Sodhi with Inji Pachadi

Sodhi is an exotic Sri Lankan curry prepared with lentils and vegetables stewed in coconut milk. Although sodhi is not a spicy curry, it has grown popular among the people living in & around Tirunelveli who usually enjoy spicy curries. The banana leaf platter served at our family wedding feasts is a lavish spread of creamy sodhi, pungent inji pachadi, spicy potato fries, crunchy appalam, scrumptious coconut milk dessert (payasam), sweet boondhi and fresh curd  as shown below. Wedding in our family is usually hosted by bride’s family. However bride’s family is treated with a sumptuous meal (maruveetu sappadu) with sodhi the day after marriage, and it is a unique custom prevalent here to signify the confluence of both the families.

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Maruveetu Sappadu

My grandfather used to narrate how sodhi reached here in India: Long ago people in the south traveled to Sri Lanka frequently for business purposes and later they started settling there. Nevertheless they used to come back here looking for brides for their sons and getting them married to follow the family tradition. On such occasion a groom’s family decided to treat the bride’s family with splendid Sri Lankan delicacies as they were enthralled by the hospitality rendered to them. Soon people started following the same and now it has become customary that a groom’s family should treat bride’s family with sodhi the next day and hence it is termed as “mappillai (meaning groom) sodhi”.

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Tirunelveli Sodhi

Breakfast with sodhi:

Since vegetables, lentils & coconut milk are used in the prepartaion of sodhi, we need to include some carbs like rice, idli, dosa, idiyappam, appam, poori, or chapathi to make it a wholesome meal. We can also serve sodhi with steamed rice noodles or millet noodles, crispy dosa, or spongy appam for breakfast.

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Idiyappam & sodhi
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Crispy dosa with Sodhi

Sodhi with inji pachadi for lunch:

As sodhi is a mildly-spiced creamy gravy, we make ginger chutney & stir-fried potato when served with rice. I find non-greasy spicy stir-fried potatoes & deep fried pappadam perfect accompaniments for this meal. Some may prefer to take potato chips in place of stir-fried potato.

img_7133 Sodhi with Inji Pachadi
Lunch with sodhi, stir-fried potato, inji pachadi & paruppu pradhaman

Sodhi for dinner:

We can serve sodhi with soft roti, chapathi, naan, poori or stuffed paratha for dinner.

img_7148 Sodhi with Inji Pachadi
Chapathi with sodhi

Sodhi with inji pachadi:

Sodhi Recipe

img_0566 Sodhi with Inji Pachadi

Yields: 2 Litres

Serves : 3 for lunch & dinner

Time taken : 50 min


  1. Coconut – 3 halves ( 1 and 1/2)
  2. Green gram (moong dal/ paasi paruppu) – ½ cup
  3. Carrot – 1 No.
  4. Potato – 1 No.
  5. Drumsticks – 2 Nos.
  6. Beans – 10 Nos.
  7. Shallots – 20 Nos.
  8. Garlic – 15 pods
  9. Lemon – one half
  10. Coriander leaves – as needed
  11. Salt – 1 tsp

For spice mix:

  1. Green chillies – 6 Nos.
  2. Ginger – a thumb sized
  3. Salt – ¼ tsp (to prevent blackening)

For tempering:

  1. Coconut oil (or any neutral oil)  – 1 tsp
  2. Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Green chillies (slit) – 2 Nos.
  4. Curry leaves – a sprig
sodhi-ing Sodhi with Inji Pachadi
Sodhi ingredients

How to extract coconut milk:

  1. Break the coconut into 2 halves.

    Here I have used 3 coconut halves to extract the coconut milk.IMG_0481-scaled Sodhi with Inji Pachadi

  2. Add coconut meat into the juice extractor jar of a mixer grinder.

    I have roughly chopped the coconut before adding into the jar.IMG_7028-1-scaled Sodhi with Inji Pachadi

  3. Grind coconut into a paste.

    I have added 2o0 ml of water for ease of grinding.IMG_7031-1-scaled Sodhi with Inji Pachadi

  4. Separate the coconut milk.

    We need to pass the ground coconut through a fine sieve and squeeze the ground coconut to extract creamy coconut milk.
    IMG_70331-scaled Sodhi with Inji Pachadi

  5. Repeat the above steps to extract diluted coconut milk grinding the same coconut again.

    I have added 700 ml of water for the second pressed coconut milk, and another 700 ml of water for the third pressed coconut milk.IMG_70301-scaled Sodhi with Inji Pachadi

  6. Fresh coconut milk (both the creamy milk & thin diluted coconut milk) is ready.

    Thick coconut milk can be added for thickening the curry (sauce) or payasam (dessert) at the end to make the dish rich & creamy, whereas thin milk can be used to cook vegetables/ meat.

    IMG_7072-scaled Sodhi with Inji Pachadi
    Finally, I have got 250 ml of thick coconut milk, 750 ml of second-pressed milk & 750 ml of third-pressed milk.

Mise en place:

  • First we need to extract coconut milk as shown above. Here I have used 250 ml of thick coconut milk, 750 ml of second-pressed milk to make the cooked lentils tenuous, and used 750 ml of third-pressed milk to cook the vegetables.
  • Wash & prepare vegetables as shown below:
img_0484 Sodhi with Inji Pachadi
  • Pressure cook lentils, carrot & potato (simmer for 7 minutes when it reaches high pressure).
  • When the pressure is released separate the vegetables from lentils.
  • Make a puree of lentils by adding 50 ml of second pressed coconut milk and keep aside.
sodhi-dal Sodhi with Inji Pachadi
  • Grind green chillies, ginger & salt into a paste (after adding a tbsp of third pressed coconut milk) and keep aside.
chilli Sodhi with Inji Pachadi

How to prepare sodhi:

  • Heat a heavy bottom pan with oil in low flame and add cumin seeds.
  • Add curry leaves, shallots, garlic & slit green chillies and saute for a minute in medium flame.
  • Add chopped beans & drumsticks and then pour the third pressed coconut milk.
  • Boil the vegetables in medium flame.
  • When the vegetables are half-cooked add chilli paste & salt (half tsp) into the pan.
  • Cover the pan and simmer until vegetables are cooked soft.
  • Now add cooked carrot & potato followed by lentil paste into the pan.
  • Pour the second pressed coconut milk.
  • Add salt (half tsp) and stir to combine.
  • Boil this mixture in medium flame.
  • When it starts bubbling up, pour the first pressed milk and reduce the flame to low.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves, mix well and remove sodhi from heat.
  • Add lemon juice when it is warm and mix well.
  • Serve sodhi with hot steaming rice, potato fries, inji pachadi & papadam.
sodhi1 Sodhi with Inji Pachadi
Sodhi recipe

Tips & Tweaks:

  • We could very well use the thin coconut milk for making sodhi, and it may not require to use the whole first pressed coconut milk completely. You can use it for making payasam or refrigerate it for later use.
  • If you find it difficult to extract coconut milk, you can replace first pressed milk with store-bought coconut milk, second & third milk with plain water.
  • We use garlic to prevent the fat deposit while taking coconut milk, so we can also add a few pods along with ginger while grinding.
  • You can use all (or some of) the vegetables listed under ingredients.  I find it gross to add tomatoes, brinjal, ladies finger, beetroot, radish, capsicum, or paneer (cottage cheese) in here. So we don’t use any other vegetable except fresh beans like peas, butter beans or soy beans, cauliflower, broccoli,  baby potatoes, and textured soy bean (soya nuggets). 
  • We should make sure that shallots, garlic, or other vegetables are not overcooked as they lose their shape and get dissolved in stew.
  • You may use mustard seeds instead of cumin seeds; I have used them to improve digestion.
  • We don’t prefer to use red chillies or red chilli powder in place of green chillies as they change the color of the curry.
  • I have blended cooked lentil using mixer-grinder to make a lump-free smooth gravy; but you may use a hand blender or just mash well with the back of a ladle  before adding into the gravy.
  • I have used slit green chillies for flavor and ground green chillies to make sodhi spicy.
  • It is better to consume sodhi within 24 to 36 hours (not more than that) even if we refrigerate it.

Inji Pachadi Recipe

Since creamy sodhi sits heavy on the stomach, inji pachadi (ginger chutney) is an essential side served with sodhi to ease the digestion.

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Inji pachadi


  1. Sesame oil – 1 tsp
  2. Ginger – 2 pieces (each 3″)
  3. Red chillies – 4 Nos.
  4. Black gram (urad dal/ ulundhu) – 1 tbsp
  5. Tamarind – a small berry sized ball
  6. Asafoetida (hing/ kayam) – a small block (or a pinch of hing powder)
  7. Salt – ½ tsp
  8. Powdered jaggery – 1 tsp

For tempering:

  1. Sesame oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
  3. Shallots – 20 Nos.

Cooking Method:

  • Heat a pan with 1 tsp of sesame oil in medium flame.
  • Roast a hing block, red chillies & black gram and remove from pan.
  • Add ginger pieces, tamarind & salt (¼ tsp) into the same pan and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Turn off the flame, transfer  them to a plate and allow to reach room temperature.
  • In a mixer-grinder add red chillies, hing & lentils and grind into a coarse powder.
  • Add ginger, tamarind & salt (¼ tsp) and grind into a fine paste after adding 25 ml of water.
thuvaiyal Sodhi with Inji Pachadi
Inji thuvaiyal
  • Heat the same pan with 1 tbsp of oil in medium flame.
  • Add mustard, when they start crackling add chopped shallots.
  • Saute until they become translucent.
  • Add ginger chutney & saute until caramelized.
  • Add jaggery & water (100 ml) and mix well.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil and simmer for few minutes.
  • Now inji pachadi is ready to serve.
pachdi Sodhi with Inji Pachadi
Inji pachadi

Tip: We can easily peel ginger using the edge of a spoon’s head instead of using a peeler or knife.

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How to peel ginger easily

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  1. The sodhi is not a sri lankan dish. It is a tirunelveli dish and also a keralite dish where they call it stew and the preparation is slightly different. When Tamils migrated from India to Sri Lanka and many did from the Nellai and Nagerkoil area, they carried the recipe with them.

    1. Oh! But I heard the other way from my grandfather, this curry is actually known as hodhi (not sodhi), and hodhi is a traditional Sri Lankan coconut milk curry. Thank you so much for sharing your thought.

  2. I’ve never tried sodhi, though I’ve heard loads about it. Bookmarking this recipe to try out soon.
    The inji pachadi looks absolutely delectable as well. 🙂

  3. Wow! The inji chutney is a sure try. It looks amazing and tempting too! The ‘sondhi’ is new, something close to the garlic stew my mother-in-law cooks. Thanks for sharing, Megala:)

          1. I must say you have a beautiful blog, Megala. The reason I am always coming back in there is to find those long-lost recipes and tastes that my mother cooked in her kitchen, and you have it all there. Keep it coming, Megala!

  4. Can’t wait to try these recipes! Very interesting to read about the story behind sothi. Thank you so much for sharing all this information!

  5. wonderful delicious recipes Megala! I love the sodhi , stew it goes well with so many dishes .The inchipachadi also looks so yummy! The photos are awesome!

  6. Seems like a very tasty dish! And so interesting to read about the history of Sodhi and about the Indian wedding and food tradition!

  7. Presentation of sodhi with inchi pachadi is so beautiful among all receipee sodhi is ahead . Very nice

  8. Such a nice write-up !! And the recipe looks unique…loved it as it goes well with rice, dosa and chapathi…really an impressive share !!

  9. Love the way you narrated the travel of this recipe. Also you posted pictures with many side course. I am getting Inspired from each of your post Megala.

  10. This combination sounds lovely!! Is sodhi similar to aviyal? That ginger chutney is definitely on my try-out list!! 🙂 It reminds me of my friend’s allam pachadi that I absolutely love. It was lovely reading through this post. I love how authentic your recipes are!!

    1. Both are different, sodhi can be compared with sambar & aviyal is a side for sambar ! Thanks so much for stopping by !

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