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.
I had seen a pal kootu recipe in Meenakshi Ammal’s Samaithu Par volume, but was always wondered if milk in a curry would be something I would like. Finally decided to try it, and sorely regretted not having cooked for the past thirty years. This is such a mellow dish, and is perfect with rice. I haven’t tried it with rotis, but don’t see why not. Typically made with ridge gourd, yellow pumpkin, it takes mellow vegetables. On to the recipe now!
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.
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.
Kanchipuram Idli – spiced with ginger in fresh and dried forms, pepper, cumin, kariveppelai (curry leaves), cashew nuts, and tempered in gingelly oil (nallennai/sesame oil) – just reading the description makes me almost drool. So named for its origins in (from who knows when) the temple kitchen (madapalli) of the Kanchipuram Varadaraja Perumal kovil, it’s been enjoyed by millions as a temple prasadam and in homes around the world. I was introduced to it quite late in my life when I got married and had it at my husband’s aunt’s place. I’ll admit – I wasn’t a huge fan initially. But my husband loves it to pieces. So, over the years, I’ve learned to make it (not frequently enough for him), and have grown to like, even love it. I simply love that it’s a temple prasadam. The temple kitchen uses only raw rice but at home we use an equal measure of raw and parboiled rices. Here’s the recipe.