Vangibath Masala Powder

Srilatha Basics, South Indian Leave a Comment

Vangibaath is a dish from the Indian state of Karnataka. It is a spiced rice dish made primarily with eggplant, and a special spice mix (masala). I learned this recipe from my very first friend in the US, Usha. When my babies were, well, babies, we used to spend a lot of time with Usha and her husband Shivu. They adopted our young family as their own. There was a lot of cooking that happened. As a delicious result, my cooking has been influenced by Usha’s karnataka style cooking quite a bit, and I still, after 20+ years, make a lot of dishes I learned from her. This is one of them.

This is the masala powder that is added to cooked rice and eggplant/brinjal. I also learned to use this powder with other vegetable+rice combos such as green pepper, and cauliflower.

Anyway, this powder, though readily available in most Indian grocery stores, tastes best when made fresh at home, and it doesn’t take a long time to make. I make it in small quantities whenever I need, but you can make it in small batches and store in the refrigerator.

Kootu Variety 2 – With Coconut, Jeera And Chilies

Srilatha Main Dish, Sides, South Indian Leave a Comment

“Koottu” is an amazingly simple, nutritious, and wholesome dish and makes a complete meal when eaten with a raita. When my kids were little, they wouldn’t eat it if I said it was kootu. But they loved paruppu saadam with ghee (dhal chawal), and I used to trick them into eating it by mixing it myself, with a generous dollop of ghee on top, and calling it paruppu saadam. They loved it. Now it’s one of their most favorite comfort foods, and I have to make it whenever they come home.
This version is my daughter’s favorite. The other kootu with the toasted and blended spices is my son’s favorite.

Idli Upma

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

What do you do with leftover idlis? The people who came up with idlis of course thought about this, and came up with Idli Upma! Nothing wasted. Repurpose everything, in the most delicious way! One day old idlis work wonderfully for this dish. My family loves this dish so much that sometimes my mom (and me, now) make idlis just to make idli upma the next day for breakfast!