My Lunch............10

This plate must be familiar to most of you who have heard about Hotel Saravana Bhavan. This is almost similar in presentation and the type of dishes served. They call this the Mini lunch and serve it with one phulka.

So you can easily make this at home and believe me it is no big deal at all.

If you prepare the tamarind extract   for tamrind rice called  Puli kaachal well in advance , ( if you prefer home made ), then all you need to do is mix the rice and it is done. Or you can also use ready to use paste or  puliyogare powder. Your choice.

The wheat halwa is also very easy and can be easily done in minutes in micro wave or gas., around 7  to 10 minutes max.

The sambar saadam is again a one pot affair and gets done in 12 minuutes .
The two veggies, poriyals are also the same basic recipe , so the ground coconut chilli paste can be done together or even avoided completely to reduce calories in the thaali.

Go ahead and give this a try.

The recipes in detail 

The dishes are:
1. Tamarind rice
2.Sambar saadham ( Sambar rice )
3.Cabbage and cauliflower poriyal ( stirfry kind of veg )
4. Green plantain curry
5.1 phulka
6.Curd rice garnished
7. Wheat halwa ( Aate ka halwa )
8. Some rice wafers
9. Cut mango pickles

The recipes for each

1. Tamarind rice.

I used the paste from my homemade tamrind paste , the recipe for which is under.
RECIPE IS FOR the Tamarind thickened sauce or paste which can be store for around two months
1 big lemon sized tamarind ball
12 to 15 dry red chillies to make it a bit spicy so that it keeps good for a month or two.
chana dal ¼ cup,1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 or 4 tsp of roasted peanuts. Cashew nuts are also added by some .This is optional.
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 ladleful of sesame oil. This is a must as the sesame oil is the key ingredient in giving the special aroma and flavour to the tamrind rice.
Salt to taste /rock salt is used as per tradition

For the spice Powder

3 tbsp coriander seeds, 3 tsp sesame seeds( white)
2 tsp fenugreek seeds
3 or 4 red chillies.This is optional as the red chillies are already being added to the tamarind sauce.
Generous pinch of Hing/Asafoetida


Prepare a thick paste out of the tamarind by keeping it soaked previously for 10 minutes to soften the tamarind.
Take out as much as juice you get ,filter and keep aside.
Take a heavy bottomed pan Pour the oil and add mustard seeds.
When it splutters add the chana dal, red chillies breaking them,turmeric powder,roasted peanuts. Add salt, spice powder which you get after roasting and then dry grinding into powder.
Pinch few curry leaves.Let boil over low flame till the tamarind sauce thickens and a fine aroma wafts.
The sauce should be quite thick as you are going to store this paste.
Tamrind rice can be prepared after adding the paste to cooled fluffy rice either basmmati or plain variety.
Depending on your taste you can add as much tamrind sauce as you need and after mixing well add a tsp of the spice powder to the mixed rice to enhance the aroma of the rice.


1 cup rice
½ cup moong dal
2 cups of chopped assorted veggies of your choice ( I like to make my sambar with lots of vegetables so that every one gets them till the very end and a great way to incorporate more vegetables in the diet.In this recipe I chose, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, green bell pepper , tomatoes., Some chopped carrots.
1 goose berry size tamrind, soaked in warm water for easy extraction and complete extraction of tamrind.
1 tsp mustard seeds.
2 red dry chillissprigs of curry leaves
Chopped coriander leaves.
Generous pinch of asafoetida powder.
Salt to taste1 tbsp of any good sambar powder ( doesnt matter if you dont have any in the house. )
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil

To Roast and grind:

3 tsp dhaniya seeds/coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
A small piece of cinnamom
3 tsp gram dal ( puttani/ pottukadalai )
2 tsp chana dal
3 red dry chillis ( more if you want a spicy sambar )
Pinch of asafoetida powder.
3 tbsp fresh/ desiccated coconut/ to be added while grinding the items given under roast and grind.


1. First keep the vegetables ready , chopped to slightly bigger pieces.
2.. Take the pressure cooker, add little oil. , let it get hot, add the mustard seeds, let it crackle add the 2 red chillis , some curry leaves, then if adding onions, add onions first, sautee well till pinkish and transparent, then add the remaining chopped vegetables,sautee a bit, add the turmeric powder, sambar powder, salt, asafoetida powder, and the tamarind extract , around 3 cups of it .
Let this water with masalas, veggies keep boiling for 3 minutes, Meanwhile Wash 1/2 cup cup of moong dal with water and add it to 1 cup of rice and keep aside.
Now take a small pan, add some oil ,heat it, add the ingredients given under roast and grind and fry till golden, don't add the coconut at this stage.
4. When the ingredients have been roasted till a fine aroma emanates, let it cool down then grind to a little coarse paste, with 3 tbsp fresh /desiccated coconut and add very little water. Keep this ground paste aside.
5. While you are grinding , add the moong dal, rice and 1 cup of water and do not close the pressure cooker yet, as the ground paste needs to be added also. Keep the gas on a low flame while you finish grinding.
Add the ground paste now to the pressure cooker which has all the ingredients, add the salt some curry leaves and now close the pressure cooker.
Depending on what model you have 2 whistles re enough. Then keep the gas on a low flame for a minute and switch off.
Let the cooker remain like that till it is completely cool, then open the lid, you will see the sambar rice is ready, with all the vegetables, dal, rice and masala paste well blended and a fine aroma emanating.
Serve hot after mixing well, add some ghee if you wish and usually It is had with some fried chips or papad.
This recipe is good for a one pot meal where dal, rice, vegetables are all coked together and saves you the hassle of making a separate sambar.
Students, first time to cooking, bachelors will find this very useful. A complete nutritious meal. Add as many vegetables you want.

3. Green Plaintain poriyal


• 2 medium sized raw green plantains
• 1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
• 1 tsp turmeric powder
• 1tsp mustard seeds
• 1 tsp cumin seeds
• 1 green chilli, 1/2 tsp asafoetida/hing powder
• 2 red dry chillies
• 1 tsp spilt udad dal
• 2 tsp coconut oil/cooking oil
• salt to taste
• 1/2 tsp pepper powder
Peel the raw plantains and cube them to small pieces and keep them in water to prevent blackening .
Put oil in a broad pan and heat it to splutter the mustard and spilt udad dal seeds. Add the dry red chillies. and the cubed plantains .
Add the turmeric powder,salt,asafoetida powder little pepper powder and little water enough to cook the plantains.
Meanwhile take the grated coconut,cumin seeds,green chillies and grind them in the mixie without adding water coarsely.
As the raw plantains cook very quickly,check to see if done and just before taking off from the gas stove,stir in the coarse grated coconut mixture over the vegetable.Garnish with sprigs of curry leaves.
Goes well with rice,moor kootan.

4. Cabbage and cauliflower poriyal

2 cups of finely chopped cabbage
1 cup of chopped cauliflower florets
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp split udad dal
Pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Pinch of asafoetida powder.
2 tsp oil
2red chillies
3 tbsp grated fresh coconut
1 green chilli
In a pan add the oil. ,crackle the mustard seeds, brown the udad dal and add the red chillis.
Add the chopped cabbage and cauliflower florets.
Add the turmeric powder, asafoetida powder and ad the salt
Sprinkle little water to cook . Cover and cook.
While the vegetables are cooking, make a coarse paste of the coconut and green chillis in the mixie without adding water, just run it twice , it will become roughly grated.
Keep this coconut green chilli mixture aside.When the vegetables are done, softened and almost dry, add the coconut green chilli coarse paste to the vegetables and give a good stir.
The dry curry or poriyal is ready.

5.Aate ka halwa

1 cup sugar (the quantity can vary as per the sweet taste)
1 cup desi ghee
1 cup sieved wheat flour
1 cup water
¾ cup of nuts like cashews, slivered  almonds, golden raisins 


First Heat the ghee in a non stick pan & keep the pan on medium flame
Keep all other ingredients ready as they need to be added quickly one by one.
Add the entire wheat flour to the heated ghee & stir quickly till the wheat flour turns golden brown . You need to keep stirring without leaving hand as it might burn at the bottom.
As soon as the flour turns golden, add the water & the sugar together to the flour & keep stirring till they are nicely mixed , add the nuts and stir well
The halwa is now ready to be served. Serve hot. Garnish with almond slivers.

6. Curd rice.

Pressure cook rice and while it is still warm, smash it a bit with a ladle and keep aside.
Chop green chilis finely, chop ginger also finely add chopped coriander leaves, add all the garnishings to the smashed rice , add fresh curds, little milk and mix well, add salt . Keep the consistency of the ready curd rice little loose, as it will harden a bit after cooling.

7. Instant cut Mango pickles

Take three or four firm green raw mangoes and cut them finely.No need to peel the green mangoes.
Add red chilli powder according to preference for pungency and in a small pan pour around 3 tbsp of oil preferably sesame oil
add some mustard seeds and when they pop in the hot oil,pour directly over the cut green mangoes.
Add rock salt to taste,2 tsp of fenugreek powder and a pinch of asafoetida powder and mix the cut mango mixture well till all the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
The pickle is ready .
Can be stored upto 15 days in refrigerator.