Brinjal Tamarind Kothsu | Eggplant Tamarind Kothsu | Roasted Eggplant in a Spicy Tamarind Sauce

This Kothsu (Gothsu, Kosthu) is a tamarind based South Indian (Tambrahm) curry that is made by roasting and mashing eggplant and popping it into a spicy tamarind gravy.

Some people get this dish confused with Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu, but it is different. Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu is made with toor dal and without tamarind. This Brinjal Kothsu is made without any dal, and includes tamarind. There is only a little gravy which is thickened with some rice flour, so it just coats the eggplant. You can see that the two dishes are quite different.

It is a quick dish to make once the eggplant is roasted. The aroma of the roasting is a wonderful smell. I do it outside on the BBQ grill, and I am sure that all neighbours must suddenly become hungry, due to the aroma.

Are you after other Kothsu recipes? Try Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu. Others will be posted shortly, and you might like to check back.

Or would you like other Eggplant dishes? Try Baingan ka Salan – Eggplant in a Creamy Gravy, Sampangi Pitlai, and Eggplant Makhani.

Or browse all of the Kothsu dishes, and all of the Eggplant dishes. Meenakshi Ammal’s recipes are available here, and all of our Indian recipes are here. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Brinjal Tamarind Kothsu | Eggplant Tamarind Kothsu | Roasted Eggplant in a Spicy Tamarind Sauce”

Pulse Ball Moar Kuzhambu | Buttermilk & Coconut Gravy with Ground Lentil Balls | Yoghurt Curry with Lentil Dumplings

Pulse balls, or lentil dumplings, are added to the moar kuzhambu (spicy yoghurt gravy) to make a delicious South Indian dish.

Moar (or Mor, More or Moru) Kuzhambu is commonly prepared in South India and is extremely easy to make, taking almost no time at all. This one includes the lentil dumplings and so takes a little longer. The base for this dish with the lentil dumplings is Moar Kuzhambu, but rather than add vegetables or vatral, balls of ground lentils and spices are made (pulse balls) and added to the base.

S. Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See set of books has 2 Moar Kuzhambu (Buttermilk/Yoghurt spicy gravy) with Lentil Dumplings made from ground lentils.

This Pulse Ball Moar Kuzhambu differs from the first version of this dish. The ground lentil balls are simpler and cooked in the buttermilk and coconut gravy rather than steamed. It is very delicious.

You might also like to try Avial – Veggies in a Yoghurt and Coconut Sauce, Yoghurt Curry with Drumstick Vegetables, Moar Sambar, or a host of different lassi drinks.

You can find other Kuzhambu recipes here. If you would like to browse them, all of our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Pulse Ball Moar Kuzhambu | Buttermilk & Coconut Gravy with Ground Lentil Balls | Yoghurt Curry with Lentil Dumplings”

Dates and Saffron Soaked in Spiced Ghee | An Ancient Rasayana

For millennia, dates have been considered an energy giving tonic by many cultures. Taken to the next level by Ayurveda (the Indian traditional medical system), dates are combined with other healing and energy giving substances – ghee, saffron, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger. Rich and sweet, Dates and Saffron Soaked in Spiced Ghee is said to nourish and revitalize your deepest tissues. This mixture is a classic rasayana, a tonic for rejuvenation. It is also an ancient love potion! Whether you want to love another person, or your life, or just find more happiness in your day, this is definitely or you.

Healing and love making, what more is need from a tonic that is more like a snack than medicine? It is said to strengthen immunity as well as aid digestion.

You might like to also try our Dates Milk to fight Fatigue.  Try some other Ayurvedic dishes: Cardamon, Coriander and Fennel Tea, Ginger and Tulsi Tea, and Diet and Consciousness.

Have a look at other Date recipes, and our Ayurveda recipes. Or browse our Indian recipes. You might like to check our Late Spring recipes here.

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Kurkuri Bhindi | Crispy Okra | Crispy Ladyfingers

Okra, or Ladyfingers, are best when cooked fresh. They can be stuffed with a tangy masala, deepfried to crisp (great with peanuts), made into raita, cooked in coconut milk or a spicy gravy, or batter-fried as pakoras.  They are even great when dried and served with spices as a snack. Okra pairs well with sour tastes – for example, lemon juice or amchur, dry mango powder. Always buy young, bright green, crisp pods free of bruises, tender but not soft, and definitely not if they are wilting. There are a range of varieties – long and thin, short and fat, even red and orange varieties.

Kurkuri means crisp and Bhindi (or Bindi) is Okra. This recipe is very common in parts of North India, especially in Rajasthan from Jaipur to Udaipur and beyond. They are definitely a great snack served with drinks, and are also served as an accompaniment to rice and curries. The spices used with the okra are varied – here we have used chilli powder, cumin, chaat masala and amchur – but more complex, or simpler combinations can be used.

The okra can be cooked on its own, as we do here. But you can also tart them up somewhat by including slivers of onion (yum), ginger (tangy) and red peppers.

Are you interested in Okra recipes? Read more about Okra here. And try Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed, Ladyfingers Recheio, Avial, and Whole Fried Okra.

Or are you looking for Rajasthani recipes? Try Urad Tomatar Dal. We have more recipes planned, so check here for more.

Why not browse all of our Okra recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Have a look at our range of snacks. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Kurkuri Bhindi | Crispy Okra | Crispy Ladyfingers”

Vellarikkai Thayir Pachadi | Cucumber Yoghurt Salad

The joy of yoghurt is beautifully expressed in this flavoursome recipe for Cucumber Raita. Cucumber Raita is a dish known all over the world, and if you must equate it, it is the Indian version of Tzatziki. The combination of cucumber and yoghurt, in what ever form or from what ever cuisine, is well known all over the world. Both ingredients are cooling, so it makes it a special dish for hot weather, but this does not mean that you need to forgo it on cooler days. An essential part of an informal gathering, Cucumber Raita always wins over your guests.

You might like to read more about Pachadi. Browse our Pachadi recipes here and here. Or explore our Yoghurt recipes here and here. Our Indian dishes are here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here.

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Should Sambar be Sour, Salty or Hot? And Other Sambar Hints.

Advice for perfecting sambar

Meenakshi Ammal in her books Cook and See, talks about Sambar tastes, which she says are personal preference.

Sour, Salty, Hot?

Some prefer their sambar a little sour, some a little hot and some more salty. Sometimes, some varieties of tamarind are more sour than others, some chillies are hotter than other chillies. Experience, personal taste and discretion should determine the amount, the number and the quality.

Green chillies are not compulsory and may be substituted by red ones.

Continue reading “Should Sambar be Sour, Salty or Hot? And Other Sambar Hints.”

Carrot Curry with Coconut-Lentil Crumble | Carrot Thengai Poriyal

Lentil crumble with vegetables, delicious.

This dish showcases a delightful crumble made from coconut and lentils. There are actually three different types of crumble mentioned in Meekakshi Ammal’s books Cook and See. The Green Bean Paruppu Puttu, is one example. Paruppu Puttu is another. And this is the third.

In this dish the longer coconut shreds were used, but traditionally grated or powdered coconut would be used.

You might also want to try Bean Paruppu Usili, and Dhal Puttu. All Lentil Crumble dishes are here. You might like to browse all of our Kerala recipes are here and here. Perhaps you are looking for other Thoran/Poriyal recipes here and here, or other Vegetable Fry recipes. Or explore our Indian recipes here and here. Other Winter recipes can be found here and here.

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Brinjal Fry | Deepfried Eggplant

Eggplant like you have never tasted before. Deep fried with chilli and tamarind.

We make two versions of Brinjal Fry – one that is sauteed, and this one which is deep fried. Both are incredible, even tho they are easy, no fuss recipes.

You might like to browse our eggplant recipes here and here. Our favourites are  Baingan Kabharta – Eggplant Curry, Eggplant with Sesame and Soy, and Tender Eggplant. Browse all of our Indian recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Autumn dishes here and here.

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Doodh Wale Aloo | Milkman Potatoes | Indian Potatoes in Milk

A satisfying and easy curry.

Indian potato recipes are some of the best in the world. From mashed potato to deep fried potato, to potato in toasted sandwiches, the addition of spices something special from these dishes made from humble ingredients. This recipe is a lovely, home cooking, comforting dish of potatoes in milk.

Many cuisines combine milk or cream with potatoes – the French in Potatoes Dauphinois, Germany has Potato Salad made with cream, the Danish love Brændende Kærlighed, and then there is English Mashed Potato and French Mashed Potato, both with milk or indulgent with cream. Potato and milk is definitely a thing.

You may like to browse our Potato Recipes here and here.  Or explore our collection of Indian recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Doodh Wale Aloo | Milkman Potatoes | Indian Potatoes in Milk”

Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach Madras Subzi

A great dish from Ol’ Madras, in South India.

I have a good friend, Narasimhan, who used to live in Adelaide. He is from Tamil Nadu but resides in Bangalore. When he was in Australia, he would regularly arrive at my place, bearing this curry and a bunch of roses, asking only that I cook some rice and maybe (under his guidance) some payasam. This curry is so easy and so good, or maybe it is the smell of the roses that biases my tastebuds.

Narasimhan, I miss you. Thank you for this recipe, and the tons of roses.

Sauce-free Indian curries like these are really just slightly-more-elaborate vegetable sautés—toast spices in some fat, add in your vegetables, and finish with salt and sometimes a touch of sugar to season the simple, healthful spicy glaze that coats the vegetables.

You might like to try other Subzi recipes.Try and Sweet and Sour Potato Subzi, Sweet Potato Subzi, and Potato Subzi.

Are you looking for Sweet Potato recipes? Try Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Figs, Sweet Potato Subzi, Slighty Sweet and Sour Pumpkin Subzi, and Sweet Potato Vindaloo.

For Spinach dishes, try Spinach Thoran, Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, and Stir Fried Spinach with Coconut.

For Eggplant dishes, try Baingan ka Salan, Brinjal Chidambaram Kosthu, Spicy Eggplant Rice, and Grated Coconut Masala Kuzhambu.

All of our Sweet Potato recipes are here, Spinach recipes here and Eggplant recipes here. Or browse all our Indian recipes.  Our Mid Autumn recipes are here.

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How to Make Sambar Powder and Paste

Making spice powders at home is simple

Sambars are those beautiful unctuous creamy soupy dishes quintessentially South Indian. A sambar consists of pureed toor dal lentils cooked with fresh vegetables, tamarind and spices. Eaten daily, the spice mixes used vary in content and flavour from house to house. Everyone claims to have the best recipe, and of course they are right. It is a very important dish to all South Indians, and vada sambar and idli sambar are popular breakfast foods.

Sambar Powder is usually, but not always, a fairly warming masala or mix of spices blended to particularly suit sambar.

You can find all of our Sambar Recipes here and Sambar information here.

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Baingan Ka Bharta | Punjabi Smoky Eggplant Curry

An Indian eggplant dish with a wonderful smoky flavour.

There are so many way to cook eggplants – it is such a versatile vegetable. Although it can definitely stand on its own (eg steamed eggplant dishes), it often prefers to be a part of a larger dish than stand on its own.

This recipe is an Indian dish where the eggplant is grilled until cooked through, and the flesh is mixed with spices. Many cuisines have recipes that treat the eggplant in similar ways but vary the ingredients. Baba Ganoush is one example.

Bharta are North Indian (Punjabi) dishes where the main ingredient is roasted and then pureed with spices. The flavours are intensified by the roasting and the resulting dish is spicy and tangy. Baingan Bharta is so popular, though, versions exist in several states of India.

Are you looking for other Bharta recipes? Try Tomato Bharta. Or try other Punjabi dishes – Kohlrabi Subzi, Dal Makhani, and Potato and Eggplant Curry.

Perhaps you are looking for Eggplant recipes. Try Grilled Marinated Eggplant, Saffron and Rose Scented Eggplant and Brinjal Fry.

See all of our Bharta recipes here. Read all about Indian Chutneys here, and feel free to browse other Indian Chutneys recipes here and here. You might also like to browse our other Eggplant dishes. Our Indian recipes are here. Perhaps browse our Indian Essentials. Or find some inspiration in our Early Spring recipes.

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Chaat Masala | A tangy spice mix

The masala (spice mix) that adds tang to Indian snacks.

Chaat Masaa is a very special spice mix from India, full of wonderful, contradictory flavours. There are many ways to use it, and it is an essential ingredient to many street foods, including the wonderful Chickpea (Channa) Chaat, Kachumber Salad and Channa Chaat on Kovalam Beach. You will also find it on Watermelon Salad, Borlotti Bean Chaat, Spicy Vegetable Sticks and Chickpeas and Young Ginger Salad.

Chaat or Chat are appertisers, teasers or small bites eaten as a snack. They are flavoured with this very special spicy and tart spice mix that pairs well with vegetables, lentils and fruit. It is particularly used to flavour fried pastries, potato dishes, chickpeas and tomato based salads.

You might also like to make Sambar Powder, Rasam Powder, and Garam Masala. Browse our Indian Essentials here, and all of our Indian recipes here and here.

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Zucchini Fry | Indian Stir Fried Zucchini with Spices

This is an amazing curry that is both gentle and strong.

Love Zucchinis! Juicy, fresh and luscious. Amazing vegetables that can be baked, grilled, char-grilled, steamed, fried, sauteed, boiled, mashed, and eaten raw. Full of seeds, but no-one minds. Not when the zucchini are fresh and young. Such soft, gentle seeds.

Zucchini is in season now and for the summer months, here down-under in Australia. Zucchini are prolific bearers, so with many of them in the kitchen I turn to this amazing curry that is both gentle and strong.

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Olan | Cucumber and Coconut Curry | Deliciousness from Kerala, India

This is a beautiful Olan, a curry with a coconut sauce from the Nair community of beautiful Kerala in South India.

It is rare that we consider cooking cucumber in Australia, but that is not so in other parts of the world. This is a beautiful Olan, a curry with a coconut sauce from the beautiful Kerala in South India. In particular, this dish comes from the Nair community from the that region.

Wikipedia has an entry on the Nair community, and I found this lovely piece. Continue reading “Olan | Cucumber and Coconut Curry | Deliciousness from Kerala, India”