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Monday, February 25, 2013

Pumpkin (Parangikkai) Ketti Kuzhambu & Paruppu Thovayal

Ketti Kuzhambus are famous through out Chettinad and are of many varieties. Very often you will this featuring in the menus of  everyday cooking in a Chettinad House.  It is one of the very must items in a menu prepared for a function.  What do you mean by ketti kuzhambu?  It means it is a thick kuzhambu, not watery like a sambar or rasam.  It has a lot of flavor and is mostly spicy.  

Out of all the Ketti Kuzhambus, I luv Red Pumpkin (Parangikkai) ketti kuzhambu.  Since it is a ketti kuzhambu it has the spiciness and tanginess.  But because of the Red Pumpkin it gets a sweet taste too. It is my mothers "signature dish".  If she makes it, everyone keeps licking their fingers. I bet, you try it and you will also keep licking your fingers.

I my house we all prefer to have Paruppu Thovayal with Ketti kuzhambu.  Its a superb combination.  With all the spiceness and the tanginess of the Kuzhambu, the mild Paruppu Thovayal goes very well. When I am in no mood to cook elaborate meals I make this simple combination of Ketti Kuzhambu and Paruppu Thovayal.

So here goes the recipe

Parangikkai (Red Pumpkin) Ketti Kuzhambu

Red Pumpkin (Parangikkai) - 1/4 Kg
Onion - 1 medium
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Garlic - 6 - 7 pods
Tamarind - a small lemon size ball (soak it in little warm water)
Salt - as per taste
Sambar Podi - 3 - 4 tb.sp heaped
Curry Leaves (karuvepillai) - 10 -12
Mustard Seeds (kadugu) - 1 t.sp
Split Urad Dal (ulundham paruppu_ - 1 t.sp
Fenugreek Seeds (vendhayam) - 1 t.sp
Asafoetida (Perungayam) - 1/4 t.sp ( or a pinch)
Oil - 4-5 tb.sp


Deseed, peel and wash the Pumpkins. Cut them into little bigger pieces (about 1 inch cubes).

Heat oil in a kadai / pressure pan.  When the oil is hot enough add the mustard seeds, urad dal and fenugreek seeds.

After the mustard splutters, add the Curry leaves.

Once it has stopped sizzling, add the Asafoetida and immediately toss in the peeled and diced onions Also add in the peeled and cut Garlics.  Just cut the garlic into half thats enough.

Saute for a minute and add finely chopped tomatoes.  Saute.  Add half of the salt at this stage.  This will help the tomatoes to cook faster without drying out. Keep the gas on medium heat.

Once the tomatoes are fully cooked add in the chopped Pumpkins.  Saute for a minute.  Now add the Sambar Podi and the rest of the salt, mix well.

Add the tamarind extract and some water.  Just till the pumpkin is covered.  Cover the pressure pan with its lid and cook for about 2 whistles.

Once the pressure is released.  Open and with the back of a ladle smash few of the pumpkins. Keep the rest as it is.

 Turn on the flame and let it boil for about 5 minutes. By this time you should be able to see the oil coming out slightly.  That means it done.

Serve hot with hot steaming rice and Paruppu Thovayal.  Paruppu Thovayal is the best combo for ketti kuzhambu.

How to make Paruppu Thovayal?  Very simple. All you need to do for this version is Grind all the ingredients together.

Paruppu Thovayal

Pottu Kadalai (Roasted Channa Dal) - 1/4 cup
Fresh Coconut grated - 1/8 cup
Red Chillies - 2 to 3
Garlic Pods - 1 to 2

Grind all the ingredients together and serve.


While buying Red Pumpkins try to choose a good, nice orange coloured Ripe Pumpkin.

The kuzhambu had to be little thick in consistency, so add water carefully.  If you have added more water then let the kuzhambu boil till the it reaches the right consistency.

If the Pumpkins are having a thin skin, you also cut it along with the skin.  Cooking it along with the skin gives it a nice crunchiness.

Smashing the pumpkins and again allowing it to boil is an important step, do not skip it.  This helps in making the kuzhambu thick and the flavor of the pumpkin also gets mixed up with the kuzhambu because of this.

Parangikkai Ketti Kuzhambu is going to the "Tried and Tasted : Chettinad Cuisine".  For more info on Tried and Tasted Event please have a look here.

This also going to Abraham Chako's 29 days Challenge event.

Also sending it to the event "From our mom’s Kitchen" hosted @Pure Vegetarian Bites
Also sending it to the event Winter Foods 30 min Challenge Event conducted by Sizzling Tastebuds.  Eat Healthy. Love life.

.Also I need guest hosts for the future "Tried and Tasted Event". If you are Interested in guest hosting the event please mail me at kitchenchronicles1(at)gmail(dot)com or leave me a message in the comment section below.You can here more details about the event.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Reposting for "T & T : Chettinad Cuisine"

I am reposting my old posts here for the event "Tried and Tasted : Chettinad Cuisine".  I have given a long explanation about Chettinad Foods, here.

T&T event is all about giving credits to the person, from whom we learnt the dish.  This time its "Chettinad Cuisine", a cuisine from I belong to.  So the credit for this goes to first to my mother obviously.  The chettinad dishes which I cook at home everyday is mostly from my mother.  I have seen cooking her cooking these dishes so many many years.  I mostly learnt from her and many others from my relatives also.

Though I cook Chettinad Food everyday, I don't get the time to photograph them.  So here are some of the dishes I was able to photograph.

I am still under the process of learning Food Photography.  So please bear with me for the photos of the posts in my intial years of blogging.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tried and Tasted Event - Chettinad Recipes

Hello Friends,

This month I decided to host the "Tried and Tasted Event" myself here in Classic Chettinad Kitchen.  The concept of the event "Tried and Tasted" is to try from others blog and let them know that their dish tasted great in our kitchen too. We do this by giving credits to them in our blog post.

All of us who like cooking and experimenting our kitchens go through others blog in search of recipes. We bookmark many of them, try them and many of us also post it in our blogs.  Most of the times we surely give credit to the owner of the recipe but many a times we forget.  We all fall in love with some blogs for many different reasons. Some blogs for their drooling photos, for their authentic recipes, for their healthy recipes, for their vegan recipes, for their eggless baking recipes, for the information they give about the food they prepare and still many many more reasons.  But all this involves hardwork.  We all bloggers know the hard work involved in maintaining a blog, writing posts and keeping it live. So this hardwork of someone, if we like, has to be appreciated.  This is the whole concept of the "Tried and Tasted" Event.

Coming to the topic of this months "Tried and Tasted" Event.  Since I am hosting an event for the first time in this blog, I have chosen "The Chettinad" theme. What does that mean?  Chettinad food is very popular not only in TamilNadu but also outside.  I have seen many many restaurants in Chennai and other places serving Chettinad food.  Even here in Sharjah, I have seen a few Chettinad Restaurants. All these restaurants are selling more of non-veg food under the name of Chettinad.  But Chettinad is very known for all varieties of food veg, non-veg, snacks, sweets etc. The speciality of its food is that it uses less oil, less spice and the food is very healthy and flavorful.  People of Chettinad had established their business long back in Burma, Saigon and Srilanka.  So you will find some influence of these countries in their food.  For example "Kavuniarisi" which is a sweet rice is from the influence of Burma, "Idiyappam with a combination of Sothi" is from Srilanka.

A Chettinad Vegetarian meal served during fuctions or in hotels consists of Soup, A sweet rice or a variety rice, white rice, with Paruppu Nei, Ketti Kuzhambu, Illam Kuzhambu, Sambar, Mor, Kootu, Poriyal, Pachadi, Mandi, Masiyal, Veg. Masala (Perattal), some fried snack, Appalam, Pickle and a Payasam.

A Chettinad Vegetarian tiffin mostly consists of Idli, Pongal, Some sweet dish like Halwa, Akkaravadasal, Vellai Paniyaram, Varamilagai Chutney, Coconut Chutney, Sambar. Here you will find a lot of variations.  You will find a combination of Idiyappam and Sothi,  Idiyappam and Kosmalli, Paal Paniyaram, Kandarappam, Kuzhi Paniyaram, Anju Arisi Paniyaram, Kalkandu Vadai, Kumayam, Rangoon Puttu etc, etc.  The list is endless.

And some of the special snacks list are Seepu Seedai,  Thenkuzhal, Kozhukattai, Masala Paniyaram, Cheeyam, Maavu Urundai and goes on and on.

There is a exotic variety of Non-veg food also which mostly consists of Mutton, Chicken, Fish, Prawns, Crabs, etc. But since I am an Eggeterain, I am not able to explain this section much.

There are many many sites with authentic Chettinad Recipes in this blogosphere. But since this event is all about trying out the Chettinad Cuisine, so you can try out from any blog / site having an authentic chettinad dish.  I am listing some authentic blogs / sites which contain Authentic Chettinad Recipes, so that it will be helpful.  I will be keeping on amending the list as when I come across some Authentic Chettinad Recipe sites in this month.  They have all sorts of recipes, Veg, Non-Veg, Sweets, Snacks etc. So try from any of the sites below or any other site containing Authentic Chettinad Recipes.  

Solai's True Chettinad Kitchen - Solai Aachi's blog is very very famous.
Chettinad Recipes - Mrs. Annam Senthil Kumar has written various articles and recipes in many magazines about Nagarathar Cooking and Traditions.
Thenu's Recipes - Thenu Aachi has authored a cook book.
Chettinad Fiesta by Meena Thennappan again a very famous blogger and has recently started doing T.V. shows.
(I will also try to give a link to the Chettinad Recipe posts from both my blogs here so that it will be helpfull and will also give an idea.)

What is expected  for this "Tried and Tasted" event ?

  1. You can go to any of these sites or other sites containing Authentic Chettinad Recipes, search for recipes under the "Chettinad Label", try them out and post them in your blog. Both Veg and Non-veg recipes are allowed. Since all the sites contain other dishes too please kindly search for the Chettinad Labeled dish.  The reason why I am stressing on this point is,  this events Theme is all about Chettinad food.
  2. Stay as true to the original recipe(s) as possible. Therefore, there is no need for re-posting it, simply link to the original post.  Linking to the original recipe is a must.
  3. There is no time-frame for the original recipe. It can be a very old post or a very new one.
  4. Have you cooked from any of these sites before? As this event is all about tasting and reflecting on the taste, older posts are also welcome. Just Repost it to the present date and mention T&T event
  5. Link your post to HERE (feel free to use the logo which will be up soon) and to my announcement post in Kitchen Chronicles i.e.  Please always link to both sites, so both blogs are given credit and you are avoiding copyright fuss.
  6. I will be adding a linky tool soon, so that you can easily link back your posts to me. Incase you have any problems in linking back you can send me an e-mail (kitchenchronicles1(at)gmail(dot)com) with Subject : T&T Chettinad, your name, your post URL as well as the original URL and a picture (300px by height, please).
  7. Send me the posted entries on or before March 15th, 2013. 
  8. The use of logo is very much appreciated, since it will help in spreading the word about the event. (I will update the post with the logo soon).
  9. Please do not forget to link back your entry to my post using the linking tool.

Non-bloggers also can participate.

  • Non-bloggers are more than welcome to participate (after all, our posts are mainly being written for them). Simply e-mail me with your experience of what you cooked and please include a picture. 
  • The e-mails should be sent to  (kitchenchronicles1(at)gmail(dot)com) with Subject : T&T Chettinad, your name, the details of what you cooked, the recipe written in your own words will be much appreciated, the original URL and a picture (300px by height, please). 
  • Please note : The photo of the food should be your own, original photo and not a photo copied from the net. 
  • The bloggers know this rule.  That is why I am mentioning this specifically for Non-Bloggers. 
  • If you don't wish to attach a photo it is ok. Just send me the recipe. And the other details. 

If you all have any doubts regarding the event, your are always welcome.  You can leave me a message in the comment section or email me.  Hoping to make this event successful with all your help and support.

Also I need guest hosts for the future "Tried and Tasted Event". If you are Interested in guest hosting the event please mail me at kitchenchronicles1(at)gmail(dot)com or leave me a message in the comment section below. You can here more details about the event.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Varamilagaai Thovayal (Chutney)- Hot RedChilli Chutney

I like to shop at HomeShop18.  Bought some games and toys for my children through them. They have a prompt and fast service and a good network.  It was delivered the next day I had ordered.

Varamillagai Thovayal is a very famous chutney in Chettinad, not only in Chettind but all over Tamil Nadu.  Thinking of Varamillagai Thovayal, my memory goes 15 to 20 years back to my native place Devakottai. My Grandfather used to have a cook then. We used to visit our grandfather once a year. When we were visiting him I used watch the cook doing all the work. Not much of electrical gadgets those days in my grandfathers house.

The cook, a male person, used to grind the batter for idli, grind thovals etc in a stone grinder called "Aattukal".  And other masalas he used to grind in another stone grinder "Ammi".  These two were his favourite gadgets.  It used to be so much sitting and watching him do all the things with these two stone grinders.  Sometimes I used to tell him, I will also help you but he used to refuse me saying that you cannot do it. Then I used to be adament and then atlast he used to budge and say ok.  But the minute I sit and try to move the stone "Kolavi" for grinding the batter, I cannot move it 1 single inch.

So this how he used to cook food, in stone grinders and "Varegu Aduppu", it is a stove which uses wood and not any gas.  You must have seen such types of aduppu in many of the Pongal wishes. So cooking this way the food used to taste great.

Coming to our Varamilagai Thovayal, he used to grind this thovayal in this stone grinder and the taste used to be yum.  You can have this thovayal with Idli, Dosa, Kothumai (Wheat) Dosa, Raagi Dosa, Vellai Paniyaram and so on. The list goes endless.

Varamilagai Thovayal is a best combination with Vellai Paniyaram. You cannot see Vellai Paniayaram separately without this Thovayal.  It is very easy to make gets ready in a jiffy.


For Grinding
Red Chillies - 10 nos.
Onion - 1 small or medium
Garlic - 2 pods
Tomato - 2 medium
Tamarind - 1/4 of a lemon size ball.
Salt - as per taste. ( I prefer to use Kal Uppu (Cyrstal Salt)

For the tempering
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 t.sp
Asafoetida - 1/4 t.sp
Oil - 1 t.sp


Grind all the ingredients under the "for Grinding" section. I prefer to first add tamarind, salt, garlic and redchillies. You can adjust the amount of Red Chillies used to suit your taste buds. I keep it medium hot so that the children can also enjoy it. Then when it is little grinded I add the chopped tomato and onions. When it is smooth enough transfer it to a container. Heat oil for tempering, add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. Add this to the chutney. Serve it with hot Vellai Paniyaram, Idli, Dosa etc.

You can find the recipe of Vellai Paniyaram here and here.

Sending this Hot Varamilagai Thovayal to Spicy Chilly who is a spice lover and is hosting a event called "My Spicy Recipe".

Also sending it to the event Winter Foods 30 min Challenge Event conducted by Sizzling Tastebuds.  Eat Healthy. Love life.