Tirunelveli Sodhi / Coconut Milk Stew with potatoes and drumstick

I did my undergrad in a place, which is pretty close to Tirunelveli and Tuticorin. This dish sodhi is very popular in Tirunelveli. (I wanted to write a separate post about this city Tirunelveli, will do it later) I have first tasted this recipe at my friend’s place. This is also called as Maapilai (Son-in-Law) sodhi. As this is a rich dish loaded with coconut milk, they usually make this dish when the Son-in-Law visits the in-laws it seems. And that’s how it got the name maapilai sodhi.

I got this recipe from our friend Srini who is a chef and a successful restaurateur. Thank you Srini, for this wonderful and simple recipe. Yes its a simple recipe when you use store-bought coconut milk like me ;-) ;-) The traditional recipe calls for fresh coconut milk both thick and thin milk. But me being me, went with store-bought and diluted half of it for thin milk.

Here is the recipe:

Tirunelveli Sodhi / Coconut Milk Stew with potatoes and drumstick

  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • Cubed potatoes – 1 cup
  • Chopped drumsticks – 1/2 cup
  • Shallots / Small onions – 3 (finely chopped)
  • Garlic cloves -2 (finely chopped)
  • Finely chopped ginger – 2 tsps
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Cilantro – 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Coconut Milk – 3/4 of a 14 oz can
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Salt – 1.5 tsp
  • Moong dhal – 2 to 3 tbsps. (Pressure cook and mash it well)

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  • Grind the green chillies and salt together. This retains the green color of the chilly.
  • Dilute 1/4 cup of the coconut milk with 1/2 of cup water and keep the remaining as is.
  • Pressure cook the moong dhal and mash it well.

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Grinded green chilly and moong dhal paste


  • Heat the kadai and add oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté it for 2-3 minutes till they are translucent.
  • Now add the grinded chilly paste and let it cook for a minute.
  • Then add the chopped potatoes and drumsticks and the diluted coconut milk. If you are using the fresh coconut milk, use the second milk or as we say thin milk.
  • Cover and cook till the vegetables are soft.
  • Now add the mashed moong dhal and thick coconut milk and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes in low flame.
  • That’s it yummy potato stew or Tirunelveli Sodhi is ready.
  • Finally add the chopped cilantro and serve hot with rice.

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11 thoughts on “Tirunelveli Sodhi / Coconut Milk Stew with potatoes and drumstick

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  2. Bhavani

    Wow I am a native of Tveli….but have never heard of this..interesting…looks yummy though..will try it once…Thanks


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