Simple Spinach Mash (Paruppu Keerai Masiyal)

Srilatha Main Dish, Soups, South Indian Leave a Comment

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.

Milagu Kuzhambu (Black Pepper and Tamarind Gravy)

Srilatha Indian, Main Dish, Sides, South Indian Leave a Comment

This is a thick jam-like gravy with a tamarind base, spiced with a mix of roasted powdered pepper and lentils. Perfect over a bed of hot steaming rice, with an accompaniment of vegetables (kootu) or curry.

Instant Pot Rasam Rice

Srilatha Basics, Main Dish, Rasam, Snacks And Light meals, South Indian Leave a Comment

Rasam is what I crave when we’ve been traveling or eating out too much. And on those days when I simply don’t want to mess with soaking tamarind, waiting for the toor dal to cook, and make rice in a different pot. A few years ago, I came across this method where you can make it all in one go and tried it in my pressure pan – this was before the OPOS days. Now, I have started using my instant pot for the same, and even the extra step of watching and turning it off is eliminated. It’s ready with minimal prep – no soaking tamarind, no making a pot of rasam, and rice separately, no waiting for dal to cook. All the ingredients go in the instant pot together, pressure cooked for 15 minutes, and a simple rasam rice is yours – hot, steaming, and will soothe your soul in under 30 minutes. And it tastes heavenly!

Eggplant Curry (Kathirika Podi Curry)

Srilatha Sides, South Indian Leave a Comment

This is one of the best versions of eggplant/brinjal/aubergine made with a special spice mix. Like most children, I wasn’t too fond of eggplant growing up, due to the texture. But my patti got me to eat this in her own special way. After she made this curry, and transferred it to a serving dish, there would be invariably some sticking to the kadai (or maybe she left it on purpose). Anyway, she would add some hot rice to the baanali (that’s what we called the vaanali in our family), add a couple of spoons of ghee, and mix it all together, make balls of the rice shining with the eggplant and the ghee, and go around distributing it. Oh man, that was the best! To this day, I do it every time I make eggplant curry this way, but somehow my memories taste better!