Last weekend, I was planning to cook a Mexican feast, in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Thankfully, guilt over the lower number of visits to the gym in the previous week prevailed and I decided I should be eating more vegetables, instead. Hence, I decided to cook South Indian food including a sambar full of vegetables and green coriander-coconut chutney. After all, what could be healthier than that? Best of all, this obviously delighted my husband, who loves rava idlis and sambar.
Nevertheless, I always get scared cooking something for someone who might know that food very well and knows exactly how it should taste. In fact, when I invite Indian friends over, I try not to cook Indian food, so as to avoid any comparisons with their own cooking 🙂
However, my guilt prevailed (I have been really irregular with the gym, and my brain is revolting, I guess:-)), and I made my version of sambar (with all kinds of veggies, the turnips which I had bought for Gogji razma the previous weekend, broccoli, shallots, french beans, etc.) These may not be traditional, but they sure do taste good in a sambar 🙂
There isn’t much to blog about here as I followed the recipe on the back of the sambar powder pack and only used my creativity for the choice of veggies. I also made coriander-coconut chutney, which I had learnt on a trip to visit my cousin in Rhode Island. Thanks, cousin M and Congratulations on the baby! Finally, I made rava idlis from a ready mix. Sorry, all you die hard idli fans, I just don’t have the patience to make it from scratch. 🙂
Here’s a pic.
However, to me, a south indian meal is incomplete without my Mom’s Aloo Pyaaz sabzi, especially since I like eating the sambar less with idlis or dosas, and more with plain steamed rice. In fact, this has been one of my favorite recipes for a long time and was one of the recipes I carried over the oceans with me, not on the Mayflower 🙂 , but on Air India’s flight from Bombay to Newark, when I first moved to the US. Best of all, my Mom probably thought the level of complexity involved in this dish was probably just right for my level of incompetence in the kitchen 🙂
Anyway, here’s an easy South Indian recipe from a North Indian girl 🙂
- 4 medium yukon gold or red potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 3/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- Salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Cover the potatoes with enough water in a saucepan and boil until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Drain and set aside.
- In the meantime, slice the onion (cry as much as you need to :-)) and heat some oil in a large skillet.
- Saute the onion until golden.
5. Add mustard seeds, turmeric, red chilli powder and salt. Stir to mix.
6. Let everything cook for a minute and then add the drained potatoes.
7. Cook until the tasty masala sticking to the edges of the pan turns brown (or so my notes from when I watched my Mom make this recipe say :-))
8. Turn off the heat and cover.
9. Serve after a few minutes, garnished with fresh cilantro, if needed.