Kala’s Birinji Rice

I first had Birinji Rice when my family moved to Chennai in 1957. It was a vegetarian delicacy served at weddings instead of mutton biriyani. Though my family felt disappointed at the lack of meat, I loved its taste, and I used to pester my mother to make it but she didn’t know how – which is not surprising as the key ingredient, kalpasi, was not known in Thirunelveli at that time. Fast forward 63 years, and I finally made my own version which matches the flavour of the birinji rice I used to enjoy so much at Christian weddings. This also makes part of a nice feast at any occasion where meat side dishes are served. It can also be used for a purely vegan/vegetarian feast along with Vegetable Kuruma and Sweet and Sour Brinjal Masala.

Kalas Birinji Rice - Kalas Kalai

Kala’s Birinji Rice

Continue reading

Kala’s Christmas Fruit Cake

50 years ago I received a baking oven as a wedding gift. From then on I’ve been making a rich and large fruit cake for every Christmas, while of course complaining about the labour 🙂 Rum was available freely in liquor stores and I always used rum in my cakes. I had to stop making this fruit cake once the government ordered privately run liquor stores to shut. Now that the government is running sophisticated liquor stores in the fanciest of shopping malls, I was finally able to procure rum again and revive this family Christmas tradition 🙂

Kala's Christmas Fruit Cake 1 - Kalas Kalai

Kala’s Christmas Fruit Cake

Continue reading

Jam Cookies

I always drooled over the jam cookies filling the old-fashioned glass jars on bakery shelves. The crunch of the crisp cookies with the sharp taste and sticky texture of jam used to fascinate me. My daughter and I came across several recipes using jam on cookies, but none of them matched the traditional ones, so my daughter developed this recipe. It is absolutely delicious. This cookie is even crisper than the store-bought cookies.

Jam Cookies 1- Kalas Kalai

Jam Cookies

Continue reading

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Happy New Year, everyone! In Tamil Nadu, for Tamil New Year’s Day it is the tradition to serve a bitter-sweet concoction to remind one that the year will contain both the good and the bad. I feel that it is only appropriate that a Lemon Drizzle cake should usher in the International New Year, with its sweet and sour flavour to symbolize the reality of life.

lemon-drizzle-cake-kalas-kalai

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Continue reading