In Maharashtrian, on the side, Travel, Under 30 min!, Vegetarian on October 1, 2016 at 7:10 pm
There is this chunky peanut chutney from the Marathwada region of Maharashtra that’s a bit like a well-kept secret, a hidden gem, in a plethora of side dishes served all over Western and Southern India. Maharashtra has a portion of the thali reserved for these itsy-bitsy additions to the daily meal that make them special. Davi kadey, Marathi for on-the left-side, is the side of the thali reserved for a multitude of condiments, from salt to pickles, from a wedge of lime to chutneys of all kinds, a side that is almost completely missing in my Kashmiri thali. Exceptions only prove the rule. I think we allowed rice to find its way into that corner as well.
A lunch with three things on the left side: peanut chutney, green tomato chutney, and cucumber raita.
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In Low Fat, south Indian, Under 30 min!, Vegetables, Vegetarian on July 8, 2014 at 6:30 pm
It’s great when you discover a new way with regular ingredients. It’s even better when the ingredients involved are few and the recipe is effortless. My friend SK, who knows my love for Southern Indian food, is often my guide and shares new ideas or leads me to lesser known food-blogs that highlight the kind of food I like to cook. She is a writer and is constantly engaging the characters, such as you and me, around her. These ‘encounters’ make her a treasure trove of traditional recipes as well. During one such chat with me, she sketched the dish the maid had put together for her lunch that day. A basic, peasant-style approach to food, it involved the ubiquitous red chilli as the only spice. The addition of roasted peanuts, of course, adds to the nutritional content while providing a hint of refinement to what is otherwise a truly minimalistic dish. It is almost as if you were deconstructing the Maharashtrian-style gavar-bhaji, and trying to retain what is absolutely essential. The two dishes are similar, yet it is clear that the peasant-style one has been pared down to its essence. Frugal, but, full of flavour.
The finished dish can work as a side to any Indian meal, or even as a salad. You could replace cluster beans with another vegetable – french beans, peas, cabbage – endless combinations. Or mix it into cooked rice, as Sangeeta said she did, with some additional oil or ghee, and you have a one-dish pulav/stir-fried rice that is perfect for a packed lunch. It has won gavar-haters over to this side! Read the rest of this entry »
In Chutneys, Dips and Spreads, on the side, Tea Party, Under 30 min! on August 25, 2011 at 10:20 am
[As is usual, this post has been a few days in writing…]
I hope you are having a great feast today on our beloved Krishna’s day of birth. Today we celebrate a God whose myth recognizes and cherishes much in our very flawed human lives: the innocence of childhood, a mother’s love, the exuberance of youth, trusted friendships, the power of love, and duty above all. He has been the inspiration for artists, musicians, and writers through ancient time and present. His love of food, particularly fresh churned butter, laddoo, and of course, Sudama’s sattu makes him a legendary foodie as well. While today your feast may consist only of vegetarian, grain-free dishes, tomorrow you might want to have a different party.
On most weekend evenings TH and I sit ourselves down with the tipple of choice and munchies such as these on the side. There is usually a dip: fresh-made tomato salsa or tzatziki. On Sunday, when the maid gets her day off , I celebrate my freedom from having to supervise her. I know – you can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them. In any case, I am planning to get the maid out of my kitchen for good. She has been sick and out of circulation for the last three months and I have honestly felt more in charge of my time since I don’t need to disrupt my time in the office to plan her work! It is so much more efficient when I plan for myself.
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