Idli is a common breakfast item in South India and is prepared from a major proportion of rice and urad dhal. Unlike the regular idlis, green moong dhal idlis have no rice and is a healthy alternative to the regular ones. It is prepared by soaking , grinding and fermenting the green moong beans and urad dhal. Green moong dhal is one of the healthiest source of plant protein. They are low in fat and carbohydrates and high in fibre. Apart from its nutrition, the process of fermentation before making the idlis helps in easy digestion. It can be served with chutney and sambar.
Ennai Kathirikkai kuzhambu / Stuffed Eggplant Gravy is a South Indian gravy variety and is very popular in chettinad cuisine. It is made by stuffing the eggplants with some freshly ground spice powders, which are then tossed and cooked in sesame oil, tamarind extract and freshly ground spice powders. This is a tangy, spicy and sour gravy and is best served with steamed rice.
Methi Masala paratha is a delicious and healthy whole wheat Indian flatbread. It is an excellent healthy alternative to the usual plain parathas or rotis. Methi leaves, also known as fenugreek leaves are packed with nutrition and when added to wheat flour enhances the taste and flavour. It is made by mixing and kneading the wheat flour with chopped methi leaves, yoghurt and few other spices. Methi masala paratha is traditionally served with yoghurt or dhal / subzi.
Curry leaves are an essential ingredient in all South Indian dishes because of its aromatic and unique flavour. Apart from its aromatic flavour, they are well known for medicinal value. Most of the South Indian dishes are garnished with sprigs of curry leaves along with coriander leaves. But they are often hand picked and neglected while serving/ dining because of its bitter taste. Unlike the raw curry leaves, the curry leaves powder tastes delicious and can be served with steamed ghee rice, or as an accompaniment to idli or dosa. The bitterness and raw flavour of curry leaves are altered / masked by roasting and powdering it along with few other lentils and spices. Roasting and powdering this way also increases the shelf life of the curry leaves powder.
Goli baje also known as Mangalore bajji is a traditional Indian snack from the state of Karnataka. It is somewhat similar to bonda varieties and is made with maida or all purpose flour. I learnt this recipe from one of my friend Malini from Uk. The addition of yoghurt makes it soft, tangy and fluffy on the inside and the rice flour and all purpose flour makes it light and crisp on the outside. It is usually served with some spicy coconut or coriander chutney.
Aval mixture is a popular Indian snack made usually during Diwali. The traditional South Indian mixture demands an elaborate process of preparing and mixing different savoury items. This aval and nuts mixture is very easy to make and is made from roasting and mixing beaten rice or aval pori, nuts and few other spices. Apart from aval/poha, I have included various nuts and raisin to make it more nutritional without compromising for taste. The addition of crunchy nuts, sweet raisin and few spices give different flavours and textures to this mixture. This aval and nuts mixture is a simple, crunchy and delicious snack, perfect to munch over while you binge watch Tv shows/ web series.