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.
I make this papaya peanut salad when the fruit is somewhere between green and yellow, having a hint of sweet but still crunchy. A light dressing works well when the papaya is at this stage. No garlic or strong sauces, more fruity goodness.
A hot and sour tomato peanut chutney (pachadi), the making of which a friend from Andhra demoed to me in my kitchen last evening. Tomato peanut chutney is a great side dish with boiled rice, especially on days when you don’t have another curry to accompany your meal.
A crunchy, nutty, leafy side dish for an Indian meal – cabbage and peanuts stir fry. This is just right for the day after gorging on pooja delicacies, when your tummy says "no more" to pooris and dum aloo. I had today cabbage and peanuts stir fry with a simple meal of tomato toor dal, mint raita and boiled rice.
Inspired by the chapter on curry leaves in Ratna Rajaiah’s fascinating book How the Banana Goes to Heaven, I recently resolved to eat curry leaves as much and as raw as I possibly can. The prospect wasn’t enticing, let me say up front. Though I like curry leaves, I find their taste overpowering and use them sparingly even in tadka. I would have to steel myself to eat curry leaves raw, or so I thought.
How wrong I was.
A tentative stab at making curry leaves and peanut chutney turned out to be hugely successful. Peanuts balance out the bitterness of curry leaves, making this chutney not only palatable but also delicious.
Onions are indispensable to cooking in many Indian households, so much so that the humble bulb has caused governments to topple. To those for whom curries without onions seem inconceivable, I heartily recommend this recipe for stuffed eggplant in peanut sesame sauce. The sauce, with tamarind juice to give it body, is rich, thick, and entirely sans onions. I like to make this gravy when I have guests over, especially my no-onion-no-garlic folks.