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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Similar dishes include Bhindi Raita.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
A sweet and sour yoghurt curry from the tropical lands of Kerala
Mambazha Kalan, or Mambazha Pulissery is a sweet and sour curry simmered in a yogurt and coconut sauce. It originates from Kerala, where mango curries are a real treat. It has the sweetness of the mango contrasted against the sourness of the yoghurt.
Mambazha Pulissery really is a signature Kerala dish, where ripe mangoes are plentiful and are cooked with tangy curd (yogurt) and coconut gravy. This sweet and slightly sour curry is also called Pazhamanga Pulissery in places in Kerala.
You might like to read How to Cook with Yoghurt.
Browse all of our Pulissery dishes, Mango recipes, and our Yoghurt dishes. Our Kerala recipes are here, all of our Indian dishes here and our Indian Essentials here. Or simply explore all of our Late Summer recipes.
Avial is a gentle dish from Kerala, made with vegetables and coconut.
Avial is a gentle dish from Kerala. It is a thick mixture of vegetables and coconut, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. In essence, the vegetables are boiled or steamed and then dressed with the coconut-cumin-yoghurt sauce. Each family’s sauce is different from the next family’s. In our recipe today we are using cumin in the sauce.
Avial is considered an essential part of the Sadya, the Keralite vegetarian feast. It is commonly made with elephant yam, plantain, pumpkin, carrots, beans, Eggplant, cucumber, drumsticks and snake gourd. Carrots and beans are recent but delicious introduction. Bitter gourd can be included in some regions also.
Another delicious recipe from Kerala.
There is something amazing about aubergine. Not only their colours and shininess, their taste varies from dish to dish. This recipe is from Kerala, a coastal Western state of India, where coconuts and bananas abound. Kerala is an amazing state, cleaner than many others with a very high literacy rate, and the only communist state in India. It is an easy state to be in, to visit and stay in, and the food is as good as anywhere. Several of my favourite Indian dishes come from Kerala.
Aubergines cooked in Coconut has a beautiful and flavoursome base of onions, garlic, ginger & spices, which is turned into a sauce with coconut milk. The sautéed aubergines soak up the sauce and the thickened gravy coats the pieces.
Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Pineapple Pulissery.
All of the Kerala recipes are here, and our Eggplant Recipes here. The inspiration for this recipe is Madhur Jaffrey and you can see her recipes here. Browse all of our Indian dishes. Or simply explore our Late Summer dishes.