Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Kumbakonam Kadappa ( Gravy made with moong dal and potatoes simmered in a coconut fennel curry)

I had never heard of the name Kadappa although I have had it several times at home in a version made with beans, carrots, potatoes and peas! At home it simply goes under the name of Kurma. When I saw Shanthi`s version with just potatoes I wanted to try them out immediately. Shanthi`s version had onions, so that was an added incentive.  The one made at home had no onions and no moong dal!  It was a very fragrant pleasant gravy made with ingredients available at hand, and was a complete difference from the gravies made with tomatoes and garam masala…Try it and you will definitely want to do it again!


1 Medium Onion.

1 large Golden Potato or two medium potatoes.

1 inch stick of Cinnamon.

1/4 Cup Moong Dal.

2 Cloves.

1 Bay Leaf.

Salt to taste.

Dash of turmeric.

Grind to a paste:

1/4 cup of coconut grated.

1 Tsp Fennel/Somph.

1/4 Cup  Cashews.

1 Tbsp Poppy Seeds.

2 – 3 Green Chillies.

1 Inch Ginger.

(Use water as needed to make a smooth paste)


  • Pressure cook the potatoes with a little salt in a cooker vessel and the moong dal with as much water as needed to submerge them in another vessel.
  • Preferably cook for one whistle and then lower the flame for about ten minutes.
  • When done, remove from the cooker and mash the moong dal to a mushy paste. Peel the potato skin and mash the potatoes. Set aside.
  • In a kadai, add oil and the seasoning ingredients – Cinnamon, Cloves, Bay Leaf and follow with the diced onions.
  • When it has slightly sauteed, add the mashed potatoes and the moong dal along with the water in which it was cooked.
  • When it starts to boil, immediately add the ground paste.
  • Add salt as needed and allow the mixture to come to cook  out and come together. Add a little water if needed and let it begin to boil.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with Hot Idlis, Dosas or Phulkas.