Sun-dried Tomato Garlic Pickle

Spicy Sun-dried Tomato Garlic Pickle from South India!

Sun-dried Tomato Garlic Pickle Recipe | No stove cooking required | Raw tomato & garlic pickle | Written by Kavitha Ramaswamy of Foodomania.com

If you are an Indian, you sure must love pickles. Who doesn’t, really? Spicy, tangy and delicious, a well made pickle makes your food taste so good. A simple rice and dal combination can be spruced up with a good spicy pickle. Pickles go with pretty much anything. And this is one pickle you should have in your culinary repertoire.

For one, you don’t need to make this over the stove, cooking for a long time. You basically let the sun dry out and do all the “cooking”. The flavors are a bit different than if you would cook the pickle, but not in a weird way. The subtle hint of garlic also hits the right note. If you live in a place with ample sun, I suggest you give this one a try.    (more…)

Milagai Podi

A blend of lentil, chilli & spices, this Milagai podi is eaten as a condiment with many Indian dishes.

Milagai Podi Recipe | South Indian Molaga Podi (Lentil Chilli Powder / Idli Chutney Powder) | Foodomania.com

Milagai Podi is a spice blend made with lentils and chilli. It is mixed with oil and eaten as a condiment to various Indian dishes… typically south Indian dishes such as Idli, Dosa and more. It is even used as a dip to be eaten with chips by some people.

Milagai (or as some people like to call it Molaga) is a Tamil word for Chili. This literally translates to chili powder. But it isn’t exactly just powdered chili. There are blends of lentils and seeds to give it additional flavor. You can make this and store it for a long time. It comes in very handly when you’re short of time and cannot make chutneys as side dishes. Just add a splash of sesame oil (or coconut oil or water) to some of the powder and you have a fabulous dip ready!

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Adai Kunukku (Lentil Fritters)

Kunukku is a deep-fried snack made with rice and lentils. Enjoy these spicy and crispy delights with tea.

Adai Maavu Kunukku (Kunuku) Recipe | Indian Lentil Fritters Recipe | step by step pictures |Written by Kavitha Ramaswamy of Foodomania.com

Kunukku may possibly be an all time favorite “tiffin” tea time snack in my household.

I have fond memories of my paternal grandma (may she rest in peace) making this exquisite snack abound. I’d always watch her make kunukku after kunukku with patience that our current generation seems to lack. She’d freshly grind the dry chilli, followed by wet parboiled rice and soaked lentils. She had an innate sense of how smooth or coarse the batter should be and she’d always use the right amount of spices and salt to make the batter taste perfect. With utmost precision, she’d drop equal portions of the batter into scalding hot oil, making the perfect sized kunukku pieces.

The art of making kunukku is easy to master. It requires a little practice, for making equal sized balls with a sticky batter like this one isn’t always easy.  But with easy alternatives such as spoons or ice cream scoops, you can make your own perfect little kunukku pieces.

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Mullu Murukku / Manamkombu

South Indians usually make this Mullu Murukku on special occasions.

Mullu Murukku Recipe - Iyengar Manangombu / Manamkombu | Chakli recipe | South Indian Murukku - step by step pictures - Foodomania.com

I never cease to marvel at the number of unexplored traditional recipes that have been passed on from generation to generation in every cuisine. While I do appreciate modern cuisine, I find myself going back to my roots more often these days. How did my ancestors live? Were they fit? How did they get their source of protein? And most importantly – what did they eat?

To get my questions answered, I often pick my father’s brains. He grew up in a tiny village in South India with a family of around 20 people. Money was scarce and children were many. Cooking for that many people was no easy task. But his grandma did it anyway, graciously. As I’m uncovering stories from his past, I’m discovering many traditional south Indian recipes (Iyengar recipes, to be specific) that he has grown up eating.

This deep-fried snack is one such classic delicacy. A quick search on Google will reveal a few different variations of the same and even different names for the same snack. The snack derives its name from a ‘thorn’. Mullu is a Tamil word which literally translates to thorn. And because it has a thorny texture, it is called a Mullu Murukku.

To make these, you will need a Murukku Achchu or a murukku maker. It is a tool used to make the murukku. However, if you don’t make these kinds of dishes often and don’t want to buy one, I’ve also mentioned an easy alternative you can use to try this recipe. If you are a south Indian, you probably already know how delicious this snack is. And if you aren’t familiar with this – think of it like a spicy rice based crispy pakoda with an interesting texture.     (more…)