Every homemade preparation is healthy, and all the moms know to cook the tastiest of foods. Each state has its delicacies and every street can boast of its favorite flavor that all the food lovers gather to cherish. Then, there are tastes that are so commonplace and served often at our tables with many other special delicacies. Many a time, the special foods tend to push the simple flavors to oblivion. My sole objective is to acquaint my readers with some of the healthiest and best South Indian recipes.
Well, I am reminded of one such simple taste that I always used to enjoy with any main course. As a child, I have hardly enjoyed any other curry as much as ‘Veppilakatti’ which is a tangy, sweet chutney. I assume, many of you can relate to this scenario and will have your own special tastes that you enjoyed as a child. When these tastes are simple and healthy, they become super special.
There are three such healthiest and best South Indian recipes which I think are irreplaceable from the dining table.
As a child I found Veppilakatti to be the most unfussy curry to have with rice. It is one of the best South Indian recipes I could ever think of. Obviously, I never knew the ingredients back then yet I always enjoyed the taste.
We always used to have it at home in a small glass bottle and it was as simple as that. It is basically curry leaves and coconut roasted with spices ground to powder. The spices added to it are chili powder, tamarind, pepper powder, salt, asafetida, and fenugreek. Depending on your taste buds, some people do away with the last two ingredients.
It is also made with lemon or neem leaves in some parts although I am not sure how that tastes. The blend of tamarind and curry leaves gives a unique aroma and a delicious taste. If you can keep it in an airtight glass bottle it is sure to stay fresh for up to a month. Now you know why this preparation is a favorite among those who are staying away from home or travelling far. This healthiest and simplest of flavors can be very pocket-friendly and easy to make too.
For many people, the word ‘Rasam’ is not unfamiliar. It is derived from the word ‘rasa’ which means juice or extract. And as the meaning suggests it is a watery extract of vegetables and more essential that of tamarind, pepper, and cumin amongst other spices. It is one of the healthiest and best South Indian recipes.
Thanks to the ingredients in it, of late, rasam has been one of my favorite appetizers and yes it can be had after a good meal too. I would say it is a poor man’s soup. Though sourness is the prominent taste that caresses your taste buds, you will certainly savor the distinct flavor of pepper, cumin, garlic or tomato.
The presence of aforesaid spices adds a lot of health values to rasam making it a good antioxidant, promoting digestion, preventing constipation and as a whole, it is a balanced food.
Depending on where you belong, types and flavors change too. The types of rasam highlighting different flavors include tomato, pineapple, pepper, parsley, garlic, tamarind and so on.
This healthy and traditional flavor can be enjoyed hot especially during winter and rainy season alike.
Inji Curry (ginger curry)
It is certainly one of my favorites if I am having rice. Let alone the health benefits, the explosion of flavors it makes in the mouth is really tempting to go for another scoop. Inji (ginger) curry is a traditional recipe and is referred to in fables and folklore of Kerala. As the name suggests the basic ingredient for this curry is ginger and is one of the best South Indian recipes.
It is a perfect blend of ginger, chili, jaggery, asafetida, thick tamarind juice, mustard and fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, coconut oil and salt sautéed well to a golden brown semi-solid paste. It is difficult to pinpoint a single taste in your mouth, as it has sweetness, sourness, pungency all at the same time.
A story has it that when the learned scholar Vararuchi while visiting a house asked the host to prepare 1000 curries for his meal. The clever lady of the house understood what he had meant and prepared Inji curry which is said to be equivalent to a thousand curries.
Since ginger has several medicinal properties it has been an unavoidable element in most of the curries in India. Needless to say, Inji curry is not just a fusion of flavors but a reservoir of healthy ingredients.
If properly made and preserved well, it can last for a month. The best of flavors need not be highly expensive or available only at star hotels, you just can prepare them at the comfort of your own kitchen. They are traditional, healthy and easy to prepare, and they hardly require any exquisite ingredients. Try them right away to invigorate your taste buds.
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