Today’s post is the first in a new series of guest posts, entitled ‘Eat Like a Local’. A keen home cook, I can often be found experimenting with different recipes in the kitchen, as well as developing my own dishes. More often than not, I’ll be trying out a dish from a different cuisine (although, that said, my roast dinners are pretty amazing!) and I often use recipes from other bloggers as inspiration.
Eat Like a Local: a new guest post series
So, a little while ago, I began thinking that it would be lovely to feature a series of recipes on my blog that have been contributed by other bloggers all around the world, and which are a typical dish eaten in the city they are from, or where they currently live. I asked a few bloggers if they’d like to get involved and the response has been overwhelming, so I’ll be publishing these posts every fortnight for the foreseeable future, under the title ‘Eat Like a Local’.
Each blogger will answer a few questions about themselves, before introducing us to a dish from their culture and providing an authentic recipe that will enable you to recreate the dish yourself at home. First up, we have Aparna Parinam, representing Andhra Pradesh and Goa. Aparna writes a food blog called Tangy Tales and has also released her own cookbook, Chutneys: adding spice to life. In fact, her recipe for carrot chutney is taken from this book.
Aparna Parinam: Andhra Pradesh, south India / Goa
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My hometown is Andhra Pradesh (in South India) but I live in the beautiful state of Goa, in India with my husband, Srinivas and daughter, Shreya. I love to cook vegetarian dishes and blog about healthy recipes, and food photography is my passion. I am a pharmacist by profession and work for a pharmaceutical company.
I blog about Indian vegetarian recipes, mainly about local Andhra dishes. Chutneys (spiced ground relishes) are my speciality.
When did you begin blogging, and why did you decide to start a blog?
I started blogging 5 years back as I wanted to capture the recipes of the wonderful dishes my mother and mother in law make every day.
What is the best experience you have had as a blogger?
The thrill of writing a family recipe and sharing it with readers is immeasurable, especially when my readers revert back with positive comments – I feel elated!
What advice would you give to new bloggers who are just starting out?
Be genuine and [if you’re a food blogger], try to be as clear as possible when penning down your recipe.
Here is Aparna’s recipe for carrot chutney, which was one of the first dishes she tasted at her in-laws home after getting married. She fell in love with its spicy yet faint sweet taste, and it’s no wonder this dish has been passed down through generations. If you like the look of Aparna’s recipe, follow her on social media using the below links to be the first to hear whenever she posts a new recipe.
Carrot pacchadi (chutney)
My very first memory of my Attaigaru (mother-in-law’s) cooking, was that of carrot chutney. Since then, I have become a huge fan of this dish and the intensity of my bond with my mother-in-law has deepened.
At first, I was surprised to know that this tangy chutney was indeed ‘carrot chutney’. The only dishes my mother made with carrots were carrot coconut curry and gajarkahalwa (the popular Indian dessert made with carrots, milk and sugar)
My Attaigaru continues to makes simple and unpretentious dishes which are enveloped by her love, especially her tangy chutneys and pickles, which are very tasty and popular. Carrot chutney is one such dish. In fact, I consider it as ‘soul food’ – completely satiating.
One commendable quality of my Attaigaru is that she is very apt at starting a conversation and never tires of telling stories. One of her sayings which she often quotes, relating to her lifelong experience of raising six kids and being confined to the house and kitchen, is 'KadupuKailasham, IlluVaikuntham'. Translated in English, it means: Our stomach is like Kailash Parvat (the holy abode where Lord Shiva resides) and our home is like Vaikuntham (the divine residence of Lord Krishna) She quotes this, as although she would have loved to visit more holy shrines, she could not do so previously due to family responsibilities and now, her age means that she struggles with mobility and physical exertion.
Most of the South Indian chutneys, especially Andhra chutneys, utilize 'tamarind' to render sourness. However, this chutney uses lemon juice to bring in the tanginess. This is what makes it different from other chutneys. The fieriness of the chillies, bitter notes of the fenugreek seeds and mild sweet taste of the carrots in this chutney blend beautifully, only to be enhanced by the tingling sourness of lime!
- 3 carrots medium-sized
- 2 tsb fenugreek (methi) seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 5-6 red chillies
- ¼ tsp asafetida (hing)
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1-2 lemons medium-sized
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼-½ tsp salt
Heat a medium sized pan, dry roast the fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and red chilies for 10-15 seconds. Keep this aside to cool.
Cut carrots into small pieces. Heat a small pan; add a table spoon of oil. Once the oil is heated up, add the carrot pieces. Fry for a few minutes and let it cook, by covering with a lid, until it becomes just soft. Ensure that it does not get overcooked.
Add turmeric to the carrot pieces, mix and put off the flame. Let it cool. Blend the carrot pieces, chillies and the spices (from Step 1) to a coarse consistency. Transfer this to a serving bowl.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon in the chutney, mix well. If required add more lemon juice.
Savour this chutney with hot rice and a dab of oil.
- This chutney makes an excellent spread for bread or rotis (Indian flat bread).
- Ensure the chutney is made into a coarse paste – not too fine. Do not add too much fenugreek seeds.