Category Archives: Kongu Nadu Specials

Vellai Kovil Briyani

Vellai Kovil Briyani 

Vellai Kovil Briyani served with Fried Appalam ( Pappad) , Fried curd chillies and Tomato Pachadi ( Raitha )

Vellai Kovil is a place near Coimbatore. On our way to Coimbatore, we stopped in Vellai Kovil for lunch. I had an opportunity to taste this Briyani. Their Special Briyani Masala Powder is just Great. A very easy, simple, delightful recipe . Usually this Briyani is served with a raitha, deep fried appalam, and fried curd chillies. Your guests will love this Briyani. Use Jeeraga Samba Rice or Ponni Raw rice. Delicious.

To make the Special Briyani Masala Powder ( You can make this powder and store in an airtight container. Keeps good for 1 month )


Cloves – 12 pieces

Cardamom – 3

Cinnamon – 1 inch piece – 2

Stone flower ( Dagad Phool, Kalpasi ) – 1 small piece

Aniseeds ( Saunf ) –  1 teaspoon

Cumin seeds ( Jeera ) – 2 teaspoons

Coriander seeds – 3 teaspoons

Black pepper – 1/2 teaspoon

Star anise – 1/2 flower

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Chilli powder – 2 teaspoons

Dry mint powder – 1 tablespoon ( Wash the mint leaves well. Pat dry in a cloth. Spread it in a plate and keep under the fan. Dry well. There should be no moisture. Take a big plate. Spread a white cloth. Put the mint leaves in the plate. Dry it in the sun till crisp. Powder and store )

Dry ginger powder – 1/2 teaspoon


Heat a thick bottomed, broad pan. Keep the flame on sim. Dry roast the cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon, stone flower, aniseed, cumin, coriander seeds, black pepper, star anise on simflame till golden.  Switch off the stove.  Transfer the contents to a plate. Cool. Mix in the mint powder, dry ginger powder,chilli powder and he turmeric powder. Transfer all the ingredients into a big blender jar. Blend to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container.

To make the Briyani


Cooked raw rice  ( I have used Ponni Raw Rice since I did not haveJeeraga Samba rice ) – 2 cups

Chopped carrots, chopped beans ( steamed ) – 1/2 cup

Steamed green peas – 1/2 cup

Chopped onions – 3/4 cup

Chopped tomatoes – 3 tablespoons

Pounded ginger, garlic  – 1 tablespoon full

Chopped mint leaves – little

Chopped green coriander leaves – little

Salt to taste

Briyani Masala Powder –  1 tablespoon full

Oil – 2 tablespoons

Ghee – 2 tablespoons


Finely chopped mint leaves and green coriander leaves – little


Heat a big,broad, thick bottomed pan. Add the oil and ghee. First sauté the chopped onions on medium flame. When the onions turn transparent, add the chopped tomatoes. Sauté on sim flame till well cooked. Add the pounded ginger and garlic. Fry on sim flame till the raw smell goes. Add the steamed carrots, beans, green peas. Mix gently. Add the salt to taste. Stir. Add the chopped mint and green coriander leaves. Mix well. Add the Briyani Masala Powder. Sauté gently. Add in the cooked rice. Gently mix with a ladle. Cover the pan.   Leave on sim flame for 5 minutes. Switch off the stove. Garnish. Serve the Vellai Kovil Briyani hot hot with deep fried appalam, deep fried curd chillies and a raitha and of your choice. 

Chef’s Tips

1) Add juice of a lemon  to the Briyani after switching off the stove.

2) Can add little golden fried cashews to the Briyani in the end.

3) Keep the flavours mild. Do not add more Briyani Masala Powder. The taste will change.










Palladam Special Thakkali ( Tomato ) Kuruma

Palladam Special Thakkali ( Tomato ) Kuruma

Palladam is near Coimbatore. Palladam is famous for good food and power looms. This recipe is my grandmother’s friends  formula. She used to live in Palladam. I am very happy to share an age old time tested recipe. Thanks to Charu Patti for the recipe.

This Kuruma goes well with Idli, dosa, appam, idiappam, upma, puri, hot phulkas and plain rice too. The recipe for you.


Finely chopped small onions – 1/2 cup

Finely chopped nice, ripe  Bangalore tomato – 1

Tamarind paste – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Sugar -3/4 teaspoon

Water – 1 and 1/2 cups

Roast in oil and grind to a fine paste 

Oil – 2 tablespoons

Chopped small onions – 1/2 cup

Chopped Bangalore tomatoes –  3 ( big  sized tomatoes )

Chopped garlic – 5 flakes

Fried gram ( Pottu kadalai ) – 1 tablespoon

Grated coconut- 3 tablespoons

Peanuts – 1 teaspoon

White sesame seeds- 1/2 teaspoon

Chopped green chillies – 2

Chopped ginger – 1 teaspoon

Dry red chillies – 5 ( I have used Kashmiri red chillies )

Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon

Jeera – 1/2 teaspoon

Cloves – 1

Cardamom – 1

Cinnamon – 1 very small piece

Turmeric powder – 2 pinches

Heat a pan. Add oil. Fry all the above mentioned ingredients to a light golden colour on sim flame. Transfer to another plate. Cool. Grind to a fine paste with little water.

To Season

Oil- 2 tablespoons

Ghee – 2 tablespoons

Saunf ( aniseeds ) – 2 pinches

To Garnish

Finely chopped green coriander leaves and curry leaves – little


Heat a pan. Season on medium flame. First fry the chopped small onions on sim flame to a golden colour. Next, add the chopped tomato. Sauté on simflame till the tomato turns mushy. Next, fry the ground paste. Cover and fry on sim flame for 5 minutes. Add the tamarind paste, salt to taste and sugar. Mix well. Add water. Cook on sim  flame for 10 minutes. By now the kuruma would have become thick. Switch off the stove. Garnish and serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) Do not make the Kuruma very watery. Tastes excellent if it is thick.

2) Use nice ripe red tomatoes.



Kovai Special Double Rice Idli with Palladam Special Thakkali ( Tomato ) Kuruma

Kovai Special Double Rice Idli 

Very soft, very porous, melt in the mouth Idli. An ideal breakfast dish. This is my grandmother Kamali’s special recipe. Her special formula. I am very happy to share this recipe with you all.

Double rice Idli , Both Idli rice and raw rice is used. Stays soft for a longer time. A sheer tiffin box special. Do try and enjoy.


Idli rice – 1 and 1/2 cups

Raw rice – 1 and 1/2 cups

Urad dhal – 1 cup

Salt to taste

Water – sufficient amount to grind the Idli batter


Wash the urad dhal. Soak in sufficient water for 2 hours. Mix both the idli rice and raw rice together. Wash and soak in sufficient water for 2 hours. Drain the urad dhal. Grind it in a wet grinder to a fine paste. Sprinkle water from time to time and grind it for 20 minutes. Transfer the ground urad dhal paste in a bowl. Next, drain the rice. Grind it in a wet grinder to a fine paste with required amount of water. Mix both the ground dhal and the ground rice gently. Add salt to taste. Mix the batter gently with your hands. Cover and leave it aside for8 hours to ferment. Make idlis. Serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) While grinding the urad dhal batter in the wet grinder, sprinkle chilled water to get a soft fluffy batter.

2) For white, soft idlis, grind the urad dhal and rice separately and then mix them together with salt to taste.

3) If you soak urad dhal and rice together and grind them together, the colour of the idli will be creamish.


Kongu Nadu Specials


Kongu Kondai Kadalai Kuruma( Black Channa Kuruma)

The word Kongu, in Tamil means honey , nectar. The Kongu region is very spectacular, forms the Western part of Tamil- Nadu. Kongu Nadu comprises of  Coimbatore, Salem, Namakkal, Erode, Karur, Tirupur, Udumalpet, Dharapuram, Pollachi, Nilgiris, Palani and Sathyamangalam. I  belong to this Kongu belt. Very simple food, very tasty. Coriander seeds, peanuts, coconut, roasted gram ( Pottu kadalai ), sesame seeds, are used in most of the dishes. Especially hand pounded spices impart a good flavour.

This Kuruma is a typical Pollachi Special. Small onions give a nice aroma. Black channa is very nutritious, high in protein content. Best served with plain white rice, phulka, puri and crisp dosas. I make this dish very often at home. The recipe for you.



Boiled black channa – 2 cups

( keep the boiled channa and the stock, take 1/2 cup channa and blend it smoothly.)

Coriander powder – 1  teaspoon

Red chilli powder – 1  teaspoon

Cumin ( jeera) powder – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder –  2  pinches

Salt to taste

Jaggery – 1/2 teaspoon

Small onions(  pearl onions) – 1/2  cup ( finely chopped)

To make small onion paste

Peeled whole small onions – 1cup ( fry in oil to

golden brown colour,  put in a plate, cool and blend to a fine paste )

To make the tomato paste

Chopped tomatoes – 2

Garlic – 5 pods

Ginger – 1  inch piece  ( chopped)

Green chilli – 1

Saunf ( aniseed )  – 2 pinches

Tamarind paste –  1/2 teaspoon

Blend all the above mentioned ingredients to a nice   paste.

To Season

Oil –  4 tablespoons

Cardamom – 1 ( pounded with the skin)

To Garnish

Finely chopped green coriander leaves and curry leaves – little


Heat a pan. Add oil. Season 1 cardamom. Fry the chopped small onions to a golden colour. Add the tomato paste. Fry in medium flame for 5 to 8  minutes. Add the dry spice powders. Sauté on sim flame. Next, add the boiled black Channa with the water. Add the blended channa paste, blended small onion paste. Add salt to taste and jaggery. Simmer for 5 minutes. Switch off . Garnish and serve hot.


Chef’s  Tips

1) Use only small onions, the taste is  just excellent.

2) In case the Kuruma becomes thick, dilute with little warm water.