Traditional Week- Vegetarian {Recipe} (Part 1)

IFF hosted a Traditional Family Recipe Contest sometime back. The contest invited recipes that virtually every household possesses, passed down from generations and carried forward to the next.

Here are the Top 5  popular vegetarian recipes from the week…

1) Anjali Thankur Uppal : Aloo Vadiyan1378276_624544130902059_2125869244_n

Anjali shared this recipe that was passed down from her grandmother, who  used to ground the dal for the vadis using mortar and pestle in days when ready made vadis were unheard of.She also used to make a big plastic cone and fill the same with the mixture. Using the cone she used to evenly spread out the vadis so that she could get uniform sized vadis.

Aloo Vadiyan is a classic Punjabi dish, made in almost every household for generations. The main ingredient of this dish is the vadi, or the urad daal dumpling, which is made by soaking and grinding the urad daal, combined with spices.

For the Urad Dal Vadis


2 Cups Urad Dal

1 Cup Raw Pumpkin

2 Tbsp Ginger Powder

2 Tbsp Coriander Powder

1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds

½ Tsp Asafoetida

20-25 Black Pepper Corns

Salt and Red Chili powder as per taste.


Soak Urad dal for 3-4 hours.

Finely grate raw Pumpkin.

In a pestle and mortar add Urad dal, grated pumpkin and cumin seeds. Grind them with very little water to form a smooth paste.

Add in the remaining spices (asafoetida, ginger powder, coriander powder, salt, red chili, solid black pepper corns) to the paste and mix well.

Let the mixture rest for an hour.

Spread a clean cotton sheet or plastic sheet on the terrace of your home or balcony.

Make small blobs of the mixture and spread them evenly on the sheet.

Let the blobs sun dry for a day or two. You would need to turn the vadis so that they dry up evenly on both the sides.

Store them in airtight containers when dry.


The ginger powder used in the above recipe was also hand prepared by her grandmother beforehand. She would bring piles of ginger, grind them and store the stock. You may use fresh chunks of ginger or powder them at home. Avoid using the readymade one.

For Aloo Vadiyan


1 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Finely diced Onions

2 Medium Potatoes- cubed

1 Vadi Large

1 Big Tomato

2 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste

1 Tsp Coriander Powder

½ Tsp Turmeric

Salt and Chili powder to taste

½ Tsp Kasoori Methi/Fresh Coriander leaves ½ Tsp Black pepper powder ½ Tsp Garam Masala

Method :-

Put  oil in a pressure cooker. Add the onions and sauté them till translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste, tomatoes and simmer for about 5-7 minutes on medium flame. Add salt, turmeric and coriander powder and keep stirring for another 5 minutes. Add some water, if required, so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Add the potatoes and sauté them for 5-7 minutes. Now add red chili powder. Chili powder is optional, as the vadi is normally spicy. Kashmiri mirch powder may be used instead. By this time, the oil will begin separating from the mixture, indicating that the masala is cooked. Add the vadis (crushed), sauté for 3-4 minutes, and add about 100 ml of water and close the cooker. In about 2-3 whistles, it should be ready. Turn off the flame and let the cooker cool.

Open the cooker when the steam has escaped totally . Add garam masala, black pepper and kasoori methi, mix and place the lid back on. Let it remain for about 7-8 minutes. This will ensure that the spices are infused well with the curry.Serve with boiled rice or rotis.

2) Sumod Tom : Vellayappam/Paalappam1378023_10151665471477984_85460640_n

Sumod says, “No special occasion, especially in Christian tradition is completed without Appams in Kerala. In olden days it was made adding Kallu (Toddy), a palm wine drink made from coconut instead of yeast. This special dish is always made for Easter and Christmas and for special guests. Every mother has her  own tips for the delicious appams. There are various kinds of Appams, some pan fried and others steamed.”


1 Cup Rice

½ Cup Grated Coconut

Thick Coconut Milk extracted from the ½ Coconut ½ Cup Cooked Rice ½ Tsp Yeast ½ Tsp Salt

2 Tsp Sugar

2 Small onions

Method :

Soak the rice for 5-6 hours and drain. Mix yeast in little sugar and lukewarm water and leave to rise. Grind together the rice, coconut, cooked rice to idli batter consistency. Add the yeast and mix well and keep aside to ferment overnight. Next day morning, add sugar or coconut milk and mix well and keep aside for some time. Pan fry Vellayappams on a plain tava, and you have to turn the appam once both sides, and cook uncovered till done.

And palappams are done on a curved tava. For Palappam pour the batter to the curved tava centre and swirl the thava around, close and cook and take out when the centre is cooked and edges are crisp. Do not turn the appam when making Palappam.

Enjoy Vellayappams  and Paalappams  with any stew, chana masala, and these can also be had with Coconut milk or plain Milk to which sugar has been added for taste.

3) Sumod Tom : Ethakka Puttu (Steamed Rice Cake)


The steamed rice cake or puttu as called  in Malayalam, is not really a cake, but a dish made out of slightly coarse rice flour and grated coconut. These two ingredients are steamed in unique perforated moulds of two different shapes: coconut shell shaped chiratta-puttu and cylindrical shaped bamboo stem, puttu-kutti. The regional rice staples of Puttu , steamed rice cakes are mostly feature in the breakfast or dinner menu, in almost every household.

Sumod’s  grandma used  to make it in a different way, she used to add ripe banana or jack fruit cubes as a layer between the flour and cook. These tasted  delicious and were very healthy too.


1 ½ to 2 Cups Roasted Rice Flour (ready-made puttu powder like Nirapara, Eastern, etc. also can be used)or Red and White Rice Flour

1 Cup Freshly Grated Coconut

¾ – 1 Cup Lukewarm water, approximately  (as required), plus more for cooking

2 Ripe Ethakka (large banana used to make Kerala chips) ½ Tsp Salt to taste Puttu making Mould (Puttu Kutty)

Method :

Mix the rice flour and salt, add lukewarm water and mix well. Pour in water a bit at a time, rubbing the mixture with your fingers. Repeat, until the whole mixture is crumbly and quite moist, check for the right texture, the crumble should be just moist enough. The key is to add the right amount of water, too little water will yield a dry and uncooked dish whereas too much will yield a lumpy mess. Cover and leave to stand for a minimum of 30 minutes. Then sieve through a large sieve so that all lumps get powdered.

Meanwhile, pour 2-3 cups water into puttu kutty base jar, remove vent weight from the lid and place cooker on high heat.

To make the puttu, spread 2 teaspoons of coconut at the base of the mould and loosely fill the mould with the crumbled flour, again a layer of grated coconut, followed by few spoons of cubed bananas then a layer of coconut and fill with flour. Top with a generous sprinkle of coconut, if you like, and cover with the lid.

When the water in the base jar starts boiling, place the puttu mold on top. Reduce heat to medium and cook until steam comes out freely and forcefully from the perforated cap of the mold. Remove from cooker and carefully turn out onto a plate. Repeat, finishing with the last of the flour.

Tips: Banana can be replaced with cubed jackfruit.

You can replace rice powder with wheat, or raggi powder too.

Plain puttu (without banana from the above recipe) can be had with any other curries, goes well with chana masala or all meat masala curries.

4) Anjali Thakur Uppal : Methi Makki ki Roti (Fenugreek and Maize Indian Flat Bread)


Makki ki Roti is an Indian bread made from corn flour, primarily eaten in Northern India. In order to enhance its taste as well as the nutritional value, Anjal’s mother use  to add Fenugreek leaves in the dough. They use to relish them during the chilly winter mornings with dollops of butter and curd. It has been her childhood favourite since…..


2 Cups Maize Flour

1 Cup Fenugreek leaves (finely chopped)

1/2 Cup Quaker Oats

1 Tsp Pomegranate Powder

1 Tsp Ajwain(Caraway Seeds)

Water to knead the dough

Salt to taste


In a bowl mix all the above mentioned ingredients and knead the dough by adding water little by little.

Make equal sized balls of the kneaded dough.

Heat the Tawa.

Take one dough ball and press it between your hands. Keep pressing the same in small circular motions until the dough flattens and acquires a round shape like a roti. Gently transfer the roti on to the heated Tawa.

Cook the roti evenly on both sides. Sprinkle some olive oil and fry evenly on both sides. Serve hot with butter, pickle and curd or any vegetable of your choice.

5) Roma Patil :Milk Sambar 

Click here for Milk Sambhar Recipe

– Compiled by Sandipa Nitin Tombat

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