Greatest Compliment!

Today, I set a simple lunch for my son - Roti, Aalo Sabji (potato curry), Millet Rice and Moar Kuzhambu (More like Gujarathi Kadi). Halfway through the meal, he said "I love everything you have prepared today"!!! It must be snowing in Chennai ;)

This behooves me to set down the recipes I used in 24 caret gold!

Or atleast this blog.

Aloo Sabji - A modification of my MIL's so called Aloo Dum

(The real aaloo dum is a complicated mughlai undertaking, requiring fried baby potatoes and a almond-cashew rich gravy)

  1. 1 Cup of shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  2. 5 Medium sized potatoes thoroughly washed, unpeeled, cubed and put in a bowl of cold water (about 3 Inches long)
  3. 1 Small sweet potato (about 5 inches long) washed,peeled, cubed and added to the cold water
  4. 3 Tomatoes of the country variety, juicy and somewhat sour, disintegrates when cooked
  5. 20 Curry leaves, washed and torn
  6. 1 tsp Jeera
  7. 1 tsp black mustard
  8. 1 tsp kalonji
  9. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  10. 1/2 tsp Methi seeds
  11. 2 tsp dhanjeera powder
  12. 2 tsp Sambhar powder
  13. 1/2 Inch cube jaggery
  14. Salt to taste
  15. 3 tsp peanut oil

  • Heat the oil in a pan on medium high heat, add items 5 to 10 in the order given.
  • As the methi darkens add the shallots and the curry leaves.
  • As the shallots brown (4 - 6 minutes), drain the potato mix and add to the pan.
  • As the potatoes just begin to change colour, add the tomatoes.
  • As the tomatoes turn pulpy, add items 11 to 14.
  • Fry well for 2 - 3 minutes. Pour a cup of water; Reduce heat to medium-low
  • Cook covered for 10 - 20 minutes until potatoes are thoroughly cooked.

Note: Potato peel has a lot more iron than potato. So, I now scrub potatoes, wash it with potassium permanganate and use it unpeeled.

I have started haunting the Nilgiris store in Besant Nagar for 95% of my grocery needs and they always seem to stock up on interesting brands and items. The whole wheat atta from South India Flour Mills (SIF brand) is one fine example. The dough from this atta tastes comfortingly grainy and just a little stretchy. One small piece in your mouth and you really savour all the wholesome goodness of wheat. The only alternative to this brand is buying wheat and having it ground in the local mill.

I bought the Millet rice in Pondicherry at Food World. This millet comes from Kodai Hills, grown under the aegis of M S Swaminathan Foundation. If any one is listening/reading, I would Love to work for the foundation. I brought 2.5 Cups of water + 1.5 cup of milk to a rolling boil, added 1 cup washed millet, reduced heat to low and cooked uncovered for about 15 minutes. I usually pack curd millet rice for sathish's lunch.

Now for the Moar Kuzhambu - Kadhi Recipe.
  1. 2 tbsp besan
  2. 2 cups yogurt
  3. 2 cups water
  4. 2 cups ashgourd chopped into chunks (about 1/2 kg)
  5. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  6. 1 tsp jeera
  7. 1/2 tsp methi
  8. 2 green chillie
  9. 10 curry leaves washed and torn
  10. 2 tbsp coconut fresh / 1 tbsp coconut dry
  11. 1 tsp jeera
  12. 1/2 tsp methi
  13. 1 inch piece fresh ginger
  14. 1 tsp jeera1 inch cinnamon
  15. 4 - 5 cloves
  16. 1 inch cinnamon
  17. 10 curry leaves
  18. 2 -3 red chillie washed and deseeded
  19. 2 - 3 tsp peanut oil
  20. salt to taste

  • In a kadai, dissolve the besan in a little water ensuring it is free of lumps,
  • Add the yogurt and whip, slowly add the water and whip
  • Add items 4 - 9, salt to taste and cook on a medium low flame
  • Grind items 10 - 13 to a pasteand add to the mixture on the stove
  • Cook 10 - 15 minutes until ash gourd is tender
  • Heat oil in a separate kadai, add items 15 - 18 in order given
  • Take of flame when red chilly darkens and add it to the kadi

This tastes best when eaten hot with rice.

I cooked bottlegourd with moong and masoor daal for dinner. This went well served over Idlis and Dosai too.

All in all, we have had a fairly healthy day - my idlis batter is made of red puttu rice and regular idli rice.
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