Cluster Beans stir fry

Cluster Beans, called சீனி அவரைக்காய் in Tamil is dad’s one of the most favorite vegetables. I’ve never tried to cook it, and decided to give it a shot when I found a frozen bag in Indian super market.

It came out pretty good, and went very well with Dhal.

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Semiya (Vermicelli) Briyani

The valentines day this year was in a long weekend, we had decided to stay in town as i was a little sick.

I had originally planned of cooking something special for the day, but hubby stepped up as I wasn’t able to. His own, semiya briyani. Turned out to be very tasty!

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Coconut chutney

I know, coconut chutney is probably in the kinder garden syllabus of Indian cooking, but hey, a girl can get excited about her new mixie. Plus I don’t use a lot of coconut in my daily cooking, so this chutney is special. I always ALWYAS remember mom making chutney when I make chutney. It’s so ingrained in south indian cooking that she sometimes makes it twice a day.

She used to say – “I’ll just make chutney” or “It’s only chutney”, to me that’s doesn’t make it any less special.

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Dhokla

We don’t get a lot of rain where we live, and it’s always special when it does rain. Even more so, when its in holiday season or during weekends when you’re not busy. This was one of those evenings last December. I had just got my new Indian Mixie, and was trying out different chutneys. So it’s hard to say whether the cilantro-mint chutney motivated me to make dhokla, or vice versa.

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Mini Idly

Given the relatively short duration I’ve been cooking regularly ( less than one and a half year now), and given the long time I’ve been away from home (since 2008 for my first job), I don’t come up with dishes that easily. I just stuck to the basics. For instance, idly occurred to me, but it took quite a while for me figure out that I need a mini-idly pan.

My kitchen cookware was pretty basic, and for the most part, it still is. The list of things I need keep growing – but I want to buy things only that I realllllllyyyyy will use on a regular basis. I add it to my list – when I miss it for a few times, then I buy it. This is mostly because I have a smaller kitchen at present, but i realize it’s a good habit that i hope to carry on. I bought a set of baking tools recently, and i love using them. Similarly for an indian-mixer grinder. I guess my motto is somewhat like – “Anything that deserves a counter space on my tiny kitchen has to really prove its worth” LOL

Anyway, I ran into mini-idlies while browsing through a list of recipes online, but then I only had regular idly pans. That didn’t deter me when it came to making mini sambar idlies for a couple of friends visiting that evening. I used the regular pans, and added very (very!) little batter, and cooked them. Well, that gave about 12 idlies for one run. Took me about 3 hours to make enough idlies for 4 people, and they turned out to be flat in shape. After a couple of times making mini-idlies this way, I finally made mom send me mini-idly pan through someone who was visiting.

These idlies do look like they were made with mini-idly pans. My favorite way of eating them is as sambar-idlies. Hmm, mouth watering.

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Aloo Egg curry

I have made this curry for many get togethers. It’s a kerala dish, but it goes especially well with fried rice. It’s pretty simple – the aloo gives the gravy a nice thick consistency.

MAB made it this time. He usually helps me with one dish when we have many guests, and I’m multi tasking with many dishes. Oh, even writing about it makes me want to eat this dish NOW!

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