Literally translates to Eggplant gravy in oil. As the name suggests, this requires a generous amount of oil, sesame oil preferably. You can take care of the guilt by eating with a light keerai (spinach) masiyal or paruppusili.
This is a simple spinach dish that comes together in 15 mins, in the time it takes rice to be ready. Can be made with any of the greens. I’ve used purslane or paruppu keerai as it’s known in Tamil since I grow it. It grows very easily. All parts of the plant are edible, including the very pretty yellow flowers. There are many varieties of purslane with different colored flowers, and I was told the one with the yellow flowers was the one most used in cooking. It can be sauteed with salt and garlic, or sprinkled on salads, or, as I’ve done here, cooked with onions, chilies, and dals to make a wholesome dish to be eaten with rice. (I am not qualified to give medical advice, but I’m told it is high in oxalates, so if you’re watching oxalate intake which may cause kidney stones, go easy on it.
We had this sandwich this past weekend, after a trip to the local arboretum. We picked up the bread (a loaf of french baguette) and goat cheese, and had most of the other ingredients. It came together very quickly – the eggplant and the zucchini were cut into circlets and cooked very lightly with salt and pepper, the spread was made with goatcheese, sundried tomatoes, and herbs (I didn’t use most of the herbs, just the basil). It was amazing, satisfying. We had it with roasted corn with chaat masala – strange bedfellows, these two but it was a fantastic meal.
The sweetness and nuttiness of freshly grated coconut are enhanced by the mild heat from the chilies, and the fragrance of hing. A sublime experience, this coconut rice is. And gets ready in a jiffy.
Ah. Biryani. That mouth-watering melting pot of flavors and spices. Who doesn’t like biryani? Shockingly, me. I have never been a fan and always wondered at the euphoric reaction it elicited among everyone, including my husband. But, during this quarantine period, I decided to conquer some of my misconceptions and biases (one reason for my dislike for biryani is its name) for certain foods. And, biryani tops the list. Others are kadalai curry, vadakari, korma (i really like the aroma, just not a fan of the actual dish, go figure that), aappam (again, I love the looks, the concept, just not crazy about actually eating it). Anyway, I started with searching for a good recipe for biryani and watched a youtube episode of Revathy Shanmugam’s Kavignar Veetu Samayal and decided to give it a try. Jackpot! Not only did I actually love it and not because I was super hungry, but I even ate it as a leftover. Finally, my search for a biryani I could love is over! This will be, for sure, my go to recpe for biryani. I made the side dish she made as well, and loved it also. Have provided the link in the notes section – for those who can follow Thamizh. Now, on to the recipe.