Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Megh Malhar From Kerala

Megh Malhar-The Hindustani raga when sung by Tansen lured the rains from up above. Megh Malhar -the soulful late night raga that instils the skies to shed their adornment of dark clouds and soak the warm earth with shower of nectar. Ah the lovely Megh Malhar!!!

Now you must be wondering about the connection between this thoroughly north Indian Raga and the very south Indian state of Kerala. In Kerala when it rains, it rains. Period. Drizzle is only a forerunner of a heavy rain, soak-to-bone showers!
Whenever it rains in some corner of the world ,there would a malayali watching this rain he can never identify himself with. He would  reminiscence about the Edava pathi back home; big rain drops pouring down and palm fronds swinging violently in the winds. He would say, "Oru chai-yum Parippuvada-yum!" and let out a deep sigh leaving his foreigner colleague wondering what the heck does this man chant every time it rains!

Yes, parippuvada-chai the constant companion of a malayali when it rains. It's like Calvin and Hobbes, Like Tom and Jerry, Like Laurel and Hardy- Parippuvada-chai and the rains. For me it works the other way round, whenever I make parippuvada it rains. Parippuvada happens to be what Megh Malhar was to Tansen.
Today ,Parippuvada it is.


1.   Muttar Dal (Yellow Split peas) - 2 Cups
2.   Onion - 3/4 cup cut into small pieces
3.   Green chilli - 2-3 sliced in to small circlets of fire
4.   Curry Leaves
5.   Dry chilli - 2-3
6.   Ginger - 1 tsp finely chopped (optional)
7.   Asafoetida - 1 tsp
8.   Turmeric  powder - A pinch
9.   Salt
10.Oil for frying


Wash the dal and soak in water for 2 hours. Drain the excess water before cooking.

Cooking Procedure:
  •  Grind all the ingredients in a mixer into a coarse mixture. Please take care not to make a paste.
  • Shape the mixture into small cutlet shaped balls.
  •  Deep fry in oil until the vada turns a golden brown uniformly.
  • Wait till it cools down a bit and sink your teeth into the crispy crust of the parippu vada. Yummm
 Cheat Code:

You may use Tuvar Dal,Masoor dal or a mixture.It is dal of your choice.
We cooked piping hot Parippuvadas last evening. And it rained in Perth.

P:S: My friend bought a cycle and we took turns riding it around the park. I was riding a cycle after a very long time. The feeling of cool wind flowing through your hair, knowing that cycling was something you taught yourself after the balance wheels broke one by one and remembering those carefree days of childhood - After many a day I finally felt quite young and not the grown up aunty I picture myself to be.

P:P:S:As I mentioned in the last post, I went for the volunteer job for "Save The Children". I had to do was set up their young adult and kids section of books in their shop. And I found this.

Sometime in 1983 a Steve proclaimed his love for a Katie by gifting her a book. N'est-ce pas romantique?


  1. Did u mean, u cooked, so it rained?

  2. Damn, I'm so craving for parippuvadas now. For me, it doens't even have to rain, to have them. I can sit and polish off 8-10 of them in one go, if they're piping hot. Mmmm..

    1. Hahhaha..Parippuvada has that kind of magic..

  3. have made chana dal vadas, never tried these. maybe sometime soon.

    1. It is just a variation and equally yummy..

  4. yummy is the time to make a visit..:)

    1. Sure...You are most welcome..I would be able to pamper you with good food and take some load off you as well...

  5. Enjoyed your artistic expression in the post.The Megh Malhar thing leading to a recipe is unique.Good work.

    1. Thank you Amit.I believe each dish has a story to tell...

  6. This is unfair..Now I am salivating a mini ocean.. Excellent post and innately Malayali!..:)