Vazhaikkai Cutlet (Unripe Banana Cutlet)

Vazhaikkai (unripe bananas/plantains) are available round the year if you are lucky enough to live in South India :). The bananas are used in a variety of dishes as part of a dish like aviyal or kootanchoru, or as the primary ingredient in preparations like these cutlets. I have adapted this recipe from my grandmother’s vazhaikkai vadais. I prefer this as it is shallow fried with very little oil.

Vazhaikkai Cutlet - Kalas Kalai

Vazhaikkai Cutlet

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Meen Asaadhu (Thirunelveli Fish Curry in Coconut Milk)

Meen Asaadhu is a recipe which my mother had copied from her grandmother’s book but she never prepared. I was always curious about it and tried it only when I was able to get skinless and boneless fish cubes (when I moved near the sea 10 years ago). My great-grandmother had recommended either pomfret or barracuda, but you can use other any other marine fish which could be prepared into cubes. I prefer to use black pomfret.

Meen Asaadu - Kalas Kalai

Meen Asaadhu (Thirunelveli Fish Curry in Coconut Milk)

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Ravai Idly (Steamed Semolina Savoury Cakes)

I don’t believe Ravai Idly is native to Tamil Nadu, though Tamil Nadu is famous for its rice idlies. I have no recollection of my mother ever making ravai idlies. I came across ravai idlies only in cookery books. This dish uses curds to prepare the batter, and as I used to rack my brains for ways to utilise the leftover curds at home, I decided to give this a try. I was very pleased with the flavour of the idlies and the substantial breakfast they made.

 

Ravai Idly - Kalas Kalai
Ravai Idlies with idly plates

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Chicken à la King

Chicken à la King seems to have been a favourite of the British Raj in India, perhaps because all the ingredients were available here, and the flavour, though rich, is bland. I have come across various recipes using egg yolk, wine, etc., but adding wine somehow gives a fermented flavour, which we Indians regard as the beginning of spoilage. Therefore, I searched for a recipe which was simple and, at the same time, wholesome. I found one in Children’s Party Cooking. Of course I had to tweak the recipe to suit the Indian palate and the ingredients available.

Chicken a la King - Kalas Kalai

Chicken à la King

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