Vazhaikkai Kari | Plantain Tamarind Side Dish

We have another kari for you today. A kari is (generally) a vegetable side dish in Tamil Nadu and it is an important part of a balanced meal. This one is plantain cooked with tamarind and some simple spices. It is easy to make and very delicious.

A kari is (generally) a vegetable side dish in Tamil Nadu and it is an important part of a balanced meal. Most people believe that the word curry comes from kari although the first term is generic for spicy dishes and the latter is a dish that can be served mild or made exotic with a variety of spices (and deep frying). There are lots of versions of the etymology of kari, but there is some agreement that its modern day usage means stir fried. Still, you will find lots of different interpretations of it. Stir-fry vegetable dishes can also be called Poriyaland some Sundals are also classified as a kari. Kari can be made with a large variety of vegetables – carrots, beans, snakegourd, broad beans, cluster beans, corn, broccoli, chow chow, plantain etc.

Similar recipes include Plantain Mash, Okra Tamarind Pachadi, Plantain Moar Kootu, Plantain Poriyal, and Thani Kootu.

Browse all of our Kari dishes and our Plantain recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Chow Chow Kari with Coconut and Cumin

This is a delicious South Indian Style Curry where Chow Chow (also known as choko or chayote) is cooked along with spices and coconut. It is a simple dish, perfect for a weekday meal.

Chow chow, called choko in Australia, is a funny little vegetable – a prolific bearer and definitely loved by Tamil South Indians who tend to love all gourds. It is slightly bland in taste, with a delicious crispness and an internal juiciness. Divine! It is generally cooked simply – kootu, kari, poriyal or sambar.

A kari is (generally) a vegetable side dish in Tamil Nadu and it is an important part of a balanced meal. Most people believe that the word curry comes from kari although the first term is generic for spicy dishes and the latter is a dish that can be served mild or made exotic with a variety of spices (and deep frying). There are lots of versions of the etymology of kari, but there is some agreement that its modern day usage means stir-fried. Still, you will find lots of different interpretations of it. Stir-fry vegetable dishes can also be called Poriyal and some Sundals are also classified as a kari. Kari can be made with a large variety of vegetables – carrots, beans, snakegourd, chow chow, plantain, Indian broad beans, cluster beans, corn, broccoli, etc.

Similar recipes include Sri Lankan Stir Fried Cabbage, Chow Chow Molagootal, Thani Kootu, and Avial.

Browse all of our Chow Chow recipes, or explore our Early Spring recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Spicy Mashed Potato and Sweet Potato with Onions | Podimas

This is a lovely mash of potatoes and sweet potatoes, and it can be made with either just potatoes or just sweet potatoes. It is simple to make once they are cooked – the mash is mixed with chilli, onion and spices. Delicious. It is a version of Podimasa peeled and mashed vegetable, tempered with spices, green chillies and onion. Podimas means mash in Tamil. It is a traditional type of Poriyal.

Similar recipes include Dum Aloo, Simple Potato Podimas, Potato Pallya, and Garlicky Potato Mash.

Browse all of our Mashed Potato recipes and all of our Potato dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Carrot Poriyal | Stir-fried Carrot with Coconut

Once you have your pantry set up for cooking Indian food regularly, recipes with long lists of ingredients are no longer terrifying. The reason that some recipes seem to have a kitchen-bench full of ingredients is that many of them are small amounts, less than a teaspoon. These spices produce the characteristic tastes of Indian food. For example, not counting the spices, this dish has only 3 main ingredients – carrots, coconut and onions. There, that seems much simpler than a list of 15!

The best way to approach long lists of spices is to prepare them before you begin to cook, using tiny bowls or containers to hold them. Alternatively, grab a couple of dabbas, Indian spice boxes, from your Indian shop, so that your commonly used spices are all in one container.  Either method will eliminate your need to search the cupboard for a spice while cooking – and the panic that ensues when you can’t find it and the onions are over cooking as you search.  We have all been there! So be organised, both in your spice cupboard and in preparing your ingredients.

This is a simple recipe today, despite the list of ingredients – a quick stir-fry of carrots with spices and coconut from the South of India. Poriyals embody the South, and can be made with many different vegetables and vegetable combinations.

Similar recipes include Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal, Sweet Potato Poriyal, and Carrot Thoran.

Browse all of our Poriyals, and all of our Carrot recipes.  All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Simple Indian Potato Crush | Potato Podimas

One way that villagers all over India cook potatoes is to mix with a mash of green chilli, onions and salt. It is that simple, but so delicious. It doesn’t really need a recipe, but where would you be if the post ended here?

Podimas means mash in Tamil. It is a traditional type of poriyal and is good when served with Sambar or other Kuzhambu or Rasam Varieties. Many people love it with rice varieties too, or simply with naan or roti.

The flavour of the green chilli and onion are infused into the potatoes by grinding them coarsely with salt with a mortar and pestle (don’t use a spice grinder or processor, you need a pounding not a grinding action to do this successfully.

Similar recipes include Spicy Mashed Potato with Onions, Crushed Potatoes with Roasted Tomatoes and Eggplant, English Mashed Potatoes, Carrot Poriyal, Indian Mashed Potatoes, Saag Aloo, and Garlicky Potato Mash.

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

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South Indian Plantain Dish | Vazhakkai Poriyal

There are advantages and disadvantages to living in downtown outer-suburban capital city. It is countrified living, but the access to specialist products such as good cheeses, excellent olive oils etc is limited. I found out the other day that I can’t buy Bitter Lemon around here – there goes my Gin and Bitter Lemon. Is that out of fashion now?

What I am eternally grateful for, you don’t know how much, is the range of fruit and vegetables that are common in my area but not seen in the inner-suburban groceries and supermarkets where I used to live. Plantains. Mangoes all year. Pomelo. Mustard Greens. Chilli Leaves. Betel Leaves. Pea Eggplants. Apple Eggplants. Okra. Green Mangoes.  FRESH PINEAPPLES FOR $1!! I could go on and on. This availability has radicalised our kitchen’s menu. Every trip I want to bow down to the owners of the Vietnamese grocery in particular. Total gratitude.

So today the dish is a quick curry of plantain, stir fried and then simmered in spices to make a Poriyal from Tamil Nadu in South India. It is very very delicious with some rice (mix with a little ghee and a pinch or two of poppy seeds), some sambar (plantain can be a bit dry in texture, so it is good to have it with a wet dish) and some chutney. Finish with some curd/yoghurt if you wish.

Similar dishes include Plantain Kari, Plantain Chips, Plantain Moar Kootu, Plantain in Tamarind Gravy (make this dish with plantain instead of eggplant in the recipe), Plantain Pulissery (make this dish with plantain instead of pineapple in the recipe), Carrot Poriyal, and Carrot and Bean Poriyal.

Browse all of our Plantain recipes, and all of our Poriyal dishes. You can browse all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer of recipes.

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Potato Pallya | Potato Puttu/Podimas | 2 Recipes for Indian Mashed Potato

Hooray for Indian food, and for its immense variety. And wouldn’t you know it, mashed potato has an Indian twist, and we are adding it to our different potato mashes:

Ever wondered how to vary mashed potato? Or what to do with that left-over mash? Here is your answer! We have TWO versions of the mash for you today. We have been making the first one FOREVER, and the original recipe comes from Nilgiri’s, the iconic Sydney Indian Restaurant. Traditionally this recipe from Karnataka is semi-mashed or coarsely mashed and still retains the texture of cubed potatoes. It is a great filling for dosa, but it can be made as a side dish in Indian or even Western style meals. It goes well with rice, roti and poori. It is similar to a Tamil Poriyal. Note also the use of lentils as flavourings and texture – this is quite common in South Indian cooking.

The second one, very similar to the first, is from Tamil Nadu, and has the same style but different tadka ingredients.  It is a Puttu or Podimas style dish – a peeled and mashed vegetable, tempered with spices, green chillies and onion. Podimas means mash in Tamil. It is a traditional type of poriyal.This Potato Puttu includes coconut and goes well with rice, sambar, rasam, kootu and kuzhambu, especially puli kuzhambu. Many people love it with rice varieties too, or simply with naan or roti.

Similar recipes include Spicy Mashed Potato with Onions, Crushed Potatoes with Roasted Tomatoes and Eggplant, English Mashed Potatoes, Carrot Poriyal, Potato Fry, Aloo Do Payaja (Potatoes with Onions), Sesame Potatoes, Aloo Bhindi, and Saag Aloo.

All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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Vendakkai Poriyal | Stir Fried Okra

It’s been more than 18 months since I began a crush on okra, and developed a project to explore this incredible vegetable which is available here all year round via Asian and Middle Eastern shops. In that time, we’ve made 60 or more Okra dishes, and,totally fallen in love with the long tapered “fingers” known cutely in India as Lady’s Fingers. Many of those recipe posts are in the queue to be published over the coming months.

Okra has become an important part of our life, but perhaps it is time to release the obsession and cook it less often. Admittedly, there are still quite a few recipes in the okra pile to tinker with, so there might be more….

One of the greatest finds of this project has been the number of ways that the Middle Eastern countries and India uses Okra. We have boiled, steamed, fried, deep fried, sauteed, baked and dehydrated Okra. Each dish has been a revelation. We have pared, chopped, slit and diced okra. We have learned to control the sliminess. We have battered okra. We have hand dried dozens of the tapered Lady’s Fingers over the course of a year.

Today’s dish is a very simple, but gorgeous, South Indian treatment of Okra. It is a remarkable, fresh dish. Another stir fried recipe, just with a few simple spices. The wonder of Tamil cooking is how simple easy dishes can taste amazing. There are variation upon variation of stir fried okra dishes – see here and here – but each is different and delightful.

Similar recipes include Cauliflower, Turnip and Swede Subzi, Parsi Okra Patia, Stuffed Okra, Crispy Okra in Yoghurt, Lady Finger Masala, and Bhindi Subzi.

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

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Collection: Our Favourite Thoran and Poriyal Recipes | South Indian Quick Vegetable Stirfries

Thorans (from Kerala) and Poriyals (from Tamil Nadu) 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 for a snack or simple meal. These dishes made from finely chopped vegetables are simply spiced, usually sweetened a little with coconut, and allow the flavour of the vegetables to shine. Bhurji from Andra Pradesh is also similar.

This is our collection of favourite Thoran and Poriyal recipes.

All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.

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Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal with Mung Dal and Coconut

Poriyals, from Tamil Nadu, and Thorans, from Kerala in India, are quick dishes where vegetables are stirfried with spices and coconut, turning ordinary vegetables into something amazing. They can form part of a meal, or can be eaten alone with roti or chapatti.

Similar recipes include Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini, Sweet Potato Poriyal, Spinach and Sweetcorn Bhurji, and Carrot Thengai Poriyal.

Browse our Thoran and Poriyal recipes, our Beans recipes, and our other Fry recipes.  Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore all of the Early Autumn recipes.

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