A tangy side dish for rice prepared with "vathals". Vathals are dried vegetables like pavakka (bitter gourd), sundakkai ( turkey berry), mathankalikai (black night shade), tamara kizhangu (lotus stem) etc. This one is made with bitter gourd vattal, which can be substituted by any other vathal or a mixture of many.
Being relatively new to Chennai, I am still in the process of learning the names of ingredients in Tamil. Sometimes, my maid gets me the freshest fish and our dicussions veers towards different Tamil dishes. One such dish that caught my fancy was Sura Puttu. Initially I thought that she was talking about Kerala’s popular breakfast Puttu. Only when she explained the process did I understand that it was totally different. Sura, in Tamil is Shark. Though ideally, this dish is to be prepared with Shark meat, I prepared it with Mackerel. This dish goes very well with rice.
This is the "Ajino Motto" in my grandma's shelf. This powder can be sprinkled over lady's finger, brinjal or even potato fry. What you have to do is; when the vegetable is almost done, sprinkle this powder lavishly over them and cook for a minute or so.
Potato podimas is a very common and simple recipe prepared in Iyer households. It is usually served as a side dish to go with rice but it goes well with chapati, puri, dosa and bread as well. It can be prepared in many ways but the one listed below is the classic version prepared by my mom.