Pineapple sweet corn rice doesn’t just taste delicious, it’s also a great way to finish off leftovers – boiled rice from last night’s dinner, sweet corn you did not add to that stir fry, the big chunk of pineapple sitting in your fridge – use them all in this recipe.
For a long time, the only way I knew how to eat papad was as a plain accompaniment with an Indian meal (usually khichdi), much like chutney or pickle. I liked papad, just that it didn’t seem all that *consequential*.
When I moved to Bombay, my friends there would order masala papad as a starter in restaurants. This was something new, something interesting – papad as a standalone dish, and a mighty good one at that. I started experimenting with papad in curries – very convenient on days when I opened the vegetable tray of the fridge and found nothing.
I made methi chawal (fenugreek rice) for lunch today and wanted a light, tart accompaniment to balance its bitterness. That’s when the pineapple sitting in the fridge caught my attention.
A knob of ginger, some Sri Lankan curry powder that a friend had got back for me from her Colombo vacation, and couple of other spices went in as seasoning to make this simple, tasty sautéed pineapple recipe.
I discovered ridge gourd only after moving to south India. The first time that I bought it, my driving force was curiosity – I had no idea how this vegetable, which looked a cross between sponge gourd and bitter gourd, would be cooked, or what it would taste like. Pushcart vendors outside my apartment stocked ridge gourd in heaps, and it seemed to be the freshest, least expensive vegetable on sale. One day I walked up to a vendor, pointed and tried asking him to name the vegetable. In response, he swiftly wrapped two ridge gourds, held out the package to me and named the price!
And so I returned home, ridge gourd package in hand, and typed into Google image search: "long green Indian vegetable with spikes". Google didn’t disappoint – I found not just the name but also many ways to cook ridge gourd.
Bharwan bhindi (okra stuffed with peanut spice) is a beautiful dish to make on leisurely days when you have tender, small-sized fresh okras on hand. The stuffing that goes into the okra can vary – this peanut spice is among my best-loved okra fillings.
A variety of vegetables go into this Chinese-style recipe that’s great on the side with chapatis or fried rice. Chili garlic mixed vegetables is cooked on high heat (using the Chao technique, or so Wikipedia tells me), which retains the texture and color of the vegetables. The dish gets its zing – and its name – from the pre-made chili garlic sauce that’s added to it.