Chettinad Potatoes

Inspiration as they say comes from unexpected places and this recipe is a testimonial to that. Few weeks ago, I was looking for some North Indian styled recipe using spinach on Sanjeev Kapoor’s website, hoping to find some inspiration and ideas, but few searches and clicks later I landed on a recipe of Spicy Tempered Potatoes called Urulai Chettinadu with which I was pretty impressed. Strange! I would have never imagined searching for Chettinad and Sanjeev Kapoor at the same time. 

Here is a good description of what Chettinad cuisine is on Sig’s blog. This cuisine originated in the southern parts of Tamil Nadu state. This cuisine is well known for its hot and spicy, aromatic non vegetarian dishes. Chettinad cuisine is different from the traditional healthy vegetarian cuisine of the Tamil Brahmins. (these sentences are rephrased from her blog)

Even though I was raised in Bangalore (South of India), I have/had not tasted dishes related to this either at family, friends or restaurants. To me, it meant some type of exotic cuisine which is spicy and consisted only of non-vegetarian/meat dishes.

 We do have a Chettinad restaurant in our part of town. But the restaurant I am told has nothing to do with Chettinad cooking specialty. They use it as a sort of advertisement and en-cash on the name. So I plead my ignorance about this cuisine and dare not make any authentic claims about this dish. But truly the dish is flavorful, spicy and delicious.

That being said, I am open to learning and I would love to hear from you dear readers about this cuisine and any vegetarian dish that you love and strongly recommend. 

Happy Weekend, ya’ll. If you are in the United States then wish you a very happy long weekend. We are off on a 3 day road trip, so see you all after that!

Tempered Chettinad Potatoes

Recipe Source: Adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor 


  • 10-15 Baby potatoes ( halved )
  • 15-20 small onions/ pearl onions
  • 4 dried red chillies ( I used byadgi variety)
  • 2 Tbsp split black gram (urad dal)
  • 1 Tbsp chana daal/ Bengal gram
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Turmeric a pinch
  • 5- 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5 – 10 curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil 


  • Peel the onions, cut the stems and keep aside. Peel the potatoes and cut into halves.
  • In a small pan, dry roast the red chillies, chana daal, sesame seeds, urad dal and black pepper. Let this cool and grind to a coarse powder. (This powder can be stored and used for other curries as well.)
  • Heat a big pan and add oil to it. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and let it splutter.
  • Add the small onions and sauté till lightly browned and cooked.
  • Add potatoes, stir, add salt and sprinkle water. Cover and cook on medium heat check in between and sprinkle water as required and toss. This might take about eight to ten minutes for the potatoes to cook.
  • Now add the freshly prepared masala powder, turmeric and mix. Check for salt.
  • Cover and cook over low heat for about three to four minutes more till the potatoes are done.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot. 

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

I am not much of a baker and I don’t bake often. But this blog and the kiddo have driven me in that direction and I am learning and enjoying as I go along. It has been a roller coaster ride, but with success like these that makes you want to do the happy dance and try your hand at some more. 

The kiddo who is now 5 and half, loves to bake and help around in the kitchen. It is fun to watch his enthusiastic self, mixing stuff, measuring, chatting and of course making a mess. What are moms for anyway? But I had been putting off baking for long time now owing to really busy weekend schedule.

But last weekend morning when he asked “Amma, can we please bake chlocate cookies?” I could not resist and gave in. Like most kids, he loves chocolate in anything; but not so much DH and me. He still refers to it as “Chlocate” and I don’t get the heart to correct it. :-). His all time favorite are the regular Chocolate Chip cookies

To complement it, the weather was glorious cool, pleasant which is unlikely for the month of May (in Texas). We opened the backyard door and let the cool breeze in. These pink beauties flowering in our backyard provided a visual treat.

Naturally egg free, rich and delicious, I followed this recipe to a T. They were delicious, crispy, and chewy and the kiddo loved it a lot. When you see the joy on people’s face you baked for then everything becomes worth it. 

Now, I do have to warn you though, if you are on a diet and don’t even bother looking at this recipe. This calls for ½ cup of butter and that is one stick of butter. Please do not ask the calories or fat content of that for I do not want to be shocked J

Recipe Source: Annie’s Eats

Yields: 22-26 medium cookies


  • 1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour/maida
  • 1 tsp  baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature) cubed [ 1 stick]
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (add more if you like)


  • In a medium bowl mix together the AP flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. 
  • In another bowl beat the butter until light and fluffy. I used a hand mixer for this.
  •  Add both the sugars and beat again on medium speed.  Add the vanilla extract and mix well. 
  • Now add half of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until mixed.  Add the milk and stir with spatula until combined. 
  • Add the remaining flour mixture and beat on low speed until everything gets mixed in.
  • Finally fold in the white chocolate chips with a rubber spatula and mix well. 
  • Make a big ball of the dough, cover it and then chill the dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Have baking sheets ready by adequately greasing them.

  • Take the dough out of the fridge and scoop the dough onto the baking sheets pressing down lightly. 
  • Bake for 16-20 minutes. Half way through move the baking sheet to the bottom and then rotate from front to back. Keep a close watch after 16 minutes.
  • Note: Since these are brown in color, you won’t even know if the cookies have browned and cooked.
  • Transfer to cooling racks and then store in an airtight container.


The bug has bitten, come join us won’t you?

Errr…..people, people before you jump to any conclusion, it is just the shutter bug that I am referring to, not any other type of bug!  You know, that interest and enthusiasm for amateur photography, right?  That is the bug I am referring to 🙂 

Well this ‘bug’ bite is not something new as we (DH and I) have been taking pictures for a long time now. When we are not cooking, cleaning, arguing, or driving each other nuts (ahem), then you can find us taking pictures.  We take pictures of anything that catches our fancy; food, nature, people, architecture but mainly food as taking pictures on this blog drove us to explore and experiment and catch the ‘bug’.


Of course, we are still amateurs, learning and we have a long long long way to go. The camera has now become our good friend and we don’t go out anywhere without it.

 Did I mention that you can find us on flickr? So pour some tea/coffee/mango juice, make yourself comfortable and join us won’t you? We would appreciate if you can leave us some feedback; suggestions, comments, how to improve etc and promise no ‘bugs’ will bite you there  🙂

RedChillies on Flickr