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.
The Sivappu Kulambu is known for its beautiful red and enchantingly transparent gravy. Despite its deep red colour it can be made mildly flavoured based on the chilli powder used. I have used Kashmiri Chilli Powder which gives it a very subtle touch on your tongue. It goes amazingly well with chappatis and parattas.
I developed this chicken and capsicum curry to dish up a non-vegetarian preparation in a hurry. It is very mild and can be served to both children and the elderly, or anyone who is on a bland diet. Because it is not very spicy it goes better with fried rice or noodles rather than bread or chapathi.
I came across an interesting combination of spices for chicken pulav in The Asian Cookbook. The recipe did not use any green spices such as green chillies, tomato, or coriander and mint leaves. It used spices that are usually available in the Indian kitchen, making it very easy to prepare as a special dish if you have unexpected guests.