Apprenticeship for Palakkad Style Cooking ~ Recipe for Avial, Keerai Molakootan, Poatao Podimas and Pulikyatchal

Last month, i was an apprentice in the kitchen with my mother in law …. K and i hail from culturally diametrically opposite families….mine is a meat eating, garrulous, dining table conversation loving one….his is a strict vegetarian, pda abhoring, minimum dining table conversation loving, food loving one…..the both of us have crossed over…he now is all that my family is including meat eating and i am the other!! so to exploit MIL’s exceptional culinary skills that come as tightly packaged in the form of palakkad iyer cooking, i offered to apprentice with her….her intention was to throw me out of the kitchen because i needed respite…i’d have nothing of it… i typed them out for reference and hence have no pictures….but i reckon it will serve well as my first food post…..

am posting some of the recipies for posterity


4 cups of mixed veggies sliced into 1 inch sticks (yellow and white pumpkin, drumsticks, potato, carrot, beans, raw banana, yam, peas, chow chow…..any hard veggies…avoid brinjal, karela, tomato)
boil this with a little turmeric and salt to taste (can do this in the cooker) till soft and mash able with spoon. once done, make sure excess water is drained off and mash slightly with the back of a spoon.

grind together half a grated coconut, 1/2 spoon jeera, few curry leaves, 2 green chillies

1 cup sour butter milk, if not sour, add a little tamarind. add this to the veggies and heat well

stir in the coconut mixture and heat, turn off the fire, add a dash of coconut oil and a few curry leaves. Serve with steamed rice and pappadam

Keerai Molakootan

1 big bunch of spinach, blanched and pureed

2 tbsp tur dal, soft boiled with turmeric. mash with the back of a spoon when done

1/3 coconut, jeera and 1 tbsp roasted urad dal ground to a fine paste

Mix all the ingredients together, heat (do not boil)

season with mustard in hot oil


fresh coconut, green chillies and jeera

can be made with any veggies (pumpkin, kaddu, etc) 3 cups
1/2 cup moong dal, boiled soft with haldi and salt
1/3 coconut, jeera and green chilli ground to a paste….add all together, bring to a boil, season with hot oil and mustard


potato podimas

6-8 soft boiled and mashed potatoes.
1/2 coconut, 2 green chillies ground to a paste (with no water)
season in hot oil mustard, urad and chana dal, curry leaves, salt, add potatoes, coconut mixture, mix well and switch off the flame….do not fry


Season in hot oil, mustard, urad and chana dal

add 2 cups tamarind water, simmer for about 20 mins till it thickens like a sauce with this mixture (3 inch piece of ginger, 6-8n green chillies, coarsely ground)

dd salt to taste and a tsp of sugar or jaggery

Serve with steamed rice. goes well with dosas and idlies too

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