Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Kongunadu Breakfast Thali

After yesterday's Festive Ugadhi lunch, I have a simple spread today - A breakfast from Kongunad....

Having lived in kongunad reagion for quite a few years, I was surprised when I saw that I had posted the lunch recipes and there was no sign of kongunad breakfast recipes in my blog. So I thought I will do a post about breakfast dishes from this land for this months edition of Blogging Marathon.

I have already written about Kongunad and its cuisine. Here is a quick recap-Re-introducing the Cuisine of Kongunad - The cuisine from the land of nectar.....

Kongunad is the homeland of the Tamilians and dates back to the 8th centuary AD.It comprised of Palani, Dharapuram, Karur, Namakkal, Thiruchengodu, Erode,Selam,Dharmapuri, Coimbatore, Avinasi, Nilgiris,Pollachi and Udumalpet [All these places are in Tamilnadu-South India]

Before I start off with the menu,a word about the lesser-known freedom fighters from the kongu soil.

Two brave men - Theeran Chinnamalai and Tiruppur Kumaran have given their share to the freedom struggle.

Theeran Chinnamalai [1576 - 1805] is said to have made the freedom struggle a people's movement.Historians say he adopted the guerilla warfare against the invaders.He took part in three important battles and in the final battle he was betrayed by his cook and he was hanged to death.

Tiruppur Kumaran[1904-1932] ] born in Chennimalai [Erode district] was one of the youngest in the freedom movement taking Gandhi's way at a very young age.Kumaran died from injuries sustained from a Police assault during a protest march against the British and died holding the flag of India.He is considered a martyr by the people of Tamilnadu and is referred to as 'Kodi Katha Kumaran' meaning 'Kumaran who saved the flag'.

Now coming to the cuisine part,Kongunadu cuisine is extensive for the simple reason that kongunadu covers a vast area.This cuisine does not involve marinating and has its own nativity and style.The use of turmeric,groundnut paste to curries give it a unique texture and flavor.This is a very healthy cuisine owing to the use of millets, pulses, sesame and less amounts of oil and spices.

Some of the delicacies include 
  • Arisi paruppu sadham - Delicious one pot meal of rice and lentils
  • Ell urundai - Sweet sesame balls
  • Urulaikilangu curry - Spicy Potato curry
  • Paruppu urundai kulambu - Lentil dumpling in sambar
  • Venn pongal -Yet another rice pulse combo,a common breaskfast dish
  • Dosai
  • Nellikkai chaaru - Gooseberry soup
  • Murungakkai sambar -Drumstick sambar
  • Vaazhapoo Kootu - Banana blossom kootu
  • Pachapuli rasam - no-cook rasam
  • Elaneer payasam - Tender coconut kheer, etc
  •   and a host of non veg dishes.

 Today's breakfast menu comprises of....

Chola Paniyaram
Sandhavai / Sandhagai
Idli and Dosai with Kongunad murungai sambar and kongunad thakkali masiyal as side dishes

Idli and dosa are common breakfast dishes in South India and so is the famous South Indian filter coffee..

The traditional dish that I would like to introduce first is Sandhavai or Sandhagai.

This dish has a special significance. Friends and relatives usually invite newly married couples for lunch / dinner At that time,sandhavai is served. When we were invited to hubby's colleagues home for dinner, we were served this one and his colleagues mom ,an elderly lady in her late 70's, told us this detail! I was glad to learn a little about the region and cuisine. At that time I had no idea that I would be starting a blog and writing about this cuisine :)

Paniyaram is usually associated with the chettinad cuisine,but here too there are paniyarams that are healthy and delicious. Presenting to you , chola paniyaram...

Cholam or Shorgam is a very healthy millet. As I mentioned earlier, millet's were a major food crop in this region. It grows well in dry areas and is nutritious too.Sadly these days,shorgam is replaced by rice as the staple food.

One of the famous side dishes are the murungakkai sambar and thakkali kadaisal[The side dishes seen in the paniyaram picture]. These recipes find place in this blog, thanks to my friend, who was generous enough to share with us her tasty secret :). Thakkali kadaisal is mashed tomato chutney that tastes delicious as a side dish with idli/ dosa/ paniyaram. Murungakkai sambar is drumstick sambar which goes well with steamed rice and tiffin items....

The famous South Indian filter coffee also finds its place in the above thali.....

Also check out the recipe for today - Sandhavai - Kongunadu rice noodles

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#15

Here are some other delicacies from the Kongunad Cuisine...

Arisi Paruppu Sadham - A delicious combo of rice and lentils.

Ell Urundai -Sweet sesame balls,a delicious no cook dessert

Urulaikkizhangu Curry - Spicy potato curry

More - Spiced buttermilk

Kollu rasam - Healthy horsegram soup / rasam.

Kollu paruppu podi - Tasty spicemix to go with steamed rice

Kollu kadaiyal - Mashed and seasoned horsegram

This Kongunad breakfast is off to Srivalli's Thali mela

Bon Appetit...


  1. Wow that's awesome spread PJ..will be back to read in detail..love your pictures

  2. Wow very yummy n tasty kongunadu... Recipes...nice to know about the truth of recipes where it originated...

  3. really liked learning about the history

  4. Super!!I enjoyed reading this detailed ,informative post..lovely spread and awsum pics..PJ must say tremendous work and labour put in.well done:))))

  5. Wow! Very interesting to read about the history of the region! Interesting array of dishes too.

  6. Glad to know more about the kongunadu region and the thali is awesome!

  7. aww..if this is your simple spread..i would like to visit you often..this is so fulfilling and wonderful

  8. lovely interesting Post, PJ ! learnt so much about Kongunadu (actually I didnt know what the area comprised, till this post).. Particularly interesting is that paniyaram has a version here too ! lovely post again :)

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  9. nice 2 knw more abt kongunadu brkfasts..woudl love 2 knw the recipe for chola paniyaram..sounds interesting

  10. Wonderful writeup on freedom fighters...Luv the kongunadu feast

  11. Such a fabulous post again PJ..simply loved it..Yummy spread again..

  12. Fantastic spread PJ you remaind me those days when we were in Ooty. cholapaniyaram sounds very healthy looks yumm too.

  13. Nice to know all the information that you have shared.
    Delicious dishes in the thali.

  14. Awesome spread PJ... love every dish in this thali!

  15. Wow awesome spread. Looks too good

  16. Very detailed and informative post, PJ.

  17. Awesome dishes. You are rocking PJ.

  18. Thats a delicious platter, Missing Filter Coffee!!!!

  19. awesome thali for breakfast...a complete healthy meal after a long sleep

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  20. I haven't heard about sandhavai before. Everything else is familiar. Nice spread, PJ :)

  21. Hats off to you for including important information about our freedom fighters. Great to know about them and the region specific dishes. Lovely spread and super pics. Nice PJ...good work and very well done!!!

  22. This is what I have been searching in quite a few web pages and I ultimately identified it right here. Wonderful post. I am so impressed. Could under no circumstances imagine of these a point is attainable with it…I imagine you have a excellent information in particular while dealings with these kinds of topics.

  23. Nice to know about kongunadu cuisine in detail. The spread looks wonderful...

  24. wonderful pics and informative post. many interesting recipes. would def. try horsegram recipe as i was looking for varities for it. thanks

  25. very nice spread Pj.. When is saw konganadu was wondering what that was.. when u mention dteh districts i knew them individually.. very interesting i have heard of tiruppur kumaran :)

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