Sodappal Stories

How can this blogathon get completed without my sodappal(disaster) story? Before getting into my sodappals, I want to write a letter to myself by myself. So let me get that done first.

Dear Vidhya,

When you cook during festivals or for any get together, one dish will be a sodappal for sure which is ok. So don’t worry about it too much. All is well. (Arasiyal edulam sahajamappa.*)

Please while cooking don’t watch TV, especially your favorite shows. You tend to add ingredients either too much or forget completely. Poor hubby and kiddo.

Please uninstall the scribd and amazon kindle app from your phone. You multitask while reading and watching TV but when the kid does the same thing you say no. How can that be possible? Either let me him also multitask or you don’t do that.


I know I need to read that letter a zillion times. Hopefully I learn this at least this year, especially the third point. Ok enough of the serious part, now comes the comedy part.

Sodappal 1:
It was bhogi morning. I was planning to do kuzhambu, Aval kheer and seppankizhangu (Arbi) curry. A simple menu and planned to pack the same for lunch. I think I will be only person to microwave arbi for 12 minutes. I don’t know why I did and what made to press 12 minutes in microwave. Arbi was overrrrrr cooked. It became mushy and goooyeee. What would I do now? First thought of dropping the idea of making the curry. But then I didn’t want to waste the arbi also. So I ended up adding lot of oil and frying it. ( I don’t usually use more than 2-3 tsps of oil.)

So here is what I got. Fried Arbi – To be honest, it was pretty good. (Magic of oil.. I don’t want to say how much I added ;-) ;-) )

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Sodappal 2:

It was a weekday and one of our friend was coming over for dinner. I was planning to make poori and bhaji, that’s all. No fancy dinner and all. Kiddo was playing and I was watching TV (one my favorite show and I was into it) and cooking. That’s the mistake I did. Happily added 3 tbsps of  besan for aloo bhaji and added it to the bhaji without even realizing it. Thank God, I tasted it. The bhaji became so thick, added lot of water and salt. It was tasting like raw besan soup. If I add something, something else was missing.  I was thinking of fixing it again, but I didn’t want to take a chance as we invited the friend. Ended up making another dish and I had the bhaji twice just to punish myself and thrashed the rest :-( :-(

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* famous dialogue from the tamil movie Suriyan which means these are very common in politics.

Dahi Bonda (vada) – Sodappal story and the fix

Here we are with my sodappal dish.
Ok, first of all I am not a morning person. Even during board exams, I was never up before 5:30AM. But in order to  cook the prasadams, finish the pooja and pack the lunch before 8:00 AM, I need to wake up by 4:00 AM, which is a tedious task for me.
Usually for Varalakshmi Vratham, I take off, so my sodappals will be comparitively less. In our custom we also do Gowri pooja, the day before Vinayaka chaturthi. So there will be a sodappal for sure on one of these days. This is what I planned to do on  Vinayaka Chaturthi morning,
As I had already made pulikaichal, I thought that would be perfect for lunch. Thought of doing other items sambhar and rasam in the evening. (We invited one of friends to come over and it was potluck)
By Vinayaka’s grace, kozhukattai and payasam came out good (happily took my own time), but my vada became bonda. :-(
Basically I messed up with my vadai measurement (1/4 cups and 1/3 cups are very much alike) and also added more water while grinding. So first I thought of adding rice flour and extra salt. I was little scared to do that. I didn’t want to play with salt. I cannot do any fixer-upper with excess salt. So went ahead with the same flour and started to fry and realized, I am not even getting the vada shapes. So made bondas and thought of doing something in the evening or forget the fact the I made vada. Also I couldn’t taste the vada in the morning.

Can you call these as vadas??

Came back early from office and tasted the vada. It tasted good but it was hard.. (aiyoooo rama). I didn’t feel like wasting it and thought of doing rasa vada. Just soak it in rasam, that’s it. But enaku risk edukaradu ellam rusk sapidara madiri nala ;-) (Taking risk is as easy as eating rusk for me) thought of trying dahi bonda. As I had lot of time and kiddo was also busy playing outside, went ahead with the plan :-) And this is what I did,


  • Add the hot water to the bondas(vadas) and let it sit for up to 30-40 mts.
  • Meanwhile beat the curd and add cumin powder and mix well.
  • After 30-40 mts of soaking time, add this curd to the bondas(vadas) and mix well.
  • Add the chutneys on top and garnish it with cilantro and thats it.
  • Before serving, add more chutneys.

Bondas ready to be soaked in hot water

I was little reluctant to serve, but told my friends what happened and what I did. But to my surprise, the dahi paruppu bonda turned out pretty good. sabba.. risk eduthadu waste ahala.. (my risk didn’t go in vain) and most importantly it didn’t get wasted :-)

Dahi bonda

Sodappal Stories – Rasagulla

Its been long time since I posted my kitchen disasters. (You can fine my previous one here) It doesn’t mean that all my kitchen experiments were successful. :-) My enthusiasm was at its peak during february and march, which means I had a whole bunch of sodappals too. Here comes my Rasagulla sodappal. And this happened in India. 

I have made rasagullas before, but for making paneer I have always used rice vinegar. Also I wash the paneer before tying it in the cloth so that paneer doesn’t smell like vinegar. I haven’t tried lemon at all. So this time in India, at my chithi’s house, I volunteered to make rasagulla. No vinegar and I had to go with lemon. I didn’t wash the paneer this time thinking that, lemon is not as strong as vinegar. Also I think, I added too much of lemon juice. You know what, the whole rasagulla tasted like lemon-gullas. I tried adding more sugar, huh no use !!! :-( :-(  I didn’t know what to do with the rasagullas.  Ended up wasting them.

Why should this happen in India that too when I cooking for my relatives? I was so embarrassed,  but what to do?? Sodappal is a sodappal. I haven’t tried rasagulla after that. Should try it again sometime.

*Sodappal – disaster

Sodappal Stories (Excess salt)

Fy Fy Fy Sodapify.. One of my recent favorites from the movie PandiNaadu. Catchy tune. While listening to that song, I was thinking about my sodappals (Tamil word, meaning disaster) in my kitchen. (The song has got nothing to do with cooking, but I got hooked to that word). So why not post them?? Fun huh???
I didn’t learn cooking just like that. And I didn’t get the dishes right at the very first time. Cooking is an art, which has no end in learning. Sky is your limit. You can experiment and play with foods. With lot of trail and errors, and experiments here I am. So I thought sharing my sodappals  here and some remedies for some of them.
My very first sodappals of mine were with the salt measure. In India, I was using sea salt (Kal uppu). And Amma was there most of the time and she was helping me with salt measurement. I was not using any spoons and measuring cups. Just based on the quantity, I was measuring salt with hands. Then when I came to US, it was Iodized salt. The measures were completely different. I had to use spoons. Without the 1 tbsp measure, I cannot do anything. I became so much dependent on the measuring spoons. 
While adding salt, go with lesser measure. Its easy to add more if required, but if you add too much, it completely ruins the dish. On days of festivals, we cannot taste the dish. I always add less salt and after neivediyam (prayer offering), I taste the food before serving and add salt if needed. If by mistake you add more salt, the quick remedy is to add chopped potato and boil the dish again. (Disclaimer: This works well for gravy dishes). Potato absorbs the excess salt.  So make sure you always have potatoes in your fridge. 
More sodappals to come..