Pulagam | Telegu Ven Pongal / Kitchari | Ghee Pongal

Across India there are many versions of rice cooked with lentils, called various names such as kitchari (and variations on this) and pongal. In Andra Pradesh, it is called Pulagam and is made with short grain rice and mung dal.

It is a very pared-back version of pongal, without any tempering and with only turmeric as spice. But it is surprisingly delicious, mixed with a little ghee and well seasoned.

It is often used as naivedyam in festival such as Sankranti and Varalakshmi Puja.

You might want to browse our 25 or so Kitchari recipes, collected together for you.

Similar dishes include Moth Bean Kitchari, Ven Pongal, Goan Bisibelebath, and  Masoor Sprouts Kitchari.

Browse all of our Kitchari and Pongal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Pulagam | Telegu Ven Pongal / Kitchari | Ghee Pongal”

Milky Brinjal Chutney | Roasted Eggplant Chutney

Despite milk being abundant in India, I find it is rare to see it used in dishes that are not sweet. However I have probably seen more such recipes in the past month than I have noticed in the past decade. I wonder is that just my awareness, or is there a resurgence of popularity of these dishes.

Yoghurt is of course used extensively in savoury dishes, so why not use milk instead of yoghurt? You will find that milk gives a lighter touch and is without the sourness of yoghurt. While yoghurt is always evident in dishes, milk adds flavour without being assertive.

However, the ancient Ayurveda texts advise not to combine milk and salt. This combination, they say, creeps up on you, damaging the body in various ways over a long period of time. It is Ok to mix salt with milk products, such as yoghurt, paneer etc, just not milk. You will see various ayurvedic practitioners warn against the combination, but interestingly Vasant Lad does not. If you do wish to avoid it, leave out the salt, or substitute watered down yoghurt and touch of sugar for the milk. The sugar is to counteract the sourness of the yoghurt.

This is an Indian chutney from Andhra Pradesh. Eggplant is roasted and the flesh is mashed with milk that has been boiled and cooled, and then a tempering added that includes ginger and coriander leaves. It is delicious, and I recommend it with rice or part of an Indian meal.

South Indian chutneys are quite different to Western chutneys, and they also make great dips, spreads for sandwiches and wraps, and purees to accompany a meal or form a base for other ingredients.

Similar dishes include Algerian Eggplant Salad/Spread, Green Tomato Fry Chutney, Fresh Radish Chutney, Mint and Coriander Chutney, and Green Tomato Pachadi.

Browse all of our Indian Chutneys and our Eggplant dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Malabar Spinach in Spicy Gravy | Bachali Koora Pulusu

Pulusu is an Andhra gravy dish with tamarind. It is often called a soup or a stew, and can be made with a variety of vegetables. Okra is common, but today we make it with Malabar Spinach, one of the many different greens sometimes referred to as Chinese Spinach. It is also called Basella Spinach, Poi leaf, Bacchalikura, Vasalakkirai, Basale Soppu, Ceylon spinach, Buffalo spinach, Indian spinach, Red vine spinach, Vine spinach, and Upodika. Boy! So many names! There are more – Bachali in Andhra, Basale in Kannada, Vaali Bhaji or Valchi Bhaji in Konkani, Vallicheera in Malayalam, Mayalu in Marathi, Kodip Pasali in Tamil, and Pui Shak in Bengali.

The dish is spiced with mustard seeds and sesame seeds, and can be eaten soup-like, or with hot rice. I love it over rice. It doesn’t take very much time to make, so in this household, it is a perfect lunch dish.

Are you after other Andhra dishes? Try Malabar Spinach with Urad Dal, Spinach with Garlic and Lemon, Stirfried Okra with Sesame Seed, and Andhra Spinach Chutney.

Also try Malabar Spinach Pakora.

We have some other Spinach dishes that you can browse, or browse all of our Andhra Pradesh recipes. Our collection of Indian dishes is here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Malabar Spinach in Spicy Gravy | Bachali Koora Pulusu”

Andhra Brinjal Chutney | Indian Roasted Eggplant Chutney | Vankaya Pachchadi

The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh in South India is well known in India, even more, I think, than my beloved Tamil cuisine. One of the features of Andhra cuisine is its wonderful chutneys – wide, varied and flavoursome recipes that tease the palate and make wonderful companions to other dishes.

Cooking at Home with Pedatha is one of the well known cookbooks focusing on food from Andhra. The authors capture the recipes of 85 year old Subhadra Krishna Rau Parigi, fondly known as Pedatha. I often delve into this book for inspiration, along with my treasured books on Tamil cuisine by Meenakshi Ammal. Enjoy!

Similar recipes include Milky Brinjal Chutney, Baingan Ka Salan, Eggplant in Tamarind Leaf Paste.

Browse our other Indian Chutney recipes, all of our Andhra Pradesh recipes, and our Eggplant dishes.  Are you looking for Indian recipes? They are here. And our Indian Essential Series is here. Or simply relax and explore all of our Early Summer dishes.

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Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhaji | Corn and Spinach Stirfry

Bhurji are pan-fried Indian vegetable dishes that are not quite dry, but not really wet dishes. They are dry yet damp dishes. The best known Bhurji is made with eggs and is somewhat like scrambled eggs. But we don’t cook with eggs, so the Bhurji that we make are pure vegetarian. They are similar to the Thoran of Kerala and Poriyal of Tamil Nadu. Bhurji is an Andhra dish.

This one is made with greens and sweetcorn, with spices. Spinach and Sweetcorn is a loved combination in India – the sweetness of the corn playing nicely with the spices against the slight bitterness of the spinach. This dish can be served as it is, a perfect side dish to a meal. Or serve it with cumin rice or some roti for a snack. It is also very very good as a filling for Toasties – Indian style toasted sandwiches. Use it as a filling with some cheese and perhaps sliced tomato.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Potato Bhaji, Sweetcorn Sundal, Spinach Thoran, Cabbage Thoran, and Spinach Poriyal. You might also like Baby Sweetcorn and Green Bean Soup.

Browse all of our Thorans and Poriyals. Try our Spinach dishes and our Sweetcorn recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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Andhra Spinach Chutney | Palakoora Pachadi

Serve with rice and a dollop of ghee

Andhra Pradesh is well known for its chutneys, and for the love that Andhra people have for their chutneys. Called pachadi, the chutneys are not to be confused with the pachadi dishes from Tamil Nadu, which are generally yoghurt based like a raita. An Andhra Pachadi is more like a Tamil Thogayal. I hope that clears the confusion.

Andhra Pachadis are ground vegetables and spices, made to be eaten with rice and a dollop of ghee. But you can use them in sandwiches, stirred into yoghurt, or with snacks, chapatti, idli or dosa.

This is a Spinach Andhra Pachadi, and you have never tasted spinach so delicious. Spicy from red and green chillies, and cooling from the ground sesame seeds, it all comes together into an awesome dish.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Milky Brinjal Chutney, Andhra Eggplant Chutney, Spinach Thogayal, Green Chutney, Red Radish Chutney, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney.

You can see our Tamil Pachadi dishes here and here, and our Andhra Pachadi dishes here. Or browse all of our Spinach recipes and our Indian dishes. You might also like to explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed | Okra Fry with Sesame | Vendakkai Nuvala Podi

This is an Andhra style dish, a poriyal that is deliciously sesame flavoured using powdered sesame seeds (Nuvala Podi). The dish is also called Bendaikaya Nuvvala Podi, and Lady Fingers Fry. You may also see it under different names.

Firstly, the Sesame Seed Podi is made by toasting and powdering sesame seeds with spices. Then the okra is fried with more spices and optionally onions, and finally the sesame podi is added to the dish. It is served hot as a side dish. It goes well with sambar, rasam and dal. It is also good as a tiffin brunch or lunch.

Are you after Okra recipes? Try Sri Lankan Okra Curry with Coconut Milk, Okra in Tamarind with Prunes and ApricotsRustic Greek Okra with Tomatoes, Kukuri Bhindi (Crispy Fried Okra), Sri Lankan Okra Curry, and Okra with Onions Subzi.

Or you can browse all of the Okra dishes here, or all of the recipes from Andhra Pradesh. All of our Indian recipes are here. And have a look at our collection of Thoran recipes. Or simply take some time to browse all of our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed | Okra Fry with Sesame | Vendakkai Nuvala Podi”