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Healthful Indian Flavors with Alamelu - Program #202

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Episode Description

[Original Airdate: January 14, 2012]

Culinary instructor and author Alamelu Vairavan prepares two delicious breakfast items from South India, a very popular cream of wheat Uppuma, and a uniquely South Indian multigrain pancake called, Adai. She also prepares an excellent aromatic saucy dish, Onion and Potato Kose, which goes well with many breakfast items. (2 of 13)

Guest Info

Segment #1

Segment #2
Cream of Wheat Uppuma

Segment #3
Peanut Chutney

Segment #4
Onion and Potato Kose


Adai: Adais are pancakes made with lentils, rice, and spices that can be served with any type of chutney. Adai batter does not require fermentation.


  • 1/4 cup urad dal
  • 1/4 cup yellow split peas
  • 1/4 cup toor dal
  • 1/4 cup moong dal
  • 1 cup extra long-grain rice
  • 3 red chili peppers
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground fresh coconut
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (more, if desired)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Soak the urad dal, split peas, toor dal, moong dal, and rice with red pepper and cumin for 2 hours. Grind the chili, cumin, and fennel with the soaked ingredients and about 2 cups of water to a coarse and thick consistency in the blender. (Can grind in batches)
  2. Add fresh coconut, asafoetida, turmeric, salt, onion, and coriander to the ground mixture.
  3. Mix all the ingredients well. Now the batter is ready for making adai.
  4. Spray the skillet with the nonstick cooking oil spray.
  5. Heat skillet over medium heat. Spread about 1/3 cup of batter over the skillet in a circular pattern (like a thick pancake). Spread a small amount of canola oil (1/4 teaspoon) around each adai. Cook until adai becomes golden brown and crunchy. With a spatula turn it over and cook the other side. When adai is crunchy and golden brown on both sides take it out of skillet and serve hot.
  6. Makes about 10 adais

Cream of Wheat Uppuma: This is cream of wheat cooked with onions and spices. Serve uppuma with sambhar or chutney.


  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 whole dried red chili pepper
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup regular cream of wheat
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup frozen green peas(thawed)
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened or fresh shredded coconut (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. roasted cashew halves (optional)


  1. Place oil in a skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add red pepper, mustard seeds, and urad dal.
  2. When urad dal turns golden, add chopped onions and cook for 1 minute. Add cream of wheat and stir for a minute. Add salt and ginger.
  3. Add 2 cups of warm water gradually to cream of wheat while stirring.
  4. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. Add carrots, peas, coriander, and butter. Stir well. Add cashews, if desired, and mix well.
  5. Serves 4

Peanut Chutney: A wonderful combination of peanuts and coconut. Can be used as a spread to make chutney sandwiches or served as a dip.


  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts (lightly salted)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened powdered or freshly ground coconut
  • 3 garlic peeled cloves, quartered
  • 1 dry red chili pepper (more, if desired)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (more, if desired)


  1. Place peanuts, coconut powder, garlic cloves, red chili, and salt in a blender with approximately 1 3/4 cups warm water.
  2. Blend for a few minutes until ingredients become smooth.

Onion and Potato Kose: A thick tomato-based sauce with onion and potatoes, Kose is an excellent accompaniment to chappati, poori, idli, dosai, or tortillas.


  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 to 4 slivers cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 cup potato, cut in small oblong pieces
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Immediately add mustard seeds and urad dal. Cover and fry until mustard seeds burst (listen for popping sound) and urad dal is golden.
  2. Immediately add onion, tomato, and potatoes to saucepan. Add turmeric powder and stir well. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add cayenne powder, cumin powder, tomato sauce, and salt. Blend well. Add 2 cups of water and blend well with ingredients in saucepan. When the ingredients start to boil, add coriander. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat until potatoes are tender (8 to 10 minutes). Stir frequently.