Halloween Treat – Nut-Free Chocolate Brownies


Halloween is a great time to be a kid – so much candy! But if your child is allergic to nuts, many of the treats are off limits. I have developed this brownie recipe for my son who dislikes nuts of any kind. I use white chocolate instead, which gives it richness and a brownie-like appearance even without the nuts.


Nut-free Chocolate Brownies

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Deepavali Special – 30-Minute Mysore Pak (Bengal Gram Flour Sweet)

As the name suggests, Mysore Pak does not belong to Tamil Nadu. It has come from the state of Karnataka but has won the hearts of Tamilians, and is one of the most popular and requested sweets here. With Deepavali this weekend the shops are filled with gifts packs of this sweet, so why not surprise everyone with homemade Mysore Pak?


Traditional Mysore Pak with the two-tone darker core and lighter surface

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Asian Chicken Pulav

I came across an interesting combination of spices for chicken pulav in The Asian Cookbook. The recipe did not use any green spices such as green chillies, tomato, or coriander and mint leaves. It used spices that are usually available in the Indian kitchen, making it very easy to prepare as a special dish if you have unexpected guests.


Asian Chicken Pulav

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Eral Seppangkizhangu Curry (Prawn and Colocasia Curry)

Another prawn dish extended this time with a root vegetable, colocasia (seppangkizhangu). Colocasia is available all over India, like the potato. When boiled they develop a slimy texture. In Tamil Nadu colocasia is combined with prawn as the sliminess acts as a thickening agent so that we don’t have to use coconut, which is quite often used in prawn preparations and is the most common thickening agent. Also, the neutral flavour of colocasia does not dominate the dish and brings out the flavour of the prawns as well as the spices used.


Eral Seppangkizhangu Curry (Prawn and Colocasia Curry)

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Paruppu Urundai Kulambu (Red Gram Dhal Ball Curry)

Tamil Nadu is famous for the Paruppu Urundai Kulambu, which is steamed dhal balls cooked in a savoury curry. My mother had a recipe using Bengal gram dhal for the balls, but the curry she had suggested was very vague. When I prepared her recipe at home, it was not popular and we also had attacks of flatulence. In my eternal search for recipes, I found many using either red gram dhal or a combination of the two dhals. I chose to use only red gram dhal because it is the least digestively offensive. The curry that I have used is a combination of ideas taken from several recipes.


Paruppu Urundai Kulambu (Red Gram Dhal Ball Curry)

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