Photo source: Khushi Gupta
Maruveedu Sodhi is a recipe prepared in the Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, Tiruchendur and Madurai regions of Tamil Nadu. It is very popular in Tirunelveli in general and especially concentrated in a few matrilineal and uxorilocal communities. Maruveedu meaning "Welcome Home", is a welcome home recipe prepared for newlywed couples the next day after marriage. It is served during maruveedu at the groom's house despite uxorilocality, the groom's mother prepares the Sodhi for the couple.
Sodhi is predominantly a unique vegetable stew with moong dal and a coconut milk base. It is prepared using Maapillai Samba arasi (rice) for nutritional value and drumsticks are added as it has the reputation of being extolled as the regional aphrodisiac. Alternatively, it is also called Mapillai Sodhi.
Recipe: Maruveedu Sodhi
1000 ml coconut milk
200 ml water
Ginger- 2 inches
Green Chilies- 3
Moong Dal- 100gms
2-3 cups of cut vegetables (Carrots, potatoes, beans, white aubergine and drumsticks)
Note: For cut vegetables- In the absence of white aubergine normal eggplant can also be used. The above provided are the authentic vegetables used, but the vegetables can be reduced according to taste palatability.
Saute green chillies and ginger in coconut oil in a kadhai (wok) till it turns mildly copperish in colour. Transfer to a container to cool and grind it to a paste.
Parboil or steam the cut vegetables.
Pressure cook moong dal until soft up to 3 to 4 whistles
In a wok tadka mustards and urad dal to pop, add curry leaves and shallots.
Shallots (Chinna vengaayam) are popular in Tamil Nadu cuisines attributed to easy accessibility and regional availability.
Once the shallots soften, add the boiled vegetables, ground paste and saute.
Add 750 ml of coconut milk, cover, and cook until coconut milk reduces.
Add the cooked moong dal and some water if the dal is thick.
Add salt and allow it to boil. This process is called kodhi varadhu. After the gravy boils, add 250 ml of coconut milk and let it come to a kodhi (boil). Once boiled add coconut oil mildly upwards as garnish, demount the wok and transfer the gravy to a container.
Once the gravy is cool it's ready to be served with hot white rice (traditionally the maapillai Samba variety rice)
Sodhi is complimented with Inji Thogayal/Thuvaiyal- a traditional ginger chutney.
Special Thanks to Ms. Dhivyalakshmi CR for sharing this unique nutritional recipe with us.
Ms. Dhivyalakshmy works in IT and is a native of Thirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. She was introduced to Maruveedu Sodhi in the weddings of all her 'chitthappas'- father's younger brothers'