Tamil Recipes

A collection of authentic vegetarian recipes from the beautiful land of Tamil Nadu, including dosas, many varieties of prepared rice, chutneys, sambars, rasams, curries, podimas and usilis.

Rava Idli

Rava Idli, and a Giveaway

An Idli is rather like the Cinderella of south Indian cuisine. Compare her to other stalwart favorites like crispy, flamboyant dosas that spill over your plate, and golden, melt-in-the-mouth vadas, and the Idli comes across as rather humble, even plain. Worse, try eating her by herself and she is, to boot, bland. After all, there’s…

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Kala chana sundal

Kala Chana Quinoa Sundal

Navratri was always my favorite time of year, growing up, because it was the one time I was permitted to stay out late– even past midnight. Like most Indian festivals, Navratri — which literally translates to “nine nights” — has a religious significance, but like most religious festivals, you didn’t have to be religion-minded to join…

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Semiya Payasam

Semiya Payasam | Shevyachi Kheer

The other day, as I puttered around the web, I ran into an old friend — the Amul girl. If you’ve ever lived in India, you don’t need an introduction to the Amul girl. You know the bright orange face that’s at once shy and pert. The blue pigtail gushing out of a huge, perfectly round…

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Sprouted Beans and Brown Rice Dosa. http://holycowvegan.net/2014/09/sprouted-bean-brown-rice-dosa.html

Sprouted Bean and Brown Rice Dosa

All this summer, I’ve been into sprouts. So much so that every time I bring out a jar of beans and a cup measure, Desi rolls his eyes and says, “More? What about these?” He’s pointing at two colanders already sitting on the kitchen platform, containing sprouts in various stages of germination. To which I…

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Crockpot Sambar

Fat-Free Crockpot Sambar for Two

Do you ever get tired of those leftovers? I know I do. I cook up a big pot of dal or pasta for Desi and I, and then– many cooking experiments later– I am digging it out of the back of the refrigerator. It is covered in fuzzy gray stuff, smells lethal, and I am afraid…

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Masala Dosa

Quick Masala Dosa

As much as I wish I could spend all day in the kitchen cooking a slow and leisurely meal,  there are times — most times in my case– when time is just not on my side. That’s when I start sniffing around for ideas for new meals, or very often reworking something old into something new,…

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Eggplant Kootu

Brinjal Pulippu Kootu

I say brinjal, you say eggplant, and they say aubergine. Whatever. It’s delicious, it’s my favorite veggie, and today I have for you one of the most delicious ways you can cook it up and eat it: Brinjal Pulippu Kootu, a tangy dal you might never have eaten before unless you’re a native of Tamil…

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Onion Sambar

Onion Sambar | Vengaya Sambar

It’s almost a given that you cannot go to a Tamil home without being invited to stay for a meal. Tamilians love to feed as much as they love to eat, and when we go to Chennai on our visits back to India it is not unusual for us to have two lunches, two dinners,…

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venn pongal avial


A short post today to wish a very happy Pongal to all the readers of Holy Cow!, and especially my Tamil readers, friends and family. The Tamil harvest festival — a Thanksgiving of sorts– is determined by the Hindu calendar and this year it falls on January 14. Pongal’s always especially welcome because it brings…

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vegetable kurma

Vegetable Korma

My cat Pie does not want me to write this post for you. No, really, I am not kidding. In the time that I put down these first few words for my Vegetable Korma post, she has prised my fingers off the keyboard with her little head at least a half dozen times, insisting that…

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pooshnikai sambar 3

White Pumpkin Sambar

When you’re married to a Tamilian as long as I have been, everyone pretty much considers you an honorary member of the club. But when it comes to my in-laws, nothing wins me more Tamil points than cooking up for them a fabulous south Indian meal that leaves them licking their fingers. Because Tamilians love…

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Kale Crepes

Kale Crepes, Gluten-Free

These gluten-free Kale Crepes are delicious, protein-rich eats perfect for a weekend brunch or a weekday dinner.I always have some organic baby kale sitting in the refrigerator that I can throw handfuls of into salads, smoothies, pestos, and even curries. This time, as I pondered a quick dinner I could put together for Desi and…

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Brown Rice Uthappam With Sundried Tomato Chutney

A reader requested a recipe for uthappam and this past weekend I decided to do one better: I tried out a healthier version of this already waist-friendly snack. A Brown Rice Uthappam. If you’ve never run into an uthappam before, think of it as a chubby, onion-flecked dosa crossed with an idly. The basic ingredients…

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