It was a fine morning when my hubby's friends had planned to visit our home. When I asked their choice of breakfast, they had clearly told me that they did not want any dish from Tamil Nadu cuisine and they wanted to taste something different. Their request was completely valid as we had 2 full days of tasting authentic dishes from Tamil Nadu cuisine in our friend's wedding. It was hard for me to plan elaborately as I literally had no time to sit down. I was quickly choosing the dishes which I had tasted before in different multi cuisine restaurants.
It was easy for me to plan for lunch but the breakfast planning kicked me hard due to lack of time. The groceries in stock were very limited and I was quickly browsing for recipes with the available ingredients and started penning down. One of the easiest yet tastiest recipe I could find was 'Ulli Theeyal'. I could easily recollect the taste of the dish since I had it just a few weeks back in a popular restaurant in Chennai. The dish is very popular in Kerala but not in Tamil Nadu. So, I found it as a smart option. I finalized Aapam and Ulli Theeyal as the main course and side dish for breakfast. I had also planned to make a simple sweet, juice and a dessert for breakfast.
The headcount given to me the day before was 9. And I was ready with the breakfast early morning to welcome them. To my surprise, there were 4 kids in the group. I was not informed about them and was not prepared in any way. They told that the kids were very hungry and wanted to feed them first.
With small onion as the main ingredient, Ulli Theeyal is a mostly prepared as a spicy dish. I was quite doubtful whether the kids could eat it as the dish was spicy. As expected, the kids found it very spicy and could not eat it. I had already used the available coconut for the Ulli Theeyal. So, I was not in a position to prepare chutney too.
Suddenly, I got an amazing idea. I took a little amount of Ulli Theeyal in a bowl and went to the kitchen. I added 1/4 cup of grated jaggery and boiled the dish for 2 minutes. The end result was 'Sweet and Spicy Ulli Theeyal'. I came back with the enhanced dish and served it for kids. Kids were quite happy with the sweet and spicy flavor. Their parents told me that they ate more than the usual quantity. They were very pleased and also wished to taste it.
After tasting the sweet and spicy Ulli Theeyal, the whole gang asked me to add jaggery to the entire dish. They liked it very much than the usual spicy Ulli Theeyal. Women in the group started noting down the recipe from me.
Before leaving, they asked me to include 'Sweet and Spicy Ulli Theeyal' in the menu everytime they visit my home. My hubby got surprised to see me acting quickly and smartly. He also told me to make the dish quite often at home. He also took me to my favorite restaurant for dinner as a token of love and appreciation.
Before discovering the magic of sweet and spicy flavor, I used to prepare two different dishes for my kids and adults. The job is no more a strenuous one. Nowadays, I always stock enough jaggery, palm jaggery, and honey at home. I add any of those natural sweeteners to spicy dishes and serve the kids. If you are a mom, you can understand how easy and breezy the task would be.
I add little jaggery powder to the spicy coconut chutney while serving it to my kid. There will be no complaint from either kid or hubby. While my hubby can have his favorite spicy coconut chutney, my kid can have sweet and spicy chutney as a side dish for dosa. It takes only a few seconds to create a sweet and spicy flavor but it can help you endless each and every day.
I am sure that you might also have your own sweet and spicy food adventures like me. Do you know that they could give you a chance to get featured in a video with Vikas Khanna and Vir Sanghvi? So, what are you waiting for? Share your 'Sweet and Spicy Food adventures' at #Foodventures right now and become a celebrity.