Though Easter follows 40 days of vegetarianism, Tamil people don’t have a great spread for the festival. I wanted to offer an alternative to the traditional chicken or mutton biriyani, and I chose this Bacon and Sausage Pulav as it is the same meat-and-rice type of dish, but is also very different and very mild flavoured. This is a scrumptious one-dish meal, and it only needs ketchup as an accompaniment if required.
Fish food doesn’t agree with some people, perhaps because we use a lot of spices in India. I was looking for a fish recipe that used Indian spices but was mild flavoured. I found one in The Cook’s Colour Treasury called hake gratin, which was baked with cheese. To make it suitable for our palate, I removed the cheese and substituted coriander leaves in place of parsley. I used trevally, which is an inexpensive fish in India and can be easily skinned and cut into fillets. The result was a melt-in-your-mouth baked fish with a flavour that no one can resist.
Thirunelveli Lime Rice is different from the typical Madras Lime Rice in that it is very mild, and fresh ingredients like onion, green chillies, and coriander leaves are used, and it is also served with Paruppu Thuvaiyal. The acid in the lime juice changes the anthocyanin pigment in the onion to a beautiful reddish pink colour and makes the texture crisp. This makes it a most attractive dish.
My father’s youngest sister, Jeyanthi, relocated to Erode from Thirunelveli when she got married. She had picked up several new recipes from her Erode friends and acquired relatives. My mother had enjoyed her cooking and collected a few recipes from her. This Kathirikkai Curry is one of those precious dishes. Kathirikkai is a staple ingredient in Tamil cooking because different varieties of kathirikkai are available throughout the year. I prefer to use the deep purple variety. This curry turned out to be absolutely fabulous, and it can be served with plain rice, Easy Peas Pulav, Potato Pulav, or chappatis.
When I flip through my collection of cookery books, if a photograph of some preparation fascinates me I try to make an Indian dish to suit our palate and kitchen. I came across a photograph of sausages and potatoes, beautifully presented but in a curry form – curry meaning western style bland curry. Therefore I decided to combine sausage and potatoes in what the Tamilians call a poriyal, meaning fry. The cocktail sausages available in India are quite spicy; therefore I decided to keep the add-on spices to a minimum. We usually get chicken sausages, but if you’re lucky you might find pork sausages in the stores. I have used chicken sausages to prepare this dish, but you can also use pork sausages.
This is one of 3 recipes that I managed to get from my husband’s friend’s Mangalorean bride, Grace Bhasker, who was renowned for her cooking. I am very pleased with this recipe because it has a rich, enticing flavour. I have maintained the ingredients as given by her but extensively simplified the method to improve cooking time.
Happy Easter in advance! I love to create festive specials using rice. When I was going through my collection of recipe books I came across a Mexican sausage rice recipe. Though the ingredients of the recipe did not appeal to me, the concept did. I studied sausage preparations, especially in a volume of the Encyclopaedia of Creative Cooking on pork. This dealt with various kinds of pork sausages, particularly combined with potatoes. Inspired by this I created a fried rice using sausages and potatoes, suited to the Indian market and kitchen. This was a tremendous success. My family loved it, and it was finished with not a grain of rice left. The flavour is very mild but rich in taste. It goes amazingly well with my Sweet Brinjal Pickle.