Sunday, February 26, 2006

mahali pickle recipe

if you're looking for a blood purifier or just something to soothe your nerves and settle your stomach, look no further than a small portion of mahali pickles. it will set your tongue on fire before settling you down, but it sure works. made from indian sarsaparilla, a root that grows in central india, mahali is a much loved south indian pickle. it is delcious with just plain yogurt but can also be a great accompaniment to upma or morkali.

sarsaparilla roots - 250 gm
chilli powder - 2 tbsp
turmeric powder - 1 tsp
salt - 2 tbsp
yogurt - 4 tbsp

soak the roots in water for 30 minutes. scrape the skin. remove the hard vein inside. cut the roots into tiny bits. add chilli powder, powdered salt and turmeric powedr. add curd and mix well. mahali is available at matunga market in bombay:


this recipe is from lifco's "how to cook" by mrs. vedavalli venkatachary. this is probably one of the cookbooks that i most frequently use. my father presented it to me when i got married. he was really worried as i had never cooked in my life and didn't even know how to make a cup of tea! i can't tell you what a saving grace this book has been. it has simple recipes for all the south indian delicacies that i grew up eating. you can buy the book directly from the publisher's website.


Blogger Cathleen Darlene said...

I don't know why I assumed you were single. I guess I just figured someone who traveled so much and gets together with friends must be single. Kudos to you and your hubby for keeping matrimonial life interesting and fun. I guess I better change my sidebar description of your site. :-) Oh, and those pickles sound delish. We finally have an Indian market here in our town. I need to give them a try.

1:03 am  
Blogger Mimi said...

Hey Lulu, Ok so I just realized that I had comment monitoring on my page and I'm actually supposed to well accept them! Thanks for the comemnts, I was wondering why in the world am I not getting any comments on my entries?! In any case I had a fabulous weekend Lu and I hope I can say the same for you! Except the whole thai resturant thing didn't work out since it was a tad too late. We ditched the idea and got some margaritas instead, which is always some what refreshing right? lol. I have this weird fetish for pickles. well i'll leave it at that. stay fabulous! Ciao. <3 M

2:17 am  
Blogger Mimi said...

oh and Lu I think the Hello kitty toaster on my fashion blog will add just teh right touch of cuteness to your kitchen, not to mention your fab sandwiches! Ciao babez - M

2:31 am  
Blogger gs said...

it is an acquired taste.till marriage,i had not known what mahali was.then i found that in the trichy/madurai area it was very popular. in kerala too;but not in andhra or has a very regional preference.but those outside these areas who have tasted it generally get hooked on to it.

9:46 am  
Blogger Lulu said...

hi cathleen,
no worries, i've been vague about h as well so it's not that clear :) i'm sure you would agree that it's always a delicate balance between online and real world stuff.

hi m,
will check out the hello kitty toaster for sure!

hi dad,
yes, i agree it is an acquired taste - one that i acquired from you!!

9:51 pm  
Blogger Kay said...

Oh no! I'm sorry, Lulu, but this one pickle - I just can eat, neither can I sit in the same room, when somebody eats it. The smell is too strong for me. My mother and my kiddo brother LOVES it, though. Yep, acquired taste! (one that I will never ever acquire!)

4:50 pm  
Blogger Kay said...

Oh, btw I have the same cookbook ' samaipadhu eppadi' in Tamil by same Author. Good book!

4:51 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

hi kay,
nice to hear you use this book as well! i am aware that this pickle is either a strong love or a strong hate and i should have included that in my post!

6:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lulu
Been reading your blog for more than 6 months now! and ur in England finally, totally unrealted to this post...please check out Sarvana Bhavan in Ealing road Wembley, I promise you'll love the Thali, and the dosas, they even do a desi chinese, though i havent tried that. Just been there day before..i live up north so southie food is a big luxury for me!

12:42 pm  
Anonymous tony of bachelor cooking said...

i haven't heard of this before but i like the burning part.. I love chilli, so i will have to ask around where i will get this stuff

5:39 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

i LOVE saravana bhavan. you really do know me, anonymous. a bit scary that you even know that i love desi chinese!!! i totally forgot that SB has a branch here. i was a regular at the mountain view one from the day they opened. and the one in manhattan is pretty good as well. yes, i will definitely check it out.they have the best rasa vadas. and they also have this uniquely named dish called "14 piece mini ghee idli" which is to die for - it comes soaked in very authentic tasting sambhar.

hi tony!
i'm sure this is easily available in matunga if that's not too far from where you live in bombay.

9:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lulu

I didnt realise you had the same taste in food!, i just realised that you're a Bombayite as well... and as for desi chinese...i could do anything for a plate of Hakka noodles and veg manchurian...pity that they arent really my opinion...they are a culinary masterpiece!!!!!!!!!

10:32 am  
Blogger Lulu said...

couldn't agree with you more. have you read this book on indian food writing by vir sangvi? i think you will like it. it has an interesting piece on the history of the manchurian!

9:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lulu,

I live in the Bay Area and I have a Fig tree in my back yard. Will try your Fig Jam recipe this year. By the way, do you know if Mahali (raw, to make pickle) is sold in the US?


12:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi lulu..
njoyed the read n the colour texture of the recipes...


5:01 pm  
Anonymous Chennaimoms said...

Mouthwatering oorkai,looks delicious.

11:44 am  

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