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. Read More
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. Read More