Tag Archives: cooking

Masala Dosa (for 2-3 people)


  • 2 onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 Green Chile
  • 2 or 3 potatoes
  • Curry leaves
  • Mustard seeds
  • Dal, a handful
  • Turmeric, a pinch
  • Salt




1 Boil potatoes


  1. Cut the vegetables into cubes
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan then add in the order:

a. Mustard
b .Small curry leaves
c .Dal
d. Onion and chilli
e. Tomatoes
f. Turmeric

4.  Cook dosas in a pancake pan
5.  Crush the potatoes by hand and add them to the preparation
6.  Warm all by adding a little water to make a sort of “paste” a bit sticky!

Put preparation on dosa and serve


Dough made from rice and dal powder

Pongal rice (salty)

Ingredients :

  • Peppercorns (+/-1 tablespoons)
  • Cumin (idem)
  • 2 glasses of rice
  • 5 glasses of water
  • Cashew nuts (not many)
  • Special Vanaspati oil (mixture of several oils and condiments)

Preparation :

  1. Heat a little oil in pressure saucepan and add peppercorns and cumin
  2. Add 5 glasses of water
  3. Add 2 glasses of well-washed rice
  4. Cook until 5 whistles in other words until the rice is well cooked
  5. Fry the slightly crushed cashew nuts in a little special oil.
  6. When the rice is cooked, add cashews nuts

Is eaten with the coconut chutney


Pressure pot

Ingredients : 

  • Rice (Well washed), 2 glasses
  • Water, 3 cups
  • 1 lemon
  • Dal, one handful
  • Blackgram, one handful
  • 3 dried chilli (red) open them
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves

Preparation :

  1. Put water and rice in pressure saucepan, cook until you hear a whistling sound, turn off and leave.
  1. Roll the lemon on a hard surface to “get the juice”, cut it in half and press, collect the juice in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of turmeric.
  1. Heat oil in a frying pan, add :
  • Chilli and fry
  • Curry leaves
  • Mustard seeds
  • Dal and the blackgram

Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, and then add

  • The lemon juice and a little water
  • Salt

Turn off under the frying pan

  1. Open pressure pan and mix the cooked rice with the sauce

Coconut rice

Ingredients :

  • 1 glass of rice
  • 1 ½ glass of water
  • 1/3 to ½ of a coconut, cut into small cubes
  • Dal
  • Blackgram
  • 1 onion
  • Curry leaves
  • Mustard seeds
  • 2 dried chillies (red)


Preparation :

  1. Put rice and water in pressure saucepan, heat, stop at the first whistle, let cool.
  2. Grind coconut in a blender, adding a little water to have an almost liquid consistency.
  3. Heat oil in frying pan and add in order :
  • Mustard seeds
  • Mustard leaves
  • Dal + blackgram
  • Onion
  • 2 opened chillies
  • Blended coconut



4.  Add the cooked rice to mixture
5.  Salt

Raïta with yogurt (curd)

Ingredients : 

  • Peeled and grated cucumber 250ml (one cup)
  • Curd (plain yogurt) 250 ml (one cup)
  • Onion 1 (finely cut) 1/4 cup
  • Fresh coriander 1/4 cup
  • Fresh mint 30ml (2 tbsp)
  • Cumin powder 1 ml (1/4 tsp)
  • Salt 1 tsp. tea

Preparation :

  1. In a colander, place the grated cucumber with salt and allow to drain 20 ′. Rinse and drain again.
  2. Cut an onion into very small pieces, finely chop the fresh coriander and fresh mint, mix everything with the yogurt, add a little salt and cumin
  3. Mix the cucumber and the sauce together.

Vegetable sambal (for 2-3 persons)

First part : 

Ingredients :

  • 50 gr of dal
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 Chilli
  • 4 to 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large glass of water

Put everything into the pressure saucepan, boil, and stop after 3 whistles

Second part :

Ingredients :

  • 1 drumstick
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 packet of peas
  • 1 carrot
  • 4/5 beans
  • ½ onion cut into small pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Mustard seeds
  • Sunflower oil
  • Curry leaves
  • puli
  • Sambal powder
  • Turmeric
  • Water
  1. Wash and cut vegetables (into pieces slightly larger than for curries).
  2. Heat sunflower oil in a frying pan and add in order:
  • Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves
  • ½ cut onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Washed vegetables
  1. Cook for 5 minutes

Third part : 

  1. Remove all that has been cooked in the pressure saucepan, and KEEP the water
  2. Add a piece of puli to the cooking water
  3. Mix the contents of the pressure saucepan (from which the water has been removed) and add the contents of the frying pan.
  4. Add a little of the cooking water preserved ((not the puli)
  5. Add the turmeric
  6. Add sambal mix (sambal powder 1/2 packet)
  7. Add ½ glass of water to the remaining cooking water and knead the puli inside, then throw the puli away.
  8. Add this water to the rest.
  9. Salt to taste

Bijni curry (Eggplants)

Ingredients :

  • 6 small eggplants
  • 3 onions
  • 3 tomatoes (small)
  • Curry leaves
  • Mustard seeds
  • Chilli powder
  • Turmeric
  • Oil (Sunflower says Raji)

Preparation :

  1. Cut the eggplants into elongated pieces and wash them
  2. Slice onions
  3. Heat oil in frying pad and add in order:
  • Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Chilli powder
  • Turmeric


Ingredients :

  • Wheat flour
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Oil

Preparation :

Mix with hands until a kind pie batter consistency, make balls, roll into small pancakes and cook in flat pan putting oil on both sides. 

Chapati on banana leaf

Chapati on banana leaf

Accompaniment :

Ingredients :

  • 2 onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Fresh coriander
  • Leaves Curry
  • Mustard seeds
  • Chilli powder


Preparation :

Heat oil in frying pan, add in the order :

  • Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves
  • Fried onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Chilli powder
  • A little water
  • Salt

Palak Panir

Ingredients : 

  • Spinach
  • Cinnamon, 3 sticks
  • Paneer
  • Butter
  • Oil
  • 1 onion
  • Garlic
  • 1 chili
  • Mustard seeds

Preparation :

  1. Boil spinach in hot water with cinnamon sticks
  2. Heat a little oil and butter in a frying pan, and add in order :
    • Mustard seeds
    • Mustard seeds
    • 1 onion, fry it
    • Garlic
    • Chilli
    • Paneer
  1. When the spinach is cooked, drain and remove the cinnamon.
  2. Blend spinach
  3. Put them in the frying pan
  4. Salt

” Indian cooking ”

Indian cooking is wonderfully tasty. Annapurna Goddess always inspires it.

  • Anna = food
  • Purna = complete; abundant; total; full

You will find many restaurants in Mahābalipuram, vegetarian and non-vegetarian and also western-style cooking at the “Nautilus”, run by a Frenchman who has been living in India for a very long time, and at the “Au Yogi” run by a former Indian yoga student, married to a Belgian. There is also “The Blue Elephant” et le well known “Moonrakers”, run by our friend Ramesh, and “The Gecko Café” held by Mani in a nice place with a view on the lake, 14 Othavadai Cross Street. For a kitchen dining room, very cheap: The « Mamalla », S. Mada Street, near the Bus Stand and the « Sri Ananda Bhavan », on the corner of E. Raja Street and Othavadai Street.

If you are invited to eat with an Indian family, you will be greeted with the “Namaskar” (Namaste in the North), the welcome made with both hands together. In India you never wish happiness to someone, it is considered to be in your hands and depends only on you. For a meal you generally bring your host sweets or fruit. You do not say thank you in Indian languages but you can say “Shukrya” (to say thank you in Sanskrit you say “dhanyavaad” or “shukrya” which means “thanks and be prosperious”).

In the large international restaurants, your cutlery will consist of a spoon, fork and knife while in more modest restaurants you are likely to have only a spoon for the semi-liquid dishes. You eat with your fingers of your right hand in India and only with them as those on your left hand are considered impure. In the North you may take the food with your whole hand, but in the South it is considered more polite to use only the end of your fingers. Bread or pancakes are used to help you eat.

In many restaurants in India, the cold chain is not necessarily respected. Fridges or freezers are often turned off to save money, so avoid eating food that has been frozen.

In the temples, saffron powder, blessed water from the Ganges, and sometimes blessed food are offered to visitors as a sign of “Prasad”, blessing of the Gods. It is considered impolite to refuse such gifts.

It’s cuisine

The types of food served in the North differ significantly from those served in the South. Southern cuisine is quite different from the northern culinary habits in that it is much more vegetarian in most of the hotels, with the exception of the international hotel chains. On the other hand, you will more often find fish either grilled or in sauces, in the South.

Southern cooking is generally spicier than that of the North. For those with sensitive palates, you can ask the cook to reduce the spices (“No chilli, please”).

During the meal, our Indian friends drink water or “lassi” which is a diluted dahi (yoghurt), salty or sweet, sometimes with a taste of rose water.

You will often find local beer in the restaurants. Tea and coffee are almost always drunk outside mealtimes in the morning or afternoon, and are served with milk (reminder: alcohol is not sold in the general stores in Tamil Nadu, but only in specialised stores). 

Dishes that you must discover for a heavenly tasting experience … 

At breakfast

  • Idli(s), a sort of steamed rice ball served with a spicy sauce and coconut chutney.
  • Plain dosa, lentil flour pancakes served with a spicy sauce and coconut chutney.

At midday

  • Chapatti (ćapātī): kind of unleavened wheat wafer or thin pancake cooked on a “tava” (metal hotplate), which is served with spicy cooked vegetables and coconut chutney.
  • Masala Dosa: lentil and rice flour pancake, stuffed with spicy vegetables served with a spicy sauce and coconut chutney.
  • Nann or naan: in Indian cooking a kind of large leaf-like flat “bread” cooked on the vertical side of an earthen oven, and made with flour and a little yoghurt as leavening, oil and salt, served with each course. It comes down from the 16th century Muslim tradition in India. It is delicious.
  • Parata(paratha): in Indian cooking a kind of “bread” served with the main course or or with the first course. Paratha(s) should be about 3 mm thick. They are made with flour, dal, ghee (clarified butter), salt and a little water. The pastry is flattened with a rolling pin and cooked on a “tava” (metal hotplate) with butter and ghee. They are served with spicy cooked vegetables and coconut chutney. A paratha stuffed with potatoes is called “aloo paratha”.
  • “Thali”: in the South of India traditionally served on a banana leaf, the thali is a complete meal where first course, vegetables, dal (lentils) chutney, and dessert is served at the same time, with rice and chapatti or paratha. 

Other additional information:

  • Travel information: “flights” and “transfers”
  • “Visas”
  • Finding an “hotel” in Mahābalipuram
  • Taking photos in India
  • Information on “health” in India