In South India meat is combined with carrots and potatoes to prepare kuruma (a kind of curry). I like to prepare beef with vegetables using different kinds of spices. I have seen many western recipes use thyme and basil, which I love, and therefore used them in this recipe. I usually serve this curry with Irish Soda Bread.
In India it is believed that eating bitter gourd will cure a person of the metabolic disorder diabetes mellitus. Many native medicine books claim the beneficial effects of bitter gourd. This has not been validated by properly tested methods, but still it is eaten widely hoping that it will effect some magic cure. When my mother made this preparation I was not very fond of it, but later on I devised a method of reducing the bitterness without losing the very small amount of nutrients that are present in it. The addition of sugar towards the end to give a glaze transports this dish to higher levels.
In Tamil Nadu we combine prawns with various vegetables and greens to provide the most delicious and nutritious dishes. Today I have chosen to present prawns cooked with brinjal (eggplant), which is a vegetable available through all seasons. The addition of vegetables to prawns extends the dish so that many people can enjoy it.
Cookies are a favourite among both children and adults. Who can forget Dennis the Menace standing on a stool and grabbing one from the cookie jar! A cookie not only makes a wonderful snack, it’s a comfort food also. The recipe I have used here is from The Cookie Cookbook, which was published in the 70s. I have not used walnuts, which the recipe suggested, because my son doesn’t like nuts, but the extra cup of chocolate chips added instead to the mix makes it absolutely scrumptious. I have also increased the brown sugar to enhance the flavour.
There are several Western or Chinese recipes where fish is fried dipped in batters which use milk or egg. In Tamil Nadu the batter that is used for the preparation of Bhajjis (vegetable slices dipped and fried in batter) is used to fry fish also. Bhajji batter is made chiefly of Bengal Gram flour, and the result is a wonderfully crisp coating with soft fish inside.