Naan: Butter, Garlic, Chili in Oven

Srilatha Punjabi, Punjabi Leave a Comment

Having always wanted to make naan at home, the social distancing restrictions provided the perfect opportunity since we cut way down on eating out from maybe once a week to zero, to try it. I browsed several recipes: some that didn’t use a conventional oven needed the tawa to be inverted over the stove. I use a heavy cast iron tawa. That was out. Some used the traditional tandoor. Out. By elimination, I settled on recipes that used an oven. Of these, Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe seemed like a good fit. And that’s what I settled on. He isn’t very clear on how long to bake, so I had to guess. The result: the naans were a bit chewy. I followed his instructions to keep the dough very moist and I think that made a huge difference in the texture. I’m sure I’ll try this again, and maybe will hit the perfect temp and the cooking time. For this recipe, I preheated my oven to 500, which was the max my oven would go. And cooked the naan for approximately 5 minutes.

Vendakai Gojju From Karnataka

Srilatha Main Dish, South Indian Leave a Comment

I love Kripal Singh’s Food Lovers TV where he spotlights older, unique, out of the way establishments mostly in Bengaluru. One of these episodes featured The New Modern Hotel (not sure of the name) in Bengaluru, and their homestyle cooking and thaali. Now, if I must choose someone to eat on my behalf, if that ever happens, I would choose Kripal. The way he experiences the food and relates the experience, the way he enjoys it – he is the BEST! The food featured was South Canara cuisine, I think it’s coastal karnataka, satvik food, plenty of coconut, and jaggery, and just everything good! I fell in love with this episode, and the side dish of okra gojju that he used the pooris to dip in. Googled the recipe, and I came up with what I think is the dish featured. From my research, it’s very similar to the pagarkai gojju made with a unique masala paste made of sesame seeds and coconut, in addition to the dals and red chilies. I had to make it immediately. Like the same evening. But I waited to serve it with with the pooris, along with a hodge podge thaali I made up with various leftovers, as I was craving a Woodlands style thaali. Here is the recipe!

From Kerala: Avial

Srilatha Main Dish, South Indian Leave a Comment

Avial is one of the trademark Kerala recipes. Mild, stew-like, lush with juicy vegetables, creamy with yogurt, and flavored with fresh coconut and chilies ground to a paste, and tempered in coconut oil with curry leaves. Tastes great on rice, as a side dish for adai and pongal, and puliyodarai, and coconut rice. Requires a bunch of vegetables, but that’s it. Real simple to make.

Kothamalli Podi (Cilantro podi/pesto)

Srilatha Breakfast, Chutneys, Sides, South Indian Leave a Comment

This is a semi dry chutney with just 4 ingredients: cilantro, red chilies, tamarind, urad dal. And salt, and hing. Pairs perfectly with idli, dosai, rice, anything you’d have a chutney to go with. It’s really neither a chutney nor a powder (podi) – it’s not a runny, watery paste like a chutney, nor is it completely dry like a podi. There is a little moisture from the cilantro, but it’s on the dry side. Simple to make, lasts in the refrigerator for about a month easily.

AkkaraAdisil

Srilatha Dessert, South Indian Leave a Comment

Akkara adisil is the quintessential Iyengar dessert, and there are no two opinions about how it should be made – it’s basically rice and moong dal cooked in lots of milk and ghee, and a healthy dose of jaggery or unrefined sugar.
The key to this dish is to cook the rice and dal in a mix of water and milk, preferably whole milk.
Story behind the dish:
Legend goes that Andal (Gotha Devi, the lone female among the 12 Aazhvars) longed to become one with Krishna. She obsereved a nonbu (penance, fast) during the month of Margazhi and offered him neivedhyam every day. On the 27th day, she made this dish, cooked rice and dal in milk, sweetened with jaggery, and dripping with ghee, and offered as neivedhyam. She was granted her wish on this day, which is known as Koodaravalli. Yestreday, our local temple performed Andal Kalyanam, and I had taken this as prasadam.