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Indian

Cool as a Tamarind...

Cool as a Tamarind...

Tamarind is a common spice you see in Indian and Asian cuisine, especially those closer to the Equinox. In the right amount, it lends a subtle sourness that instantly makes your mouth water and want to eat more. I took that more-ish tanginess and balanced with sweetened syrup, soothing lemon balm and refreshing citrus to make this Summer Cooler that would be great with a barbeque, sitting under the shade of a tree reading a book or just served from a big pitcher whilst sitting on the porch/stoop and seeing the world pass by....

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Ingloriously Rich

Ingloriously Rich

Today, I am here to say that you can make one of the most basic and super popular masala curries, without all the fuss and hoopla of long list of masalas and, literally, with pretty much what you probably have in your pantry, especially if you grill!

Now, I call that Ingloriously Rich! Of Flavor, Spice and all things Niiiiiiceee!!! 

Don't believe me? Check out the recipe! And, if there is something there that sounds suspiciously difficult to find in your kitchen, call me .....!! {naughty!} ;-)

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Progressive Indian: Spinach Parathas, Aloo Sabzi and Chicken Pepper Fry

Progressive Indian: Spinach Parathas, Aloo Sabzi and Chicken Pepper Fry

I grew up omnivorous by culture, and, largely vegetarian by economics. Any animal product was a luxury growing up. We ate meat (mostly chicken)/fish once a week, typically Sundays and any leftovers was relished through the week as long as they lasted. These days as I reach back more into the nostalgia of my childhood food routines, I am leaning more and more towards vegetables and basic meats. 

So, today's stars are the humble potato twice cooked to make the kickassest "Masala Home Fries" or  (urulaikazhangu varuval in Tamil or Aloo Sabzi in Hindi) with step-by-step photos a spicy Chennai pepper chicken fry (millagu kozhi fry) that was one of my favorite preparations of chicken, bone and all - and - the everyday staple, chapattis elevated with some greens and lots of butter to parathas. 

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Progressive Indian: Beyond Curries - Red Greens with Split Pea Saute

Progressive Indian: Beyond Curries - Red Greens with Split Pea Saute

In this post, I talk about typical South Indian meals, the flavors and preparations, and how I have come back to these simpler flavors - the reason why I started this series.

I reflected a lot about what to title this post/series; Calling it another Indian recipe did not seem sufficient, since my intent with this post was to break away from the stereotype of Indian cuisine often seen, well, outside India, viz. curries and spices. In the end, I decided to call it neither 'everyday' nor 'real' or 'regular' because, well, it is none of those in my present context. I decided to go with 'Progressive' because whether you are an Indian living abroad or a non-Indian falling in love with the cuisine, cooking the simpler dishes is actually more a labor of love and courage than the standard issue curries. 

Today's recipe is a throwback to the nostalgic memories of uncountable varieties of leafy greens that we consumed on a daily basis in various simple preparations. Recently, I found a bunch of red veined and red leafed greens at the neighborhood Indian store. Understandably, I got super excited. I remembered this type; it was one of my favorites. It was called Mulaikeerai, Amaranth Greens. So, I made a Poriyal of it with boiled chana dal.

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Saffron Pistachio Kulfi Pops

Saffron Pistachio Kulfi Pops

Kulfi and I have history. One that has roots from high school! I honestly don't remember much of my school days. Looking back, I realise I went most of it a haze of self-defense. I never fit, so I choose to exclude myself voluntarily, thereby creating a myth of control and years of no nostalgia. 

But amidst all of that barrenness are a few flickers of bright memories, the few times, I indulged in life and life ruffled my hair and said you can laugh and have fun. Kulfi is one of those few happy memories I retain from that time of my life. And, through it the longest friendship of my life. Although, I haven't been a good friend most of the time in that relationship and the tenuous connection continues only because of the other person. I am sorry for that. And, I am kinda hoping to make up for that, by dedicating this recipe to her.

It was like this.

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