Adventures in South Indian Cooking

It’s been a while since I posted about food. And boy… do I have a lot to update about. Since I last posted about food, my cooking skills have really gone South… and by South, I mean South India! 🙂

Thanks to my Indian in-laws, as well as the motley crew of South Indian friends who have practically adopted me as one of their own, I have learned to cook (with lots of guidance and trial and error) the following dishes:

These are just a few of the things that have been “on rotation” here in the house.

Among these dishes, the pesarattu dosa has got to be my favorite. I admit, these dosas are not a blow-your-mind good, but they are tasty, highly nutritious, and easy-to-make.

Tasty: It’s like a thin, crispy pancake fried on a hot griddle.

Nutritious: The primary ingredient in pessarattu dosa are mung beans, which contain 49 grams of protein per cup.

Easy-to-make: Soak the beans in water overnight. Next morning, blend them with salt, chopped green chili, and ginger.  Voila, dosa batter!  Spread that batter on a hot tawa, and you have a dosa.

We have gotten into the habit of cooking pesarattu dosas for breakfast on the weekends (which we usually eat with an easy-to-make chutney or upma). Despite having made them a few times now, mine still aren’t perfect — they’re always a little limp and not as crispy as I’d like them to be, but I feel like perfection is just a few more tries away.  (Any tips on achieving that would be most welcome.)

It’s been great — learning to cook by trial and error, troubleshooting, and sometimes succeeding. Trying new dishes made by friends, and having them over to help me cook mine. I love how most of the dishes are vegetarian and  full of protein. That’s great for people like me, who are either vegetarian or seeking to be more vegetarian. (I am all veg except for the occasional fish now.)

I like to think that this is only the beginning of a beautiful, delicious, nutritious, and spicy journey. 🙂

Goals for the future: I would love to learn to make biriyani that actually looks like biriyani:

I would also learn to love to make perfect idli/vadas:

This post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of me in one of my sister-in-law’s beautiful sarees:

Probably one of the most feminine garments I’ve ever worn.

Hope you are all having great adventures of your own, whether it is in the kitchen close to home, or elsewhere in the world!


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