How to make South-Indian Sambar | Vengaya Sambar Recipe

If somebody asks me for a word that is synonymous to TAMILNADU or let’s put it as SOUTH-INDIA, I’ll scream without even thinking…. “SAAMBAAR” (சாம்பார்). Steamed rice and Sambar is what Spaghetti and Marinara sauce are in Italy. I can blindly bet ‘Show me ONE and take with you ONE Million’ kinda challenge if you can show me one South-Indian who does not know what Sambar is!     Saambaar (saam as in calm and baar as in bar), the humble stew made with lentils and vegetables, prepared at least once in a week (predominantly on Fridays) in most parts of Tamilnadu, is the first dish my Amma taught me in her kitchen . I do not even remember how old I was then. She chose to teach me the Sambar recipe first because Saambar is the EASIEST and SIMPLEST of ALL the stews (or should I say gravies/sauces) that… Continue reading »

South-Indian Mutton Keema Gravy (using Kadalai Paruppu)

  This is my Mom’s special recipe – Indian style  gravy using Mutton Keema. Mom uses mutton chunks in this gravy. Since I prefer to eat mutton in Qeema form I used minced mutton. A notable difference in this Mutton gravy recipe is the addition of split chickpeas (kadalai paruppu). Apart from making pakodas, pakoda kulambu, beans-kadalai paruppu poriyal, beetroot kadalai paruppu poriyal, valakkai-kadalai paruppu kootu, cabbage-split chick pea kootu, kadalai paruppu pachadi, kadalai paruppu sundal and the ‘N’ other kadla paruppu recipes that we make in our home, this Kadalai Paruppu Kuzhambu is the darling of the home masses. I do not remember if my Grandmother made this Ground mutton gravy but I remember my mom making it on the week-ends when I was younger. The other day my friend Sup visited us and when we exchanged recipes she raised brows when I said that we add split chickpeas… Continue reading »

Spinach Frittata Recipe | How to make Frittata

  For my readers who wants to know What is a Frittata, a one liner for them. Frittata is a Bulk Omelette. But unlike an omelette which is made separately for every member in the family, a frittata is made by slow cooking all the eggs together and slicing the resulting Frittata to the family. Got it? Yes, just like how you would slice a pizza . You can mix-and-match any of your favorite veggies or cooked meat into the frittata. Yes, just like how you would do a mix-and-match for your garments .     EGGS and SPINACH are the husband’s favorites. He likes spinach so much that he toggles his facebook profile pictures only with Popeye’s images . In a way I too like eggs. It’s because eggs are the “Aabath Paandavan” in my kitchen. They come to rescue when my sleepy head snoozes the morning alarm for… Continue reading »

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Valakkai Kola Urundai Recipe | Vegetable Meatballs Recipe

  I vividly remember my Grandmother laddling crispy meatballs out from the sizzling oil in her kitchen. Meatballs – we call it ‘Kola Urundai’. The ‘Kola Urundai’ prepared by my Grandmother used to be perfect with crispy outer shell and well cooked meaty content inside. As a child I used to enjoy the outer crispy shell and leave the meaty content in the plate. Same thing happens when I eat her Paniyarams too. My mom’s a big fan of her ‘Kola Urundai Kuzhambu’ (Meatball gravy). ‘Unga Appatha pandra kola urunda taste varavae varathu’* – this is the usual sigh of my mother whenever she makes Kola Orundai.     I will need to create a separate ‘Kola Urundai’ hub to talk about my Grandma’s Minced Meat Kola Urundai Recipe. Stocking that idea for another day. The recipe today is about making Veggie Meatballs – Vegetable balls using Raw Bananas. Vazhakkai… Continue reading »

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South-Indian Best Chutney Recipes | Onion Tomato Chutney Recipe

  When it comes to giving a name/title for the Chutney posts in my blog , I do a lousy job. Take this ‘Thakkali Vengayam Chutney’ (Tomato Onion Chutney) for instance. When all the Madurai citizens call it that way, I do not call it by that name. Instead I say, ‘Orange-oo Chutney’ or ‘Orange-u color chattunee’. Not that Orange zest is added to make the chutney (idea! Will experiment with orange zest to make chutneys soon), but it’s because the chutney has a brilliant orange color. Though the body of this ‘Onion-Tomato chutney’ is built with onions and tomatoes, two more ingredients play a major role (in fact, lead roles) adding flavor, color and taste to this ‘Vengaayam Thakkali Chutney’. One being Turmeric and the other being – Devil’s Dung [he he.. I know! Some will have this steaming mad expression now in your face]     For those… Continue reading »

Indian Chicken Soup Recipe –Tamilnadu Kozhi Soup

  Though there will be elaborate plans in my kitchen like preparing Chicken pepper fry and Chicken Biriyani with the chicken bought from the market, the first thing that’ll go on the stove to get ready is this Simple Chicken Soup recipe. Since this Chicken Soup can be made quickly and easily, I set it first thing on the stove while I do the preparation work for the pepper chicken fry or the Biryani. This way I need not keep the family waiting until the curry and the rice is done. Once the chicken soup gets ready everybody enjoys a bowl of hot-o-hot chicken soup. A bowlful of this hot and warming Chicken Soup gives me strength to execute my elaborate meal plan. Like most of my recipes, this Kozhi Soup (Chicken Soup) is also a family-taught recipe, very authentic! Best Chicken Soup can be prepared only with freshly cut… Continue reading »

Chicken Keema Kulambu | Indian Style Ground Chicken Sauce

  Many readers of Cooking Jingalala requested for Non-Vegetarian recipes. Whenever the husband sees such request messages from our fans in GoJingalala’s Facebook page, it makes him happy. It gives enough reasons for him to demand a variety of non-veg gravies, non-veg kurmas, non-veg biryani, non-vegetarian curries etc. from my kitchen.     Have you seen an  owl sitting high on top of thick branches of a tree? The owl won’t care about anything around it. It just sleeps sitting tight and warming itself with its feathers. If a group of children spot this owl and shout in excitement, the owl just opens one of its eyes and dismisses them by closing the eye immeditely. If a chirpy little bird flies around its head, the owl just eye-corners the bird briefly and returns back to its monk mode. The owl postures itself as though he’s angry and pondering deeply about an… Continue reading »

Banana Loaf Cake Recipe | Banana Bread Recipe

  Make any dessert using OVER ripe bananas and the dessert will turn out to be absolutely yummy: just like how my Banana Halwa tasted! That holds the same too if you use OVER ripe bananas for baking cakes. Check yourself by baking this banana loaf cake with normal bananas and bake another batch of this banana loaf cake with over ripe bananas. After baking, you will sure spot huge difference in these cakes’ flavor and taste. The natural banana essence from over ripe bananas is strong than the essence that is in normal ripe bananas. You’ll nod your head agreeing to my point even while you mash the bananas for making this banana loaf cake recipe. Another good thing about using over ripe bananas for making such desserts is: they are easy to mash, just with a spoon!     My neighbors Meg and Sham loved this banana cake… Continue reading »

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe

  This Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is a recipe for curing a depressed heart. Got flunked in your exams? Make this Pineapple Upside-Down Cake and forget about your failure. Got no hikes for your job this quarter? Bake this Pineapple Upside-Down Cake and burry your sadness. Did somebody upset you or did you upset somebody? Make peace by baking and slicing a piece of this Pineapple Upside-down Cake for them . We both, I mean the Pineapple Upside-Down cake and myself met when my neighbor Meg baked it for a special occasion and shared it with us. Her lovely Pineapple Upside-Down Cake had me at Hello! Hers was an eggless version of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. The cake was so sooo… yummy for it had the fresh juice of pineapple and brown sugar soaked over it.     The very first time I made the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, I did not have… Continue reading »

Fermenting Idli-Dosa batter without using oven/baking soda

  My experiments with Idli-Dosa batter will continue as long as I stay in these snowy parts of the US. Yes, it’s end of March and it is still snowing. This snow season (December-March), I experimented on how to ferment idly-dosai batter without using baking soda/powder. I also experimented how to aid the fermentation of iddli-dosa batter without using oven during severe snow season. I took this experiment so serious that I even created a folder named ‘Idli-Dosai batter fermentation experiments – USA’ in my laptop. I already armed you with sack full of information to deal with the idli-dosa batter if they had attitude problems. Yet few of my readers contacted me to know how to ferment idly-dosai batter without using an oven or if they do not wish to use baking soda/powder for fermentation. This is a special post for them.   I used my electric rice cooker’s… Continue reading »