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Tangy vegetable medley August 16, 2008

Posted by live2cook in Sauces and Gravies, slow cooker recipes.

Have you heard about “Middle child Syndrome”?

I am a middle child among the three of us. I used to have this “ignored child” feeling through out growing up or at least used it to grab my parents’ attention. My mom used to find ways to satisfy me and to make me feel special. She used to buy small gifts, cute dresses and on top of all these used to cook my favorite meals at least thrice a week. But I never came down from my philosophy that “It is always bad to be in the middle”. Nothing could influence me to give up on my belief.

But, an incident really got me and made me to rethink about my belief. I joined a job that was 40 miles away from home and I had to drive to work. The first storm of the season hit New England. It was nearly 18 inches of snow. That was the first time that I had to drive back home at the peak of a storm and on a highway. I was quite scared and my manager who was an elderly and kind person, gave me an advice. He said, “You know what kid, try to get to the middle lane and keep maintaining it. It is always good to be in the middle”. I understood the truth in his words. Not just on the road but in my life too.

With first child, parents are always anxious and worried about everything. But when it comes to next child in the row, they know what to expect and how to handle the unexpected. Though it sounded like ignorance, it wasn’t. The experience they got from the first child helps them to find solutions easier and faster. Actually , I was lucky to be in the middle that I got the right things at the right time. We might think that the third child is even more luckier. Yes! They are luckier to get more experienced parents. But if the age gap is wider between the children, then the development occurred within those years leave the parents yet again with anxiety and worries.

When I decided to write about my favorite curries that my mom used to make specially for me, the recipe for Thalagam stood first with a hidden meaning. It showed that it is in the middle too. Though it has tamarind, dhal and spices like sambar, it wasn’t one. Though it has mixed vegetable like other stews, it wasn’t one either. It is in the middle of a sambar and a stew that it can be accompanied with cooked rice or flat breads.


I prepared this medley in the slow cooker and it really enhanced the flavor.


2 Cups mixed vegetables (Beans, carrot, potato, peas, squash)**, Chopped or cut lengthwise
1/2 Cup Toor dhal
Lime sized ball of tamarind
3 Tbsp Shredded Coconut
2 tsp Coriander seeds
2 tsp Chana dhal
1 tsp Urad dhal
1 tsp Sesame seeds
1 tsp uncooked rice
2-3 Red chillies
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 Pinch asafetida
1 Pinch turmeric powder
2-3 Curry leaves
2 tsp oil
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ghee

** Though we can use any kind of vegetable, those that has an earthy flavor will enhance the taste of this medley. Please try to include any one or two of these – Snap peas, Lab lab beans, Yam (Suran), Sweet potato, plantain


1. Soak the dhal in hot water for 1/2 hour. Drain the water and set aside.
2. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup water until soft. Mash well and extract the water. Discard the pulp.
3. Heat 1 tsp oil in a medium sauce pan. Add the coriander seeds, chana dhal, urad dhal, sesame seeds, rice and red chillies. Fry until the dhals turn golden brown. Grind to a coarse powder.
( Though we can add the coconut too, I avoid it because of the slow cooking)
4. Mix the spice mixture and salt with the tamarind extract. Set aside.
5. Heat the other tsp oil and add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafetida, turmeric powder and curry leaves. Allow the mustard seeds to splutter. Remove from heat and add to the tamarind mixture.
6. In the pot of the slow cooker, add the dhal first and layer the vegetable in way that the ones that takes time to cook are in the bottom.
7. Pour the tamarind mixture on top of the vegetables. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours in low or overnight.
8. Heat the ghee in a small pan. Add the coconut and toast until golden brown. Add to the cooked medley and mix well.

Slow cooked Thalagam

Slow cooked Thalagam

** There was no need for thickening the medley with the given proportion. But if it is too runny for your taste, add a mixture of flour and water and cook for 10 more minutes in high.

Serve with cooked rice or Roti. This is my entry for the Curry Mela event hosted by Srivalli

Thalagam served

Thalagam served



1. notyet100 - August 17, 2008

even we r three sisters,..ndmy middle sis,…always feels the same,..nice post,..and the curry looks delicicious….

2. shriya - August 17, 2008

I totally agree with the “middle child syndrome” because we are also three sisters and my middle sister she used to feel like the same you mentioned above. Very unique recipe . Never heard one this before and I really should show this recipe to my sis.

3. Priti - August 18, 2008

Love reading your writeup….it sounds gud now to be in middle :)…Thalagam looking gud too something very different…

4. Nirmala - August 19, 2008

Wow! I have never heard of this. My Amma used to soak these husked urad dal and would make a creamy dal with drumstick leaves! This would be wonderful I think. Will try it out!

5. vanamala - August 19, 2008

woow nice recipe

6. Vaishali - August 19, 2008

I agree it’s good to be in the middle: I was too. The vegetable medley looks delicious.

7. iLinkShare (Web 2.0 linksharing) - August 25, 2008

Cook Links…

Tagged your site as cook at iLinkShare!…

8. Srivalli - September 6, 2008

Loved reading your story and knowing your favorite one too!

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