Friday, January 30, 2009

Coconut Thayir Pachhadi

I've always liked the thayir pachhadi that is served in a Brahmin style wedding feast. When I was little, I used to think that that kind of thayir pachhadi is served only at weddings. I was totally surprised when my grandmother made it on a festival day and only then did ignorant little Anu know that it was not just a wedding delight. But, here is what I think is a possible reason for making this sort of pachhadi on a festival day: since onion and garlic are not used in a festival/special occasion feast in a Brahmin family, they have found a workaround to make thayir pachhadis and such without the "banned veggies" and also without compromising the taste or flavor. Sounds reasonable, isn't it???? To make it more healthy, veggies can be added to this pachhadi. The veggies that I like in this dish are grated carrots, grated cucumbers, grated radish, chopped tomatoes and boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes.

Ingredients (2 - 3 servings):

Plain yogurt - 2 cups (using a measuring cup)
Veggies of your choice (optional) - 1/2 cup (using a measuring cup)
Salt to taste

To grind to a paste:

Grated/powdered coconut - 2 tablespoons
Green chillies - 3 (vary this to suit your taste)

For seasoning:

Cooking oil - 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon
Jeera (optional) - 1/4 teaspoon
Channa dhal (optional) - 1.5 teaspoons
Red chilli (optional) - 1
Cilantro - 1 teaspoon finely chopped


1. Grind the coconut and green chillies to a paste and set aside.
2. In a bowl, mix the yogurt, veggies, the ground paste from step 1 and salt.
3. In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter. Immediately after they splutter, add jeera, asafoetida, channa dhal and red chilli and fry until the channa dhal turns light golden brown in color. Once that happens, transfer the contents to the yogurt mixture.
4. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro. Yummy thayir pachhadi is ready :-).

I like to have this as is but it also goes well with any kind of variety rice, like, puliyodharai (tamarind rice), lemon rice, coconut rice, sambar rice, tomato rice etc. Adding potatoes to this pachhadi was my friend Sunitha's idea and it tasted very good.

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