Ivy gourd stir fry (by other names, dondakaya, kundru, tindora)

“Indian cooking is about the right balance of salt and chilli.  There’s not much else to it,” remarked my husband when encountering yet another subtly salted and chilli-less dish.  I had been cooking for the children and for us all together, in one big pot, for months.  That meant no chillies – no cayenne pepperContinue reading “Ivy gourd stir fry (by other names, dondakaya, kundru, tindora)”

Savory toast topped with chickpea flour and vegetables

Every week I think about vegetable pakoras.  Deep-fried, piping hot chickpea flour (besan) fritter like creations that are full of minced vegetables.  Served with a side of Maggi tomato ketchup.  I had some delicious pakoras in Jersey City recently that were stuffed with chopped methi and coriander leaves and green chilli.  I will attempt toContinue reading “Savory toast topped with chickpea flour and vegetables”

Dosakai pachadi: a creamy cucumber relish

We had hot steaming rice for lunch today with a most unexpected side – a cooling cucumber relish made with a paste of black mustard seeds and white sesame seeds.  Not much else was needed for a satisfying meal.  I was surprised by how good the relish tasted rubbed into the rice – it wasContinue reading “Dosakai pachadi: a creamy cucumber relish”

Spicy tamarind rice: pulihora

Last night I found myself mixing plain yogurt into my rice and then spooning it into my mouth with mango pickle.  It tasted soothing, nourishing, spicy….and incredibly delicious.  My husband always ends his meals in this traditional South Indian manner.  He also eats his meals in “courses” – first plain rice mixed with the vegetableContinue reading “Spicy tamarind rice: pulihora”

Tomato Dal, Andhra style

My mother-in-law, a sweet bespectacled lady with an infectious chuckle, arrived last week.  She stepped into my fifty square foot kitchen and immediately transformed it into her own space.  The spices were rearranged, the lentil shelves were cleaned out and essentials like garlic, ginger, onion and cilantro were restocked.  We went shopping for bags ofContinue reading “Tomato Dal, Andhra style”