14 March, 2007

Dill Saaru(Rasam), Dill Potato Palya and Amma's Kai Tuttu

Most of my friends and people who know me tell me, “You are so strong S. You know how to deal with worst situations”. This always makes me think again and again. Am I that strong? Can I cope up with any worst things and survive? No, I am definitely not that strong. If I am strong, then I inherited it by default. I inherited it by genes from one strong woman, my mother. I am blessed to have been raised by a woman who is never afraid to show her unconditional love. She never backs down from anything or anyone when situations gets worse! She has given us courage, unconditional love, identity of our own, pride and ability to stand on our own feet in this not so kind world.

There is no greater love than the love of a Mother. There are times, even now, when I don’t feel well and I pick up the phone and call her. As soon as I hear her voice I revert to a child, and as always in her loving way she makes everything alright! If anyone to ask me who my role model is, I would happily and proudly say it’s my Amma. I want to be like her in every way. The best compliment I ever got is from my Appa when he said I cook like my Amma. It felt so good to hear those words.
Dill Saaru and Dill Potato Palya

My favorite food is simple Anna and Saaru (Rice and Rasam) cooked by my mother and given as Kai Tuttu. Amma used to take big plate and mix rice and rasam. I with my younger sister and kid brother would sit on floor for dinner. Amma would make big lemon sized balls of rasam rice and put it on our palm and we kids would happily eat them listening to the tales of wit and courage with awe! This way we always ended up eating more food than normal. Amma’s kai tuttu is like divine nectar and even now when ever I get chance I like to eat food that way. I guess we all are still children in heart and soul. 

Dill Saaru and Dill Potato Palya

Here is the recipe of Dill Saaru which was, is and will always remain my favorite food because I must have had this for n-times as kai tuttu. This is my tribute to Amma on Mother's Day and also it's her B'day (little belated).

Dill Saaru

Dill Saaru
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Cooking Time: 15-20 mins
Serves: 4-5

1 cup Dill, chopped
1 cup Yellow Pigeon Peas/Toor Dal
1-2 tbsp Jaggary
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, chopped finely
Salt to taste
For Grinding:
1 marble size Tamarind Pulp
1 tsp Black Pepper
3-4 Dry Red Chillies
½ tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
2-3 Garlic Cloves
For Seasoning:
1 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard
1 Dry Red Chilli
Few Curry Leaves
Pinch of Hing/Asafetida
Dill Saaru
  1. Cook pigeon peas/toor dal with enough water and cool it.
  2. Grind half of this dal with pepper seeds, jeera, dry chillies, garlic and tamarind without adding any water and keep it aside.
  3. In a deep pan, take little water and bring it to boil.
  4. To this add ground masala and remaining dal with salt to taste.
  5. Cook this in a medium flame till it starts boiling.
  6. Reduce the flame and add chopped dill adnd coriander leaves and cook for futher 5-10 minutes.
  7. Season it with mustard, dry chilli, hing and curry leaves.
  8. Serve this hot with white rice with ghee and papads.
Dill Saaru

I made Dill Potato Palya inspired by Manjula of Dalitoy’s Dill Potatoes. I added few more things to it to give it a different twist.
Dill Potato Palya

Dill Potato Palya
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Serves: 2-3

1 Onion, chopped finely
2 medium Potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled
½ bunch Dill, chopped
1 tsp thick Tamarind Paste
1 tbsp Jaggary
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
2 cloves Garlic, chopped finely
Salt to taste
For Seasoning:
1 tsp Mustard
1 tsp Urad Dal
¼ tsp Hing/Asafetida
Few Curry Leaves
1 Dry Red Chilli
1 tbsp Oil
Dill Potato Palya
  1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard, urad dal, broken chillies, hing and curry leaves.
  2. When mustard starts spluttering, add chopped garlic and onions and sauté them till onions turn translucent.
  3. To this add turmeric powder,chilli powder, tamarind paste and jaggary powder and sauté them for few seconds till masalas blend.
  4. Now add boiled potatoes, dill and salt to taste and cook them adding ¼ glass of water in a medium flame till all the water is absorbed.
  5. Serve them hot with rice or roties and enjoy.

Dill Potato Palya


  1. hi sia, you have worded it so beautifully. It is so very true about feeling good as soon as one hears one's mothers voice. And sure we all want to be like our mother, I do. So many times when I've a question I always think what wud mom do in this case and then I just do what she wud hv done & it always works like magic.

    btw ur blog is so soothing. good recipes.
    good job! keep it up.

  2. Thats so sweet of you Supriya...I hope my little daughter grows up and looks at me with the same pride :)

    Mothers do make things all right for you but now when the onus is on me... I am eager but apprehensive

    Lovely recipes and say "Thanks " to your Amma from all of us

  3. A touching note! Yes, we re still kids at heart one way or the other !


  4. You are so true in saying our mothers are such wonderful women. I have serious doubts if I can get anywhere close to what she has achieved and created for us ! That was a very nice b'day gift to your mom. Do pass on our wishes to her too :-)
    By the way, great recipes, will try the rasam soon, never tasted anything similar !

  5. Sia, you are right everyone is child at heart when you are around your mother....

    I loved the beautiful pictures of Dill saaru and potato palya..very wonderful presented and such a comforting food.


  6. When I read ur write up I went back to my childhood days where me and my sis used to sit down on the floor and my mom used to make balls of rice and give it in our hands. it sure tastes like amrut Supriya.lovely pictures and recipes . thanks

  7. Yes Sups our mothers will always hold a special place in our hearts. Now being a mommy myself I realize what all our mother has done for us :)Convey my B'day wishes to your mom :)
    Rasam and Palya nice new recipes. I am learning so many traditional recipes from south :)
    When I was reading I could visualize you sitting and having rice rasam from mommy's hand. I remember now I used to tell my mother to mix up the curd rice for me , becoz hers always tasted good :)

  8. Very beautifully said. And when we are down, all we want is mamma's food - the ultimate comfort food.

  9. @richa,
    u r so true richa. sometimes when i am facing some problem, even i think what amma would have done.
    thanks a lot for ur compliments:)

    u r a terrific lady sandeepa. i can see from ur write ups how ur little one is close to u. may be u should also give some thought for becoming a baseball player;)

    thank u sweetie:)

  10. @priya,
    we all have that doubt. i wish my kids will growup and say samething to me;)
    try this saaru. if u like dill then u will surely love this. u can increse or reduce the quantity of dill according to ur taste.

    saaru and dals are the most comforting foods. thank u for ur kind words dear:)

    i am glad that my post took u back to ur childhood days. i always cherish those wonderful days:)

  11. @archu,
    i am learning so many yummy dishes from u. do post some of ur fav recipes from ur mom's kitchen so that we can try them and enjoy:)
    and u r so right. even simple food from her hand tastes so gr8. have u tried giving kai tuttu to ur kids? try it once. it was best time for us while growing up. even now when i am all grown up(???) i like to have my food that way:)

    oh yes... ultimate comfort food indeed.

    a warm welcome to spice corner. i am glad my posts r making u hungry:)

  12. Awww, what a sweet little tale... I feel like such a horrid daughter and mother sometimes, for not calling my mom more often (time difference makes it difficult) and for spending too much time in the kitchen sometimes instead of with my son.

    But the dill saaru is to die for, man! I could eat the whole bowlful without the rice! ;-)

  13. Nice write up sia. Enjoyed reading it. The dishes and photos are pleasant as usual. Viji

  14. Hi Sups,

    Nice write up,If your mother reads,,, oh my god!!!i can imagine how happy she feels about kid...Its fact dear, whatever tought situation we are twisted with, if we hear our beloved mom's voice and comfort...everything seems to be fine threads around us thats it...

    Convey my B'day wishes to mom..

    Nostalgic,i even remember we all three ,sometimes with cousin sit around ,take meal balls from our mom and aunties...those are always sweet memmories isn't it?

    Hey you are three,same pinch.Becoz we are also 3 i got one elder sister(who stays in U.S), me, again younger brother...

  15. Happy belated Birthday Amma!!May you have many happy years and birthdays to enjoy!:))
    (show this to your err..my amma ,my dear little sis Sups)You are not the oldest anymore,I AM!!:))
    My mummy as we call her,used to make balls of Mosaranna and feed us too!:D
    I love Sappassege soppu saaru,make it often.Love the photos and your heartfelt tribute to your amma.Hope she reads it and be proud of her strong girl!:))
    Love you Sia,hugs!

  16. Hi Sia, your note reminded me of myself and my mom. I too call her when I feel down. and same pinch!! My comfort food is simply rasam. Its simply nice to have rasam and rice then any thing else. Lot of things matched when I read the note. I always ask myself same questions like am i strong and if yes then its from my mom!! we too used to eat from moms and grandmoms making balls of rice. Ohh makes me so nostalgic and senti...
    loved the new rasam. I have some links to good music will give to ur mail id. so pls email me. its of pt.Ravi shankar.


  17. Hai supriya,
    you are correct. when I hear her voice 50% of my heavyness in heart will go,If i can put my head on her lap every thing will go..
    Belated B'day wishes to ur Amma.
    As usual recipe and photos are great..This time I liked ur words most.

  18. hi Sia,
    i heard beautiful Ganesh chants on ur blog sometime back, can i ask the name of the CD? it was very very soothing and wud luv to get my hands on it.
    thank you.

  19. Hi Supriya...that was so nice to read.you made me miss my mom :(

    happy belated b'day to her..and those recipes, I can't pronounce them properly but they sure as hell look good.


  20. Hi Sia, Yes we are still kids in heart and soul. You are absloutely correct.None of the love can compare to mom's love and care.

    You dill saaru and dill potato looks very appetizing :)

  21. Very nicely written Sia.
    Sabsige soppin saaru is quite popular in Bangalore. I hadn't tasted it until recently at a friends place! Was this available in somavara sante?
    Nice pictures there..

  22. Wonderful tribute Sia. Recipes look perfect...just as your love for your mom!

  23. Thanks for linking to my blog. Your dill potatoes look nicer. Tamarind, jaggery and hing!..you are extremely creative.

  24. I want mummy and I want her now...that's what my kids say and I feel the same(sigh)!!! I'm going to get all soppy now...

  25. Hey very nice blog,gr8 work.
    Thanks for sharing this :-)

  26. Sups,
    I had made Dill Potato palya yesterday, what a coincidence. I have never tried making Dill saru, will surely try it this weekend.


  27. Hi Supriya,
    just a note to say you Hiii...
    got your email long ago, sorry couldnt reply to it.
    am enjoying a break fora while from blogging, so many things went around, will share soon on blog wiht all of you once i get free from all chores around here.
    its a touching story, and wuite true. we all seek love of mom when feeling uncomfortable. atleast for me its true since i was in hostel, when i was near to her i nver realised what i have, once i went to hostel and then job and then marriage ... all the time i feel how nice if she could be with me all the times..... my mom is like a friend to me, i need her even when i have something to share , some nice time or secrets too :D.
    you put it here in a nice way.
    thanks for sharng delicious recipes too..
    will be in touch with you soon
    (if Usah is reading this, this is for Ushs - I am not able to post comment on you, everytime i click on comments , it gets hanged, may be my explorer problem, just quick note to say hi to you and hugs too ! , I will wrtie back to yu too Usha, thanks for your email. )

  28. wonderful tribute and recipe.

  29. Nice post sia. I suppose every mother a pillar of strength to their children and becoming a mother yourself you appreciate your mother all the more.

  30. I would love to try the dill potato palya,Mmm...all these mums,why are they so nice,i miss my mum so much.When i chat with her and see her thru the webcam,i feel very difficult to hide my tears,either I off the cam or get up wipe my tears and come back.Its so yummy to eat food from her hands:((

  31. Hi Spuriya, such a beautiful, heartwarming read about your mother and family times shared around a bowl of her special saaru, served with a healthy tempering of mom's love :)

    Thanks for sharing a cherished recipe and some cherished moments of your childhood :)

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. thankyou everyone for ur kind words.

    i have encountered some prob with my laptop keyboard:( so will be back in 2-3 days once i sort out this prob. sorry girls for not replying back to ur comments.
    till then, happy cooking n blogging:)

    and RAHUL SHARMA rules;) he he he...

  34. Sups,
    Hope you are doing fine and enjoying your break...make maximum use of it, relax, pamper yourself and do what not....Belated wishes to Athe too..

  35. Hey Sups,
    Ugadi habbada shubhashayagalu!!


  36. great post...great recipe...being a big dill fan...i gotta try this...thanks for sharing

  37. Wow...you make me cry on reading the notes da!!

    Lucky mom n daughter!!

  38. Dear Sia,

    Ever since I chanced upon your site, I have been hooked to it. Would you believe it if I tell you I have tried seven dishes since the past five dishes. Starting with Dal Palak, followed by Paneer Kofta, Dhariwal Aloo Mutter and today Dil Rasam and Dil Potato. My wife who despises Dil has fallen hook liner and sinker for both the dishes.

    The appreciation kept coming left right and center and only after she was done as we hit the sack told her about the source of the recipe...

    As I type... she is on the IPad browsing thru your site. Do know that I am one of the many admirers of your wonderful culinary skills. It will not surprise me one bit 4 or 5 years down the line your name will be amongst the pantheon of Indian cooking greats..

    Also your style of writing.. it has a quality that endears itself to the reader. Also gives a good indication of the person you are - connoisseur of fine taste, a keen observer of life in all its detail, grounded and someone who cherishes family values ( from your reference of your mother and grandma).

    Do realise the enormous influence of your mother. It also requires passion to cook and that is present in you in abundance.. . Your style of describing the recipes, the manner in which you lead the reader into the dish, the humor, detail and the pictures. You seem to possess a wide variety of skills. An all rounder par excellence.

    Keep sharing your amazing recipes. It gives some one like inexplicable joy..

    More power to you Sia..


  39. @Samuel Sanfrancisco, It takes around 3-5 hours of food blogger’s time for every individual blog post, from cooking, plating, clicking, editing, writing and finally publishing the recipe. It is just a tip of an iceberg! Sometimes I wonder is it really worth taking so much time from my already busy life to share few recipes which are easily available in cook books/magazines/websites/blogs/TV shows etc! It is not easy trying to balance full time job, hyper active toddler, family, friends, and home! There are times when I ‘almost’ thought of stop blogging in the last SIX+ years!

    And then someone leaves a comment like this and makes it all worth! Thank you Prasad for your kind and motivating words! You really made my day :)


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