Preparation for Cooking:
Soak Brown Channa and Black eyed Peas overnight. Change water couple of times and pressure cook separately.
On the day of cooking:
Have two coconut grated. I got about 4 cups of grated coconut.
Soak the Sambar, which uses Shallots, onions are not used mostly, unless mentioned.
Soak the Tamarind for Sambar and Rasam
Since I was planning on cooking Chemba Rice, this needs more washing and soaking. So did that in the beginning itself.
Soak Ponni Rice separately for those who don’t’ eat Chemba Rice.
Prepare the ground paste:
Take 2 and 1/2 cup of grated Coconut and grind it along with 10 – 12 green chilies with 2 tsp of Cumin. Grind to an almost smooth paste without adding water.
Boiling the Vegetables
Since I was choosy on the vegetables used, I ended using Pumpkin, Raw Banana. Pressure cook these vegetables separately for 1 whistle each. Drain and rinse
Boiling the Dried beans
Change the soaked chickpea and Black eyed peas couple of times and pressure cook with enough water for 3 whistles.
Prepping the Vegetables.
I was making two dry vegetable dishes. So chopped them first and make the thoran. Since these need to be cooked on simmer, you can start with these two.
Chop Drumstick and Potato, MW each for 5 – 7 mins.
Peel and chop Onions required for Potato fry and Sambar.
Cooking the rice
Chemba Rice takes a long time to soak, so soak this the beginning itself. You will have to wash it nearly some 6 -7 times, till you get a clear water. Rice is cooked by draining method and not absorption method, so bring a big pot of water to boil. I soaked it for nearly 40 – 45 mins. Then in a big Pressure cooker, I cooked the rice.
As the rice was getting cooked, I got the regular rice soaked and pressure cooked as well.
Extracting Coconut Milk
Coconut was ground for the Milk required for Olan.
Once all the vegetables are cooked, you can start the preparation right away.
This is the order in which I cooked
I started with the stir fries,
Pressure cooked Brown Channa and Black Eyed Peas
Pressure cooked Raw Plantain and Pumpkin
MW Split moong dal
Next went on to make Kootu Curry and Paruppu Curry.
Had the milk boiling for Payasam
Then prepared podis for Sambar and Rasam
MW vegetables for Sambar.
Rasam on the cooker, Samabar on the pan
Once done, tempering for all dishes.
Fried Papad and Appalam.
All the dishes require tempering at the end, so the best way to make is to cook the vegetables and take whats needed for which recipe and add the ground paste, bring to boil and finally temper in one shot.
As with all traditional thalis, serving on the Banana leaf follows a rule.
You start with serving the salt on the left narrow spot.
Next the Banana Chips, Sarkara Varatti (both store bought)
On the top left corner, place the pickles. Puli Inji is an important dish that I didn’t make. I just served Mango pickle
Next comes the Thorans/ Dry Vegetable Stir Fries
Next are the Pachadis and Khichadis – Cucumber Pachadi
Next the side dishes with vegetables
I made Kootu Curry, Olan,
What I missed are the Erissery, Aviyal,
Next on the plate goes the Rice
then you have Kalan, Pulissery, Moor curry ( didn’t make any of this)
Next goes the Sambar/ Rasam
then you have buttermilk and curd served
Finally you have the Payasam/Kheer
Even this small feast was so heavy for us and my family enjoyed as expected. I was very glad that I managed to make it.