Dill-icious South Indian Lamb and Potato Fry (Varuval)

Varuval is a Tamil word that conjures up a whole genre of scrumptious fried food both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Sunday lunches at my parents home often featured a varuval – Yera (Prawn) Varuval, Swara (Shark) Varuval, Meen (Fish) Varuval and Kari (lamb) Varuval were staples. Even vegetarian fare is way more fun as a Varuval (pronounced Vuroovul) than a Poriyal  which  typically involves sauteed and steamed food. The memory of mom’s unforgettable Karnakezhangu (Yam) Varuval will send me into deep depression knowing I have to fly half way around the world to taste it again.

This dill, lamb and potato varuval is a particular favorite of my father’s and Sammie lists it in his top 5 lamb dishes. Having heard that it’s on my father’s fave list might have biased him just a little bit. There’s a vegetarian  version that simply skips the lamb.

This lamb varuval is cooked in two stages, first the lamb is pressure cooked until it is close to being done then we bring the dill and potato in for the final frying session. A wide, thick bottomed pan with an air tight light is a good substitute although the cooking time is a bit longer than in a pressure cooker.

Never leave a Varuval unattended especially during the latter half of the final frying. Patience is a virtue with a varuval, the lower the heat and the longer you can stand all that stirring every few minutes the better your varuval.

Prep time: 5 min | Total time: 45 min (with a pressure cooker)| Servings: 4 – 6

South Indian Dill, Lamb and Potato Fry (Jay)

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Show-but-don’t tell gumbo

Gumbo with snow crab, king crab, chicken, shrimp & sausage (Jay & Sammie)

My astrological prediction for January 2011 could have been summed up in a sentence. “Busy until interrupted by a snowstorm before returning to hectic.” The trend continues in February and  my backlog of “intended” posts from over the holidays is piling up like the cold white stuff piling up further North. Good Gumbo eating weather if you have the foresight to stock up on your grocery and seafood well before the storm hits. Read more of this post

Buttery black pepper glazed wings for my nose (or is it nodh)

I’m still in a slightly disoriented but happy post holiday haze, about time I start logging recipes in my recipe box after that wonderful and extended holiday break with family who were visiting from out-of-town. Bits and pieces of me are still reluctantly floating back from the holiday zone. The weather here in Atlanta has been bits of this and pieces of that. Sunny and in the 70s one day of the week, crisp and pleasant the next, plummeting back down to the 40s and monstrously gray and wet on the fourth day. It hasn’t been ideal weather for my sinus or Sammie’s. We’ve relied on a little help from the local pharmacy, a lot of hearty soup, the odd nightly nip of hot toddy and heaping helpings of black pepper to keep our heads clear. One of the yummier ways we get our black pepper fix is with these buttery double pepper glazed wings. I can’t have too much pepper in them so I’m generous with the ground pepper and the pepper sauce the quantities listed below are to be taken with a pinch of salt and a big dash of pepper.

Prep time: 5 min | Total time: 35 min | Servings: 3 – 4

Buttery Black Pepper Wings (Jay)

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