Food Photography Recipes

Olan – Ashgourd stew in coconut milk


OLAN is a ridiculously simple and extremely delicious curry from my hometown of Palakkad, and of Kerala and the Konkan regions. We use ashgourd (Safed bhopla | White pumpkin) a lot in Palakkad, by itself or mixed with other vegetables. Many of the recipes from my region are bland, with the flavour of vegetables dominating read more

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Food Photography Recipes

Ribbon Pakodam – Gram Flour and Rice Flour Crispies

Ribbon Pakodam |

Known in various Indian languages as Ribbon Pakodam, Ola Pakoda, Aaku Pakodi or Nada Thenguzhal, these gram flour and rice flour crispies are easily prepared savouries that form part of snacks called ‘bakshanam’. Bakshanam  literally means food, but has come to be used as a term that specifically refers to snacks, both sweet and savoury, read more

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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


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


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


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