Kala’s Easy Vegetable Kuruma – For Working Women

Winter is almost over, but we still get lovely fresh vegetables to make this dish. My mother never made vegetable kuruma, but I always remembered the kuruma we enjoyed when visiting relatives. I tried to reproduce what I had eaten before, but I made the mistake of trying to make it like a meat kuruma which was not well received in the family. I eventually figured out the magic technique – do not use curds, mint, strongly flavoured vegetables like knol-khol (kohlrabi), or strongly pigmented vegetables like beetroot.

Kalas Easy Vegetable Kuruma - Kalas Kalai

Kala’s Easy Vegetable Kuruma

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Oven-Baked Tandoori Chicken

Happy New Year everyone! I would like to kick off 2018 with a dish that is known all over the world. Tandoori chicken is a signature dish of Punjab but has become very popular in Tamil Nadu, especially in the cities, due to the increase in restaurants serving North Indian cuisine following the migration of North Indians to the South. Even road-side eateries advertise Tandoori cooking. The traditional Tandoor oven, which originated in West Asia, is a special device that none of us have at home in Tamil Nadu. I, therefore, looked for recipes using the regular Oven Toaster Grill (OTG) and found several methods. This recipe combines the best from many sources and my own experiments in making the perfect Tandoori Chicken 🙂

Oven Baked Tandoori Chicken 1 - Kalas Kalai

Oven-Baked Tandoori Chicken garnished with Lime Wedge and Onion Rings

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Carrot Tomato Curry

I have come across a wide variety of dishes from many states as students from all across India attended Women’s Christian College, Chennai. This is a dish from Andhra Pradesh. My student M.S. Vani prepared this dish in my dietetics lab session. I was very impressed by its nutritive value, and the dish was novel to me. I got the recipe from her and modified it by adding onion to improve the flavour. I also reworked the cooking method to cook the tomatoes with the onions and boiled the carrots to remove the raw flavour.

Carrot Tomato Curry - Kalas Kalai

Carrot Tomato Curry

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Kala’s Prawn and Capsicum Curry

The unique flavour of prawns lends itself to be combined with different kinds of vegetables. I have already posted a few such recipes (Prawn and Colocasia Curry, Prawn and Cabbage Curry, Prawn and Snake Gourd Poriyal). Another advantage in combining prawns with vegetables is that it has no skin or bones, and the flavour does not vary with the type of prawn. I created this recipe combining prawns with capsicum and a different combination of spices from the others.

 

Prawn and Capsicum Curry - Kalas Kalai

Prawn and Capsicum Curry

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Thayir Kozhi Curry (Curd and Chicken Curry)

This is another handy recipe for when you have more curds than you need for your daily consumption, and you are looking for ways to use it up. I have created a very easy-to-prepare chicken dish with very few spices (compared to what we usually use in Tamil Nadu for non-vegetarian cooking) and thick fresh curds.

Thayir Kozhi Curry - Kalas Kalai

Thayir Kozhi Curry (Curd and Chicken Curry)

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Carpetbag Meat (Low Fat)

I discovered a ‘Carpetbag Steak’ recipe when browsing through an old cookbook from my personal library. I was fascinated by the concept of stuffing steaks or fillets and skewering or suturing them with cotton thread before grilling or broiling. But the stuffing that is used in these recipes is not the norm in Tamil kitchens, because we do not combine meat with shellfish (mussels or oysters). So, I use a spicy vegetarian stuffing to add flavour to the carpetbag meat.

Carpetbag Meat 1 - Kalas Kalai

Carpetbag Meat

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Thirunelveli Aviyal (Thirunelveli Vegetable Curry)

January 14th is the birth of the Tamil month of Thai, and in Tamil Nadu, it is also Pongal, the harvest festival. It is a grand celebration with several vegetarian dishes marking nature’s bounty. Aviyal is a vegetable curry that is served for lunch. There are several versions of aviyal, and  I am presenting here the aviyal made in Palayamkottai, Thirunelveli District. It uses many of the vegetables indigenous to Thirunelveli.

thirunelveli-aviyal-kalas-kalai

Thirunelveli Aviyal (Vegetable Curry) along with its major ingredients

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