Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Potato in Groundnut & Onion Gravy (Urulai Thirattal)

February 2012, has a day extra- yup it's the leap year and today being February 29, I wish all the leapers a very hearty & happy birthday ! A funny thing happened this morning, I was telling my daughter about leap-year and how/why the day comes once in every four years. Listening intently, my angel added with a straight face that she would have loved to be born on Feb 29th so that she could have cut 4 birthday-cakes in one party.Laughing out loudly, I secretly adored the innocence childhood is all about- where does it vanish mysteriously as we grow ???

Coming to today's recipe, the search for a different & tasty side-dish led me to exploring Revathi's space, who is the Blogger of the Month - Feb and I was quite smitten by the Kaai Thirattal she had posted. I learnt, that the dish, a specialty of Tamilnadu literally means vegetables coming together with a few spices & nuts. "Kaai" means Vegetable" and " Thirattal" means " to gather".
This age old recipe was basically designed for the working class people to have all the possible nutrients in one dish yet be easy on the pocket.  
Ain't that cool ? And it tasted every bite wonderful ; nutty sesames,heat from peppercorns, power packed groundnuts and the sweetness of the  caramelized shallots & onions gave the gravy an exotic taste and a rich look !

You can use any vegetable for it like cauliflower,potato,carrot & peas or make it more glitzier with mushrooms or cottage cheese.

What's in it :- (Serves : 4 ; Prep time : 20 minutes,cooking time : 20 minutes)

  • Potato - 500 grams
  • Tomatoes  - 3 medium (pureed or chopped)
  • Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Salt : to taste
  • Water - as required
For the Spicy Paste :-

  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Groundnuts - a fistful
  • White sesame seeds - 3 tbsp
  • Pepper corns - 2 tsp.
  • Cumin seeds -1 tsp.
  • Red chillis - 1 to 2 - to taste 
  • Shallots -  a fistful
  • Onion - 1 -large (roughly chopped)
  • Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Here's How :-
Boil the potatoes. Peel them & cut in to small chunks. In a wok, saute the ingredients given in blue (for the spicy paste) in oil and once they turn golden brown, take off flame. After it cools down, grind them in to a smooth paste with little water (if required).

In a wok or non stick kadai, add oil and as it warms up, saute the pureed or chopped tomatoes. When it is half cooked add the ground paste and cook on low flame. Add a cup of water if the mix becomes sticky. Let it cook till the oil separates. Add the cubed potatoes and mix well. Let it simmer for a while adding more water if required. Once the mix thickens to required consistency, garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
Enjoy !


  1. Gravy looks so rich and delightful..yummy curry

  2. This is so good.. i haven't heard of this before & guess will make great combo for chappati's too.. love the addition of peanuts!
    Ongoing Event: I'm a STAR

  3. Looks delicious. It is Lent for us. So vegetable dishes are a welcome sight..! Love the fact that it is a versatile dish, can use any vegetables.!

  4. aw that adorable, yes since that innocence vanishes, we treasure childhood days the most may be and gravy looks fantastic!

  5. Simply drooling looking at the pics......awesome prep.

  6. Wow!! This is such a unique curry, wonderful combination. I have to try this!

  7. the gravy looks creamy, thick and impeccably full of flavor. Bookmarked!!

  8. looks so good love the creamy texture

  9. It is intriguing I didn't use to like South Indian cuisine much(Except the more usual Idly and Dosa stuff) until a few years back,because I never tried it enough!Today,I seem to really appreciate its flavors!:-)
    I have built a strong liking for peanuts of late,so this dish will be a must try!Going to note down/bookmark it!Thank you lots for sharing Priya,I hope you are happy and well!:)

  10. Just recommended this and your 'CHARRED AUBERGINE & COTTAGE CHEESE IN A WHITE GRAVY' recipe to a friend.Hoping they like it!

    1. Priya,my friend did not make this yet,but I did,hehe.;-) My mom did actually,I wanted to,but was too busy/tired to cook,so I gave her the recipe.
      It is a little unbelievable,she loved it when she had it,even though my mom is not a big fan of South Indian food!I found it delicious as well!Unfortunately,she cooked it a little too long,so the gravy became very thick,almost dry.From the next time we will cook it for a shorter period of time!
      Thank you again!:-)

    2. thank you so much Fahad- glad u liked it ! How r u ? hope allz well !