Growing up in one of the southern districts of Tamilnadu exposed me to a variety of traditional Tamil cuisines. Each district has its own specialty and the flavors are unique. One of my favorite south Indian dishes is called ” Sodhi “, which is a specialty in Tirunelveli, one of the southern districts of Tamilndau. Tirunelveli is very popular for Halwa (a dessert made with wheat and sugar) but this district also boasts of a number of exotic dishes with unique flavors. Sodhi is made with coconut milk and vegetables. This dish does not require a huge list of spices, but made with very simple ingredients. Even though coconut milk is used, its diluted a lot making it different from the creamy kurma or the stew.The special ingredient that gives a unique sharp flavor to this dish is ginger. I learnt this recipe from my mom. She usually makes coconut milk from scratch and so her Sodhi tastes a lot better. I’m a little lazy and use canned coconut milk and dilute it with water. My sister and I love this dish and my mom usually makes Sodhi with Idyappam (rice noodles).
1. split Moong dal – 1/2 cup
Carrots – 250 g
Peas – 250 g
3. Green chillies – 4
4. Garlic – 3 pods
5. Ginger juice – 2 tsps
6. Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
7. Coconut Milk – 1 cup
8. Shredded coconut – 2tsp
9. Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
10. Curry leaves – a few for seasoning
11. Ghee – 1tsp
12. Salt to taste
13. Water – 2 cups
1. Pressure cook the moong dal and garlic, mash well and set aside.
2. Chop potatoes and carrots into tiny cubes and cook the vegetables in one cup coconut milk and 2 cups of water and salt.(The idea is to cook the vegetables in dilute coconut milk)
3. In the mean time grind 2 tsps of shredded coconut and 4 green chillies and make a nice paste.
4.Once the vegetables are cooked add moong dal/garlic mixture and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
5. Add coconut/chillie mixture and cook for another 5 minutes.
6.Then add the ginger juice (to make the juice grind ginger with some water and squeeze the juice through a strainer) and lemon juice and cook for another 2 minutes.
6.Finally in a small pan add 1tsp ghee and season with cumin seeds and curry leaves. Sodhi goes well with rice and Idyappam.