A few podis that I cannot live without. I make these once in about 2 months in small quantities to retain freshness. I used to get these from my mom, but she’s older now and I’m older haha, so started making rasam podi and molagapodi on my own, and slowly started making pretty much all the podis. Especially with the covid situation!
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.
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.
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!