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Healthful Indian Flavors with Alamelu - Program #104

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Episode Description

Culinary instructor and author Alamelu Vairavan transforms bland brussels sprouts into a saucy dish of Brussels Sprouts Kulambu. She whips up a simple roasted potato dish seasoned with spices; and, creates a delicious ground turkey dish of Turkey Podimas, cooked with split peas and coconut. She visits a local Indian grocery store to select spices uses in her recipes.

Guest Info

Segment #2
Turkey Podimas

Segment #2
Brussel Sprouts Kulambu

Segment #3
Seasoned Roasted Potatoes



  • 1/2 cup dry yellow split peas
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 to 4 slivers cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened powdered coconut
  1. Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Add split peas with 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, about 15 minutes until split peas are tender and water is absorbed. (Add an additional 1/2 cup of water, if water is absorbed before split peas are tender.) Drain any remaining water and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add bay leaf and cinnamon sticks into oil. Add cumin and fennel seeds.
  3. Immediately add onion, garlic, chili, and turmeric powder. Cook, stirring, for about a minute, until onions are tender. Add ground turkey and pan-fry for about 3 minutes until browned, stirring and breaking up meat as it cooks.
  4. Stir in curry powder, cayenne, and cumin powder. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Stir in salt, cover, and cook another 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in cooked split peas. Cover and cook another 2 minutes. Add coconut and stir well.

Brussel Sprouts Kulambu


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder
  • 4 to 6 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons sambhar powder
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh brussels sprouts, cut in half


  1. Place oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add asafoetida, curry leaves, fenugreek, mustard seeds, and urad dal. Cover and fry over medium heat until the mustard seeds pop and urad dal is golden brown.
  2. Add onion, tomato, and turmeric powder to hot oil, stirring constantly.
  3. Add sambhar powder, tomato sauce, and salt. Stir well. Add 2 cups of warm water to saucepan. Stir and cook for few minutes.
  4. Add tamarind paste and mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
  5. When the mixture in saucepan begins to boil, add brussels sprouts. Cover and cook over low heat until brussels sprouts are just tender (about 10 minutes). Be careful not to overcook.

*** Serves 4

Seasoned Roasted Potatoes


  • 2 cups peeled and cubed Idaho potatoes (1-inch cubes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder (more, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 4 to 5 curry leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder


  1. Place potatoes in a small saucepan. Add water just to cover potatoes and bring to a boil. Do not cover saucepan. After the water begins to boil, reduce heat and add turmeric powder and salt to the potatoes. Parboil until potatoes are half-cooked. Be careful not to overcook. Drain and place in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle cayenne powder and cumin powder over potatoes and shake bowl to cover potatoes evenly.
  3. Place oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add curry leaves and asafoetida powder.
  4. Add seasoned potatoes to skillet and spread evenly. Cook over low heat until golden brow turning frequently.