Welcome aboard!

Indian cuisine is a riot of colours, flavours, and spices. Every state has its own unique culture- ingrained taste bud. And, to many of us staying within familiar tastes is a sacrosanct act. Of course an occasional trip to a speciality restaurant that serves another fare is ok. But, as a matter of routine ...at home...NO!

One of the benefits of being born to parents who dared an interstate marriage (am talking about India of the 70's) was being able to widen a regional taste bud to accept, experiment and, relish eclectic cuisines :-)

I love food! Be it traditional or fusion, cooking is all about turning out fare that is tasty and healthy.I welcome all lovers of good food to come on aboard and share your kitchen adventures.

If you like what you see, do leave a comment. If you don't, please leave a suggestion to help me make this better.

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Happy cooking!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Coconut - curd chutney (spicy, tangy coconut-yoghurt dip)

I have a list of items stacked away in my 'growing up' food memory. In fact my growing up food memory is preserved in two different silos - one spanning the years spent with my paatti (maternal grandmother) eating tamilian food, and the other spent at home eating ammas attempts at Keralite cuisine. Amma's combos usually were green gram masala with chappathis, black channa with puttu, potatos in a deep brown roasted coconut gravy again with chappathis, podi chammanthi (chutney) with appams, coconut- curd (yoghurt) chutney with idlis... the list goes on. Somewhere down the lane amma gave up making this for the ordinary red chillies based coconut chutney much more common to keralite palates. My younger brother was brought up entirely in kerala and has always stayed with amma unlike me. And slowly amma's cooking modified itself to centre around his palate in which tamilian fare played no role. And his, is quite a conservative palate!

I love recreating all those dishes that I liked as a kid and also playing around with new items. This simple coconut-curd chutney is something that regularly features in my kitchen.

Fresh grated coconut - 1 cup
Green chillies or Thai chillies (kanthari) - 3to 4 (adjust as per your spice tolerance)
Ginger - 1/2" piece
Curds ( plain yoghurt) - 1 cup
Water - as required to grind the coconut into a smooth paste
Salt to taste

For tempering
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Dry red chillies - 2
Curry leaves - a few sprigs
Coconut oil (preferably) - 1 teaspoon

Grind the coconut along with the ginger-green chillies into a smooth paste adding water little by little. Heat the oil in a skillet and crackle the mustard seeds and roast the chillies and curry leaves. Add the coconut paste in and allow to cook for a minute or two. Whisk the curds well and pour in along with salt. Simmer for a minute stirring all the while. Transfer to serving dish and njoy with idlis or crisp dosas.
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