Potato fry is a very simple dish that my children absolutely adore. So much so, that for the almost one year that we stayed in India, they took it for lunch with curd rice. Almost every single day!! Yes, almost every single day! May sound a little weird but that’s how much they loved it and still do.
I have a video tutorial to go with this recipe . You can check it out here.
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds/Black Gram
2 cloves Garlic (crushed)
A pinch Asafoetida
1 large Red Onion Chopped
4 medium Potatoes Chopped ( Soak chopped pieces in water)
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp Sambar Powder
Salt to taste
Take a pressure pan or a thick bottomed pan.Add 2tbsps of oil, add mustard seeds and asafoetida.Add Chopped onions, sautés till pink. Drain water and add the chopped potato pieces.Wait for a minute. Add turmeric powder, Sambar powder, and sauté till the potato pieces are well cooked. Sprinkle a little water if necessary. When the potato pieces are dry and look fried, remove from stove.
Serve with curd rice , sambar rice or rice and rasam, or lemon rice
In our family, we love eggs in all forms…..scrambled eggs, omelette, in curries.When I was a kid, there was hardly a dinner without eggs at home………my grandfather bred hens as a hobby so there never was a dearth of eggs in our home.
Whenever I am stuck with the menu for the day,I would ask J and he would say make Muttai Kuzhambu. aka Egg Curry. It’s his absolute favourite.
In this recipe, the egg is broken into the curry , unlike the usual version where the egg is boiled separately and added to the curry.
This is a my mom’s recipe, which I altered a little to use the ingredients that were available to me. (She would use fresh coconut paste ) Also ,I like to blend everything in the mixie as in my opinion it saves time .
INGREDIENTS: Serves 4
1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
3 dry red chillies
1 medium sized onion
1 small Tomato
A tiny pellet (about an inch ) tamarind ( soak in a little water and squeeze out juice)
Salt to taste,Oil
A small amount Coriander leaves
Growing up in Nagercoil, a small town in South India, paal kozhukaatai was one of the very traditional dishes that was made often in my home. Sometimes for breakfast and sometimes as an evening snack.
I favour savoury dishes over sweet ones and I was not a big fan of the dish. In general ,during my growing up years, I didnot appreciate many of Nagercoil breakfast dishes. I was a more’ Paandi girl’ as they called me then. who preferred idli/dosa over puttu and idiyappam!
As the universe often conspires, I ended up getting married to a man who would eat the Nagercoil breakfast dishes all three times of the day !! So I learnt to make puttu , idiyappam, Aapam and paal kozhukaatai !
And like the icing on the cake for J, Lil B also loves ‘paal kottai ‘ as he calls them in his broken Tamil.
Overtime, I have come to appreciate all these dishes, I mentioned. Specially the subtle sweet delicate creamy taste of coconut milk and rice flour dumplings with a hint of cardamom for flavour and aroma. Above all its one of the easiest quick dishes to make that never fails to bring a smile on my dear ones’ faces
Ingredients to serve 4
1 cup Roasted Rice flour
1/4 cup thick Coconut milk
1/4 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup Boiling water
2 tsp sugar
2 cups Water
5 tbsp Sugar ( add or reduce to taste)
4 Cardamom – crushed
Take flour in a mixing bowl, add salt and sugar. Pour boiling water slowly little by little mixing with a wooden spoon to form a soft smooth dough.Pour in the oil. When it cools down enough to touch, form into small balls .Taking care not to knead too much
Keep a couple of balls aside. Mix the thin coconut milk with water and heat it to boiling point in a saucepan.Boil 2.5 cups of water in a medium size sauce pan
When the water starts boiling, add in the rice flour balls
When the ball start looking glassy ,Reduce the flame to low.
Add sugar and mix gently. Continue to cook . Take a couple of teaspoons of the thin coconut milk mixture from the saucepan, dissolve the balls in it , to form a smooth mixture.
Add this dough mixture back into the saucepan. Mix well. Once it begins to thick, add the thick coconut milk and stir well.
.Add crushed cardamom and mix well. Let the flavour of the cardamom blend in .Remove from stove top after 5 mins.Take care not to boil the coconut milk .
Lil B and I love watching My Kitchen Rules. It’s our thing. We love the mom and son team of Anna and Jordan . Lil B hopes one day we will be just like them cooking on some cooking competition. Haha. However he does love helping me in the kitchen.Let me tell you, he has a mini repertoire of dishes he can make for us.
“You should write a family cookbook Mumma ” he said . “That’s why I’m writing the blog darling” I said, “So you can have all the recipes for the food I made when I’m dead and gone”.
‘Don’t ever use the word “dead and gone ” he admonished me. ‘I don’t like the term at all !!’
So I’ve now been made to pink promise cross on heart and all, never to say the words again.
Coming to the recipe, J found the recipe online somewhere he cannot remember and modified it to suit our tastes.
Having lived in the Middle East and being so used to the beautiful flavours of the middle eastern street food, this became an instant hit.
Not only does it bring with it memories of eating out from our favourite Turkish restaurant,it also gives them a chance to have a taste of Kuwait at home.
Stored in an airtight container, it stays fresh for a few days in the fridge,tastes great with fresh cut cucumbers, carrots or crackers or pita bread or pita chips.Making it the perfect mid morning, late evening snack.Whats more, its so easy to make. The only timetaking process is the roasting of the beets.
Roasted Beet Hummus
Ingredients to serve 4
3 large cloves of garlic
2 x 400g tins of chickpeas
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 tbsp tahini ( sesame paste , available in super markets)
salt to taste
fresh black pepper to taste.
½ tsp ground cumin powder
1 medium beetroot.
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Peel the skin of the beetroot, chop into big chunks . Preheat oven to 200 degrees C
Wrap the beetroot chunks in aluminum foil and roast them until soft and tender, takes about half an hour to an hour in my oven. When done, remove and let it cool.
Drain chick peas and rinse well. Keep aside. Peel garlic
In a blender, add the cooled down beet, chickpeas, and garlic.Blend into a paste.
Add tahini, cumin powder lemon juice, salt to taste. Blend till hummus is smooth and creamy like a dip. Add pepper and drizzle olive oil over it.Serve with pita, or with veggies.
Cookbook Scribbles :
Add water only if necessary.
Taste and adjust the seasonings as you like.
In a pinch I have also used precooked beets.
If its too much work roasting the beets, skip and just blend the other ingredients and you still have a yummy hummus dip 😉
Briyani or Biriyani or Birinani as Big B calls it, is a family favourite. Specially for Big B ,it has been his favourite ever since he was a wee little boy . My mom loves making it for him whenever we are there.Left to himself,he will eat it three times a day ,all year.
Briyani being a tasty one pot meal that gets ready in no time once the preparations are done, J has taken it upon himself to make it often during the weekends for lunch or dinner. Thought I will share the recipe with my readers as we all love this version.
Ingredients to serve 4
375 gms Chicken ( we like to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.)
250 gms Basmati rice
2 Onions thinly sliced
3 tbsp Greek yogurt
2tsp chill pd
1 tsp coriander pd
1/4 tsp turmeric pd
1/2tsp Garam masala
1small bunch fresh coriander leaves
2 green chillies
2 bay leaves
1″ stick cinnamon
1/4 cup Kara coconut milk.
Make a fine paste of ginger and garlic using a pestle n mortar.
Take chicken in a bowl , add the yogurt, chilli powder, coriander pd, Garam masala powder, ginger garlic paste , salt and 1tsp oil. a little chopped coriander. Half of the whole spices.Mix well and keep aside for 1/2 an hour.
Wash the rice and soak for 10 mins.( ideally soak the rice just when you start preparing the cooking )
In a skillet, pour 1tsp ghee add one half of the onion and sauté till they turn golden brown. Keep aside.
In a pressure cooker, pour 1tsp ghee, add other half of the whole spices, when they splutter add the other half of the onions.
When they turn pink, add in the marinated chicken . Sauté for 5 minutes. Add 1 and 3/4 cup water. Allow the water to boil . When the water boils add the coconut milk and just as it begins to boil add the rice, and coriander leaves.. Mix once and close. When the steam comes, place the weight, cook for 10 mins.
After 10 mins, let the pressure come down completely . Open .sprinkle the fried onions. Serve with cucumber raita.
1 medium cucumber
1/2 cup greek yoghurt
1 small green chilli
1 sprig mint leaves
salt to taste
Chop the cucumber into small cubes. Beat the yoghurt till smooth. Add the diced cucumber , finely chopped green chilli and mint leaves. Season with salt. Chill and serve.
Rasam is another one of those recipes that I make often during Winter. With the flu virus doing the rounds in our home, I make pepper rasam almost everyday! Served with piping hot rice, scrambled eggs and papadam, it is one of our favourite comfort food .
Sometimes I just like to drink it as it is so soothing to the throat.Trust me,it really is simple yet wonderful cure for cold and chest congestion.
Even though there are so many varieties of Rasam, I make milagu rasam or Pepper Rasam often because of how easy it is to make.
In traditional tamil feast, rasam was often served after Sambar a lentil based vegetable stew , to aid with digestion .My dad often said that to earn the title of a good cook , one had to first learn to make a good rasam. For according to him, getting the flavours right for this very simple dish was an art in itself.
Ingredients to serve 4
To grind Coarsely
1 1/2 tsp whole black pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp ghee/oil,
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
1 small tomato.
a gooseberry size of tamarind
Coriander Leaves a few sprigs (torn with hands not chopped)
Soak Tamarind in 1 cup of hot water for about five minutes and take out the pulp. Keep aside.
Take a cup of water in a bowl,Cut Tomato into four pieces , add salt, microwave on high for one minute. Mash the boiled tomato roughly and Keep aside
Mix the tamarind pulp water ,boiled mashed tomato water and the coarsely ground mixture. Add one more cup of water. Keep aside.
In a sauce pan heat oil/ghee, add mustard seeds, asafoetida ,dry chillies and curry leaves. Let it splatter, Now add the pepper water to it. Keep on the stove until just before it starts to boil.Do not allow to boil.
In the serving bowl, add the coriander leaves,salt to taste. Pour in the Pepper rasam over the coriander leaves and salt into the bowl.Serve hot with rice or drink as soup.
Turmeric in the Tamil language is called Manjal, which when directly translated means yellow. Obviously the name came from the colour of the spice. Not only was Turmeric or Manjal a commonly used ingredient in almost all our south Indian preparations , it is also often used as a home remedy.
When we were little and hurt ourselves when playing,and there was blood involved, the wounds were washed and dressed with a mix of crushed small shallots and turmeric.Women applied turmeric paste on their faces to protect the skin from acnes and other skin blemishes. The most common medicinal use however, is for common cold and cough.
Whenever we got the sniffles or scratchy throat, during the monsoon season in India, my mum always made manjal paal aka turmeric pepper milk for us to drink . Although I did not appreciate it much during childhood, I appreciate it a lot now as I find it very smoothing with its amazing healing properties for cold , sore throat and cough during Winter here.
Since Winter is the season where these ailments are largely rampant in most homes, I thought I will share this simple but very effective time tested Winter remedy with my readers here today.
Ingredients to serve 1
Milk : 1 cup
Turmeric :1/2 tsp
Black Pepper: 1/4 tsp
raw sugar/honey or palm jaggery to taste.
In a small saucepan, take milk.Heat on medium heat uncovered, until almost boiling.Add in turmeric and black pepper. Stir well.Reduce heat and and let it simmer for five minutes. When the spices have blended evenly with the milk , remove from flame.Add raw sugar/honey or palm jaggery to taste. Serve warm.
Turmeric milk also aids with getting a goodnight’s sleep at night.