What would you do if you have unexpected guests for dinner? I am sure we would be comfortable in whipping up a three course dinner in a matter of minutes what with the modern gadgets like refrigerator, microwave etc. But imagine the predicament of our grandparents and people of the older generation. No electricity, no modern gadgets - just creativity and hard work, right? 

Same was the situation with my grandmother. Their household was one of the prominent ones in town, well known for their hospitality and good food at any time of the day/night. My grandma says, on any given day, they would have at least 3-4 unexpected guests for lunch or dinner. 

She says they would all be well built and massive eaters. On a festival day when there are many special items made, each guest would approximately eat about 2-3 pounds of rice, 20-30 vadas, 1 pound of Dal, 10-12 bobbatlu/holigalu/polis, all this apart from chutneys, curries and curds. Imagine feeding at least 40-50 guests with that appetite :) Also count in the regular household members about (20-30). She would have about 2 helpers in the kitchen and she would have to take care of the entire household, the issues with the workers in the farm, issues with the cattle, kids etc. 

In those days, they would buy fresh vegetables for the day, flowers for prayer every morning from vendors who step in. Given the above context, she has to take refuge in recipes like this Alu perugu pachadi when all you have at the end of the day are some leftover vegetables, some potatoes for sure. And since they had lot of cattle, milk and curds were always available. To me this explains the simplicity of this dish! Anyway, here is the simple recipe of perugu pachadi / raita.

Alu Raita

Ingredients -

Alu/Potato peeled, boiled and coarsely mashed 1 cup
Curds/Yogurt 1-2 cups (or as needed) 
Green Chillies 1-2 or as needed (I chose not to add)
Salt as needed
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Jeera 1/4 tsp, Dry Red chillies 1-2, Hing couple pinches, Curry leaves few, Turmeric a pinch)

Method Of Preparation  -

In a bowl, add the coarsely mashed potato, salt and curds. 

Mix well and add chopped green chillies if using.

In a small pan, heat oil and add the rest of the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop and the dals are brown, remove from fire and add it to the alu-curd mixture.

Alu Raita

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves (which I didn't) and serve with pulao or plain rice.

Here are my previous posts under the 'Regional Recipes' for this week of Blogging Marathon.
1.Alu-Ginger Dal ~ Urlagadda-Allam Pappu

2.Chow Chow Pala Pindi Miriyam
3.Bombay Chutney a.k.a Pitla

4.Chakkara Holigalu ~ Sugar crepes

5. Mixed Vegetable Pindi Miriyam

Check out the Blogging Marathoners doing BM#5 along with me
Curry in a hurry under 30 min: AarthiDivyaJayashreeKaveriPavani,
Seven Days of Indian Sweets:GayathriPriya Suresh,
Seven Days of Microwave Meals: Monika
Seven Days of Regional Specials: Vaishali, SumaPJ
Seven Days of Colorful Dishes Kid's Special: Kalyani
Summer Coolers: Jayasree, KamalikaSrivalli

Preparation Time 10 min 
Serves 2-3 Adults
Posted by Harini on Saturday, May 28, 2011


  1. yummy innovative dish delicious

  2. Aarthi Says:
  3. yummy dish

  4. Priya Suresh Says:
  5. Will happily have this yummy delicious pachadi with anything,yumm!

  6. Unknown Says:
  7. Love this simple yet yummy raita

  8. Jayashree Says:
  9. Harini, I am sure that even though we have all the modern conveniences our grandmas didn't have, they would have been much more comfortable whipping up stuff for unexpected guests.
    As regards the stir fry on my blog, you must try it without the spices to see how good it is. It brings out the taste of the veggie completely. There is a version with spices which tastes very different which I'll post soon.

  10. Raji Says:
  11. Kudos to ur grandmom for preparing such a huge feast...this is a very interesting raita.

  12. jayasree Says:
  13. Simple and delicious. A pickle for the side would make a satisfying meal.

  14. Suma Gandlur Says:
  15. Simple and refreshing raita.
    My MIL lived the same way until she could cook. Until recent years, each day we ended up with food atleast to serve 4 -6 guests, after finishing our meals. Even the servant lady would find it excess and would give it away to others. My MIL strongly believed that no one who came our home should go with out eating. Later the Annapurna temple, a nitya annadaana kshethram built by my BIL became an excuse. :)

  16. Unknown Says:
  17. Absolutely love it dear, beautiful !!!

  18. Usha Says:
  19. I love raitas and was meaning to make alu raita ever since I saw it on RC's blog. Preparation looks so simple.

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