Madurai Chutney Recipe | Spicy Chutney Recipe


What more do you want than the white-hot-spongy idlies accompanied by red-spicy-tasty chutney and then thanking God when you get a good burp Smile? Chutneys are integral part of South-Indian food habits. The beauty with all the chutney varieties of Tamilnadu is the variations which you could make with the same chutney. Adding more tomatoes/tamarind makes the chutney tangy, adding little more chillies makes it spicy, adding a little sugar at the end gives a nice sweet taste to the chutney, grinding the chutney with coconut, without coconut, with tempering, without tempering, grinding the chutney in ammikal (hand mortar), grinding in aattu kal (hand-driven stone grinder), grinding it in mixie (blender)…. all these sure give a completely different taste to the same chutney.

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Ulundhangkali | Karuppu ulundhu kali | Black gram porridge

Dina is my brother (my mom’s nephew) and the way my Grandma explains about how he eats ulunthankali is interesting. She once said, “Dina likes kali very much. He sits with his legs folded on the floor, eats at least two plates of kali quietly, sits there for 10 minutes after eating, waits for a nice burp, then stands up with great difficulty and falls asleep”. When I saw her explain about him, I was filled with envy Green with envy because I thought I should be crowned as the ‘Best kali eater’. Then I concluded that probably my grandmother did not watch me eat this ulunthangali. Right from the purchase of black gram and rice in the departmental stores, roasting the urad dal, going to the rice mill with my aunt (sithi) to grind the kali maavu (porridge flour), then watching my aunt (athai) prepare a big vessel full of ulundhankali with great effort, till my Grandma serves it in plates making depression on the steaming kali in each of our plates …. I remember everything about how we used to prepare and enjoy karuppu ulundhu kali (black gram porridge)

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*Cheppankizhangu varuval | Taro root fry | Arbi roast *

taro root curry

south indian spicy curry of taro root

Appearances are often deceptive. The one whom I’ve displayed above, does he look handsome? Not at all, right? But you should scroll a little down and have a look at the finished product :) or you should taste the cooked taro root fry. You will swallow more and more of this cheppankizhangu roast everytime you pass by your kitchen that the pan will be emptied even before you set the dining table for lunch/dinner. Most arbi are oval shaped like miniature rugby balls and some are round shaped. To me the round shaped Cheppangkizhangu (taro root/arbi/colocasia) looks like how our planet earth would have looked when it was very young – a dark solid crust and rocky rustic body. I had a very close-up look at this raw Cheppankilangu and it really looked so.

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Vanilla Cake Recipe | Soft and Spongy Vanilla Cake

Sure it is because of these cookery shows that I’m wearing my glasses today ;( Yes. I started watching cookery shows right from my 7th grade. I do not remember the cook’s name or the cookery show’s name exactly, but this lady used to teach variety of cakes daily around 3.30pm. All the varieties of cakes: Cakes with eggs, eggless cakes, tumbler cakes (cupcake), sponge cakes, chocolate cakes, vanilla flavored, pineapple flavored, lemon flavored, frosting, icing, how to decorate a cake… ALL about cakes. Sitting too very close to the TV throughout the program, penning down all little details whatever is uttered by the cook: the ingredients, the method, the tips…everything, without blinking eyes. I think I wouldn’t be so sincere even during the prayers. But alas… where’s the oven to bake the cakes? I used to think, “may be one day I’ll own a BIG oven and make use of all these hand written cake recipes and bake these cakes one by one”. And today, It Is Happening! Yuppeee… I have a BIG black oven in my house today. I will show you how to make soft and spongy vanilla cakes in this post.

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Onion Rings | Crispy Onion Rings Recipe | Crunchy Onion Rings

Onion Rings | Crispy Onion Rings Recipe | Crunchy Onion Rings

I had no idea that there exists a snack called Onion Rings until I came to the US. There are instant onion rings available in market like potato chips and frozen onion rings which you can fry them when you feel like wanting to eat them hot. But I never bought either the instant onion rings or the frozen onion rings. I liked the idea of Onion Rings when I looked at their pictures in the product cover. So I googled them and chose the exact site which had the Exxxact Recipe for onion rings I was searching for.

When I was in a mission to surprise my husband with little snacks every evening or almost every evening, I used to search for simple, yet delicious snacks recipes. This recipe for onion rings is one among them. Easy and a quick snacks perfect for the evening. Thanks to Chef John who has this wonderful site with such brilliant recipes! I came to know about his site just few months back. I know most of us or most of the food bloggers would have been to his site at least once. I love the way he makes his video and the way he explains his recipes in a not-more-than 2 or 3 minute video. He never misses to answer any of our questions on the recipes.

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South-Indian Chutney Recipes | Side dish for Idli-Dosai

Kathirikai Chutney | Eggplant Chutney recipe | Brinjal Chutney

I realized that taste differs according to our age. The thing which you liked so much when you were young may not be liked at all today. And the thing which you hated so much when you were young might be liked so very much today! The recipe on discussion today is this Kathrikai chutney (Brinjal chutney or Eggplant chutney). I never knew that Brinjal is called Eggplant until I was here to the US. Just imagine if this eggplant yielded eggs of various variety like chicken eggs, duck eggs etc :P

Kathirikai Chutney | Eggplant Chutney recipe | Brinjal Chutney

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French Fries Recipe | Finger Chips Recipe

French Fries Recipe | Finger Chips Recipe | Crunchy French Fries

Do you agree with me that people who never learnt to cook or who showed no interest in cooking or those who do not know where the kitchen is in their house, turn out to be the best home makers and cooks? :lol: Yeah. This is 100 percent true as far as I noticed. Proof is my lovely aunt and my pretty sister. And when you taste for the first time the dish made by them, it will really taste so so great!

This beautiful recipe is one which I observed my aunt prepare when she was engaged to my uncle. Aunts are really special and if they happen to be the youngest of the family, then they’re the heroines of the house. My aunt is such a special one in our house since she is the youngest in my Father’s family. [btw, my aunt looks exactly like actress Heera :) or even more attractive than her. Uggh, aunt hates me if she comes to read this statement]. With what I remember faintly, being the darling of the house, she never cared to learn cooking. And once she got engaged she took little steps to learn how to make special snacks. I think she chose to start from snacks to surprise my uncle after her marriage :P My memory remembers two snacks which she tried: One was achchu muruku (recipe once I’m to India since I don’t have the mould here) and the other was French fries. I will show you today how to make French fries/Finger Chips.

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Kadala curry (Puttu kadala curry) - Black Chana curry

Kadala curry | Kerala kadala curry | Black Chana masala | Puttu Kadala curry | Chickpea masala | Chickpea curry

Is it kadala curry or kadalai curry? Or do you call it kadla curry?

Distance between Trichy and Madurai is 130+ kms and traveling in bus took 3+ hrs to reach those days. The bus normally halts for about 10 to 15 minutes in some unusual place for refreshment (!). The wind and breeze in that place will smell awful since there were no proper rest rooms. I hardly breathe during that time and sit with the only thought that the driver and the conductor should return to take the bus quickly. It is really an annoying place, where the tea shops play songs you haven’t ever heard of since your birth and where hawkers get into the bus and sell snacks and edible produce like cucumber and guava. It is during one such travel when my grandpa met with this kadla vendor, sorry kadalai vendor.

I think all vendors are gifted with a special kind of voice box - a voice box that can be tuned only to the highest possible volume. So this hawker went to and fro inside the bus hawking…”kadla kadlaaaa… kadla kadlaaaa…”. My grandfather got irritated to the way he pronounced ‘kadalai’ and called that guy and took a brief lesson on how to pronounce the word “kadalai”. Yeah, a scene similar to the famous joke in the film ‘Indru poi naalai vaa’. He asked the guy to pronounce it ‘_Kadalai_’ and not ‘kadla’. The guy listened to the lesson and hawked back down the bus…’kadla kadlaaa…’

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Keethu mangai

Trichy, Gran’ ma’s home.

Like how the Gupta period was the Golden Age of India, the summer vacations are the Golden age for any child in India. And this green mango salad brings before me, a big box-full of my childhood memories. When I saw those green mangoes in the Indian market here, it was like a huge rusty dusty iron trunk, fell hard on my head, opening up all the sweet old memories that were squeezed and jam-packed inside the trunk. I quickly picked up the scattered stuff and put them back inside the box, closed it tight and carried home to blog about them. Rather emptying the whole box down and getting completely lost in the recollections; I thought I should pick one stuff at a time from the trunk and have thorough pleasure writing about it.

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Making Popcorn at Home


Madurai, my school.

Who doesn’t like popcorn? No wonder I can eat a sack-full of popcorn for one whole day. Not joking :D

If other foods tempt me with their tastes, popcorn tempts me with its smell. It has got that hot spicy smell. If we’re to fight a war for pop-corn, and if I’m to lead a group, I’m sure my team will win the battle. That much fanatic I am for pop-corn. Ok, no more exaggerations :P

A little larger than a fat dog’s kennel, old oily smelling walls, dark room, girl with itchy head who always looks boring… irrrrkkkk!!!! this is the description of my school canteen and the salesgirl in-charge of it. But you know how many throng its door daily just to get those snacks?! both lunch hours and after-school hours?! And I was one among them :D . Yeah, only to get that 20 paise popcorn packet. I choose to buy this popcorn for these reasons…. they’re the cheapest in the canteen, they are packed inside plastic bags and thus will never get in contact by that itchy-headed salesgirl :P … AND …. because I like th’m, I like th’m. There were times when the crowd was too huge and too violent that, being a tiny little girl those days, I will be left suffocated and thrown out of the ‘so-called’ queue, crying very badly and losing my 20 paise in the crowd. But to my surprise, that salesgirl happened to be kind enough that she noted me, called me inside and gave me a bigger pack (40 paise) of popcorn. I was thinking then, I found a new way of getting things using this simple tool - CRYING :D

So that was my fight for popcorn :)

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