May is the month when Tamil Nadu experiences extreme heat. Fresh mint leaves are widely available as everyone believes in their ability to cool. I got a big bundle of the freshest mint leaves and tried to find a recipe that used mint leaves, but wasn’t satisfied with the ones I found as they involved a lot of labour. I came up with this Pudhina Chicken recipe that could be prepared quickly as I didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen in this heat.
The temperature has crossed 36° C in Chennai, and you can hear the sound of kids playing all day. Yep, it’s the summer holidays, and that’s the perfect time to experiment with different types of ice cream. Papaya is available all year round, and relatively inexpensive. It is also quite nutritious, but as some people don’t like the taste of papaya, I thought of making an ice cream. I was inspired by Hawaiian cookery to make this extremely quick and easy and delectable papaya ice cream.
Pirattal in Tamil means stirring or turning. My mother called this recipe sadha meaning plain/ordinary/simple. It does live up to its name as only the coconut and ginger-garlic paste need grinding. She used only garlic, but I have substituted it with ginger-garlic paste to spice it up. This pirattal is so easy to prepare that even cooking noobs can try it 🙂
I have adored ice cream from childhood. I have always wanted to make ice cream at home so that I can have rich and creamy ice cream whenever I wanted it. Store bought ice cream is never satisfying as it has a lot of air in it, and it isn’t the all that healthy due to the added colouring, preservatives, stabilisers, etc. I came across a recipe in Hershey’s Chocolate and Cocoa Cookbook, but it used ingredients that are not available in India. I have modified that recipe extensively to adapt it to what is easily available in Indian stores. It is a very easy and simple recipe that uses only 4 store bought ingredients and is also vegetarian.
In Tamil Nadu, February is when high quality fresh green peas are available. It gives me great pleasure to shell them and to see the lovely green peas inside and, of course, cook them too! This Peas Pulav is a very simple, easy to make preparation, but it can hold pride of place in any feast.
Mothers find it difficult to prepare packed lunches which provide satiety and nutrients, variety, and of course easy to pack and easy to eat in any location or situation. I created this Spicy Egg Toast for my children to carry in their backpacks without any risk of oil or gravy leaking. A couple of decades later it still serves the same purpose when they take the bus to work.
In South India, January is the month when luscious tomatoes are available at a very low cost. Apart from making chutneys, jams, pickles, sauces, ketchups and soups, the tomatoes can be used in large quantities in a variety of dishes. I have created this Tomato Chicken Curry by combining elements from many other dishes that I liked but felt could be improved and as a dish that can be quickly and easily prepared in a typical Indian kitchen.