Tag Archives: appetizers

Veena’s Tomato and Caramelized Onion Chutney

My friend Veena is an outstanding South Indian cook.  Anything and everything Veena makes is delicious. Her vegetarian dishes are in a league of their own. Chutneys, appetizers, idlis, curries, sweets, you name any Tamil food and Veena can make it taste amazing. Here I have chosen to share with you her Tomato and Caramelized Onion chutney that she served with some idlis when I visited her one day.
Continue reading Veena’s Tomato and Caramelized Onion Chutney

Padmini’s Red Bell Pepper Chutney with Roasted Peanuts

If you like peanut butter and bell peppers like I do, you will love this chutney. The red bell peppers in this chutney give it a nice sweetness, while the roasted peanuts add a nutty fragrance and creamy texture. My friend Padmini made this red bell pepper chutney when my Dad and I went to her place for lunch one day. She served this chutney with some idlis, and it was so unique and delicious that I asked Padmini for the recipe to share and she passed it on. Try this chutney with idlis, zucchini fritters, carrot fritters, black-eyed pea fritters, or you can have it as a dip with fresh veggies and crackers.  Here is the recipe. Continue reading Padmini’s Red Bell Pepper Chutney with Roasted Peanuts

Devi’s Carrot Chutney

My friend Devi is an amazing cook. She has to be, since she has been cooking her entire life for her family, extended family, and friends for more than 50 years. There are so many recipes she shares with me, but most of them go over my head, as I’m usually not writing them down. But this carrot chutney recipe I did write down, that’s because I’ve been having it at her place for years now whenever she invites me over for lunch. The menu is almost always the same – her fluffy idlis, delicious lentil sambhar, and her two chutneys – coconut chutney and carrot chutney.  Everything is as expected scrumptious, but her carrot chutney is always the star of the meal.

It’s hard to describe the taste of Devi’s carrot chutney, let me just say that when you have it you can’t stop eating it. You can have it with toast, with crackers, mix it into rice, have it over chicken or fish, on a burger, and of course with idli or dosa; any way you eat it, it will be delicious. Here is the recipe. Continue reading Devi’s Carrot Chutney

Rava Idlis. Steamed Semolina Dumplings

There is something about eating hot-steamed idlis for brunch or lunch that just brings a smile to adults and kids alike in our family. Idlis are a staple in every South Indian home and made very often. The most common idlis are made by soaking lentils and rice together and blended into a batter, then fermented over night, and steamed into dumplings. These are called rice idlis.

There are easier versions of idlis to make in an instant however. My favorite idlis are rava idlis or semolina idlis. These idlis are made with roasted cream of wheat or semolina soaked in yogurt to form a thick batter, and then steamed.

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Braised Warm Sugar Snap Peas & Edamame Salad

Warm Sugar Snap Peas & Edamame Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar snap peas roughly cut in halves. About 8 oz of sugar snap peas
  • 1 cups shelled edamame beans. I buy mine frozen and already cooked from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • Juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • 1/2 tsp chopped mint leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Continue reading Braised Warm Sugar Snap Peas & Edamame Salad

Feta Cheese Bruschetta with Thyme & Red Onions

I was invited to a holiday tea back in December at my dear friend Radhika’s place and what a fun time we had. Radhika’s home was beautifully decked for the holidays and so warm and welcoming that I just didn’t want to leave on this cool winter afternoon.

For tea Radhika had served a delicious warm feta cheese bruschetta, accompanied by mugs of hot apple cider infused with fresh orange slices, and a plate of fresh cut persimmons. The feta cheese bruschetta was outstanding!! I could have had the entire platter – it was so good! Continue reading Feta Cheese Bruschetta with Thyme & Red Onions

New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Pea Fritters

Growing up in the South in Texas and Louisiana, one of the New Year’s customs I became familiar with is having black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck in the coming year. There are many dishes that one can add black-eyed peas to from stews to soups, tacos and burritos to salads and appetizers. For my New Years Day black-eyed pea dish I have chosen to make Black Eyed Pea Fritters. Continue reading New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Pea Fritters

Rani’s Goat Cheese, Apple & Honey on Cracker

Rani is our resident foodie. She loves gourmet foods, and has an adventurous palate. Her favorite thing to do on weekends is to make fun creative appetizers when the regular run of the mill afternoon snacks won’t do. Out of this need for something gourmet, came this amazing little goat cheese appetizer. Continue reading Rani’s Goat Cheese, Apple & Honey on Cracker