Panang kizhangu (Palmyra sprout) is popular among south Indians & Sri Lankans. We usually steam the palmyra sprouts, pound them when dried, and relish the pounded palmyra sprout as a savory snack. Sri Lankans boil these sprouts, dry them, make into a flour and use the flour to make sweet puttu, koozh or add into some non-veg curries as a thickening agent.
Interestingly Indian Biryani & Italian Risotto share some similarities: Seeraga samba rice & arborio rice are of same texture and they are cooked al dente in both the recipes. Seeraga samba rice is a quintessential ingredient of biryani in south India for its wonderful flavor, it also absorbs the flavors of all the spices used in it, and it does not gather into thick lumps.
Mango pachadi is a sweet, sour & spicy jam prepared to welcome the Tamil New Year. It is a delicious side dish for rice and goes well with any kuzhambu or rasam. Also we serve this dish with the traditional ulutham paruppu sadam or black gram rice.
Vazhaipoo vadai or banana flower patties are gluten-free snacks prepared with banana flowers & yellow peas. These are delectable flavorsome patties with crispy skin and soft flesh. We can include banana flowers into our diet in the form of patties (vadai), stir-fry (poriyal), coconut curry (kootu), lentil crumble (paruppu usili), soup, or salad.
Green peas masala is a creamy Indian curry particularly enjoyed by children as it does not have sharp pungent flavors. Nevertheless, this scrumptious curry meets the dietary requirements of children; the protein in green peas ensures their growth, shallots give them the immunity from disease causing germs and fresh coriander leaves loaded with iron make them active.
Generally vegetable biryani served in restaurants are greasy, overly spiced, and made of semi-cooked rice tossed with few vegetables. Hence I prefer to make simple flavorful delicious vegetable biryani at home, and I like to add textured soya for making protein-rich delicious biryani. Soy biryani is a wholesome meal and is usually served with refreshing raita.
Vadai are the most popular lentil patties prepared during Deepavali in South India. We prepare aama vadai using Bengal gram and ulundha vadai using black gram. We soak the left-over vadai in thayir (yogurt) and relish them as thayir vadai the next day.
Siru kizhangu (Chinese potato/ koorka) is a healthy alternate for the common potato as it has medicinal properties. Chinese Potato fry is a tasty accompaniment specially for curd rice, sambar rice or any other rice dishes. We can also serve this potato fry along with Indian breads like chapathi, roti, naan, or poori.
This is our family’s favorite chocolate cake for being dark, chocolaty, spongy, and most importantly guilt-free. I have used whole wheat flour instead of plain flour (maida), vegetable oil in place of butter, and also used home-made yogurt (curd). I have also used chocolate ganache for frosting and garnished with chopped pista & edible rose petals.
It is hard to find an Indian who does not enjoy the soft chewy cottage cheese (paneer), so we like to add paneer into many dishes that we prepare often like curries or pulao (rice). Paneer matar masala is one of the most popular curries prepared in almost every Indian household, and it is usually served with chapathi, roti or pulao.
Adai (mixed lentils crepe) is a traditional protein-rich dosa prepared using rice and assorted lentils. Kara adai is a complete meal when served with aviyal as adai is made of assorted lentils & aviyal with medley of vegetables. Hence we can serve adai aviyal frequently to kids & old people to prevent the vitamin & mineral deficiency.
A simple cake can be elevated to a whole new level just by adding flavorful ingredients like fresh fruit juice, chewy fruits, chopped nuts, toasted seeds, aromatic spices, or cocoa. I find the fruits glazed with butter and syrup the most delightful addition into any spongy cake. Here I have baked an eggless pineapple upside down cake using whole wheat flour, maize flour and caramelized pineapple slices.
A wedding feast or a festive feast in our family is incomplete without aviyal. Aviyal is a medley of native vegetables & tubers cooked in coconut gravy. Traditional Indian recipes like kummiyanam, adai, avial, panchamirtham, etc. use assorted grains, pulses, vegetables, or fruits. But nowadays we could find the nutritionists recommending us to include a medley of vegetables, pulses, grains, or fruits in our diet regularly as it prevents vitamin & mineral deficiency. Hence it is a good practice to prepare such foods often and serve them particularly to growing children and old people.