Welcome aboard!

Indian cuisine is a riot of colours, flavours, and spices. Every state has its own unique culture- ingrained taste bud. And, to many of us staying within familiar tastes is a sacrosanct act. Of course an occasional trip to a speciality restaurant that serves another fare is ok. But, as a matter of routine ...at home...NO!

One of the benefits of being born to parents who dared an interstate marriage (am talking about India of the 70's) was being able to widen a regional taste bud to accept, experiment and, relish eclectic cuisines :-)

I love food! Be it traditional or fusion, cooking is all about turning out fare that is tasty and healthy.I welcome all lovers of good food to come on aboard and share your kitchen adventures.

If you like what you see, do leave a comment. If you don't, please leave a suggestion to help me make this better.

You can also request for any recipe you want. Just leave a note in a comment box.

Happy cooking!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pavakka Mezhukkuvaratti (Bittergourd stir fry)

This quick recipe is a family favourite. A lot of people I've served this to, who generally aren't bittergourd lovers or prefer only the deep fried version, seem to like this version of pavakka mezhukkuvaratti (bitter gourd stir fry). To the recipe then, without much ado:

Pavakka (bitter gourd) - 2 medium sized ( I prefer the dark green ones)
Onion - 1 medium sized
Green chillies - 5-6 Nos (as per your spice tolerance)
Ginger - 2 " piece (julienned)
Coconut oil - 3 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Sliced fresh coconut pieces (optional)

Soak the bittergourds in water with a teaspoon of salt or vinegar thrown in for atleast 10 minutes. This is to dislodge the dirt, the pesticide residue etc that can hide in between the grooves. Then wash thoroughly under running water.

Slit the bittergourds vertically. If the seeds are tender enough let them be or else dislodge them. Now, slice into thin semi circles. Slice the onions thin and slit the chillies. Add all ingredients (including salt and oil) together in a bowl and using your fingers rub everything together till well mixed. Cover and let marinade for 1/2 hour to 1 hour.

Warm a skillet and spread the mixture in. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes on very low flame. Open lid and stir. Allow to simmer cook tossing once in a while till the bittergourd is well done.

Serve as aside to plain rice and south indian curry of choice.

This platter of pavakka mezhukkuvaratti is going to participate at the Vegetable Marathon - Bittergourd event at Nithu's Kitchen. The event is part of the Vegetable Marathon series launched by Anita's Kitchen

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pori-badam urundai (puffed rice and almond laddus)

Deepavali treats need not necessarily make you guilty of high calorie/fat laden indulgence. With a little bit effort and imagination you can make goodies
that are absolutely delicious and yet healthy. If you do not believe me, try these yummy laddus made all out of healthy ingredients. A lot of you might be familiar with puffed rice laddus (pori urundai), I've just given this a little variation plus thrown in a couple of extra ingredients.

Puffed rice (pori/murmure) - 2 cups
Raw almonds - 3/4 cup (ground to meal)
Jaggery (sharkkara) syrup - 1 cup
Cardamom - 4-5 Nos
White sesame seeds - 1/4 cup
Saffron strands - 3 or 4 (optional)
Medicinal (raw) camphor (pachai karpooram) - two pinches (optional)

Powder the almonds in a coffee grinder/chutney jar of your mixie/food processor). Pour the jaggery syrup into a thick bottomed skillet and add the rest of the ingredients one by one. Keep stirring. You will find that the puffed rice absorbs the syrup and will reduce in size. Stir on low flame till everything is well incorporated and reaches a coarse halwa/jam like consistency. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
Pull out small sections and shape into small lemon sized balls. Grease your palms with a little odourless cooking oil like rice bran/canola/sunflower or use ghee (clarified butter) instead.

Refridgerate and these keep well for a week.


To make Jaggery syrup - In a seperate vessel boil about 150 ml water and dissolve an equal quantity of jaggery. Filter to remove scum. Pour this into a thick bottomed skillet and simmer till it reaches a thick,syrupy texture.

Sending these to the Diwali Sweets & Snacks event at Home Cook's Recipes.
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