Eral and Pavakkai Poriyal (Prawn and Bitter Gourd Fry)

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.

Eral and Pavakkai Poriyal - Kalas Kalai

Eral and Pavakkai Poriyal (Prawn and Bitter Gourd Fry)

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Coddle

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.

coddle - kalas kalai

Coddle

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Venn Pongal and Thengai Chutney (Savoury Rice with Coconut Chutney)

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.

venn pongal - kalas kalai

Venn Pongal and Thengai Chutney (Savoury Rice with Coconut Chutney)

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Mocha Brownies for New Year

A New Year is when we make resolutions to better ourselves, such as starting a diet. Before we deny ourselves delicious treats we should end the old year with one last hurrah – a decadent delight of calories and protein in the form of Mocha Brownies. The fragrance of the coffee in the brownies will make the entire neighbourhood come to your house on some excuse or the other 🙂

Mocha Brownies for New Year - Kalas Kalai

Mocha Brownies for New Year

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Thirunelveli Mutton Pulav with Inji Thuvaiyal (Ginger Chutney)

This recipe was a Christmas treat in my family when I was growing up in Thirunelveli, but my mother did not make it on Christmas as there was already so much work to be done. Instead she would make it between Christmas and New Year. I simplified this traditional recipe a lot, allowing me to easily make it on Christmas Day as the main dish in the feast. This is traditionally served with the hot and sweet Inji Thuvaiyal (recipe below) and Thayir Pachadi.

Thirunelveli Mutton Pulav - Kalas Kalai

Thirunelveli Mutton Pulav with Inji Thuvaiyal (Ginger Chutney)

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Thirunelveli Kari Vadai (Thirunelveli Mince Patties)

Christmas is the special time of year when people suddenly remember you and drop in hoping for a tasty bite or two 🙂 Carol singers may also pop by to delight you with their enthusiasm if not their talent 😀 This Kari Vadai is my grandmother’s recipe, which I used to enjoy in my Thirunelveli days; it is easy to make and a delight to consume – a guaranteed guest pleaser! It can be served as a snack or as an accompaniment to the Christmas feast along with onion rings and lemon wedges.

Kari Vadai - Kalas Kalai

Thirunelveli Kari Vadai (Thirunelveli Mince Patties)

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Kala’s Egg Bonda

Egg bonda is a snack made by deep frying boiled egg halves dipped in thick batter. Egg bonda is usually made with Bengal Gram flour batter and fried like a bhajji (vegetable fritter). I have tasted this in many places, but always felt that the Bengal Gram flour dominated the taste of egg. Therefore, I have created my own batter using a large amount of rice flour and a small amount of Bengal Gram flour and maida to help in the binding, which achieves a more balanced flavour. I have also added a green masala to the batter to enhance the flavour.

Kalas Egg Bonda - Kalas Kalai

Kala’s Egg Bonda

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