Kara Kuzhambu (Spicy Thick Tamarind Gravy)

Srilatha Sides, South Indian Leave a Comment

Kuzhambu is a generic thick, sour gravy in Tamil cuisine, meant to be eaten with rice or as a side for idli/dosai/pongal/etc. It is generally made with a tamarind base, although it can also have buttermilk/yogurt as base. It is not the same as sambar, although the base stock is tamarind for both. Kuzhambu may or may not have dal (paruppu/lentils) whereas sambar will always have dal along with the tamarind stock. Both may have vegetables. Sambar is generally slightly thinner than kuzhambu. This recipe is one of those which is by definition hot and spicy – “kaaram” means hot (red chili hot). Kuzhambu means a thick slurry/gravy. The stars of this recipe are shallots, garlic, and lots and lots of curry leaves (kariveppilai). The flavor is enhanced by using virgin, cold pressed nallennai (unfiltered sesame oil).

Kovakai Curry (Tindora Curry)

Srilatha Sides, South Indian Leave a Comment

Kovakai (ivy gourd in English, tindora in Hindi) is a 2-3 inch cucumber like vegetable, but sturdier and makes a great stirfry vegetable. Pairs well with any rice dish (rasam/sambar/yogurt or just plain white rice). My kids’ favorite. More ocmmonly available in Indian grocery stores, makes a much-requested appearance in my kitchen whenver kids come home. It can be cut lengthwise or in circles. My kids love it in circles and that’s how I always make it.

Oats Idli

Srilatha Breakfast, Snacks And Light meals, South Indian Leave a Comment

Oats are good for you. Let’s just accept that. But one could get tired of eating oats only as a porridgy thing. I needed to find ways to incorporate oats in our meals without getting bored of it. Tried oats dosa – did not like it. Tried it instead of rice with rasam and yogurt. Meh. Rasam was alright, but didn’t care for it with sambar or yogurt. Tried idlis. And…we had a winner! Technically, this is oats rava idli as I add a litlte bit of rava (1 part rava to 3 parts oats so there’s definitely more oats). This is a quick recipe, and with the right chutney/podi, will definitely satisfy your idli craving as well – and there’s no need to soak, grind, ferment, etc. On to the recipe now!

Urulaikizhangu Bonda (Potato fritters/aloo bonda)

Srilatha Breakfast, Snacks And Light meals, South Indian Leave a Comment

Bonda is a south Indian delicacy where urad dal batter or spiced vegetable mix is coated in a chickpea flour batter and deep fried. It’s ideal for an afternoon tea. There is the plain bonda/mysore bonda which is made with an urad dal batter spiced up with pepper, coconut, and cumin seeds. Then there is the filled bonda which is where today’s recipe comes in – it has an outer covering made of a chickpea flour/rice flour batter, into which boiled and spiced up veggies (primarily potatoes, and optionally mixed vegetables) are dipped in, and then deep fried. They are all deep fried.
It can be served with a chutney such as coconut or peanut chutney. Or just by itself, as it’s spicy enough. Have it with a cup of coffee or tea on a rainy day to perk you up. I made these beauties for game day this weekend for the Jags playoff game. They lost, but the snack was a win!