Chutneys / Thogayals & Podis.

Fingerlicking Tart Tomato Chutney.


One of the best things about south indian food is its spread of chutneys and gravies and other accompaniements. Every region in India have their own version of hundreds of dishes. As far as chutneys go, almost every home in Tamil Nadu must have their own spin on chutneys. My quest is for finding somany different ways of cooking this lycopene filled tomato – so fleshy and juicy, sweet yet tart and pretty much a fruit in every style of indian cooking. When Madhuri poster her spin, I was a goner. I had to make it the vvery same day and I loved the crunchiness of the coconuts thrown in at the end! Simply fingerlicking delicious. Yes, its that good!


1 Medium Onion,

3 Beefsteak/ Heirloom/ Roma or 5 Indian tomatoes.

3 Pods of Garlic.

2-3 Red Chillies to suit your spice buds.

Lime sized ball of tamrind.

2 Tbsp of Jeera  seeds.

1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder.

Salt to taste


A fistful of cleaned and chopped corrinader leaves.

Temper With:

1 Tsp Oil.

1 Tsp Mustard Seeds.

Curry Leaves.

Pinch of hing.


  • Heat 2 Tsp oil in a wok and add the cumin seeds. Allow trhem to splutter.
  • Add the finely chopped onions and then the turmeric powder. Saute for a couple minutes until they onions turn translucent and begin to sweat.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, garlic pods, red chillies, and the tamarind and cook unitl the tomatoes turn mushy and reduces to pulp. By now all the ingredients would have cooked well and marinated in the wok.
  • Remove from the flame and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
  • Now tranfer to a mixer jar and give it a quick pulse.
  • Finally add the grated coconut and spin for a few pulses. I preferred the coconuts bits to be crunchy and hence never ground to a smooth paste.
  • Temper with the ingredients mentioned and mix them all in.
  • Deliocious tart and crunchy chutney is ready!
  • and yes…thank you, I know you loved it. Leave your thoughts for me!
Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

Sweet & Tart Pineapple Rasam. ( Tamarind Broth simmered with sweet pineapple chunks and spices)

My all time favorite fruits have always been Pineapples and Jackfruits, and they will always remain so. I am guessing its something to do with my olfactory senses and maybe its colour! Every time I smell fully ripe pineapples or jackfruits, I must must have them right away. Growing up in T.Nagar and having my roots in Palakkad must definitely have something to do with this favouritism I am guessing. Whenever little sis S and me used to go to Pondy Bazzar or shopping anywhere near RMKV or Pothys, its an unwritten rule to buy cleanly sliced pineapple pieces,and tart mango slices  generously hashed with fiery red spicy chilly powder and salt and spices and wrapped with juices flowing ,in pages of last month`s tamil magazine. The other vendor would have his ripe jackfruits wrapped in a green banana leaf and believe me or not, buying these fruits and relishing them in the hot and breezy summer evenings would give us more pleasure than any dress or salwar bought after hours of seiving through shelves of stacked clothes!

On my first job at the bank, we would have Sangeetha Restaurants right opposite our branch and lunches would always be Sangeetha Quick Lunch consisting of little portions of pulav, side dish, raitha, and Pineapple Kesari, in bright bright yellow! I cannot even begin to explain how much I love their Pineapple Kesari.. It was an amazing feeling to eat your favorite fruit in your favourite dessert! Now thats a post for another day, but today I made Pineapple Rasam, rich with the sweetness of the pineapples, tart from the tamarind broth, and earthy from the cilantro. There is something about Pineapple and Cilantro, they are great together in a Pineapple salsa as much as they are in a candle fragrance!!!


1 Cup Ripe diced pineapples.

3 Cups Thin Tamarind Water.

1 1/2 Tsp Rasam Powder.

1 – 1 1/2 Tsp Jaggery.

1/4 Cup Cooked Toor Dhal.

A few drops of Pineapple Essence.

Chopped Cilantro.


Salt to taste.


Mustard Seeds,

Curry Leaves.


  • Take a flat bottomed vessel and add the pieces of chopped pineapple and let it sit for a couple minute.s.  Take about 5-6 pieces and grind to a smooth paste with water and add this paste to the tamarind water.
  • Place the vessel over the stove and allow the jaggery to cook in the tamarind water.
  •  Add salt,hing,  jaggery, turmeric, rasam powder, cilantro and curry leaves and let it simmer and reduce a bit.
  • Take the cooked toor dhal and add about a cup of water and mash and mix it well until its a thin dhal water.
  • Add this dhal water to the reduced rasam and check for salt and sweetness.
  • Depending on the brand of jaggery and the sweetness and tartness in the pineapple, add a little more jaggery if needed.
  • Enhance the flavour and aroma of the pineapple by adding a couple drops of pineapple essence. You can omit this step if you want to.
  • When the rasam froth up, add chopped cilantro, remove from the stove and keep covered until ready to serve.
  • You will enjoy the aroma of sweet ,cooked pineapple combined with the intense citrusy earthy smell of the chopped corriander leaves.