Hope you had a good Shivaratri, that is whoever celebrated last Friday! :)
Maha Shivaratri is one of the most important religious festivals for Shaivas, (Shiva's followers) which was celebrated this year on Friday,the 16th of Feb. ShivaRatri literally means the "Night of the great Lord Shiva",this festival brings around the best time to express our devotion and prayers to Lord Shiva and seek his blessings.Devotees of Lord Shiva observe a fast or Upavasa (didn't happen in my house nor did we spend the night awake reading the "book"!!) during this day and recant stories (Shiva Purana) of Shiva the whole night ,called Jagarane!
Ahem!! However,when they break the fasting and gone through all the stories the whole sleepless night,they are ready to feast the next day!! AHA!!! Now we are talkin'!!:D Here is the feast we had, sans fasting and sleepless night but we DID say a little prayer to Shiva before we ate! Good enough,don't you think?!
Here's a beautiful and majestic picure of Lord Shiva taken by Mahek at Murudeshwara Temple, barrowed from Mahek's blog with her permission of course.Thanks friend!:)
Well..these dishes are very traditional Karnataka festival food as they make in my Grandparents' home.Of course,being a big family and with the help of cooks, they make it more elaborate than mine of course! We are just four people in my family,so I had to cut down many of them and chose a few which we like most.These dishes are familiar to many South Indians,nothing special but these are my versions!:))
All vegetarian Shiva Ratri feast:
Menu: Bajjis/Fritters,Raita,Beans stir-fry,Carrot-Moong dal salad, Bisi Bele Bhath/rice,Mosaranna/Yogurt rice, Chiroti with Badami milk/Almond milk.Here are the recipes for all of these.
Let me start with the appetizers:
From right to left: Green Bell Pepper,Onion rings,top;Plaintain/Balekai Bajji,bottom;Cabbage and Tortilla Bondas, Cubanos Peppers Bajji.
Batter for Bajjis: 1 cup Besan/Chickpea flour, 2 tbsp Rice flour,1 tbsp Corn-starch,chilli pd,salt,1/4 tsp baking soda,(my secret ingredients but not any more!),ground 1 tsp cumin seeds,2 cloves,1/2" cinnamon,1/4 tsp Ajwain,1/2 tsp Fennel seeds,1 tsp coriander seeds to coarse pd,2 tsp finely chopped cilantro,turmeric.Mix all these with 1 tbsp hot oil first and then enough water to make a thick enough batter to just cling onto the veggies.
Don't make it too thin,if it is add some Besan to thicken.Adjust the salt and spice.Heat oil to deep fry at 375F or medium hot.Now take each of bell pepper,Cubano Pepper,Plantain,peeled and sliced halfway first then across to 4-6 long slices as shown in the picture,slice 1 onion in to thick round slices.Sprinkle some salt and lemon juice on everything.
Dip each and deep fry until golden and drain on the paper towels.If any leftover batter,add chopped onion,cabbage,Tortilla pieces, jalapeno, cilantro or any veg. in the fridge and drop blobs of batter and fry.These Bondas were tastier than the Bajjis!:D
Now on to a very popular Karnataka Entree` Mysore Bisi Bele Bhath.This is my grandmother's recipe!
Bisi Bele Bhath literally means "hot Dal-Rice" in Kannada and is a classic Karnataka dish.I make the gravy a day before unlike my grandmother ,so all good spices and vegetables get seeped and marinated overnight.I add the cooked and cooled rice few hrs before serving and really cook down the gravy in the microwave to make it thicker.This dish tastes even better on the third day!
2 cups Sona Massori rice cooked separately, 1 cup Tuar dal, tamarind juice, jaggery,2 red ripe tomatoes,3 cups mixed vegs. like Green beans,Carrots,Green peas,cooked separately.No fleshy or soft vegs like cabbage,Potatoes or Cauliflowers!!
Roast and grind:
8 tbsp coriander seeds, 4 dry red chillis, 1 tsp pepper corns, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, 2 tbsp chana dal, 8 cloves, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1" cinnamon (dalchini), 2 tsp poppy seeds, 10 curry leaves, 3 tbsp dry coconut,roast all this until reddish and powder with 1/2 tsp turmeric.
Note: I have given the above amount to make BBB Pd about a cup and also to store for future use as well. Use only as much powder as you need to make this recipe BBB, you won't need the whole amount. Use the rest for Sambhar/bele saaru.
Season: 2 tbsp ghee, 1 tsp mustard seeds, few curry leaves, 2 red chillis, 2 tbsp peanuts, 2 tbsp cashew nuts, 2 big onions sliced.
Cook Tuar dal until soft.Heat ghee in a huge dish and add all the seasoning ingredients with onions and fry until onions are soft and reddish.Add cooked dal with at least ten cups of water, tamarind juice, salt, jaggery, all the cooked veggies, tomatoes and ground masala powder.
Boil until you see the oil specks on top, add more water if necessary to make it thin. Keep it overnight in the fridge. Next day,boil the gravy again.Cook 2 cups rice and cool in a wide pan nad add to the gravy,simmer until thickish. Adjust the Salt.It's ready to serve.Cut down the amount to half since this serves 8 people!I love leftover BBB! ;D
Since Bisi Bele Bhath is quite spicy,I always serve with Yogurt rice and Yogurt Raita.
Click here for the recipe which is already in my post.
Next are two delicious Salads and a stir-fry:
A cooling yogurt,cucumber and Tomato Raita/salad, a classic Mysorean tangy Carrot and Moong dal Kosumbari/salad and my personal favorite Green Beans Stir-fry!YUM!
Here is how to make them one by one:
Carrot and Moong dal Kosumbari/Salad:
Soak 2 tbsp Moong dal in water for 2hrs and drain(raw,no cooking).Add to 2 cups of grated Carrots and mix with 1 tsp lemon juice,salt,few cilantro.Heat a tsp oil,add a 1/2 tsp mustard seeds,2 curry leaves,1 chopped Green chlli.Add to Kosumbari and mix well.
Green Beans Stir-Fry:
Chop Green Beans about 2 cups,microwave it with salt and water until little soft(not soggy but should still crunchy) and drain.Heat 2 tsp oil,add 1 tsp each chana dal,Urad dal,1/2 tsp each mustard and cumin seeds,curry leaves,2 red chillies broken.Add 1/2 finely minced onion,fry until reddish.Add cooked beans and fry for a second,mix in 1 tbsp dry coconut,salt and mix well to serve.
Mix 1 cup each Yogurt,cubed Cucumber and cubed Tomatoes with salt,1/2 tsp cumin seeds pd,cilantro and chill until it is ready to be served.
Finally,the big Finale! Dessert!! What is it?! One more classic Karnataka dessert!
Chiroti with Badami Halu/Almond milk!!
No Kannadiga weddings are complete without Chirotis soaked in sweet aromatic Almond milk! Chirotis are Tortilla like circles or layered into shapes made of flour and semolina and deep fried in to delicious flaky dessert served with sweetened Almond milk!It's most delicious dessert and can be made simple to complicated ways.Some of you have posted Chirotis in your blogs,try mine as well!:)
Simple one is just rolled out into circles and fried,sprinkled with cardamom flavored powdered sugar.
Second way is to fold into shapes like I have done and served with Almond Milk.
Third and a elaborate way is to make several circles,stack 5-6 on top of each other with butter in between,rolled like a tube,cut into little circles again,rolled out and fried and served with Payasa/sweet porridge.Phew!!This one was tiring just to write.Okay,let's do second one with my short cut way,shall we?:)
How To: Makes about 6-8
Take 1/2 cup Plain flour,1/2 cup Chiroti rava(Fine grained Semolina),1/4 tsp Salt,2 tbsp powdered sugar,Clove powder 1/4 tsp,Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp,2 tbsp Ghee or butter,mix all these with enough water to make firm pliable dough,keep aside.Heat oil to deep fry.
Divide the dough to 6-8 portions,roll out each into thin circle,cut into a square by cutting the edges and join all four pointy edges in the middle lightly and stick a tooth prick thru' four corners to hold the shape in oil.Repeat with the others and deep fry until golden and drain on paper towel.Take out the tooth picks.
Quick Almond Milk: Pour 1 12oz can unsweetened Evaporated milk in a bowl.Soak the 1/4 cup Almonds in hot water for half an hour.Peel the skin as much as you can to get a white milk and grind into smooth paste,add to milk with 2-3 tbsp powdered sugar,1/2 tsp Cardamom pd,pinch of Saffron,heat until thick.That's it!Or boil 2-3 cups of Fat-Free half and half milk until reduced to half and make it in the same way.
To serve: Place a Chiroti and pour the Almond Milk and sprinkle some toasted, crushed Almonds on top.
Chirotis taste best when they are crisp and serve as soon as they are fried rather than keeping them for half a day!My kids who don't like anything with cardamoms but love Vanilla flavor usually,LOVED this dessert and had second helpings!:)
Well...That was about it for me this time around! Hope you try some of these and enjoy.As far as I am concerned,I am done with all these festivals until next Deepavali!PHEW!! See you all next week with JIHVA Potato!!:)
February 21, 2007
Hope you had a good Shivaratri, that is whoever celebrated last Friday! :)