not evaporate before the dal is cooked.
    • Add more water if required.
    • When the dal crumbles, add the chopped spinach and mix well. Turn down the heat to low.

Keerai masiyal 2

Keerai masiyal 3

Keerai masiyal 4

Keerai masiyal 5

    • Add salt to taste.
    • When the spinach is cooked, turn off the heat.
    • Carefully and slowly mash the keerai masiyal using a wooden masher.

Keerai masiyal 6

Keerai masiyal 7

    • Add a tsp of ghee and hing to the masiyal and prepare the seasoning.
    • Heat oil in a small pan.
    • Add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters.
    • Add curry leaves and dry red chilli. Turn off the heat when the red chilli puffs up.
    • Add the seasoning to the keerai masiyal.

Keerai masiyal 9

    • Mix well and serve hot.

Keerai masiyal 10


Paruppu Urundai Kulambu / Vada Kulambu

vadai kulambu 1

Paruppu urundai kulambu / vada kulambu is a spicy coconut gravy with channa dal duplings. The dumplings/vadai is steam cooked and then transferred to the coconut gravy to soak. This gravy can be served with white rice and fryums. Works well with chapathi/dosa too. This recipe is from my mom. Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients for vadai/channa dal dumplings:

  • Channa dal – 1/2 cup, soaked overnight in water
  • Onion – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • Salt – to taste
  • Fennel seeds – 1/4 tsp

Method for making vadai/channa dal dumplings:

    • Soak channa dal overnight in water.

vadai kulambu 2

    • Drain the soaked dal and grind it to a coarse paste without adding water. ( can grind it coarse or almost fine)
    • Add salt, onion, and fennel seeds to the ground channa dal and mix well.

vadai kulambu 3

    • Make small balls or squish them gently with your fingers and palm and make small vadai’s.
    • Steam cook the vadai. Set them aside.

vadai kulambu 4

Ingredients for Gravy:

  • Oil – for sauteing
  • Mustard seeds – 1/8 tsp
  • Onions – 1 cup, chopped
  • Curry leaves – 6
  • Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  • Tomato – 1, chopped
  • Chili powder – 2 tsps, adjust according to taste
  • Salt – to taste
  • Water – 1 + 3/4 cups
  • Cilantro – for garnishing
  • Grind to a fine paste using water(Coconut paste):
    • Shredded coconut – 1/4 cup
    • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
    • Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
    • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch

Method for making gravy:

    • Heat oil in a pan.
    • Add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters
    • Add onions and curry leaf.
    • Saute until the onions turn golden brown.
    • Add turmeric and chopped tomatoes.
    • Saute until the tomatoes lose shape.
    • Add chili powder and saute for 25 seconds.
    • Add the coconut paste to the onion mixture and let it boil for 1 minute.
    • Add 1 + 3/4 cups of water and salt to taste.
    • When the gravy begins to boil, add the steamed vadai’s/channa dal dumplings and let it boil for 2 minutes.

vadai kulambu 5

vadai kulambu 6

    • Turn off the heat and garnish with cilantro.
    • The gravy will be a bit watery but the vadai’s will soak the water up and make the gravy thicker.

vadai kulambu 7


The vadai’s / channa dal dumplings have to soak in the gravy, so make this gravy 20- 30 minutes ahead of serving.


Sambar 1

The ingredients to make sambar are the same in every household. But the sambar powder used in every home differs. My mom never used sambar powder. She uses her blend of chilli powder along with one green chilli. And no tamarind in her sambar. When I came to the US, my husband taught me his version of sambar. He used his mom’s sambar powder and tamarind extract. Click here for the sambar powder recipe.

For a thicker sambar, use more toor dal. I add sambar powder and tamarind extract according to my taste. Trust your taste buds and add the ingredients. And sambar thickens when it cools. If it becomes too thick, you can add water and salt if required and let it boil before serving.


  • Toor Dal – 3/4 cup
  • Tomatoes – 1/2 a tomato, chopped
  • Hing/ asafoetida – 4 pinches
  • Tamarind – 1 tbsp, soak tamarind in hot water
  • Pearl onions or regular onions – 3/4 cup
  • Vegetables – drumstick, or mixed vegetables of your choice.
  • Sambar powder – 1.5 tbsps, adjust according to taste
  • Salt – according to taste
  • Water – as required
  • Oil – 2 tbsps
  • Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 10 leaves
  • Onions – 1/4 cup, julienne
  • Cilantro – to garnish,optional


  • Pressure cook toor dal and tomatoes using water in a pressure cooker until the dal is fully cooked. 4 to 6 whistles.
  • Add hing to the dal and mash the dal using a dal masher.
  • Add onions, vegetables, sambar powder, salt and tamarind extract( strain the tamarind and use the juice. add according to your taste).
  • Add water as required.
  • Taste and add more salt, sambar powder or tamarind extract.
  • Pressure cook again for one whistle.
  • For the seasoning, heat oil in a pan.
  • Add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters.
  • Add curry leaves and onion.
  • Saute until the onions turn light brown.
  • Turn off the heat and add the seasoning to the sambar.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

Sambar 2

Vegetable Kurma

Vegetable Kurma

This is my mom’s recipe. She makes vegetable kurma once a week. Vegetables like carrot, beans, peas, cauliflower, nukal(turnip), capsicum and potatoes can be used.
Vegetable kurma can be served with rice, chapathi, dosa, parotta, idiyappam, puri and appam.


  • Mixed Vegetables – 4 cups, chopped vegetables
  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/8 tsp
  • Onion – 1 cup + 1/4 cup
  • Curry leaves – 6
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1″ ginger + 3 big cloves of garlic
  • Tomato – 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
  • Chilli Powder – 1 + 1/2 tbsp, adjust according to taste
  • Water – 1 cup + 1/4 cup, adjust according to the thickness of the kurma
  • Salt – to taste

Grind to a fine paste(using water):

  • Coconut pieces – 1/4 cup + 2 tbsps
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Cloves – 3


  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker pan.
  • Add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters.
  • Add the chopped onions and curry leaves.
  • Saute until the onions turn golden brown.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and let it cook for few minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes loose shape.
  • Add the turmeric powder, chopped vegetables and salt. Mix well.
  • Add chilli powder and the ground coconut paste .
  • Let it cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add water and salt to taste.
  • Mix well and pressure cook the kurma ( 1 whistle).
  • Mix and serve.


  • Coconut pieces can be substituted with coconut milk.


rasam 2

Rasam is a comfort food that has became a part of my cooking when my in-laws visited us.Its simple and quick. It tastes great with dal and rice. People who fall sick are usually put on a rasam diet.


  • Tamarind paste – 1/2 tsp +1/4 tsp
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt
  • For seasoning:
  • Oil – 2 tsps
  • Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 7
  • Red chilli – 1
  • Grind to past (without water):
  • Tomato – 1/2 a tomato (1/3 cup)
  • Whole black pepper – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1tsp
  • Garlic – 1 Big pod


  • Grind the tomato,cumin seeds,pepper and garlic to a paste( not too fine) without adding water.
  • Add 2 cups of water,tamarind paste and salt to the tomato mixture and mix well.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
  • After the mustard splutters, add the red chilli and curry leaves.
  • Add the tomato mixture and tamarind paste to the seasoning.Mix well and cook on medium heat.Add the coriander leaves to the rasam while it cooks.
  • Turn off the stove when the rasam begins to boil.
  • Do not let the rasam boil.

Rasam,rice and potatoes is a quick lunch.