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Recipes - A Tribute To My Mom

Nirmala Garimella


Pachadis, like podis are integral to Andhra cooking. The repertoire of chutneys that we make are quite extraordinary and my mother was especially versatile. I remember when she first visited the US, she was fascinated with some of the produce that she never knew in India – rhubarb, cranberries, green apples, asparagus. She experimented with traditional recipes to come up with creations such as cranberry coconut chutney and green apple chutney.

Pachadis with Thokkulu (Chutneys with peels)

This is quite unique to Vizag cooking, and follows the principle of wasting nothing. This dish is also very high in fiber. My mother used the peels of bottle gourd and other squash, carrots, stalks of cauliflower, outer leaves of cabbage and transformed them into delicious pachadis that could be mixed with rice and ghee, or used as an accompaniment. Here is a recipe of one chutney that can be used with any edible leftover vegetable pieces.


1 cup fresh carrot (or other vegetable) peels

2 tbsp urad dal

2 red chilies

1 tsp jeera (cumin) seeds

a pinch of hing (asafoetida)

1 tsp of tamarind paste (dry tamarind)

1 tbsp of oil

½ tsp salt

½ tsp haldi (turmeric)


Boil the peels of carrots in a pressure cooker, stovetop, or microwave. Drain and keep aside. In a frying pan heat the oil on low heat, and add urad dal, red chilies, jeera, and hing till the dal becomes slightly brown. Turn off the stove and transfer these into a small bowl. In the same pan, add the boiled peels and fry for 3 to 4 minutes to remove the boiled smell. Remove and grind these peels along with the tadka, tamarind paste, haldi and salt to a slightly coarse chutney. In the old days when we had no grinder, we would use a traditional mortar and pestle, but we can now use a food processor, grinder, or blender.

Variation: Fry two flakes of garlic along with the tadka and grind it with the rest.

Kobbari (coconut) chutney for rice

We make two types of coconut chutney - one for rice, and one that goes with idlis, dosas, vadas and other tiffin. This one goes well with rice and a little ghee.


1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tbsp urad dal

2 dried red chilies

a pinch of hing (asafoetida)

1 sprig of curry leaves

1 cup fresh coconut, grated

1 tsp of tamarind paste or dry tamarind

2 tsp of oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp haldi (turmeric)


In a frying pan heat the oil, add mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilis, hing and curry leaves for a couple minutes. Turn off the stove and transfer these into a small bowl. Remove the red chilies and grind along with the coconut, salt, haldi, and tamarind to a coarse paste, adding a little water if necessary. Mix the paste into the seasoning and adjust salt if necessary.

Variation: Replacing the tamarind, grind ⅓ cup raw green mango, 5 grams jaggery (½ inch piece), and one green chili along with the coconut.

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