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…

Chettinad Vegetable Biryani

South India has a vast variety of flavoured rice – lemon, tamarind, coconut, peanut, sesame, mango, eggplant… A ‘flavoured’ rice in the rest of the country is largely biryani or pulau. All these wonderful preparations need the cooked rice to be separate and grainy. This is normally achieved by roasting the rice in a little…

Thirunelveli Thavalai Adai (Lentil Crepe)

Thirunelveli is a fairly small town in Thamizhnadu. It is, however, very well known for its cuisine. The most iconic dish from this region is the Thirunelveli halwa. But there are hundreds of other dishes that have made the cuisine from this region famous. On another note, I get bored if I have to consume…

Pudavalangai Usili (Snakegourd Crumble)

I had previously posted a cabbage usili recipe and mentioned that several vegetables can be used to make usili. Usilis are from Thamizhnadu. It basically means that a vegetable is mixed with a lentil crumble. These dishes are very tasty and nutritious. Today, my post is on snakegourd usili. Ingredients5 cups finely chopped snakegourd (chichinda,…

Kanchivaram Idli (Steamed Rice Dumplings)

As the name suggests, Kanchivaram (or Kanchipuram) idlis are from the temple city of Kanchipuram in Thamizh Nadu. These idlis are a prasadam (offering, prasad) to Lord Varadaraja Perumal (Vishnu) in the temple located in the city. They are delicious and taste different from the regular idli. The infusion of spices in the rather bland…

Kavuni Arisi Adai (Black Rice Pancake)

For several years, I have been extolling the virtues of black rice (kavuni arisi in Thamizh). Known to be one of the healthiest grains on the planet, this rice has a nutty flavour and mouthfeel. It is ideal to make sweet or savoury dishes. I often make a kheer (payasam, sweet dessert) with this rice….

Ezhukari Kootu (7 Vegetable Curry)

Along with Thiruvadirai kali, this wet dish containing seven different vegetables is also prepared and served along with the sweet kali. It is a different experience pairing a sweet dish with a salty accompaniment. This combination is only made for the Thiruvadirai festival. One of the ‘must have’ vegetables for this dish is greater yam,…

Parangikai Ellu Curry (Pumpkin Curry With Sesame Seeds)

Pumpkin is available throughout the year in Delhi/NCR, though most of the time, it is the green pumpkin. The red variety is rarely available in the organic market, but plentifully available in non-organic wet markets. When I started to subscribe to an organic vegetable basket from a farmer friend, I was overloaded with pumpkins. It…

Kadugu Keerai (Mustard Greens With Coconut)

Mustard greens (kadugu keerai, sarson ka sag) is plentifully available in the North Indian winter months. The most popular dish using this green is sarson ka sag (a wet preparation) served with makki roti (Indian corn bread). I often make this green, though not the corn bread. However, there are several other preparations using mustard…

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…