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July 25, 2006

Make way for the Queen - "Sodhi"

This is one dish that is a specialty of a sect of Tirunvelvelli community..When a newly wed couple come home, guess what the dish is ..Sodhi, Inji Pachadi (ginger relish) and then the rest follow suit. Imagine the plight of the newly wed who have to eat this dish almost everytime someone invites them home :(.

I think the dish attained this status coz we are primarily vegetarians and this dish calls for coconut milk which makes it very rich and was a tiresome dish to make. They had to grate a whole bunch of coconuts and then blend it for coconut milk. It was a huge affair at home and was very rare to see Sodhi made. And since the dish is kind of heavy, Sodhi is the only dish cooked. Believe me when I say Sodhi is an acquired taste, after our wedding Rajesh had Sodhi at my sister's place and he was not a big fan of it, but over time, he has come to love it.

Now lets plunge into Sodhi.


Coconut milk (canned) - 1.5
Ginger grated - 2 Tbsps ( If you want it spicy add a little more)
Moong Dhal boiled with one pod of Garlic - 1/2 cup
Lime/lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Carrots - 1 cut in long slices
Drum Stick - 1
potato, - 1 cut in cubes
Onion - 1 cut in large cubes
Cabbage - 1/4 of a medium sized cabbaged cut in large pieces.

Ground Mixture

Grated coconut - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Green chilies - 2-3 (depends on how spicy you want it)

  • Take the 1/2 can of coconut milk and dilute it in water to make one can and let the vegetables cook in the diluted coconut milk.
  • In the meanwhile take the juice of the grated ginger and set it aside.
  • Grind the ingredients of the ground mixture.
  • When the vegetables are tender add the ground mixture and 1/2 can of coconut milk and let it cook for some time. (remember to cook all this in medium to medium low flame).
  • Now add the cooked dhal ( mash the dhal and garlic well) and the remaining 1/2 can of coconut milk.
  • Just before you switch off the stove add the ginger juice and cook for a minute and take it off the stove
  • When Sodhi cools down add salt and lemon juice and temper with mustard and urad dhal

Note: Try not to heat the sodhi and have it with piping hot rice. Sodhi is normally made for lunch as it is a very heavy dish, but it taste awesome the night it is cooked and goes well with plain idiyappam.

Ginger Relish
Ginger cut into tiny pieces - A handful
Tamarind - Size of a lemon soaked in water and take the extract
Coriander seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red chilly - 4
Grated Coconut - 4 tbsps

  • In oil saute the ginger till it turns brown
  • Fry the red chilly, Coriander seeds and coconut gratings separately
  • Grind the ginger along with the items that were fried separately.
  • Add the thick tamarind extract and salt and let it blend for a second.
  • In a pan with 2 tbsps oil, temper mustard seeds, Uradh dhal and add the mixture and let it boil for a atleast an hour in medium low.
  • Just before you take it off the stove, add a tbsp of jaggery.

  • This relish is definitely made with Sodhi not only coz they pair up well, but because ginger is good for digestion.

Lemme know if you make it and how you like it!

July 23, 2006

Yosemite Pictures

Stopped by the road at this water fall. Kids and S" had a great time clambering over the rocks, collecting pebbles and driftwood while I was busy taking pictures.

Mid April thro June is usually a good time to visit Yosemite, this year due to the great winter the falls were still flowing full in July.

Mirror Lake, it's a pond actually but catching the reflection of half dome during sunset kind of makes up for the mosquitoes that feast on you on the way. Plus it is a nice hike, not too steep, not too long. You get the bonus of a nice picnic spot to play in the small sandy stream you pass before reaching the "lake"

I never get tired of this place, and every time I get here, I seem to enjoy it more.

Sticks, Stones and Water

More pics from the falls we stopped by.

Near Mirror lake, there is this sandy spot where kids played in the water. The still water makes an almost perfect mirror reflecting the granite in the back.

Bridal veil, pictures do little justice to this place. The spray of water is quite refeshing especially on hot days.

More bridal veil ......

More bridal veil ......

bridal veil

bridal veil

July 11, 2006

What's happening in my world?!

I have been taking pictures of a whole bunch of food that I have been preparing, but I am yet to download them onto my PC and start writing away. Lots of things have been happening in our lives and I am in one of those phases where I cant tell the difference from right to left. As I told you guys earlier, my niece and nephew are here with us and we have been taking them around. I will be blogging about

1. Our lightning trip to San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Hotel Saravana Bhavan, Hooters , Mystery Spot (believe me , all this in one day driving from Sacramento)
2. Recipes - Sodhi, Pav Bhaji, Puzhi Molagai (green chilies in tamarind sauce), Puzhiyodarai mix ( tamarind rice mix), Pitlai (like sambhar)
3. My experiences with our 9 year old niece .

I am trying to get my act together and once I get my laptop after repairs, I would be less handicapped ( I miss it!) and will start blogging.. bear with me dear friends!

July 05, 2006

Camping Trip

Yosemite - For me it is one of the most idyllic places in the world.

Tuttletown Recreation Area - About 75 miles from Folsom, our campsite faced Lake Melones. The view we had from the window in our tent of the lake. We watched the stars till the wee hours of the morning, from the skylight in our tent.

All of us around the fire grilling chicken! ( R or my nephew or neice are not in the picture)

We carried a whole bunch of water balloons and had a friendly fight - this was a total ice breaker and we had a gr8 time.