A sodhi is a light and mild coconut milk based curry from the Tamil community of South India and Sri Lanka. Sodhis are generally vegetable based, and can include almost any vegetable, root or pumpkin either alone or in combination. This curry is designed to be mild and bring out the flavor of the vegetable in season.
The coconut plants is common in coastal South India, and every part of it is used. The water, meat and coconut oil used integrally in food, the fibrous shell is burnt and used as fuel, the hard inner coconut shell for ornaments for the house or hair, the leaves as thatching for houses, and the logs as building materials or firewood (more here).
This sodhi lives up to its expectations, delicate, mild and delicious. The flavor of the tender green beans is accentuated by the mild spices and coconut curry.
This is the first in a series of recipes featuring recipes from across India. Each curry will highlight a different region, cooking type and culture bring out the diversity of the cuisine, the land, the use of endemic cooking ingredients and the people.
This South Indian cookbook brings to my shelf the unique cuisine of the Chettinad Tamils in South India. This now popular cuisine is known to be extremely spicy, complex and distinct. This book is a wonderful collection of recipes that makes this cuisine accessible to us at home.
For more recipes from this cookbook click here.
3-4 tablespoons oil
4 green cardamom pods
1 inch cinnamon stick
1/2 onion, minced fine
2 green chiles, minced, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/2 lb green beans or French beans, diced into 1 inch sized pieces
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon lime juice
fresh cilantro, minced
Heat the oil in a pot and add the whole spices. Fry for 1 minute on medium heat till the cardamom pods turn light brown. Add the onions and green chiles and saute for 2 minutes till the onions are translucent. Add the turmeric and salt and saute for 1 minute. add the coconut milk and the beans and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes till the beans are cooked through. I like to leave the beans a bit raw for more texture. Turn off the heat and squeeze in the lime juice and mix well. Taste and adjust for salt and sour. The curry should be light and thin, feel free to add some water to thin it down if needed.
Load the curry into a bowl and top with the minced cilantro.