Posts Tagged ‘Side dish’

This summer is rolling full of fun and experiments. (More on experiments later ;)….)

The main reason being the trip to my homeland -India. I am back with loads of memories just like the mangoes in this truck. Soo colorful and vibrant 🙂

Just like the rain drops in the tree branches after a shower, the taste of home lingers in your tongue even after months.

I sprung like a kid already, when I saw the gongura leaves in Devon – fresh and On Sale ($3.99 when even the wilted ones usually go till 6.99). I bought a bunch, came home and called my mami (Uncle’s wife). The reason is that this is very famous in Andhra and my mami lives in Tirupati, she makes this in the authentic way . She is my inspiration and the standard in our cooking lingo. 🙂 Thanks Radha Mami!


well ,on to her notes
1. Gongura /pulicha keerai – 1 bunch
2. Coriander seeds- 1 tablespoon
3. Dried chillies – 15 number
4. Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
5. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

For Tadka
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Garlic pods – 8 number


Snip the leaves, wash and dry them.

In a heavy bottomed pan, dry roast coriander, cumin, mustard and chillies. Powder them to a fine paste and keep aside.

In the same pan, add 1 or 2 tsp of oil and wilt the leaves till they change color and soften.

Grind the wilted leaves into a fine paste adding no water /minimum water.

Heat oil in another pan, sputter mustard and add minced garlic , followed by the leaf paste and the masala powder. Add salt to taste and turn off the heat.

This chutney goes well with any rice, roti, dosa ..My favorite is curd rice as you can see the picture. This stays good for 10-12 days provided you added ample oil to preserve it . Mine had no need for excess oil as it was done by the fifth day. 🙂

Enjoy the summer while it is there!

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Our Grandma ,Lakshmiammal is one great personality known for selflessness, love and  generosity. Even when she was young she had made several sacrifices that no other normal girl would do in her personal life. Many days she used to feed the food she had for her to the  poor begging at her door.

When we moved to Chennai, to a highly compact apartment, she made many new friends. When the young ladies return from their work , they got to  pass by our apartment. So they will stand by to say ‘Hai’ and ‘Bye’. My Grandma knowing how tired they will be and will make/ share her tea with them. Such was her thoughtfullness. She never had a selfish motive or desire. All her life was spent  in the  kitchen making delicious food  and her happiness was in making people happy  through her ‘kaipaagam’. She  is more than Grandma to me and my three brothers for she brought us up  since our primary school.

It is now 10 full years  since she left the world (April, 8, 1998) but  memories of her love has not faded even a bit. To any women who know her , she  was a great inspiration and an ideal women.

 I started this blog to honor her and her unique recipes. At this point of time of remembrance, here is another classical chutney recipe of my grandma.



Urad Dall/ ulutham paruppu- 1/2 cup

Medium onion- 1 no

Medium tomato- 1 no

Red chilli- 3 /4  no

Coconut- 4 long slices

Tamarind- amla size

Salt to taste


Heat a skillet , add a tablespoon of oil, roast the dall, keep it aside.

Simlarly roast the chillies. Slice the onion and tomato and fry them till they are cooked well.

Grind all with tamarind , coconut and salt to a grainy/smooth texture.

For those who like crunchy bits, (My mother does  this)  fry another 1/8 cup of urad dall till golden and add to the mix at last . Do the tallipu and add it too. Pulse the mixer for once or twice.

Yummy chutney is ready to be served with Idly or rice as thogaiyal.


Neverfading chutney like my Grandma’s love

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Chow chow poriyal/ Spicy chayote curry

Our town lies in the border of Tamilnadu and Andhra pradesh. Just like our people speak both languages, they also practice both cuisines in their day  to day life. It is hard, atleast for me, to define which dish belongs to which state.

The other day, when my husband bought Chayote, I thought of making an authentic andhra dish out of it, just for RCI event hosted by Latha of Masala magic.  As  I am not very comfortable  in defining the cuisines, I called my favourite Mallika’s cookbook for help. Anybody who would have watched Jaya TV will know about this  celebrity -Mrs Mallika Badrinath.  Mrs. Mallika Badrinath is always been an inspiration for me. Her measurements and methods never fail and her books are known for the details, which equals that you get from your mom and grandma. I own most of  her cookbook collections. This  dish is from the book “200 classic lunch recipes”, a book about south Indian traditional recipes. I have tried to translate and present as she has done in her book.I always  adore the way she presents her recipe- ‘right ingredients at the right stage’.  


200 classic lunch recipes



Chow chow- 2 number

Garlic- 10 pods (I used 5 large pods)

Onion-1 number

Roasted and ground fennel seeds- 1/4 tsp

Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

Salt- to taste

Red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp

Gram dall- 1 table spoon

Oil as needed

For tempering

Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp 

Gram dall – 1 tsp

Red chilli- 1 number

Curry leaves

Chow chow poriyal

 Spicy cayote curry with  curd rice and tomato pickle- exclusively made for RCI -Andhra


Roast the gram dall till golden color and grind it .

Chop onion and garlic very finely.

Peel and seed  the chow chow and  cut into medium sized cubes.

Heat oil in a skillet , temper the mustard seeds, gram dall, chilli and curry leaves.

Add onion and saute for 2 minutes.

Add chow chow cubes  and fry for another minute.

Add adequate water, turmeric powder, fennel seed powder, salt, chilli powder and garlic to the skillet.

When the veggie is 3/4 done,  add gram dall powder and cover the vessel.

If needed add some more water .

When all the water is well absorbed, turn off heat and serve.


You can use snake gourd instead of chow chow and prepare the curry in the same method.   

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A simple curry  for a normal day meals. This is totally satisfying when done in the right way. If it is slightly undercooked or when not seasoned with adequate oil, will leave you disappointed.  This is the way my grandma cooks this veggie, and it has never let me down. 

Avarakai poriyal


Frozen surti papdi – 20 oz packet 

Medium onion- 1 number

Garlic – 2 pods

Dry red chilli- 3 no

Roasted and crushed  peanuts- 1 1/2 tbsp

Scraped coconut – 1 1/2 tbsp

For seasoning

Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds, urad dall, gram dall, curry leaves

Finely chop the onion.Thaw the papdi completely and devein  if neccesary. Cook the papdi well  with adequate amount of water and salt .  In a skillet, heat oil, sputter the seasonings one by one in the order listed. Add chillies  followed by onion , garlic and saute well. Add the vegetable and stir slightly till all water content has reduced. Atlast , add crushed peanut and coconut and turn the heat off. 

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I need to confess something. I made a  mistake. Tindora is my daughter’s  favourite but not a frequent dish in our home. So soon after our visit to Devon market, we celebrate a feast with Indian  veggies. It was the same this time too. But yrrrrr, I added too much of chilli powder in  the tindora stir fry.  It turned out to be unusually hot and I did not want to utter a word about this to my most anxious daughter. I did not want to use yogurt or tamarind to nuetralize the heat, so, I  took refuge in the chubby tomatoes sitting in the refrigerator. The chubby tomato helped me in time, adding tanginess and lots of flavor to the dish. It was so good that  I decided to make this my regular way of doing tindora stir fry  here after.


Tindora Tomato stir fry


Tindora – 1 pound

Medium tomato- 1 number

Salt to taste

Red chilli powder to taste

Turmeric powder

Oil  -2 tbsp


Cut the tindora longitudinally into thin strips and  chop the tomatoes in a similar fashion. Cook the tindora in little water with salt and turmeric powder in a pressure cooker till you hear the first whistle. Drain if any excess water. (I have seen my friends, generally  frying the tindora and allow it to cook for a long time. I personally feel this takes time and makes the curry very dry.)  Now, add the fresh tomato strips and chilli powder to the drained tindora and mix in a big bowl.

Heat oil in a big pan .When the oil is steaming hot, throw in the veggies and simmer the heat. Stir often and continue to cook till all the oil start oozing out.

Relish the stir fry with sambhar rice or simply mix with plain rice and enjoy.

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