About

Hing is the New Patchouli?

This is a place to share easy to make recipes for South Indian vegetarian dishes and some fusion cuisine born of years of cooking in the US. Easy doesn’t mean boring or basic. Make tasty, healthful (and not so healthful) dishes that will wow your friends and family.  I started off on Facebook with the encouragement of my sister in law. I was quite baffled by the interest and the numbers of people from India and other places who expressed interest and began to ask questions. Facebook brought in the traffic but the timeline was too restrictive and did not provide any form of organization or search. So this blog.

I focus on recipes that have high return on effort, fresh ingredients and lip smacking flavors.

Mami’s in silk sarees will quietly ask for your recipes after dinner. Keep it simple, reduce clean up and enjoy. The time for South Indian Cuisine is now. We need no longer hide or sneak off to consume our idlis or our thair saadam packets. Share and celebrate the many flavors of South India while adding something new and healthful. Lots of vegetables and beautiful colors…

South Indian Cuisine; It’s Art Now.

Moments at the Party

My best moments at dinner parties are when traditional Indian women of my mother’s generation, wrapped in silk saris and nose rings, come up to me in the kitchen and casually ask me something like “Idu panninela vaanginela?” (Did you make this or buy this?) There are many variations of this question. But the bottom line is they liked it but are not sure if it’s real.

And this is the key to much of my cooking. I usually minimize the steps and keep some flavors intact. Add that unexpected flavor or ingredient in familiar dishes like sun dried tomato pieces in tamarind rice. Perhaps this is the thrill a painter of fakes or a counterfeiter experiences when one of their creations escapes detection and is passed off.

I will include a few dishes in this genre as well. And for my friend Vaidyanathan, who, with ill concealed disdain, has been reading some of my recipes and tells me “that it’s good that I have learned to like these ill-prepared foods”, I will add a special section of some traditional South Indian Recipes made the way my grandmother would make them. And you can make these easily if you respect the ingredients and visualize the taste you are trying to create. But they should never taste exactly the same twice.