Kanchipuram Idli – spiced with ginger in fresh and dried forms, pepper, cumin, kariveppelai (curry leaves), cashew nuts, and tempered in gingelly oil (nallennai/sesame oil) – just reading the description makes me almost drool. So named for its origins in (from who knows when) the temple kitchen (madapalli) of the Kanchipuram Varadaraja Perumal kovil, it’s been enjoyed by millions as a temple prasadam and in homes around the world. I was introduced to it quite late in my life when I got married and had it at my husband’s aunt’s place. I’ll admit – I wasn’t a huge fan initially. But my husband loves it to pieces. So, over the years, I’ve learned to make it (not frequently enough for him), and have grown to like, even love it. I simply love that it’s a temple prasadam. The temple kitchen uses only raw rice but at home we use an equal measure of raw and parboiled rices. Here’s the recipe.
This kootu, also known as thiruvadirai kootu is a medley of a minimum of 7 vegetables, made on the day of Arudra darshan in the month of margazhi/December, in honor of lord Shiva. Traditionally it’s accompanied by a sweet rice dish called Kali. It’s made with the freshest produce of the season, which is the winter season, and includes squashes, gourds, and root vegetables. This recipe is sourced from Meenakshi Ammal’s Samaithu Par book. It is a completely balanced dish, loaded with vegetables, protein (dal), fat (coconut), spices and tamarind for sourness. On to the recipe now!
This is a thick jam-like gravy with a tamarind base, spiced with a mix of roasted powdered pepper and lentils. Perfect over a bed of hot steaming rice, with an accompaniment of vegetables (kootu) or curry.