Aviyal (Mixed Vegetable Curry In A Yogurt Base)

Aviyal is an iconic dish from Kerala. I am not sure if it will qualify as a kadhi (yogurt based dish) or a mixed vegetable. Perhaps a little of both. It can be made in two forms – watery (so that it can be mixed into rice) or thick (to be eaten as an accompaniment…

Pagarkkai Thengai Paruppu Curry (Bitter Gourd Coconut Lentil Curry)

I know that many people are not fans of bitter gourd (bitter melon). However, if prepared well, it does not taste bitter at all. In fact, it is a very tasty and versatile vegetable. It is a staple in my home during season. I love experimenting different dishes with this vegetable, though my all-time favourite…

Paatra (Taro Leaf Rolls)

One of the tastiest greens is taro leaf (arbi patta, chembu elai). It is normally available in North India (where I stay) during the monsoon months (July – September). I love this green and look forward to the season. As I have mentioned before, this leaf can cause allergic reactions unless extreme care is exercised….

Podi Pota Urulaikizhangu (Potato With Spice Powder)

There are several dishes that I am very familiar with, but do not often prepare. Mainly because these dishes, delightful as they are, are not top-of-mind. This potato in a spice powder is one such dish. It tastes heavenly, but I tend to rarely make it. A mistake that I must correct. I love potatoes…

Pudalangai Kootu (Snake Gourd, Chichinda Curry)

Snake gourd is a summer vegetable. There are several varieties that are available, some very tasty, others rather tasteless. I do remember a time when this vegetable used to grow up to 6 feet long! But the varieties that are now available in the market are about a foot long. I had grown this in…

Stuffed Peerkangai (Ridge Gourd, Tori)

I get so much of ridge gourd every summer. It is a challenge to make this bland vegetable in different ways – that are tasty and tickles the palate. I often spend many evenings during summer researching this. It was on one such evening that I came across this very interesting recipe. And it tasted…

Vazhaithandu Thoran (Banana Stem Stir Fry)

The banana tree is a wonderful one. All it’s parts are edible, including flowers, raw banana, ripe banana and stem, Cleaning the flowers or stem, however, is a cumbersome process. In the case of the banana stem, the outer layers must be removed to reach the tender inner stem. These are then chopped into thin…

Kolmi Shaker Ghonto (Water Spinach Mixed Vegetables)

Water spinach (known as kalmi saag in Hindi and kolmi shaak in Bengali) is a very tasty green. I was introduced to this green during my early days in Singapore where it was plentifully available. In those regions, it is called kangkong. It is also widely used in oriental cuisine. I was pleasantly surprised to…

Muttaigose Kootu (Cabbage, Bandh Gobi Curry)

This is a popular dish in Thamizhnadu where it is often paired with rasam. It is an extremely tasty curry that is quite easy to prepare. Some years ago, I had an Iyengar friend staying with me. Hari had made a rasam and this cabbage kootu. He went into raptures and I was quite surprised….

Pargarkkai Varuval (‘Fried’ Bittergourd, Karela)

Bitter gourd was not one of my favourite vegetables. I used to intensely dislike the bitter taste. Things did not get much better whenever my father used to visit me. He was a great fan of bitter gourd. The more bitter, the better. He therefore used to request Hari to make just bitter gourd stir…