Friday, July 19, 2013

Kunve Pittaa Duddali - One more Aashaad Ekadashi specialty

Kunve peet is nothing but Arrowroot powder available universally. Our ancestors passed on the traditional way of making a light, non-greasy healthy pudding processing this powder with milk and sugar. For flavouring they added cardamom powder and thus Duddali is born. Duddali is also called as Manni by local Brahmins but they make it mostly with millet, adding jaggery.
Today, duddali is made in many ways. Modern generation is adept at innovations and I have seen some able young cooks formulating duddali with added fruit juices. My mother always made Kunve Pittaa Duddali for Aashaad Ekadashi other than Gajbaje, Rulanva Idli and Chapathi.

We tried this for the first time with the help of Vinaya Shenoy, our good neighbour. The result is encouraging. This duddali can be made without much effort. We have added saffron and garnished the duddali with fried cashew bits for added taste and flavour.

Kunve Peet - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Cardamom powder - A pinch
Cashew bits fried with ghee - A handful
Saffron - A pinch soaked in 1 tbsp hot milk
You can also add raisins.

Mix kunve peet with enough water, filter and allow to stand for 2-3 hrs.
Discard the water settled above and mix sugar, 2 cups water and milk.
Heat a kadai and on slow fire, keep stirring the mixture till it starts to solidify a little like gum.
Mix saffron and cardamom powder.
Apply ghee on a platter and spread the cooked mass.
Garnish with fried nuts and raisins.
Allow to cool and then cut into square or diamond shape.
You can store this in the fridge and consume within 48 hours.

Gajbaje - The Aashaad Ekadashi Special GSB Curry

My mother used to say that during the vanvaas, Pandavas were thriving on vegetables grown in the dense rain forests like Bamboo shoots, yam, taro leaves, amaranthus stem and leaves, Chinese cucumber, Jack fruit seeds etc to make curries. During the Aashaad Ekadashi the fasting day for Hindus, Bheema came out with this curry Gajbaje, a mixed vegetable curry. Perhaps that's why Aashaad Ekadashi Upvaas(fasting) is also known as 'Bheem Paas'.

Whether it is true or not, we GSBs always made use of available vegetables wherever we settled down! The monsoon vegetables are abundantly available in the market. Traditional way of making gajbaje has a coconut based bland masala ground on the grinding stone cooked with boiled mixed vegetables and a seasoning of mustard seeds and curry laves add to the flavour and taste. Slight tang is preferred which can be managed by adding Aambade(Amte Kaayi or Hog Plums). If you don;'t get hog plums, you may add a pinch of tamarind.

Many make gajbaje adding roasted urad daal and coriander seeds but I like it simple with a basic masala as shown in the recipe. Gajbaje can be eaten with Rulaanva Idli(Semolina Idli) or with Chapathis. Ekadashi being an auspicious day calls for no rice, no garlic and onion added in food. On a funny note, some call this curry complan because it has all the essential ingredients that are fortified with vitamins, minerals and fibers.
Grated Coconut - 3/4(or 3 cups)
Red chillies - 6-7 roasted
Salt - To taste
Keerlu(Bamboo shoots) pieces - 1 cup
There Paan(Taro Leaves) - 15-20 palm size
Bikkand(Jack Fruit seed) - 1 cup(peeled and cut into 2)
Magge(Chinese/Yellow Cucumber) pieces with skin - 1 cup
Bhaajji Dento(Amaranthus stem)(or Drum Sticks) - 1 shaved and cut into 2" pieces
Soornu(Yam) - peeled and cut into 1 cup cubes
Potato - 1 medium cubed
Aambado(Hog Plums) - 3-4 cut into big pieces/crushed, or a pinch of tamarind
Coconut oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Grind coconut and red chillies to a smooth masala paste.
Soak Bamboo shoot pieces in salt water for 2 consecutive days and discard the water. Boil with salt and water and drain.
Roll the taro leaves between your palms like  a cigar and tie a knot. This is called There paannaa gaanti.
Boil the gaantis with other vegetables adding little salt till well cooked.
Add the masala paste, boiled bamboo shoots and bring to a boil.
Allow to simmer for 5 mins.
Check for salt.
Heat oil in a small kadai, add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter, add curry leaves and fry them.
Pour this seasoning over the curry, mix and serve.

You may also add other vegetables like Bread Fruit, Kantola, Parval, Gherkin and Pumpkin but my preference is limited to above listed vegetables, as I am used to that way since my mother used to make Gajbaje.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Guliappa with a Twist!(Two Lentil Aappo)

Guliappa, Aappo or Paddu as this is called in different parts of Karnataka, is a popular breakfast snack. It can be made in different ways. Though it is customary to use only Urad Daal in aappo with or without added rice, recently, a friend passed on a wonderful recipe to make soft tasty and nutritious aappo with two lentils, namely urad Daal and Chana Daal.
This has ginger and chillies in it, which normally kids hate but they are so cleverly used, nobody can make out their presence but only their subtle flavour and taste! Make these on a rainy day and you may be tempted to skip lunch and have these with sambar or some nice curry!

1. Rice - 2 cups
2. Urad Daal - 1 cup
3. Chana Daal - 1/4 cup
4. Salt - To taste
5. Soda Bicarb - A pinch
6. Oil/Ghee - Sufficient for seasoning and roasting
7. Onions - 3-4 medium chopped
8. Green Chillies - 4 Chopped
9. Ginger - 1" piece grated
10. Coriander Leaves - A small bunch chopped
11. Curry Leaves - A sprig chopped
12. Asafotoeda - A pinch

Soak rice and the two daals separately for 2-3 hours.
Drain and grind separately.
Grind urad daal to a smooth paste
Grind rice and chana daal coarsely.
Mix all the batter together and ass salt and a pinch of soda bicarb.
Prepare a seasoning with ingredients 7 till 12.
Add the seasoning to the batter and mix well.
Allow to ferment for 2-3 hours and then prepare aappos in greased aappo pan.
Roast well on both sides and serve with any coconut based chutney or sambar.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Daal Paalak(Lentil and Spinach curry)

Daal Paalak with Phulkas
"Daal Roti khao...Prabhu ke gun gao....".
Thus goes a Hindi film song of the seventies. This song has reality and it depicts the need of the average Indian to satiate hunger. Daal Roti is the staple food of Indians, especially living in the North.

Lentils play an important role in Indian cooking. Tuvar daal, Moong daal and Chana daal are popular while Masoor daal, Chowli(String Beans) and Rajma are also cooked to make excellent daal curries. A mixture of two or three daals is ofter seen in Maa Ki Daal or Daal Makhani.

This Daal Paalak is a healthy alternative to many other kinds of daal curries. It has the proteinfrom Moong Daal, Vitamins from Paalak and digestive/neutralising substances through Onion, Ginger, Garlic, Turmeric powder, Cumin seeds and Asafotoeda. Slight tanginess is achieved with a squeeze of lemon.

This can be eaten with plain steamed white rice, idlis, shevai, chapathis, rotis, phulkas and any Indian flat bread. Can also be consumed like soup.

Moong Daal - 1 cup
Paalak - A small bunch
Cumin seeds - 1/52 tsp
Asafotoeda - 2 pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Onion - 1 medium chopped
Ginger - 1" piece chopped
Garlic - 5-6 cloves peeled and chopped
Green chillies - 2-3 slit lengthwise
Salt - To taste
Oil or ghee - 1 tsp
Lemon - 1/2

Wash and cook daal with little salt, a pinch of asafotoeda, little turmeric powder and 2 cups of water.
Clean, wash and chop paalak.
Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and allow them to splutter.
Add another pinch of asafotoeda, remaining turmeric powder, onion, garlic, ginger and green chillies.
Fry till the raw smell disappears.
Add the chopped paalak and fry.
Add the cooked daal with water and salt to taste.
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer till paalak is cooked.
Squeeze as much lemon as you want.
Serve hot.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Keerlaa Neli Sukkhe(Tender Bamboo Shoot Dry)

With inputs from: Nisha Baliga Shenoy

Bamboo Shoots(Keerlu/Kanile) are easily available in the monsoon season. Mangaloreans crave for these and make delicious preparations like curries, pickle, fritter and savoury dosa. Mainly three parts of the bamboo shoot are used in cooking. The tender tip is chopped and this is called Keerlaa Neli. the very next portion below the neli is used in pickle made with hog plums(Ambade/Amte Kaayi). The fibrous portion is the Keerlu used in other curries and is preserved in brine. Dry curry(Sukkhe) made with keerla neli is a GSB specialty.

Keerla neli is available in some markets. It is soaked in plain or salt water for a day or two to remove the pungent odour and bitter taste. A masala paste with grated coconut, chillies and other ingredients is ground and cooked along with keerla neli and chopped jack fruit seeds, seasoned with mustard seeds to make sukke. This is my personal favourite and my mother made the best sukke as far as my experience goes.

This sukkhe can be served with rice and rasam, daalithoi, congi or with chapathis.

Keerlaa Neli Sukkhe
Keerlaa Neli(Tender Bamboo Shoot chopped) - 2 cups
Jack Fruit seeds - 1 cup chopped and soaked in water for 30 mins.
Grated coconut - 2 cups
Red Chillies - 4-5 roasted with little oil
Urad Daal - 1 Tsp roasted with little oil
Tamarind - A pinch
Powdered Jaggery - 2 Tbsp or little more
Salt - To taste
Coconut oil - 2 Tsp

Keerlaa Neli
Chopped Keerlaa Neli
Grind grated coconut, tamarind and red chillies to a coarse paste.
Add roasted urad daal and grind further till urad daal gets well blended with the masala.
Cook keerlaa neli in salt water till tender. Drain and keep aside.
Take the chopped jack fruit seeds with the masala paste, powdered jaggery and little water in a pan.
Bring to a boil and simmer till jack fruit seed is cooked.
Open the lid, raise the flame and add the cooked keerlaa neli and salt to taste.
Allow the curry to get dried.
Keep mixing, so that the curry doesn't get burnt.
When the sukkhe is thick and dry, switch off the flame.
Heat oil in a small kadai and prepare a seasoning with mustard seeds.
Pour this seasoning over the curry and mix well.


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