Vendakka Khichdi | Okra in a Coconut Yoghurt Sauce | Ladyfinger Pachadi

Vendakka Khichdi is a delicious and common side-dish from Kerala. It is crispy fried okra in yoghurt flavoured with a green chilli-cumin-coconut sauce. It is often included as a part of Onam or Vishu Sadya. Otherwise, it is often served with Sambar and beautiful Indian pickles.

The okra is sliced and fried and then mixed into a yoghurt base flavoured with mustard seeds, cumin, green chill and coconut. It is one delicious dish, served warm.

This dish, which is a Khichdi, should not be confused with Kitchari – the Indian dish of rice and lentils. Khichdi is a Kerala yoghurt-based style of dish, similar to a Pachadi or a Raita.

Similar recipes include Sri Lankan Okra Curry with Coconut Milk, Bhindi Raita, and Okra in a Spicy Yoghurt Sauce (you can use okra in place of pineapple).

Or browse all of our Okra dishes here, and all of our Indian recipes too. And explore our Mid Winter series of recipes.

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Teeny Dried Okra | Okra Vathal | Crispy Okra

There are lots of ways of drying Okra in South India, from the plain – salted and dried, to the curd-soaked okra similar to yoghurt chillies, to okra that is pre-cooked in chilli and tamarind and then dried.

This version partially dries the okra and then blanches them in salt and turmeric (how healthy!) before finishing the drying process. Like all Vathal, the dried okra are fried before use, and can be eaten as snacks, with yoghurt as a pachadi or raita, or included in dishes such as Vatral Kuzhambu.

Traditionally, in India, drying would be done on a roof top terrace in the hottest of suns. I once saw my neighbours put a whole sack of onions out in the sunshine for months to fully dry. Sadly, in other parts of the world, this is not possible. So here, I use a dehydrator with excellent results. You can also dry them in the oven.

Are you after some other Okra recipes? Try Crispy Okra, Okra with Chilli Spice Paste, and Goan Fried Okra. Read more about Okra here.

Or try some of our other Vathal and VadagamDried Mango, Another Method for Dried Okra, and Dried Mung Dal Nuggets.

You can check out all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Vathal and Vadagam. We have a guide to preserving Summer and Autumn fruits and vegetables for Winter. Or simply explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Moringa Leaf (Muringayila) Thoran | Drumstick Leaf Stir Fry

Thorans are delightfully delicious, simple and quick dishes from the South of India that can form part of a meal, or can be eaten just with rice. Today our recipe is for Drumstick Leaf (Moringa Leaf) Thoran. The recipe is the same as all thorans – a tadka, some onion perhaps, the vegetable and some coconut. Delicious.

Similar recipes include Spinach Thoran, Cabbage Thoran, Green Tomato Bhajji, and Zucchini Thoran. And have a look at our collection of Thoran recipes.

Also try Moringa Leaf Dal.

Browse all of our Moringa Leaf dishes and all of our Thorans. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Pineapple Pulissery with Green Peppercorns | Pineapple Curry with Green Peppercorns

In one episode of Master Chef last year, the contestants had a mystery box that contained pineapples and green peppercorns. We were yelling at the TV screen “Kerala Pineapple Curry!!!”. Sadly, they could not hear, and I don’t recall that anyone paired them together. Kerala uses pineapple a lot in savoury ways, and this is one of them. So, Master Chef contestants, here is how you enhance the flavour of pineapples with chillies, coconut and green peppercorns.

Similar recipes include Pineapple Pulissery, Kerala Cooking, and Green Mango in Coconut Milk.

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

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Fresh Radish and Mint Chutney

This chutney was one of my first forays into the universe of Indian fresh chutneys, some many years ago. These days I make them a lot – not only are they wonderful in their own right and an important taste element in an Indian meal, they are also a great way to eat more vegetables, and a great way to use up any vegetable and herb that is sitting a little neglected in the fridge. They go great in sandwiches, toasties, and dolloped into soups too.

If you are trying to learn more about Indian cooking the importance of the Indian fresh chutneys is not immediately evident. They may not make sense to you – they appear in a separate section of cookbooks and it may not be evident how critical a part they play in any meal. It is only through diligent reading of many many blog posts or books, or a visit to India where you can eat in homes and local cafes, that the place of fresh chutneys in Indian meals slowly dawns.

Similar recipes include Coconut and Tamarind Sambol, Andhra Eggplant Chutney, Andhra Spinach Chutney, Mint and Coriander Chutney, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney.

Don’t let a day go past without whizzing one up. Read about Indian Chutneys here. Browse our Indian Chutney recipes, our general Chutney recipes, and our pickle recipes. Or explore our Late Spring dishes.

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.

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Pulissery | Simple Yoghurt Curry

A Yoghurt Curry, beautiful in its simplicity.

Puliseri, or Pulissery, is a yoghurt curry with simple spicing and thickened slightly with rice flour, designed to eat over rice. It can also be eaten as a soup, but this is non-traditional.

Pulissery is often associated with Kerala on the West coast of India, where it is also often cooked with vegetables. This recipe is from its neighbour, Tamil Nadu, and is kept simple without any additions.

The recipe is another from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See books, full of traditional Tamil recipes. This one is from a recipe in Volume 3, and she calls it the Raw Variety of Pulissery.

Similar recipes include Plain Pulissery, Pineapple Pulissery, Pineapple Pulissery with Green Peppercorns, Mango Pulissery, Pulse Ball Mor Kuzhambu, and Yoghurt Curry.

Check out all of our other Pulissery recipes, our Yoghurt dishes, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. You might also like to browse our recipes for Early Spring.

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Ladyfinger Masala | Kerala Okra Curry

Once upon a time  when I was spending a few weeks in Kerala, I had some cooking classes with a chef from the Leela. What a joy these classes were, with me madly taking notes and taking photos while my beautiful chef cooked and explained, cooked and explained. One of the dishes we cooked was this Okra Masala.

Every now and again I come across some of the notes from those recipes, and, just as I needed it, the scribbled notes on this ladyfinger (okra) curry came to my attention once again. It brought back memories of that beautiful time in Kerala and the amazing food to be found in the Leela, the vegetarian restaurant just up the road, all through Trivanderam and in the other homes and cafes where I ate. Each trip to India has been memorable and this one no less so than any other.

Are you looking for more Okra recipes? Try Okra in Tamarind with Prunes and Apricots, Pickled Okra, Sri Lankan Okra Curry, Sri Lankan Okra in Coconut Milk, Cooking Okra for Sambar, and Spicy Stuffed Fried Okra.

What about some Kerala recipes? Try Spinach ThoranAubergines in Coconut Milk, and Pomegranate and Banana Salad.

Or browse all of our Okra recipes. All of our Indian dishes are here. If you are looking for all of our recipes from Kerala, they are all here. Or simply explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Pineapple Pulissery | Pineapple in a Spicy Yoghurt Sauce from Kerala

This is another recipe from my cooking session in Kovalam in Kerala. My scribbled notes have recently come to light again – Chef cooked and I helped and observed and tried desperately to copy down the recipes.

This recipe can be made with okra, Indian cucumber, green mango and plantain (green banana), but today we use pineapple. It is easy to make, and so very delicious – I am sure that you will love it.

Pineapple Pulissery is a delicate dish with aromatic flavours of mustard seed, cumin seed and curry leaves with chilli and black pepper. It is from Kerala, that beautiful tropical state on the West Coast of India.  Pineapple curry is also a traditional dish from the Sri Lankan cuisine, and there it is also a delightful sweet and spicy curry.

Are you looking for other Pineapple dishes? We don’t cook with it very often so don’t have anything to offer you right now. But check back here in the future – I am sure there will be more.

Would you like more Pulissery dishes? Try Plain Pulissery, Pineapple Pulissery with Green Peppercorns, and  Mambazha Pulissery – a sweet and sour Mango dish. Why not also try Crispy Okra in Yoghurt (Pachadi).

Our other Kerala dishes include Green Mango in Coconut Milk, Simple Cabbage Thoran, Olan and Avial. Or try Mango and Pineapple Salad.

Similar dishes include Bhindi Raita.

Browse all of our Pineapple dishes, Pulissery recipes, Kerala dishes and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or if you would rather, explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Mung Dal with Ghee and Spices

There are many variations of mung dal, ghee and spices. Mung and Ghee are like a match made in heaven. It can be as simple yet heavenly as Neiyyum Parippum, as complex as a Dal Tadka, or even more complex. Each, although very different dishes, are divine. The simplest variation of spices can make all the difference.

This Mung Dal with Ghee adds cumin, fenugreek (optional), green chilli and garlic to a simple Neiyyum Parippum. Now it must be said that Cumin is the third partner in a trinity that is amazing – Mung Dal, Ghee and Cumin. The fenugreek, which can be left out, adds a slight bitterness. The chilli adds flavour and texture without bite, and the garlic a little groundedness.

This recipe comes from Kerala where it was shown to me by a local chef. This comes from my quickly scribbled notes. I hope you enjoy it.

Are you looking for similar Mung Dal dishes? Try Kancha Mung Dal, Neiyyum Parippum, Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, and Simple and Gentle Mung Dal.

Feel free to browse our other Mung recipes and our Kerala recipes are here. Or have a look at our Indian Collection of recipes. Finally, explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Spicy Green Mango in Coconut Milk | A Classic from Kerala

Green Mango season brings such a welcome addition to the menu. Coming in Spring, its tang is a delight after the heavier flavours of Wintery cold weather. For this dish I chose a sweet-sour green mango, and it is perfect. A sour green mango would work well too.

Are you after other Green Mango dishes? Try Mung Dal with Green Mango, Jicama and Green Mango Salad, Green Mango and Lemon Rice, and Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad.

Are you after other dishes from Kerala? Try Sweet Surnoli Dosa, Sweet and Sour Mango Curry, and Cabbage Thoran.

If you are after all of the Green Mango recipes, explore here. We also have other recipes from Kerala to browse. You might like to read more about Green Mangoes. Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse all our Mid Summer recipes.

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Spinach Thoran | Spinach Stirfry with Coconut

A seriously deliciously Thoran from Kerala

Spinach Thoran is an everyday side dish for rice which is generally cooked in an Indian wok or Kadhai. In this style of Thoran from Kerala, the main ingredient is stirfried or wilted, then pushed aside while a coconut and spice paste is placed in the centre of the wok. This is covered by the main ingredient and it is allowed to cook gently. This method leads to dishes that are light and delicious.

In this recipe a little rice is used as a spice adding a little texture and a lovely nutty flavour.

If you are looking for a Spinach-Coconut dish, try this Spinach and Coconut – Keerai Poriyal from Tamil Nadu which is next door to Kerala. Another way to use Spinach is in a simple Aloo Palak Subzi – Potatoes and Spinach Dry Curry.

Thorans can be made from almost any vegetable. Cabbage, for example, or Green Beans, Carrot, or Zucchini. Try Green Tomato Bhajji. Have a look at our collection of Thoran recipes.

You might like to browse all of our Thoran and Poriyal recipes here and here, other Fry recipes, and our Spinach recipes here and here. Browse all of our Indian recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Autumn dishes here and here.

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Sweet Surnoli Dosa | A Konkani Recipe from Goa

A cousin to Eliappe, the Surnoli is equally as delicious

Talking about Eliappe prompted Moni Bharadwaj (who is the daughter of one of the authors of Festivals of India) to remind me of Surnoli. Surnoli is a Konkani pikelet-like dish made from fermented rice batter in a similar way to Eliappe. How wonderful to have two very similar dishes, from different parts of India.

Surnoli is a Kokani dish from Goa eaten for breakfast or as a tiffin or even for dinner. Yellow in colour, they have a puffy texture with holes due to fermentation, and are eaten with home made butter. They can be sweet (as here) or made without jaggery for a savoury pikelet. When sweet, surnoli  have a porous and soft texture due to the jaggery, and they taste very good.

This dish uses poha, an Indian rolled rice. It is easily obtainable from your Indian shop. There are several different thicknesses of poha – Nylon (very thin and crisp), Paper, Thin, Medium, Thick and Dagdi (thick and chewy). There are also poha types made from red rice and brown rice. For this dish, use a white, medium or thick poha for better results.

If you like this recipe you should also try Eliappe and Crumpets. We have other Dosas – try Potato Dosa, Cheela, and Coconut Dosa.

Are you looking for other Poha dishes? Try Poha with Onions (Kanda Poha), Kolache Poha, and Poha with Banana, Honey and Coconut.

Are you looking for other Breakfast dishes? Try Baked Figs with Thyme, Bondi Bircher Muesli, and Rose Yoghurt with Fruits.

Would you like other dishes from Goa? Try Fried Okra, Fiejoada, and Beetroot and Carrot Subzi.

Have a look at our Sweet Dosa recipes. All of our Breakfast dishes are here. You might also like to browse all of our Desserts. Or check out all of our Poha recipes and Dosa recipes. All of our Goan dishes are here. Or simply explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Eliappe, Sweet and Delicious Pikelet-like Dosa

A delicious, surprising Indian pancake style dish

This recipe is adapted from Festival Cookbook by Vilma Patil. Eliappe recipes vary wildly. Some cook Eliappe in molds, some in a wok, some cook them free-form. Some ferment the batter, some do not. Some cook over a very hot pan, some cook them more slowly. Some include additional ingredients.

This is my interpretation of Eliappe, sweet and delicious pikelet-like dosa snacks. If you cook it differently, I would love to hear. If you like this, you should also check out the Goan Surnoli.

This is especially good for Pongal Festival in South India.

You might also like to browse all of our Desserts. Or you might be interested in our Poha (flattened rice) recipes. Explore our Dosa recipes too.

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Simple Cabbage Thoran | Spicy Cabbage Fry | Indian Style

A simple stirfry with coconut and spices turns cabbage into a dish you will come back for.

Cabbage is a much under rated vegetable, and it is so easy to cook. Take a couple of spices and work magic. Whoever thought that cabbage could taste so good? This can be served as an accompaniment to rice and curries, but I don’t mind eating it with rice and a salad as a quick meal.

Feel free to browse recipes our Thorans and Poriyals here and here, or other Fry recipes. You might also like our Cabbage recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Indian recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

 

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Zucchini Thoran | Zucchini Stirfried with Green Chilli and Coconut

Turning a humble vegetable into a masterpiece.

Kerela food is so wonderful, full of the scent of coconuts and palm trees, spices and backwaters. So, blessed this week with large numbers of very large zucchinis, home and organically grown by my neighbour, this bland vegetable became a Thoran. Thorans are spicy dishes that turn mundane vegetables into a spicy delicious meal. How elegant the dish is!

Similar recipes include Spinach and Sweetcorn Bhurji, Cabbage Thoran, and Sweet Potato Poriyal.

You might like our other Thoran/Poriyal recipes, other Vegetable Fry recipes and other Zucchini recipes. Browse all our recipes from Kerala. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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