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Thrown together stew!!! July 9, 2008

Posted by live2cook in Sauces and Gravies.

When you ask your friends about their grandmothers, among all other things, they will surely mention about a stew made by her. They will add that the stew was the most tasty dish that they ever ate. If you ask for the recipe of the stew, they will stop, think for a moment and reply “Grandma just threw everything in a pot and that’s it” . πŸ™‚

My grandma had a version of this stew too. Whenever there was leftover sauce or soup from the lunch, she will add some veggies to that and simmer it in to a stew. This is the way they used up all the food without leftovers everyday. Most of the families in my home town had a version . We call it “Yerinja Koottu” or “Yerichcha Koottu”. “Yerinja” in Tamil literally translates to “Thrown”. In another context the term “Yerinja” has the meaning of “Burnt” too.

One might think there is no special skill needed to cook this stew. But there is one special thing that is much needed, the timing. One of my aunt set this stew to simmer and totally forgot about it. The stew simmered that it burnt to nothing. Her husband used to mention wittily that his wife took the term “Yerinja” in other way that she made her version, “Burnt stew”. So, whenever my grandma instructs us to make the stew she would mention that we got to make real “Yerinja Koottu” and not the “Aunt’s Burnt stew”.

In my version, I used the Rasam (A Dhal Soup) as the base. If you have a cup of rasam left and had to fix something for dinner, just throw some quick cooking veggies, adjust the salt and simmer. There will be a perfect side dish for roti. I add garam masala or dhanshaak masala to this to make it taste different than Rasam.

I am giving it as a recipe with all the ingredients in it. You can use the store bought Rasam paste to fix this stew.


1/2 cup Bell pepper (Chopped)
1/2 cup Carrot (Chopped)
1/2 cup Onion (Chopped)
1/2 cup Bottle Gourd (Chopped)
1/2 cup Tamarind extract
1/2 cup Toor Dal (Boiled)
2 tsp Rasam powder (Vedha murthy gives proportions for rasam powder that can last for a month)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Black Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1 pinch Asafetida
2-3 curry leaves


1. Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add the mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and asafetida.
2. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the onion and fry till translucent.
3. Add other veggies and stir fry for a minute.
4. Add the tamarind extract, dhal, salt, rasam powder, garam masala.
5. Simmer until the sauce thickens. Serve with roti or cooked rice.

Bottle Gourd Stew

Bottle Gourd Stew

This is my entry for the VOW – Bottle gourd event hosted by Pooja.



1. Srivalli - July 10, 2008

thats really something…heheh..nice dish

2. Meeta - July 10, 2008

This looks so healthy and delicious. The best recipes come from throwing various ingredients together!

3. notyet100 - July 10, 2008

looks delicious nn healthy,.enjoyed readin ur post too,..

4. Mona - July 10, 2008

It looks good and comforting! Yummy!

5. Pooja - July 14, 2008

that is once really nice recipe. thanks for sharing grandma’s recipe dear Priya πŸ™‚

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