Scotch Eggs are usually served at festive meals. The eggs are wrapped in cooked mince meat and fried after coating them with egg and bread crumbs. You can find any number of recipes in books and on YouTube. There are one or two recipes using potatoes instead of minced meat, but they are all traditional Indian ‘bonda’ flavoured eggs. Since Scotch Eggs are totally western, I decided to prepare a product that is very similar to western Scotch Eggs but using potatoes so that egg eating vegetarians can consume them as well.
In Tamil Nadu, the term Chenna Kunni refers to tiny shrimps. These are salted and dried in their shells. There are 2 varieties: small and very small. For this pickle I have chosen the very small variety so that it will blend easily with the other ingredients. I love to make sweet pickles, and I decided to try it with chenna kunni. The spice mix I have used is not the usual combination found in prawn pickles. Additionally, it gets its unique sweetness from the caramelisation of sugar, unlike other pickles where the sugar only adds a conventional sweetness to the taste. To my delight I arrived at a product which is new and most delectable.
When I was leafing through the book Cuisine from Coorg, I was intrigued to see a different combination of spices in the making of Yarchi Pulav (yarchi means meat in Coorg). The method of making this pulav was in the traditional way of straining the rice when three-fourths cooked, then adding to the gravy for further cooking. I feel that this method is very tedious especially when you do not have a very large kitchen. Therefore I changed the cooking method to boiling the gravy and water, and then adding the rice to it. In this way, you shorten the cooking time and avoid a mess in the kitchen. I have used spice powders because they are easily available now. I have also introduced curds to marinate the meat to tenderise it. This has made this recipe much easier to prepare.
We in Thirunelveli are quite indifferent to the names of North Indian dishes. The P in Parathas and Pooris is always pronounced as a B, giving us Barotta and Booris. The term barotta was picked up from the chopped up parathas served as street food in bus stations. A similar technique was applied to use the leftover pooris in households.
Prawns always help add flavour to vegetable dishes. This recipe comes from my Burma repatriate friend. When she told me that her mother combines prawn with bitter gourd I was shocked and sceptical about the taste of the product because the bitter gourd, as the name suggests, has a very strong, bitter flavour. Still, I got the recipe from her and decided to try it at home. To my amazement and pleasure, I found that this is one of the most delectable preparations of prawn with another vegetable.
Ireland is famous for Coddle (amongst many other things like leprechauns). There are many versions of this dish as it is made from leftovers, but the main ingredients are bacon, sausages, and potatoes. It makes a very good 1-pot meal. We love sausages in my family, and I was very keen to try this easy-to-make sausage ‘curry’ :D. I found a recipe in Best of Ireland and modified the method of cooking to suit the Indian kitchen. I follow the book’s suggestion and usually serve this with Irish Soda Bread.
January is the harvest time in Tamil Nadu. Pongal is the harvest festival and is the most important festival for Tamilians. It is celebrated on the first of the Tamil month Thai, which usually falls on January 14th or 15th. Pongal is the name of the dish made to celebrate the harvest and gets its name from the boiling over of the rice. Traditionally it is cooked in the front yard of the house on firewood, in a new mud pot. I modified the traditional recipe for those who do not have front yards, firewood, or mud pots.