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Monday, November 24, 2008

Ridge Gourd Thoran

A simple prepartion with ridge gourd, that is simple and delicious. The young and tender ridge gourd will make a good vegetable to cook with, but when allowed to reach it's maturity, this vegetable can be used during bath as a body scrubber, which will exfoliate the skin well.

To make this natural body scrubber, ridge gourd is allowed to mature and then let to dry in the vine of the plant.Once dry all that is left is the skeleton of the vegetable with seeds inside.To remove the seeds, top portion of the vegetable is cut off and seeds are removed.Then ridge gourd is washed well and soaked in water, which will make it soft.Then it is dried and is used as a scrubber.


2 to 3 medium size - Ridge gourd
1/4 to 1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder

1/2 cup - Small onion / Shallots, chopped
3 to 4 - Green chili, slit in center
1/2 cup - Freshly grated coconut


1 tsp - Mustard seeds
2 to 3 sprigs - Curry leaves

1 ) With a knife or a peeler, scrub off the hard ridges and then lightly scrub the skin of the ridge gourd. Then wash well and cut into small pieces.

2 ) Heat little oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and pop it. Then add curry leaves, then shallots, green chili and lightly fry them for a minute. Now add turmeric powder, stir a few seconds, then add coconut and fry for a minute on low heat.

3 ) Add ridge gourd, salt to taste and give a good stir. Mix all the ingredients well.Close with a tight lid and cook on a very low flame till ridge gourd is fully cooked. Ridge gourd will give out some water and will get cooked in that water. Once ridge gourd is cooked, open the lid, increase heat and cook, if there is excess water to be cooked away. Stir and cook till all the water is used up. Take off the stove once you get a dry thoran.

Serve as a side dish with rice.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi

A good quality, cleaned and dried small shrimps are avaiable in the market now a days to make this delicious condiment, which will go so well with kanji / rice porridge or can be squished with some rice and had. In the past, chammanthi's are ground to chammanthi form using ammi kallu. But now in modern life style, blender / grinder will have to do. Using ammi kallu to preapare chammanthi, will brings out unique flavors, which a modern day grinder might not.


1 cup - Dried small shrimps
8 to 10 - Dried whole red chilies
1/2 cup - Freshly grated coconut
5 flakes - Garlic
small piece - Ginger
A small marble size - Seedless tamarind
2 sprigs - Curry leaves
Salt to taste


1 ) Heat a pan with little coconut oil, add dried shrimps, red chilies and on a low flame fry, taking care not to burn the ingredients till the shrimps are fried and cooked in that low flame. Take off the stove and cool.

2 ) Add to a blender / grinder, the fried ingredients, run the blender and powder the shrimp and chilies. Then add garlic, ginger, curry leaves, tamarind, coconut and salt to taste. Run the blender and grind all the ingredients well to a coarse mixture.

Serve as a side dish with kanji or rice.