Friday, August 17, 2012


Two or three different vegetables like Drumstick, snake gourd(pudalangkai) , potatoes and avaraikai (Hyacinth Beans) - a large cupful of cut mixed vegetables
Tamarind                  : small lemon-size
Salt                           : to taste
Tur dal                      : 1/2 cup
Curry leaves             : a few

To be ground to a paste:
Urad dal                    : 1 Tsp
Red chillies               : 4 (if spicy) or more if less spicy
Peppercorns             : 10
Shredded Coconut    : 2 tbsp
Asafoetida                 : a pinch
Oil                             : 1 tsp

For seasoning:
Oil                             : 1 tsp
Mustard seeds          : 1/2 tsp
Urad dal                    : 1/2 Tsp

Preparation Method:

Pressure cook the tur dal and keep aside.
In a little oil, fry urad dal and red chillies, pepper corns and asafoetida. Grind them together with shredded coconut into a smooth taste.
Add enough water to the mixed vegetables cut to bite sized bits. Add turmeric powder and salt and boil the vegetables.
Once the vegetables are half cooked, add tamarind water and boil till the vegetables are well-cooked.
Add the ground paste and boil  for two minutes.
Mash the pressure cooked dal and add it and stir the mix together well.
Switch off after boiling for another minute.
This is how it used to be made in my house. So i call it kalathur method.
Method 2:
You can also add a spoon of fried channa dal to the ingredients to be ground to a paste. You can fry two spoons of coconut and add it to the pitlai in the end.
This is Travancore method.

Method 3:

Pitlai with brinjals and bittergourd are usually prepared using the following masala ingredients:
Dhaniya seeds                   : 2 spoons
Channa dal                        : 1 spoon
Red chillies                        : 2 or 3
Methi seeds                       : 1/2 spoon
Coconut                             : 4 tblsp

Fry the above one after the other and grind to a paste.
Rest of the preparation method is the same as Method 1. This tastes like araichu vitta sambar with a lot of vegetables.

This is how it is made in Thanjavur families.

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