Chettinad Vendakkai Varuval (Okra ‘Fry’)

Okra is one of my favourite vegetables. There are literally hundreds of recipes using this very versatile vegetable, each one tastier than the next. Every region of India has it’s own unique recipes. Being a summer vegetable (in the Northern parts of the country), it is available only seasonally. But it is available throughout the…

Mati Mahor Dali (Assamese Style Split Black Gram Curry)

Dals are a feature of “North” India – and most of them taste fabulous! They are rich (though the WFPB versions need not be so) and filling. Other states in India have their own unique dal preparations too. Equally tasty, but not so rich or creamy. I like to experiment with dals from various states….

Ulli Theeyal (Shallots In A Tamarind Base)

Kuzhambu is very popular in the South Indian states, especially Thamizhnadu. While the term ‘kuzhambu’ is generic to many dishes that are mixed with rice, the term also means curries in a tamarind base. Kuzhambs are often spicy and thick. It is used sparingly with rice to make a thick mixture. In days of yore,…

Makhana (Lotus Seed) Curry

Frankly, I was not aware of makhana till I came to Delhi about 37 years ago. It is not an ingredient that is used in South Indian cuisine. I am a member of a FB group called ‘Recipes of Palakkad – A Vegetarian World’. I have been a member for several years and have not…

Bendakaya Pulusu (Okra In Tamarind Gravy)

For several years, weekends were normally spent in my home of my friend, D. R. Naidu. Protima, Naidu’s wife then, was (and is) a fabulous cook. She had influences from both West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. I have had pulusu countless times at her place. It is a wet dish in a tamarind gravy, native…

Dondakaya (Ivy Gourd) ‘Fry’

This is a recipe from the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. In local parlance, ivy gourd is called dondakaya. This is a vegetable that I like and make a preparation of it once a week. But normally, it is a stir fry with a little coconut. This time, I was in the…

Achari Tori (Sponge Gourd In Pickle Sauce)

Ridge gourd is a vegetable that I buy regularly. It’s cousin, sponge gourd, is not one of my favourites. But I am never sure if this vegetable is called ridge or sponge gourd as various sources use these terms interchangeably. I therefore rarely buy the smooth one (referred to as Tori/Turai in North India). After…

Panchmel Dal (Mixture Of 5 Lentils)

How tastes change! I always liked the plain dals prepared in North India, but only with Indian flat breads. The thought of mixing a dal with rice was abhorrent to me. Not any more. I can now happily have dal-chawal (dal/rice). I have therefore been experimenting with different dals from the northern parts of India….

Tofu Tikka Masala

I have never been fond of the traditional Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) Tikka Masala. The reasons are not far to seek. In my earlier avatar of being a vegetarian, I was invariably served one or two paneer dishes whenever I was invited to partake of lunch or dinner in any friend’s home. I had such…

Poricha Kuzhambu

Poricha Kuzhambu is a typical Palakkad dish. I wonder why I don’t make it more frequently? But it’s not only me – seems it is not top-of-mind for a lot of people. And yet, when you remind them of this dish, they all exclaim that it is an excellent dish and super tasty. I suppose…