Manioca Curry

I am bringing another of my eldest sister’s curry to Fiesta Friday #33 – this time, a manioca curry.
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Today’s featured music group is Junoon. This band was formed in 1990 by Salman Ahmad, the lead guitarist and songwriter of the group. This group were the pioneers of the rock sub-genre, Sufi rock. I first came across this group on MTV through their chart topping song, Sayonee from their fourth album, Azadi (1997). While I could not find the music video of this ground-breaking song on Junoon’s youTube channel, I did find this clip where the group played this song at a concert.

Two of the original band members, lead vocalist Azmat Ali and bassist Brian O’Connell, left the group in 2005 to pursue solo music careers. The next clip that I share here is from Coke Studio Pakistan’s youTube channel which featured this collaborative work of Azmat Ali and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, the nephew of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Salman Ahmad, the Junoon founder, has continued the group with different musicians sporadically over the years and has collaborated with other international musicians for several fund-raising efforts. The last clip here is from the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony concert of 2007.

Hope you enjoyed the music of Junoon and do share which clip you enjoyed the most!
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Manioca Curry

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Manioca – 1
  • Turmeric – ¼ tsp + ¼ tsp
  • Salt – ¼ tsp + 2 tsp or adjust to taste
  • Garlic cloves – 3, grated
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Mustard – 1 tsp
  • Onion – 1, chopped
  • Coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Boil the manioca with ¼ tsp turmeric and ¼ tsp salt. Cut the cooked manioc into smaller pieces and keep aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the chopped onion and curry leaves, grated cloves, mustard, 2 tsp salt and fry for a min or two. Add the cooked manioc and turmeric. Mix well.
  3. Add the coconut milk and cook till the curry thickens.
  4. Remove from heat and serve warm with rice.

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Chickpea Curry

During my recent visit to my eldest sister’s house, I remembered to take photos of a couple of tasty curries she had made for lunch with my phone camera. I am bringing one of her curries, chickpea curry, to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck #10.

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Over the last few months, I have enjoyed sharing some Sri Lankan and Indian music together with the recipes. I have decided to continue with a musical journey around the globe with the food recipes. Therefore, as today’s music selection, I am sharing a couple of clips from the two I consider the best Sufi singers of this half-century : Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948 – 1997), also referred to as the Shahenshah (meaning King of Kings) of Qawwali and Abida Parveen, who is also known as the Queen of Sufi music.

During my teen years in the U.A.E, I once accompanied my parents to a concert. When the guest singer, who was introduced as Pakistan’s finest musicians starting singing, I immediately recognized the song as the favourite of my Pakistani friends at my new school and which they kept playing repeatedly during lunch breaks.  The song was Dam Mast Qalandar Mast Mast and it was Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s concert. I admit back then I was not fond of qawwali music and it took a while to grow on me. I think I learnt to appreciate it after hearing them sung at Sufi shrines. The atmosphere creates an enhanced listening experience. It is only fitting that I share here the first qawwali song that I was introduced to.

A few years ago, during a brief trip to Delhi, I took a Sufi heritage tour with India Offtrack. Nirad Grover, part of the company’s core team, travel writer and my guide during the tour, recommended that I listen to Abida Parveen. I did that soon after and I have been impressed with her powerful voice since. This clip has been uploaded on youTube by Epic flo films and includes a summary translation of the lyrics at intervals.

Do share your memory of your first introduction to qawwali, if you enjoy listening to Sufi music. And, do let me know if you try out this chickpea curry!

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Kadalai Curry

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: average
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Chickpeas – 2 cups, boiled
  • Cashew nuts – 4 or 5
  • Cinnamon – 1” piece
  • Garlic – 3 or 4 cloves
  • Onion – 1
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Salt – 2 tsp or adjust to taste
  • Turmeric – ¼ tsp
  • Curry powder – 3 tsp or adjust to taste
  • Tamarind juice – ½ cup
  • Potato – 1, boiled and mashed
  • Tomato – 1, chopped
  • Coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Lightly fry the cashew nuts with crumbled cinnamon and transfer to grinder.
  2. Add the garlic cloves to the grinder and blend the mix to a coarse paste.
  3. Chop the onion and lightly fry the onion together with curry leaves.
  4. Add the coarse cashew nut paste, salt and turmeric to the pan and mix well.
  5. Add the boiled chickpeas and curry powder to the pan. Mix well.
  6. Then, add the tamarind juice and let the curry cook for a couple of minutes.
  7. Next, add the boiled and mashed potato to the pan and mix.
  8. Add the chopped tomato together with ½ cup of water and cook for a min or two.
  9.  Then, add the coconut milk and cook till the curry consistency is right.
  10. Serve warm with rice or roti.

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Re-blogging Indu’s Sri Lankan chicken curry post. Thanks for sharing it on your blog, Indu!

Indu's International Kitchen


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Chicken Curry is one dish that I never get tired of trying out new recipes for!  Chicken is in fact a very safe thing to experiment on – since you can never go wrong with chicken! Any which way you cook it, it always turns out delicious! And those of you who think that ‘a curry is a curry is a curry…’, sorry but I beg to differ!   The different blend of spices as well as the proportion of those spices that goes in a curry is very important and gives the curry its own unique flavor.  And hence Kamala aunty’s chicken curry is so delicious but yet different from grandma’s chicken curry! That is the reason I am always asking folks for their chicken curry recipes! – Hey there is no shame in asking! 🙂

And I thought that there could be so many variations of chicken curry only all across…

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Pavatkai Curry

Today’s recipe is a slightly different variation of bitter gourd/ pavatkai curry that my mother makes. The recipe for the more common way that my mother makes this dish is given in this earlier post.

pavatkaiContinuing with my sharing of Indian movie songs, today I would like to feature one of my mother’s favourite singers – S.Janaki and a few of the songs I like of hers. Janaki was born in 1938, started her musical training at the age of 3 and her movie musical career in the latter part of 1950s. According to my wikipedia source, she has sung around 20,000 songs in various Indian languages and won state and national awards for some of them. She made headlines last year when she refused to accept the Indian government’s prestigious award – the Padma Bhushan.

The first song here is from K.Balachander’s movie Varumaiyin Niram Sivappu (translation: The colour of poverty is red, 1980) starring Kamal Haasan and Sridevi. The music composition is by M.S. Viswanathan (MSV), who was more popular between the 50s to 70s. The singers are SPB and S. Janaki.

I couldn’t resist sharing another song from one of my favourite movies, Salangai Oli/ Sagara Sangamam (1983) whose music was composed by Ilayarajaa. This time it is a solo song by S.Janaki and the two actors/ dancers, Kamal Haasan and Manju Bhargavi, in the song are trained classical dancers.

The last song is a relatively more recent song from the movie Sangamam (literal translation: Confluence, 1999) and the music was composed by A.R.Rahman. The singers are Janaki (lead vocalist), Unnikrishnan and Madhumita.

Hope you enjoyed the movie clips and do try out this bitter gourd recipe!

Pavatkai Curry

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Bittergourd – 1
  • Tomato – 1
  • Onion – ½
  • Green chilli – 2
  • Tamarind extract – 1 cup (light)
  • Coconut milk – ¼ cup
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Wash and cut the bittergourd into small pieces. Keep aside.
  2. Chop the chillies and onion. Lightly fry them in a tablespoon of oil in a pan.
  3. Add the chopped bittergourd to the pan and continue frying for a few minutes.
  4. Add the tamarind juice and salt to the pan. Cover and let it simmer for around 10 to 15 mins until the curry thickens.
  5. Chop the tomato and add it to the pan together with ¼ coconut milk.
  6. Add a tablespoon of sugar and salt to taste.
  7. Cover and cook for another 15 mins.
  8. Remove from heat and serve warm with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan

Mulai Keerai Curry

Today’s recipe is another way my mother cooks mulai keerai (amaranth greens, I think the scientific name is amaranthus blitum). I have posted earlier the traditional way it has been cooked in my home across generations.

Mulai keeraiSince selecting the movie clips that I shared yesterday, I have been listening to lots of 80s and early 90s Indian movie music and remembering the stories behind the songs. I felt like sharing some over the next several posts. If you are not interested in reading about or listening to some south Indian movie songs, please skip directly to the recipe given below.

As today is S.P.Balasubrahmanyam(SPB)’s 68th birthday, I will share a couple of his popular songs. While not having had formal musical training, SPB’s natural inclination towards music made him drop out of his engineering studies and pursue a musical career in the 60s. SPB is most known as a playback singer, having recorded more than 40,000 songs in several Indian languages according to my Wikipedia source. In addition to winning several Indian state and national awards for his songs, he has also composed music for several movies, acted in some and given voice overs for popular actors due to his multilingual skill. The Indian government awarded him the high civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan (2011) and Padmashri (2001) awards, for his distinguished service.

The first is an upbeat song from K.Balachander’s Tamil movie Punnagai Mannan (translation: King of Smiles, 1986). This is the first song that SPB and Chitra sang together and features Kamal Haasan and Revathi. The soundtrack of the movie was composed by Ilayarajaa with A.R.Rahman, then a part of Ilayarajaa’s music team, at the keyboard.

The second clip is from a concert where SPB sings a song of his from the 1979 movie Pagalil Oru Iravu (translation: A night in the day), soundtrack composed by Ilayarajaa.

Hope you enjoyed SPB’s songs from the 80s as much as I enjoyed listening to several and selecting these two.

Now, for the recipe… 🙂

Mulai Keerai Curry

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Mulai keerai – 1 cup, chopped
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Capsicum – 1
  • Onion – 1
  • Tomato – 1
  • Salt, to taste
  • Crushed chilli – to taste
  • Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Wash the green leaves and chop them up finely.
  2. Cook the green leaves with a little salt and water for about 10 mins till the water dries up. Remove from heat.
  3. Slice the green chilli, onion and capsicum.
  4. Add a tbsp of oil to a separate pan and lightly sauté the three.
  5. Chop the tomato and add it to the pan. As per your taste, add salt and crushed chilli and continue to lightly fry for a few more minutes.
  6. Transfer the contents of the pan to the cooked green leaves. Mix and serve warm with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan

Karunai Kilangu Curry

The recipe I would like to share today is my mother’s recipe for karunai kilangu/ elephant yam curry.

karunai kilanguI also felt like sharing some music clips. Today is the birthday of Ilayaraaja, one of South India’s famous movie soundtrack composers, who has composed music for more than 1000 movies (around 4500 songs). His debut in South Indian cinema was in the 70s and while he continues his work to this day, I think the peak in his musical career was in the 80s. Having grown up watching a lot of South Indian movies, I felt like sharing three of my favourite Ilayaraaja compositions in honour of his 71st birthday.

The first song is from one of my all-time favourite movies Salangai Oli (translation: the sound of a dancer’s ankle bells, 1983), the Tamil dubbed version of the Telugu movie Sagara Sangamam. The movie has a Bharathanatyam theme and has a great cast including one of India’s best actors, Kamal Haasan (featured in the song). The movie won the Indian national award for best music direction and best male playback singer (S.P.Balasubrahmanyam).

The second song is from one of my mother’s favourite movies, renowned director K.Balachander’s movie Sindhu Bhairavi (1985). This movie’s story has a Carnatic music theme running through and a great soundtrack which again won Ilayaraaja the Indian national award for best music direction. The movie also won the best actress award (Suhasini Maniratnam, featured in the song) and the best female playback singer award (K.S.Chitra who made her Tamil movie music debut through this song) for the song shared here. This song is a fusion of folk and Carnatic music.

The third song that I am sharing here is a song from Maniratnam’s movie Thalapathi (1991). It’s simply a lovely short song.

Hope you enjoy the music as much as you enjoy the curry! 🙂

Karunai Kilangu Curry

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: average
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Yam – 1 cup, chopped
  • Brinjal – 1 cup, chopped
  • Onion – ½
  • Fenugreek – 2 tsp
  • Tamarind extract – ½ cup
  • Coconut milk – ½ cup
  • Curry powder – 1 to 2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, as required

Method:

  1. Boil the yam for about 15 mins. Then, roughly chop into smaller pieces.
  2. Lightly fry the chopped brinjal and yam. Keep aside.
  3. In a pan, add a tablespoon of oil and lightly fry the chopped onion and fenugreek for a few minutes.
  4. Add the lightly fried brinjal and yam to the pan.
  5. Add the tamarind and milk to the pan together with curry powder and salt to taste.
  6. Cook the curry for about 15 mins and then remove from heat.
  7. Serve with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan