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Showing posts from November, 2015

'To Life, to Life, Lehiyam' - Lehiyam gelato

Call it what you will, but every year around this time, I can't but help humming this song from 'Fiddler on the Roof'  in my head , except,  the Hebrew word L'Chaim gets twisted into the Tamil 'Lehiyam'. It makes perfect sense though, doesn't it? L'Chaim translates as 'To Life' and the iconic Lehiyam is a life enhancing tonic served up at Diwali. Fits perfectly into the grand scheme of things, in my opinion.

Lehiyam , that iconic signature item prepared in every TamBrahm household for Diwali. Its like advertising to the world that while the rest of the Diwali celebrating population is off partying and gambling away, us goody two shoes actually partake of tonic to keep healthy . And, truth be told, the ingredients that go into the Lehiyam are all geared to combat indigestion - ginger figures at the top of this list.  But in real life, we'd all be severely overdosing on the tonic if weren't for the fact that it is made in limited quantiti…

This Diwali, Leave the G**, Take the Cannoli, the Therattipaal Cannoli

When you read through Rachel Laudan's book 'Cuisine and Empire' :Cooking in World Historyone of the things (or lack thereof) that strikes you, -- especially hard if you are a South Indian -- is that despite being the Ground Zero for spices, South Indian cuisine simply does not get mentioned as a world cuisine. The culinary narrative stops geographically at Goa before sailing off towards the Phillipines and on to South America as part of the Catholic trade route.

And with this historical trade route, one particular dish traveled halfway across the world and became entrenched as a signature dish from Latin America - Its Spanish moniker is Dulce de Leche, but its original ancestral version is still revered as a signature dish amongst the South Indian communities. Its none other than the iconic 'Theratti Paal'.

Its a classic 2 ingredient dessert. All you need is good quality whole milk and some sugar. And plenty of time and a consistent low heat source to cook it.

It t…

Memory recall - Gnudi Kadhi

I think the technique for this posts recipe was the first victim of  my extended hiatus from regular blogging.
The event was the Indian Food Bloggers Meet (#IFBM2014) last August, KitchenAid (India) had sponsored a cooking Demo by the Executive Chef of JW Marriot, Bengaluru, Chef Surjan Singh Jolly. The general consensus among the bloggers was that we were being talked down to, but he did an interesting demo of poached chenna (Paneer that's not been pressed completely into shape.) in a tomato gravy. Tchamankut, I think he called it. Unusual name not withstanding, it still fundamentally translated to a simple 'gnudi' - ricotta cheese gnocchi with a touch of flour and eggs used as a binder.
I had tried out the technique of poached chenna (in a gravy of creamed baby kale ) last September, but I never got around to writing the recipe down quickly enough. Some of my tastiest recipes have been lost to this particular negative quirk of mine.



Its been over a year (14 months to the…