Monday, June 30, 2008

YRR - Mango Pulisseri

Morkozhambu (kadi) is one of those traditional "passed thru generations" type of dishes in my place. No tamilian festival day is complete without morkuzhambu for lunch.. I can't forget the times like Tamil Varusha pirappu, Adi perukku, Vijayadhasami etc. when there's a special menu in our house. Strictly vegetarian dishes are enforced on festival days and there has to be a main kuzhambu (gravy), atleast a couple of vegetable side dishes, with rasam, appalam, vadai and payasam. On special days we have lunch on banana leaf and I used to love those days where we all sisters sit in a circle and enjoy the elaborate south indian feast!

There are a bunch of reasons why I like Morkuzhambu.. First, it uses very simple ingredients that are always available at home.. No fatty ingredients like butter, ghee or deep fry etc. And lastly, its made of Yogurt.. a healthy ingredient and I just love the flavor of yogurt mixed with spices. Many versions of this dish exist among the tamilians and I've learnt a few different ways to make morkuzhambu with slight variations. One such interesting recipe I came across was this fabulous Mambazha Pulisseri from Mishmash's blog! The first time I saw it, I wondered what do mangoes have to do with Morkuzhambu :) I had never heard of this combination before and was eager to give it a shot sometime. Since last week, with a box of marathon mangoes sitting on my kitchen counter, I was all prepared to make this for the first time.. I exactly made it as mentioned in her blog and it came out just awesome! My hubby loved it and we had a blast for dinner! Thanks shn, for sharing this nice recipe! This will sure be a treat for all morkuzhambu/kadi lovers.

As this dish could be enjoyed with Rotis too I would like to send this to Your Recipe Rocks started by Madhuram and... Yogurt being a key ingredient in this dish, I'm also sending this to Yogurt event hosted by Siri. Also, I would like to thank all of you who voted for my poll that was going on for a few months in my blog. That was really helpful and it was amazing to see that there were equal votes for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians continuously for the whole 5 months! Also, there's another one I've just started today. Please feel free to vote and thanks in advance :)

And last but not least, I would like to pass my Yummy blog award to the following friends who post yummy recipes in their blog. In fact, there are lots of my favorite blogs that post yummy mouthwatering recipes and my bookmarks are growing day by day, so it was tough to choose only 4 :

Jeena- She has lots of interesting Indian recipes and I love her step-by-step yummy photos!

Mrs.Srilekha- Recently I stumbled upon her blog and I was excited to see that has very authentic tamilian home-made recipes!

Anusha - I love her fabulous photographs and unique yummy recipes.

Solai - I discovered her blog just a couple of days before and I was pleasantly surprised to see a blog completely specializing on my favorite Chettinad cuisine! All recipes are fabulous and yummy and I can't wait to try some of them!

Congrats, friends!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tomato Uthappam and another award...

Wow, I haven't posted anything for a week! Am I becoming lazy? I hope not... With weather being so good for the past few days, its becoming a habit for me to stay outside in the evenings for a prolonged time which makes me tired after dinner. Summer is for such a short time in my place and I want to exploit it as much as possible. I absolutely cook, but just no time to post them. I do have a lot of recipes to post and will surely catch up in the next few days..

After nursing my coffee for about 45 mins this morning, I thought of doing a simple express breakfast and then followed by an elaborated lunch! When we're not having friends over for lunch or dinner, my cooking turns out to be a relaxed one as I don't have to multi-task and rush in my cooking. Sometimes I think that the best way to relax in a weekend is to hook-up my I-pod and engross in the kitchen for a few hours! During those times I am in my own world enjoying both my favorites - Music and Cooking! In fact, I've had some of my best outcomes while cooking this way..

While pondering my refregirator today, I saw lots of tomatoes waiting for some attention.. I bought a bulk of them last week in farmer's market thinking of making some tomato thokku (pickle), but as usual kept postponing it.. So, before they get ruined I had to make something good with tomatoes... and I found this fabulous breakfast dish from my recipe book that mom had written for me 10 years ago. I had forgotten about this delight altogether, and after seeing it , I remembered how much I used to love it as a child and I realized that I had not eaten it for almost 8 years! This is an awesome dish that can be made instantly with simple ingredients. I hope you love it as much as I do. I am sending this to Raaga's WBB - Express Breakfasts Event .

Before I post the recipe, I want to thank my good friend Uma, who is been so nice in passing me the "Yummy Blog Award". Thanks Uma, for thinking about me and this means a lot to me!

"Yummy blog award is the award given to the blog with most yummy recipes/photos”

As a rule for the receiver of this award, I have to quote my favorite yummy-licious dessert(s) that I have ever prepared/eaten! So, here is my list :)

1. CoconutMilk Caramel Pudding - I tasted this in a potluck and I just loved it! I have no idea about the recipe, and still in the lookout for the recipe, So if someone is familiar about this dish, please do post the recipe :)
2. Paruppu Payasam (My all time favorite dessert)
I will soon pass this award to my dear fellow bloggers.. Stay tuned :)

Alright, here is the recipe for Tomato Uthappam:

  • Tomato Juice - 1 cup (I make it fresh)
  • Gram Flour (Kadalai Mavu/Besan) - 1/2 cup
  • Rava - 1/2 cup
  • Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • G.Chillies - 2
  • Onions (Minced finely) - 1/4 cup
  • Corriander leaves (chopped finely) - a handful
  • Mix all of them fully until you reach a uthappam batter consistency. You can add water if required, but shouldn't be too watery.
  • Rub oil in a hot pan, pour 3 tbsp of batter and spread it gently to a small circle.
  • Add oil on top and around the uthappam. Let it cook fully on one side on medium heat (usually takes 3 - 4 mins).
  • Turn to the other side and cook for 2 more mins. Repeat with remaining batter.
Serve hot with Chutney.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Spinach Chicken and a Meme..

Dear friend Sukanya had tagged me for a Meme and here I am with my answers:

1. Last movie u saw in a theater?

2. What book are u reading?
Just finished reading a lot of books for my certification. Taking a break from books for next few weeks ;)

3. Favorite board game?
Carrom, Chess.

4. Favorite magazine?
Readers’ Digest and Online Tamil magazines.

5. Favorite smells?
The fresh smell of Jasmine , the Seasoning aroma from my kitchen!

6. Favorite sounds?
My daughter’s voice over the phone.

7. Worst feeling in the world?
Seeing loved ones seriously sick.

8. What is the first thing you think of when u wake?
An excuse to sleep for a few more mins :)

9. Favorite fast food place?
McDonalds – Not only for food, but brings back some good memories.

10. Future child's name?
Will start thinking when I get one :)

11. Finish this statement—'If I had a lot of money I’d....’ to do two things:
1. Take a break from work and visit the beautiful places all around the world.
2. Visit the International Space Station and watch the earth spinning!

12. Do u drive fast?
I do, sometimes on the highway that I take to work everyday! But only when:
There’s no traffic and..
I’m in a good mood and..
My favorite song is playing in my car!
But trust me, I am a safe driver..

13. Do u sleep with a stuffed animal?
No! :)

14. Storms–cool or scary?
Storms are very scary for me, but also make me admire Mother Nature.

15. What was your first car?
The first car I started driving is BMW 325i

16. Favorite drink?
Jigarthanda, Kalkandu pal (both of these are street drinks in my hometown)

17. Finish this statement - If I had the time I would…
Catch up with all my good old friends..

18. Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
Yes, I love them especially in Chinese fried rice.

19. If you could dye your hair any other color, what would be your choice?
I would not dye my hair, I’m very happy with my healthy black hair :)

20. Name all the different cities/towns u have lived in?
Madurai, Surat, Trichy, Raleigh(NC), Dalton(MA), Seattle(WA), Schaumburg(IL).

21. Favorite sports to watch?
Cricket, Tennis, Pool.

22. One nice thing about the person who sent this to you?
Sukanya is a sweet friend whom I have known through blogging. She has a lovely blog and I enjoy reading all her great posts and recipes.

23. Whats under your bed?
My daughter’s hair clips.

24. Would u like to be born as yourself again?
If at all re-birth happens I want to be born only as myself. Known devil is better than unknown angel ;-)

25. Morning person or night owl?
Me, morning person?? No way!

26. Over easy or sunny side up?
Over easy.

27. Favorite place to relax?
There are many. But my best experience has been in Gimmelwald, Switzerland. All that was around our cottage was nothing but country side with snow-capped mountains and beautiful green landscapes! What a place to relax!

28. Favorite pie?
Apple pie.

29. Favorite ice cream flavor?
All flavors except Cherry.

30. Of all the people u have tagged, who is the most likely to respond first?
Don’t know! I’m sure everyone will be willing to respond, but it all depends on their schedule and time :)
Thanks for taking the time to read about me.... To know more about some of my friends I would like to tag:

Meeso - For the love of food
Anitha - Cakes By Anitha
Cham - Spice Club
Sireesha - Mom's Recipes

Have fun!

Now, the recipe.. This is one of those creative recipes that I learnt from mom. I can eat Spinach any way, and Spinach with Chicken is one interesting and healthy combination that I thoroughly enjoy. Ever since I tasted this chicken dish made by mom, its been in my "try and learn" list. This is the first time I'm making it, and came out yummy! I am also sending this for Vandana's Chicken - My favorite event.

  • Spinach - 1 cup
  • Corrinader leaves - 1/2 cup
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch
  • Cloves - 3
  • Chicken - 2 lbs
  • Tomato - 3
  • Ginger- chopped - 1tbsp
  • Onion - 1
  • G.chillies - 6
  • Fennel powder - 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Corrinader powder - 1 tsp
  • Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Heat oil. Season with Cinnamon and Cloves.
  • Once they pop-up, add ginger, g.chillies and fry for a min.
  • Then add and fry onions for 2-3 mins.
  • Add chicken pieces (cut into 2 inch pieces) and fry for a few mins until they loose the pink color.
  • Add corrinader leaves, Spinach (washed and drained) and fry for 5 mins.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, all spice powders and salt and fry for a few more mins.
  • Cover and cook cook until the chicken is soft.
  • When the chicken is fully cooked, increase the heat and fry gently by continously scraping until the chicken turns into dark red or brown color.
Goes well with Rice/Rotis.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Kothu Parottas - A street-smart food!

The memory of those days is still bright in my mind. Madurai, a beautiful evening with orange sky, birds chirping way back to their nests, chime bells from the temple echoing from a distance, and myself in the city center, shopping with my family - This is a very familiar evening for me while growing up. When I am already tired after some extensive walking on the crowded roads, the sight of these road-side eateries tickle my appetite tempting me to munch something immediately. The aroma of the roasted peanuts, fried milagai bajji (Chilli Pakoras), Masala vada, and the ghee smell emerging from hot halwas... hmm, simply sensational! I'm missing them as I write this. Along with these wonderful flavors, my temptation grows when I hear the sound of mincing the parottas on the cast-iron griddles with steel ladles. They do it with a rhythm that catches anyone's attention:) I enjoy both the music and the spicy non-veg flavor when I pass-by them.

Madurai thrives on street-food, and is famous for kothu parottas. They are served in a push-cart or a mini restaurant on the road-side called "Kai endhi bhavans" - the close translation is "a restaurant where you eat holding the plates in your hand". You can't expect padded-seats with glass tables or air-conditioned room here. You may find a couple of benches with some loud film music playing and the food comes served in a plate with banana-leaf on the top. The waiter mostly dressed up in a lungi will come and serve the hot and spicy tomato chutney, followed by coconut chutney and finally the main course of idlis, vadas or pongal. Those thick coconut chutneys are so delicious and the taste still loiters in my mouth.

My favorite time for a street-food used to be after a late night movie on our way home. I've had many dinners like that starting with Kothu parottas and Chalna, sometimes Mutton Chukka for the side and ending with a warm Masala milk! There's something so special in the taste that I can't seem to duplicate no matter what. I miss those good days, but I do make sure that I enjoy this thoroughly whenever I visit my hometown until now. We all sisters go together with our families and give it a blast everytime amidst lots of teasing, chatting, giggling etc. If I am given a choice of eating a Pizza/burger on a fast-food place hanging around with friends and chit-chatting OR to go to an upscale restaurant to have a few bites of fine cuisine in a dim light and a quiet ambiance, I would prefer the first one! I'm not telling that I hate fine cuisine, I love to try different cuisines and in fact, we've already finished exploring all kinds of cuisine in our neighborhood. But still the relaxed atmosphere, the sense of freedom and ofcourse the authentic home-made taste is the speciality and that's what attracts many people to street food.

I knew I can't stop writing about it :) Anyways.. When I first saw the title MBP:Street Food hosted by Sia, I couldn't control my excitement.. What an exhilarating theme! I knew I was going to participate for sure and decided on the recipe right away.. My favorite Kothu Parottas! You all may have come across this recipe online many times, but because this dish is so near and dear to my heart, I couldn't think of picking anything else.. I have seen many versions of this recipes as well, but the version posted at Kribha's (thanks Kribha!) site sounded very authentic and enticing. My dear sister recently made the same version at her home and sent me this mouth-watering picture... Sis, if you are reading this... thanks again!

  • Parathas - 3 (I use the readymade layered parathas, also called kerala parathas)
  • Eggs - 3
  • Ginger - 1 inch
  • Garlic - 2 medium pods
  • G.Chillies - 1
  • Onions - 1 medium
  • Tomatoes - 2 medium
  • Any Chicken/mutton masala - 2 tsp (you can substitute with chilli, corriander and cumin powders in equal ratio along with 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder)
  • Fennel seeds powder - 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Chicken stock - 1/2 cup (Optional)

  • Warm the parathas in microwave and shred them finely. I usually tear them in big pieces and give it a quick run in my food-processor. Comes out perfectly.
  • Grind the ginger, garlic, fennel seeds powder and Black Pepper powder together and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large wide pan and fry the onions, g.chillies.
  • When onions are fried, add the ground paste and fry for 2-3 mins in medium heat.
  • Once you feel the nice aroma, add chopped tomatoes, Chicken masala powder and fry for a few mins. If you are using chicken stock, now is the time to add it.
  • Before the paste becomes completely dry, add the eggs, a little salt and fry the mixture gently.
  • When the eggs are half fried, add the shredded parathas, salt and fry until the eggs are cooked fully and the parathas are well mixed in the egg spice.
  • Finally add a few corriander leaves and mix well.
Serve hot with Chicken/Mutton Chalna.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Coconut Milk Rice and a MeMe..

I never ever thought that I would be starting a cooking blog myself. Kitchen used to be one area that has been of my least interest in my childhood. In spite of mom insisting the importance of learning cooking, I kept postponing it. I use to come up with some excuse and would stay away from kitchen most of the times. I preferred helping mom in cleaning up and cutting vegetables, but never liked standing in the kitchen for hours, frying, seasoning and sweating in the heat. Mom gave up on me may be perhaps she pretty much knew I am not going to learn :) Cooking being considered one of the important "pre-requisites" in an arranged marriage (atleast thats how it used to be in my family circle), and myself being a big zero in cooking, it was a bit pressure on me when I got married. And best (worst ;)) of all, my husband is a big food lover and a picky eater too! In fact, everyone in his family is like that. They talk so much about food and each one of them has their own likings and rules in their everyday food. My mother in law used to have a big schedule in the kitchen everyday. Being put in a tough spot, there was no other escape for me, other than starting to cook.. I knew my excuses wouldn't work anymore.

"When the going gets tough, the tough gets going!" After coming to the US, with practically just the two of us, cooking was fully dependent on me. But, with the help of a fabulous recipe collection that mom had written for me with lots of effort, and my practical cooking experience with my mother-in-law during my initial days of marriage, I started to get the hang of it. I have to say that my husband was very helpful and encouraging and had so much patience to put-up with my cooking disasters like burnt dosas & chapathis, salty vegetables, insanely spicy curries etc. Probably his patience made me grasp the talent faster!

Cooking, which I was once considering as just a chore, turned out to be such a great art and fun thing to do. I learned that one way to make cooking fun is to start looking forward to eating the finished product, and to always look out for learning new techniques and recipes. I really do enjoy trying anything and everything that looks fabulous on the dining table. Plenty of opportunities for imagination and inspiration, that can result in interesting combination of flavors! Pretty soon I started to improvise by adding my own touches to recipes. And in just a few years, here I am with my own food blog :)

Well, thats my cooking journey, friends! it may sound like a fairy-tale, but I had to share it, because for me its still a hard-to-believe story :) Alright, coming to the recipe, this is another excellent rice dish with fairly simple ingredients and can be made in so little time. If you are tired of pulav's try this for a change, you sure will enjoy the change! Practically goes with any side dish, I made Eggplant Cashew Masala which is our all-time favorite side dish.

After some friendly suggestions from my fellow bloggers, I'm sending this as my entry for the AFAM Coconut event as well as Mixed Rice varieties event. Thanks for the great suggestion!


  • Basmati rice - 2 cups
  • Coconut milk - 2 cups
  • Water - 2 cups
  • G.Chillies - 3
  • Onions - 1 medium
  • Garlic - 4 medium sized pods
  • Cinnamon, Cloves - 2 each.
  • Chopped Corriander leaves - a handful

  • Soak the basmati rice in water for atleast 10 mins.
  • Add a few drops of oil in a pan, and fry the whole g.chillies for 2 mins until you see white spots. Grind them to a paste.
  • Chop the onions and garlic finely
  • In the same pan, add more oil (or you can add 1 tbsp ghee to enhance the taste), season with cinnamon & cloves.
  • Once they pop-up, add onions, garlic and fry in medium heat until onions turn golden brown.
  • Add the chopped corriander leaves and fry for a min.
  • Drain the water from the basmati rice and add it to the pan. Fry for 2 - 3 mins.
  • Finally add the g.chillies paste, coconut milk, water and salt and cook together in a electric rice cooker.
Mix gently and serve hot.
Okay, now the Meme's! Dear friend Anitha had tagged me for top 10 pics a couple weeks before, and I am as usual late. But I did enjoy a lot picking up my top 10 pics from my blog! Thanks again, Anitha! I further tag my friends:
Here are my top 10 pics (Click on the name below the pictures to go to the recipes):

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Spicy Zuchini fry and my first award!

I don't know how many of you are like me, but if I happen to like some food when I am eating in a restaurant, I have a tendency to quietly investigate the ingredients in the dish both by tasting and viewing. When I'm satisfied that I have the idea of ingredients, my curiosity catches up, and it continues to linger in my mind until I experiment it in my kitchen. There are many recipes that I have tried like this. There have been exellent outcomes and ofcourse some major disasters too :) But it's just so exciting when something that I have "tasted" in my mind interprets on the plate perfectly, especially with Indian food. Indian food uses so many ingredients unlike western food and its a challenge to replicate the exact taste with lot of guesstimates and assumptions.

This is one such dish that I tasted for the first time in an Indian restaurant when we were vacationing in Canada. The vibrant flavors and the authenticity amused me and I was pleasantly surprised to taste a western vegetable like zuchini so well blended with our authentic indian spices. Naturally, I had to start my investigation right away! The first time I tried and tested it in my kitchen, I couldn't control my excitement, because I had gotten the hang of it in just one shot! Soon after trying a couple more times, it took a permanant place in my recipe book. If I think back, probably just this curiosity and the interest to try new things is what that's driving my motivation and passion for cooking.

I had a lot of different plans for cooking today, but it all changed when a pile of fresh mexican zuchinis caught my attention in my local grocery store yesterday. It immediately reminded me of this wonderful dish and I couldn't resist buying them after that thought. I haven't made this dish in a long time and all the ingredients are pretty common and its made in a few minutes. So, what other good reason do I need to change my plans :) After coming back from the grocery store, I started preparing my favorite zuchini dish and chapathis for dinner. Here is the recipe:

  • Zuchinis - 2
  • Onions - 1/2 cup chopped
  • Garlic - 2 big pods
  • Tomatoes - 1 medium
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Corriander powder - 2 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Corriander leaves - a handful

  • Peel and slice the zuchinis in triangle shapes and set aside.
  • Mince the garlic and chop the onions finely.
  • Heat oil in a pan, season with mustard and cumin seeds. Add the onions and minced garlic and fry until onions turn golden brown.
  • Add the zuchinis and all the spice powders along with salt and mix well.
  • Turn on the heat and fry the mixture for 3 - 4 mins. No need to add water as the vegetable itself releases enough water to get cooked.
  • Simmer and cover for 5 mins. Then add the tomatoes and cover for another 5 mins or until the zuchini is fully cooked.
  • Increase the heat to high and let all the water evaporate.
  • Add the corriander leaves and keep frying until the vegetable is well roasted and turns to a nice dark red color.

Yummy! and an excellent side dish for Rotis/chapathis.

I feel so privileged to received my first award from my dear friend Vandana. It means a lot to me and is very encouraging and motivating to know that you really enjoy reading my posts. Thanks Vandana! I will pass this award very soon.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Stuffed Peppers - Pure delight..

My american friends keep asking me this question: "Are there any simple Indian recipes that are quick and easy to make?" and I keep telling them there are plenty of them, and that I need to host a dinner party at my home to show them a few.. Lets face the truth: we can't get splendid food instantly, other than in restaurants. Even a typical comfort food of a simple curry and a quickly stir-fried vegetable will take atleast 30 mins, assuming that our pantry is well-stocked with all the ingredients and we have the right utensils. But there are hundreds of simple recipes in Indian food that use just a few ingredients and are not time consuming. I'm not a big fan of time consuming dishes that have a long list of ingredients and I lack that patience to stir and watch them cook for a long time. I usually like to cook fast and would get out of the kitchen as soon as I am done.

This recipe is one such quick dish with an utterly delicious flavor. Up until a few months ago, I used to stay away from peppers of any kind. Be it the regular green bell pepper or the beautifully colored Yellow and Red Peppers, I somehow didn't like the texture of them. But over the last few months, I happened to taste a few marvelous pepper dishes made by my friends, and now I am completely hooked up to peppers.. One reason is that my friends know how to cook pepper dishes better than me (apparently!) and/or may be its my taste-buds! I've made peace with these vegatables now and can eat them without fussing. Lately, peppers are a standard item in my grocery list and I have started cooking some delicious recipes too.

This is a wonderful recipe that I learnt from my good friend. When I tasted this dish for the first time from her lunch box, I fell in love with it right away. There is something unique in the flavour it offers - mix-up flavors of coconut and peanuts. After knowing the ingredients, I pretty much knew I am going to try them soon and I did right the next day! It came out awesome and I hope you all like it too..


  • Banana Sweet Peppers (Long, straight) - 2 (you will get them in all grocery stores. Its called sweet peppers, but they are not sweet)
  • Shredded coconut - 5 tbsp
  • Peanut Powder - 5 tbsp
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Corriander powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar - 1/2 tsp
  • Slit the peppers (don't cut them into half), deseed them and apply some salt inside and set aside for a few mins.
  • In a bowl, mix all other ingredients to a thick mixture.
  • Stuff the pepper with this mixture.
  • Heat oil in a pan with lid. Add the peppers and cook them in medium heat covered for 15 mins. Keep turning them every few mins.
Great side dish and goes with rice/curry or rotis.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Comfort food after a great camping!

To me, nothing can be more relaxing than driving by the woods with the windows rolled down, enjoying my favorite song and inhaling the fresh air! I often do this even while commuting to work, if the weather is good. It somehow lightens my mind no matter how depressed or stressed out I am. This weekend, with our tents and camping cots, we set off for an awesome camping trip to Wisconsin with our friends. Camping - Another fun activity for summer! We had another lovely weekend, camping in the woods! We both are camp lovers and have been doing this for several summers now. For us its a way to spend time with family/friends in a natural sorrounding away from the hurly-burly of day-to-day routine. We both have wonderful camping memories from each of our camping trips, and this trip was one among our best trips.

We had a great 3 hr drive to this amazing campground taking a few scenic drives and passing by a few beautiful lakes. We love tent-camping and thats the only thing we've been doing so far in all our trips. There's something special in getting into that comfy and cozy tent and snuggling down for a good-night's sleep.. With the wonderful camping accessories made nowadays, its easy to have a perfect camping experience. The first time I camped, I was quite scared inspite of my husband comforting me. I was awake the whole night worrying that a gang of racoons or a fox would come and rip-up our tents and lunge on our food inside. By the second time, I was calm and I started to appreciate it. Nowadays, I am so much into it that I plan the whole trip starting from reserving the site, to preparing the list of things to do while camping!

Two things make camping more fun.. Campfire & Food! So much to talk by the campfire under the stars, while munching some food! Unrehearsed talents reveal when you are next to the campfire :) Songs and interesting experience shared by others are so good to listen while curled up comfortably on a cozy chair. Camping brings out the kid in everyone. Some of my favorite moments in camping are about food. It doesn’t matter if it’s cooked in a campfire, or cooked in the grill, or even brought from home, food just tastes better during camping! We had a great menu for 2 days and had fun making omlettes for breakfast and grilling chicken, veggie patties, potatoes, corn for dinner. Yes, one drawback on camping is overeating :) I am always stuffed and end-up eating or munching something continously. Guess I need to compensate for the next week or so to get rid of the excess from my body.

After a tiring yet unforgettable camping trip, we reached home late afternoon on Sunday. After a few hours of rest, I was craving for some home-made food, naturally after eating grilled stuffs 6 times in a row... I was all set to make a simple but favorite comfort food for dinner. This dish is an authentic tamilian dish thats probably made in every house-hold in tamilnadu and loved by all. Probably, many versions of this dish exist, but I'm sure it just tastes great however you make it. My favorite combo is Curd-rice and potatoes - heavenly combination! Here is my version of Potato fry with Onions.

  • Potaotes - 2 big
  • Onions - 2 medium
  • Fennel seeds (saunf, sombu) - 2 tsp
  • Garlic - 3
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Corriander leaves - a handful (chopped)

  • Boil the potatoes, peel, dice and set aside.
  • Slice the onions and set aside.
  • Make the Fennel seeds and Garlic to a fine paste.. (first powder the fennel seeds, then add garlic and grind again to make it to a fine paste).
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and season with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • Add sliced onions and fry until golden brown.
  • Add the diced potatoes, fennel/garlic paste, turmeric, chilli powder and salt and mix well. Fry for 2 mins.
  • Add 1/2 cup water, cover and cook in low heat for 3 mins.
  • Raise the heat to medium and roast the potatoes until the water is fully evaporated and the color starts to turn brown.
  • Add chopped corriander leaves and fry for a min.

Tastes best when its fresh and hot from the stove.