Sambar! That one word is enough to have us running to the table. Today’s sambar is made with Snake Beans, also called Long Beans. It has a base of onion, carrot and potato. I have broken one of Meenakshi Ammal’s cardinal rules – only one vegetable per sambar – but I’ve kept the onion, carrot and potato to small amounts. I don’t think she will mind.
Who said dips are dead? Certainly not in our house. They are generally easy to make, are great snacks, and fill hunger gaps. They are gorgeous for guests. We layer them with other ingredients in main meals. Or simply eat them out of the bowl while standing at the fridge. Sssshhhhh!
This Masiyal made with eggplants is so good with Dosai that is has been given the name Dosa Masiyal. It is thick and gorgeous, tangy and spicy, and easy to make. But don’t keep it only for dosa – it is also good as a side dish, or with rice. It is surprisingly good in wraps and on toast! Or thin it somewhat, and it is perfect for rice and idli.
I have cooked without onions, but onions can be added – see the notes at the end of the recipe.
The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.
Browse all of our Eggplant recipes and our Masiyal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.
Continue reading “Brinjal Dosai Masiyal | Eggplant Masiyal”
Feta is delicious baked – when I discovered this Mediterranean dish, we were over the moon, baking it for friends and family for quite some time. We love feta – did you notice? – and our local Afghan shop has the best, soft and smooth feta that you could hope to find. It is more Danish style than Greek style feta, and we love it.
This year’s interpretation of that dish is to stuff capsicums with feta, onions, tomatoes and olives and bake. This makes a substantial dish – a feature of a meal – but also we have used it for after-work and after-school snacks. It is pretty good with some crunchy bread or Middle Eastern flatbread.
For a different version of this dish, use creme fraiche instead of the feta, and mix it with the tomato, onion, and olives.
Have a look at our Very Best Feta Recipes, a collection of dishes that we put together.
Yoghurt is an essential part of meals in Tamil Nadu, and Pachadi recipes are a way to deliver the health benefits of yoghurt while adding another vegetable (or fruit) to the meal. Win-win! This pachadi uses dried mango; it’s common in households as Summer is spent sun-drying vegetables, mixed vegetable purees and lentil pastes.
Meenakshi Ammal has this recipe in her Cook and See volumes (Volume 1). Perhaps using dried mango for pachadi is not as common as it was, but it is a delicious addition to the table, and easily made from readily available ingredients.
You might expect it to be sweet, but the sourness of the yoghurt and the heat of the chillies counterbalances any sweetness that the mangoes retain. I used mangoes that I dehydrated last year in the midst of mango season.
One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through Meenakshi Ammal’s books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.
Tim was a great friend of mine when I lived in Sydney and we spent a lot of time together. Since I moved away, he has lived in Europe with only the rare visit back to Australia. Always a wanderer, Tim is also a great cook, a yogi and an ayurvedic master in the kitchen.
A wonderful light, healthy soup made from sweetcorn emerged from one of Tim’s Ayurvedic cooking class. It is exceptional. It is so simple and cheap, but beautiful. Wonderful. Amazing.
Tim always warned that the coconut milk might split, and to be honest, I had it split on me once, many years ago. But, if you consider Thai cuisine, coconut milk can be boiled easily without splitting, and I have never had a problem with other recipes using coconut milk. So I believe it is more to do with the quality of the coconut milk – as this soup depends on the coconut milk for its intrinsic qualities, get the best that you can. I have also included a step in the recipe that will totally minimise any chance of splitting, if it is at all prone to it.
I admit it. I am addicted to Indian snacks. Who isn’t?
I have put together some of my favourites in this collection. I hope you enjoy them.
Years ago, around 1998, I made a spur of the moment dish that turned out to be a winner. It came together on a Spring evening while hunting around for something to serve with dinner. It is amazing!
The sauce for this dish takes about 3 minutes to prepare and 3 minutes to make – less time than it takes to cook your pasta. It is a dish that has multiple uses and you will love it for its simplicity, clean fresh taste, and versatility. You can even make your own Crème Fraîche.
I rarely use the microwave except for defrosting items from the freezer. You too? Yet this dish is so non-fiddly if it is made in the microwave I am loathed to change the method. 1 dish only – no oil, no sauteing, no mess. We need more such dishes!
Pistachios are those green-tinged nuts available in large bags at your Middle Eastern grocery for a cost effective price. Pistachio icecream is more or less well known in the West, and France has the best pistachio sorbet. Unshelled nuts, salted, are a common pre-dinner or drinks snack. But otherwise they don’t appear on our tables very much.
It is a pity, as they add colour, texture and flavour to dishes. Case in point – these nine lovely recipes.
My first ever yoghurt curry experience was from a Parsi lady from India. It was a life changing experience – the creaminess of the yoghurt with the spices is a wonderful pairing, and once you’ve had a yoghurt curry, there is no looking back. This recipe is very very simple – few spices, and not much chilli. It lets the yoghurt shine.
I recommend reading these posts before cooking with yoghurt or buttermilk:
Note that Indian Buttermilk is very different to the product called Buttermilk outside of India. Confused? Read the second of the two links above.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes series.