Turmeric is a spice from turmeric plant rhizomes. Dried and ground. It is used worldwide for its taste, as a natural colorant or as a natural medicine with a wide range of indications.
Tapioka is Manihot esculenta, used for its tubers. They are called cassava or yucca roots as well. In Indian cuisine they are used for instance boiled or mashed like potatoes, with turmeric added as a natural colorant.
- Achcharu - Green papaya pickle
When I was in Sri Lanka for the first time, I was living in the house with Sri Lankan aunties and a granny too. When I came back in one year, the granny unfortunately was not there any more..... At the time it was just 3 months she passed away, so I witnessed preparation for Almsgiving ceremony, Sanghika dana. The ceremony should bring a beautiful post-mortem life of the person. Loads of special food are prepared for the ceremony and one of them is achcharu, green papaya or carrot pickle.
- Aloo channa masala - Potato and chickpeas masala
On the suburb of Pushkar, picturesque town in Rajasthan in the North India, is a small restaurant, where I got this masala. It was amazing and even better thank to the fact the chapati served with it was made traditional way, in a clay tandoori oven.
- Aloo jeera fry - Fried potatoes with cumin
If you love fried potatoes, it is time to tune them up a bit by some great Indian spices :) Great as a side dish, but in India they serve them with rice or local bread.
- Aloo masala - Potato curry
Another curry, which definitely belongs to Indian classics. You can get it in India whole day, including breakfast. If you have some boiled potatoes leftovers, aloo masala is an option number one ;)
- Aloo roast - Potato roast
Another from the range of Kerala specials from South India. I have learnt this recipe from a lady, who except all the other delicacies made the best curries in whole South India I had a chance to try!
- Authentic Moroccan couscous with beef and vegetables
In our fast moving world it is quite hard to imagine preparing real couscous as they do in North Africa. The real one takes a few hours to prepare. Couscous in Morocco is a festive dish served on Friday. One of the reasons for long preparation is a slow cooked meat (usually beef or lamb). The second, most important one is slow moisturising of dry couscous by hands and then slow steaming above meat and vegetables in a special pot called couscoussier. Thanks to this slow process the couscous is well done, filled with smell of meat and vegetables and nicely loose.
- Baby jackfruit curry - Polos
Jackfruit is a fascinating fruit. Not only because of its size, but it is used completely different way in each stage of its ripeness. If it is of a size about 15-20 cm, it is called baby jack (or green jackfruit). It is used as a vegetable and has a sour taste. The curry made of it is called polos and is a bit sour too, but very nicely sour.
- Banana curry
When I got a bowl of banana curry in front of me in India, I was not sure what to think. It didn't look very appealing and banana curry sounded pretty strange to me. But! The smell was amazing! So I gave it a go and believe me, it was something! Such a balanced combination of spices. You could have felt each of them separately and all together it made a perfect harmony. And when I got the secret recipe, I nearly started dancing around the table :)
- Bandakka curry - Ladies fingers curry
This curry is exceptional firstly as it is nearly not spicy at all and secondly, okra is a slimy vegetable, which some people love, some don't. If you belong to the ones, who love it, you will love this curry too. As Ladies fingers curry is nearly not spicy at all, it is usually combined with more spicy curries like for instance Jackfruit curry.
- Bedum - Fried noodles with peanuts
I have always thought, eating instant curly noodles is just an instant fast food, that we buy in supermarkets and that people in Asia have no idea this kind of food even exists. In Sri Lanka I realized I was wrong. They cook with these instant noodles quite often, just different way than us. Bedum is prepared for special occasions only. New Year, Almsgiving and other holidays.
- Beef biryani
This beef biryani I have learnt in one muslim village in Kerala, India. When you moved out of the village for just a few kilometers, cows were sacred there because of hinduism.
- Coconut curry
Most of Sri Lankan recipes consists of coconut. The more when talking about this recipe. It is a delicate sauce pleasantly seasoned, which is used especially for string hoppers (rice noodles) or kottu roti (chopped bread).
- Devilish peppers
Before I left to Sri Lanka, my friend Lucka, who loves very spicy food asked me for bringing her some very spicy recipe. Have look at the list of ingredients, and I believe you agree, that I would hardly find a recipe fitting her taste better :) If you do not belong to fans of a spicy food, better skip this recipe
- Dhal - Lentils Kerala style
The most frequented dish, which you will find in hundreds of variants allover India. This recipe is from Kerala, South India, where fresh coconut is a very common ingredient. Dhal is not an exception.
- Dhal fry - Red lentils Northern India style
I love dhal. Probably all variations I have ever tried. (Not only) in every state of India it is done different way. They use ingredients, which appear naturally in the region. In the South they would hardly do without curry leaves and a coconut milk. In the North it is the very opposite way. And this is where the recipe I learnt from two cool local guys in a hostel is coming from.
- Egg curry
Egg curry was my very first dish in India. I recall the picture with all the details. The food was delicious, 10 locals where looking at me like at a sacred picture, they were nodding their heads from side to side, smiling and the room was filled with the amazing smell of masala tea.
- Eggplant and tofu curry Indonesian style - Tahu terong santan
This Indonesian style curry is special not only because of its delicious taste, but it is a typical wedding dish as well. Loads of coconut milk is needed for it. Fortunately men are responsible for wedding feast preparation and they do know how to crack all the coconuts by their unmistakeable original style. Check the video and you will understand.
- Fish satay - Saté ikan laut
One of my favourite specials of Bali in Indonesia. Satay made of various kinds of minced fish and shrimps with coconut and a pleasant combination of spices. Usually grilled by the road on bamboo skewers, sometimes on lemon grass stalks, which give to satays amazing aroma.
- Ginger pepper fish Kerala style
Kerala is well known for its backwaters. You can find thousands of various rivers and ponds throughout the state. There is no wonder, one of the most desired specials is fresh water fish. My favourite was a ginger pepper recipe. Firstly, when watching the preparation in one street restaurant, I was a bit hesitant as one huge table spoon of black pepper for one fish seemed a little bit too much. But the chef knew only too well what he is doing. It was delicious and very fast and easy too.
- Gobi - Cauliflower without onion and garlic
There are recipes in Indian cuisine, where you will find no onion and garlic, which are ingredients used very often otherwise. One of the reasons is, that garlic and onion are considered as medicine and thats why they should be used moderately. Very easy and tasty recipe from North India.
- Gobi masala - Couliflower masala
This recipe I learnt from gipsies in a desert in Rajasthan, like chapati for instance. As they can`t afford having full pantry of ingredients ( .... they even do not have a pantry at all actually ......) they use just a minimum of them. Sometimes less means more, including this gobi masala recipe. Try it, it is worth it.
- Green and red chilies fry
When I was invited for dinner by Ram in Rajasthan, I wanted to refuse with thanks. As fry, where the main ingredients are red and green chilies sounded like a bit too much for me. I didn`t resist though eventually. It was a really nice surprise. The chilies lost loads of their spiciness by frying and the taste became really fine thanks to ghee and yoghurt. So if you like spicy food, go for it. Sorry for quality of the photo, it was too dark everywhere around and we ate it directly from the pan :)
- Green bean curry
Curry, that belongs to the most common ones in Sri Lanka. Of course it can`t compete with dhal curry regarding frequency. It is very fast and easy recipe again, you just put everything at once into a pot and cook.
- Channa masala - Chick pea masala
I cannot imagine India without this dish. This is simply one of the most common dishes you can get across India, usually for breakfast already with various kinds of rotis and then all day long with rice and other kinds of Indian dishes.
- Chicken curry
It was a nice change to have a bit of a meat in India. Very interesting part was buying the chicken already. It was as fresh as it gets. Traditionally there are no fridges in India`s meat shops. There are live chicken instead running around and got "ready" only when a customer comes and buy one or two.
- Kaddu rajma - Pumpkin with red beans
Another delicacy from Norh Indian cuisine. Full of proteins thanks to red kidney beans, which add to the dish nice hardish consistency. On the other hand combined with tender pumpkin with nice orange color. I do miss it! :)
- Mashed tapioca Kerala style (cassava)
The most frequent side dish in India are for sure all kinds of flat breads or rice. At some parts of India, you can get something like mashed potatoes. But it is not potatoes but tapioca. Flavoured by various kinds of spices depending on the region. The main ingredients for Kerala style recipe are coconut and curry leaves. This recipe I have learnt in one fishing village and we ate it in style, on the roof.
- Meen curry - Fish curry Kerala style
I really enjoyed this fish curry. Yes, it was quite spicy, but the taste was balanced nicely with the coconut sauce. I had this great dish with an amazing muslim family. We were eating on roof of their house in Kerala in south of India. Super nice picnic ;)
- Mie goreng ayam - Fried noodles with chicken
Mie goreng, fried noodles, together with nasi goreng, belong to the most typical Indonesian dishes. There are loads of variants of preparation. This one is great, as it is very simple and has a pleasant sugary taste thanks to kecap manis sauce.
- Mixed rice
This kind of dish is in Sri Lankan villages considered as a dish served at special occasions. And the fact it was decorated with dates, rosins, prawns and eggs was even more special. As in Sri Lanka, they do appreciate guests, and luckily it was me, as I was invited for a Sunday dinner by a very nice family. So one of the courses was this very nice dish. It is something like fried rice. But the rice was not fried, just mixed aside from fire with other fried ingredients.