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Yelavan kootu – Ashgourd with lentils and coconut, Iyer style

Kootu in Tamil, literally translates as ‘addition’ in English.  That explains this simple side dish from Tamilnadu. If you are taking your first steps as a cook, this is the kind of dish that gives you encouragement and confidence to venture further. It is simple, does not need elaborate prepping and rarely goes wrong. A read more

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Recipes

Appam – Jaggery and Rice spheres

Appam has a first name.  Some people prefix ‘unni’, as in unniappam and some ‘nei’ as in ‘neiyappam’.  As you move up West along the Konkan coast, appam become appe.  The basic recipe remains the same but the sweetness is reduced and some lentils get added to the batter.  Appam has many variations.  My sister, read more

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Recipes

Kala chana chundal – Black chickpea stir-fry with coconut

We are headlong into festival mode here in India since August.  There was Raksha Bandhan, followed by Krishna Jayanti, Ganesh Chaturthi, and a week from now it is going to be nine days and nights of celebrating women power, in the form of various Godesses of Hinduism.  That is the core. A festival is never read more

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Recipes

Verum Arusi Adai ~ Savoury rice pancakes

  Verum Arusi Adai is one of the many different types of savoury and sweet pancakes made in South-India, especially in Tamilian homes.  Though considered an item for breakfast, most Tamil homes have such foods for dinner as it is lighter and easily made, or for religious reasons. Adai batter can be ground in a read more

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Recipes

Vendakkai puli pachadi ~ Crisp okra in sweet sour sauce

‘Vendakkai puli pachadi’ is not a recipe in keeping with my tastebuds. For me sweet and sour do not run well together. I can’t help it. My taste buds have a very one dimensional approach and like to distinguish the elements that they come in contact with  And peculiarly this is restricted to sauces alone. read more

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Recipes

Carrot poduthuval ~ A traditional stir-fry recipe

“Mummy, you like this very very much, don’t you?”  The girl asked. “Hmmm….,” I replied, still digging happily and a tad greedily into my bowl of sweet and mildly savoury carrot stir-fry.  I knew I would go for a second, more generous helping. “Then, why is it not on your blog yet?”  She queried. “Too read more

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