September 26, 2007

IS IT PLANTAIN TIME OR IS IT BANANARAMA? :D

I would like to thank each and every one of you my dearest foodies, who participated in RCI Karnataka, cooked and took time to send me various and delicious Karnataka dishes from Mangalore, Mysore, Dharwad, Iyengar style, Havyaka, Madhwa, Bangalore style and a Coorgi dish(YAY!) to this event to make it a spectacular success!
Please know that I appreciate each one of you and your entries although I cannot list all of you here. You know who you are!:)
I am proud to have hosted my first ever and the LAST event for my state of Karnataka.I have more than 350 entries from you and I have added few of my own authentic dishes of Karnataka to the round up, so when people stop by for Karnataka cuisine here, (there will be 4 jampacked posts!) they will get ALMOST everything in one place. THE BUCK SURELY STOPS HERE at Foodie's Hope for Karnataka cuisine!!:D
I appreciate all your enthusiasm and I specially thank few brand new bloggers who sent me their entries and Arun Shanbhag, who is not a foodie like us but allowed me to take beautiful photos of Dharwad style Thali served on a traditional Banana leaf etc from his great blog, Raaga, Namratha, Suma who cooked many dishes for me and Latha N and Lakshmi from "The yum blog" who made sure to cook just for me as I "demanded" few dishes from them even though Latha was getting ready to leave for a trip! Thank you all!:)

Now, I will be happy to hand over "Regional Cuisine India" to Viji of "VCuisine", and off we go to state of Tamil Nadu again for some "Tamil Festival food" this time!! Let's have some festival fun!:)

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These are my entries or just one of these if she likes one single entry, for JFI-Banana, being guest hosted by Mandira of "Ahaar" this month, an event started by Indira of "Mahanandi". Thanks to both of you!:))




Plantains:

Green Plantains are cooked like Potatoes(and they are NOT green Bananas), are used as starchy vegetable rather than eaten like fruit and used for cooking unlike Bananas.They are highly nutritious, good source of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A,and vitamin C and high in carbohydrates, a energy booster. Most popular snack in India are made with these are salty golden delicious Plantain chips!

Balekai Bajji (Plantain fritters):
I made these Bajjis with one Plantain and saved one plantain for Pakodas and two for Koddel. Bajjis are served with chutney while Pakodas can be eaten on their own. Enjoy.

To make these: 1. Pound 2 cloves, 1/2" cinnamon, 1 tsp each coriander seeds,cumin seeds, fennel seeds, 1/4 tsp ajwain(Carrom) seeds to a fine powder and keep aside. Heat 2 tbsp oil until smoking.Take off the heat.
2. In a bowl, add 1 cup Besan/Chickpea flour, 1 tbsp Cornstarch, 1 tbsp Semolina/Rava(optional), salt, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp chilli pd, mix well.Add 2 tbsp HOT oil, all the powdered spices, minced cilantro and 1/2 cup water to make a thick batter like Idli batter, thick enough to coat the plantain slices.
3. Adjust salt,keep aside for 10 mins. Meanwhile, heat oil to deep fry to 350F. Peel 1-2 Plantains, cut it half and slice the half into several thin slices to 1/8"-1/4" thick lengthwise.Keep them immersed in water to prevent browning.
4. When oil is hot,take out 4 plantain slices,shake off the water or pat dry,dip in the batter until thickly coated and gently drop in the oil.Fry both sides until golden.Drain on paper towel.
5. Serve with spicy thin coconut chutney for dipping.

Balekai(Plantain) Pakoda:
Sometimes when Plantain slices are over and you are left with the above batter, you can quickly add additional veggies to make these crispy Pakodas!

1. Slice up some onion to small pieces, 2-3 chopped green chillies, few curry leaves, grated 1/2 tsp ginger and finely cubed 1 Plantain to mix with the batter to make it thick sticky dough,taste for seasoning.Add more Besan/Chickpea flour if too thin.
2. In the same hot oil, drop small balls of batter and fry until golden, drain on paper towel and serve.
3. These Pakodas are crispy and delicious to as a side dish with rice and Sambhar or Kichadi too.

Mangalooru Balekai Koddel for Chapatis:
Koddel is a Managalore dish made with various vegetables thinnish like sambhar to be eaten with rice and I made it thicker with cubed Plantains for my Chapatis. Tastes fabulous!

You need: Two Plantains, peeled, cubed and soaked in water, 1 tbsp tamarind juice, salt, 1 tsp jaggery, 1/2 tsp Turmeric, cilantro to garnish.
To grind the masala:
1/2 cup coconut, 2-3 red chillies, 2 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 1 garlic, small piece of onion, few curry leaves.
Seasoning:
1/2 tbsp oil, 1/2 tbsp ghee, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, few curry leaves, 1/4 tsp red chilli powder, 1 red chili, 2 garlic, chopped, 1 small chopped onion.
To make Koddel:
1. Cook plantains with 2 cups water in a pressure cooker until soft. Add turmeric, salt, tamarind juice and jaggery.
2. Heat oil in a big pan, add all the seasoning ingredients, fry until onion is reddish. Add cooked plantain mix, let it cook for 10 minutes. Turn down the heat.
3. Add coconut paste, adjust the salt, simmer for for 10 mins uncovered.
4. When the sauce becomes thickish, garnish with cilantro and serve.Tastes great next day with Thatte Dosa, akki rottis or Chapatis.

Bananas:

Bananas are fruits to be eaten as they are and used in various desserts. They are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin B6. They also have large portion of the calories which mainly come from sugars. So watch out if you are Diabetic!!

Spiced Banana and Coconut Raita for Poories!
Here is an excellent spicy raita, easy to make and tastes great as a side dish for Poories or Parathas. Makes refreshing snack when chilled too.


This is how you make the spicy and sweet Raita:
1. In a bowl, add 1/2 cup plain Yogurt,salt,1/2 tsp sugar, beat well until smooth. Chop 2 ripe Bananas into thickish circles, add to yogurt, mix gently.
2. Place this on a serving plate, sprinkle chopped cilantro, 1/8 tsp each chilli pd, cumin pd, Chaat pd, 1/2 Garam masala and 2 tbsp of plain or toasted grated coconut on top.
3. Serve immediately or keep it in the fridge. Tastes great with Poories or on it's own chilled too.

Baked Banana with Toffee sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream:
Why eat a Banana as it is! Boring, right? Bake, dress it up and serve with Vanilla Ice Cream!! Believe me, it tastes Heavenly!!:)
Recipe adapted from Four Ingredient cooking by Joanna Farrow.


Here is how to make the dessert:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Put 2 unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until the skins are dark.Take them out,let it cool.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup light brown sugar in a pan with 3 tbsp of water, and boil until the sugar dissolves.
3. Turn down the heat and add 2-3 tbsp of heavy cream and cook until you get thick toffee colored sauce. Remove from the heat.
4. Transfer the baked bananas in their skin and split them lengthwise, each into two with a serrated knife.
5. place them on a plate, pour some of the toffee sauce over the bananas.
6. Serve with 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream. You can sprinkle some toasted walnuts on top as well. To eat, scoop the cooked Banana with a spoon along with some sauce and Ice cream and enjoy!:))

See you all next Wednesday with the RCI K first post of the round up. Let me work on creating all the 4 posts in next 15 days. Have a fun weekend buddies, Fall is here at last but if only it rains here too!:D

September 19, 2007

MY KARNATAKA CUISINE; LAST EDITION!! :)

Now,I just wanted to show you how dry it has been in my neck of the woods for more than 2 months without a drop of rain.(It rained a little last Friday!) As much as I loved the Summer veggies in this intense heat, look what happened to our former lush green lawn! Tragedy for my husband! :D
We were not allowed to water it to conserve water but hopefully It will bounce back as soon as we get some rain!! YUP, that's our little well fed and well watered dog, who just had a Summer haircut too!

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A rare find of a cookbook about Karnataka cuisine! Phew, took quite a time to find this book!:)

It does have some good collection of authentic K'taka dishes written by Rani Kuttaiah,a Coorgi and she writes about dishes from Lingayat, Gowda, Bunt, and Madhwa communities , although it is a tiny book.I chose Kaimasale Rotti, red chilly chutney, Chicken dish and easy Halu Obbattu to make from this book. Menasale and Gojju are my own dishes.Enjoy!:)

Kaimasale rotti,Vana Menasinakayi Chutney and Avarekalu palya:
Kai in Kannada also means hands, Kairotti means hand patted rottis similar to Thalipeeth. Vana Menasinakai= dry Red chillies chutney is tasty and fiery,goes well with Rottis. Avarekalu is Field beans, which is much loved beans in K'taka.I have linked the Avarekalu palya recipe for you. Enjoy.

To make rottis
1. Mix 1 cup each of rice, flour, chick pea flour, ragi flour and maize flour (fine white cornmeal), salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 onion, finely chopped, 3 green chillies, finely chopped, some cilantro, few curry leaves, finely chopped, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 cup Fenugreek leaves OR dill leaves, with enough hot water to make a stiff dough.
2. Divide into tennis ball sized portions. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.
3. Spray non stick spray on a piece of square foil, put one ball and pat it into a six inch circle about 1/8 inch thick.
4. Heat a griddle and cook the rotis on both sides with a little oil until golden. Serve with dry red chilli chutney.

Dry red chillies chutney:



1. Soak 12 red dry chillies in hot water for an hour. Drain most of the water and add it to the blender.
2. Add 6 cloves of garlic, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, 8-10 curry leaves, 1/2 tsp thick tamarind juice, salt to taste and grind all this to a thick, smooth paste.
3. Heat 2 tsp of butter, plus oil, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, when it splutters, add to the chutney.




Southekai Menasale`, my maternal ajji's recipe!:)
This is a no cooking on stove top kinda gravy my maternal grandmother makes, also called Hasi Gojju, which is best made in Summer usually and served at room temp with plain rice and any beans Usli. My favorite cool dish for hot summer lunch or dinner! :)

You need:
3 cups finely cubed fresh cucumber OR 2 cups grated white radish (I used cucumber this time), 2-3 cups fat free thick sour cream or yogurt, well beaten.
To roast and grind:
Roast 3-4 green chillies, 1 tbsp each of coriander seeds and cumin seeds until reddish and grind these with 1/2 cup coconut, 1 garlic, 1/4 onion, curry leaves and cilantro until a smooth paste. Add yogurt or sour cream in the blender with the masala. Give it a whirl once or twice to make them blend well together.

How to make Menasale:


1. Add grated or cubed vegetables in a big bowl, add the ground masala and a cup of water, mix well.Gravy should be thickish,not thin.Add more or less water.Sour cream works well with this gravy.
Season: Heat 1 tbsp oil, add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, few curry leaves,2-3 Garlic sliced, 1 red chilly until garlic pieces are golden, let it cool and add to the dish with the Cucumber Menasale`, mix well.
Serve with rice, fried dry chillies (Balaka) and Moong Usili on the side.



To make Moong Usli: Cook 1 cup whole Green Moong in 4 cups of water in the microwave or cooker until soft but mushy,beans should be whole.Drain completely dry,add 1/2 tsp salt,mix and Keep aside.
Heat 2 tsp oil, add 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds, 2 chopped green chillies,1 chopped onion with little salt until onion is reddish.Add some Cilantro and grated coconut,mix.
Take off the heat,mix in cooked beans, adjust the salt and serve with any yogurt based gravy to add some nutrition.

Hagalkai Gojju, my mom's style:
This Bitter Gourd Gojju is my mom's recipe and Arvind's favorite dish too.I can manage to eat about 2 tbsp with Rotti, Bitter gourd is not a easy veggie to like!:D
By soaking in salt water and then frying first,you will take out most of the bitterness and tastes great with rotis.

This is how I make it: 1. Peel, chop 3-4 bitter gourds into small pieces, soak in salt water for 15 mins, drain well and squeeze all the water until very dry.
2. Heat 2 tbsp oil, add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1-2 broken red chilli, 1/2 onion, finely chopped and fry for a few minutes.
3. Add chopped gourd, fry well until they are reddish in color and wilted, add more oil if necessary.You can add 3 tbsp Tomato sauce at this stage but optional.
4. Add 1/2 tsp of cayenne chilli powder, 2 tsp or more Tamarind juice, 2 tsp or more Jaggery,salt, 2 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 tsp clove powder, 1/4 tsp Indian Cinnamon powder and salt. Mix well and saute` until oil shows on top.
5. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice rotis, Parathas or as a side dish with rice.

Koli Kayi Saaru:
Chicken with spicy coconut gravy. Kayi ususally is a shortcut for Tenginakayi/Coconut. A traditional Gowda community Chicken curry form the above book. It is, she says, is served with Ragi Mudde (Millet four balls) in Karnataka.I served with Cumin rice, it tasted fabulous.Tastes better the next day as the spices get a chance to mingle with the meat.

You need: 3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, 2 chicken thighs, all cut into bite-sized pieces, 1 onion, cilantro for garnish, salt and pepper to taste.
Grind these to a fine paste:
1/2 cup grated coconut, 1" piece ginger, 1/4 onion, 1 garlic, 1 tsp tamarind juice, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 2 cardamoms, 1 green chilli, 1 tsp poppy seeds, 2 tsp raw rice, 2-3 red chillies, 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 4 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 2 plum tomatoes, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder,1/4 tsp turmeric pd.
How to make it:
1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pressure pan. Add 1 large finely chopped onion, fry until reddish. Add ground masala paste, fry for a few minutes,until you smell the good aroma.
2. When a little bit of oil shows up on top, add chicken, stir well for a few minutes and add 3 cups of water and cover with a lid and cook very gently for 5-8 minutes on medium heat.
3. Open the pressure pan lid, mix well, add salt, cilantro. Simmer until you get a thickish sauce and adjust the salt, tang and heat.
4. Serve hot with sliced boiled Eggs and rice or ragi mudde or parathas.

Kayi-halu Obbattu:
Another easy dessert I chose from the book, tasted great too.Lot easier than making Holige and Payasa! Here is a instant Holige or Obbattu, soaked in safforny fragrant Coconut milk-Poppy seeds to complete the meal with a sweet touch! Have fun!:)

To make Kai-Halu you need: 2 cups grated fresh coconut (or use canned coconut milk), 1 tbsp poppy seeds, 1 tbsp raw rice, 1/2 cup sugar or jaggery, 1 tsp cardamom powder, few toasted Almonds, few strand of Saffron.
To make instant plain flour Obbattu:
Mix 1 cup of plain flour, a pinch of salt, 2 tbsp sugar powder, mix all this to a stiff dough. Roll out to 6" circles, cut again into 3" circles. Prick the circles with a fork to prevent them from puffing. Fry these until golden, drain, keep aside.
To make Kai-Halu Obbatttu:
1. Grind all the above KaiHalu ingredients with coconut to a very smooth paste, heat gently on low heat for about 10 minutes, adjusting the sugar to taste.
2. Take off the heat, cool a minute, then add the fried circles, and push them down for them to soak well.
3. Serve them, warm or chilled, garnished with toasted almonds.

That's my last contribution to my beloved home state of Karnataka! JFI next and HUGE Round up posts(Yes, in plural!) of RCI K dishes is coming up after the 30th!! After the round up, I might have to sleep for a week after those marathon posts!:D

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Our weekend BBQ in lot of cooler weather, just 82F! :))
Ribs (I chose the skinniest ribs for me! :D) smothered with Cattleman's BBQ sauce, Baked beans, Tomato salad, grilled Peppers and chilled Margarita!!We had a blast!:)



Delicious and spicy Tomato-onion Salad:
After an hour of marinating,this salad is so deliciously spicy,you can eat as it is or with plain rice too, very flavorful. Hope you try!:)


1. Cube 6-8 Plum Tomatoes,add chopped 1/2 red or white onion,1-2 Garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic pd, chopped cilantro,mix in a bowl with salt to taste.Add little Lemon juice if Tomatoes are too sweet!
2. Heat 1 tsp oil, add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp Urad dal, 1-2 hot green chillies, finely chopped curry leaves, fry and add to the Tomatoes, mix well.
3. Cover and let it rest marinate for an hour before you can eat it.

Enjoy! and have a great weekend. I am looking forward to Fall and lot cooler weather in coming weeks!!

September 12, 2007

MY 2007 SUMMER HARVEST WITH DISHES!

Happy Gowri and Ganesha Festival to all Indians!! Can you tell we all feed this "little" Guy a bit too much every year?!;D


Once a year around this time, little Ganesha visits Earth to get his mom Parvati, who is visiting her parents, back to Mount Kailash to his dad Lord Shiva! Indians celebrate to welcome him,feed him until he can't walk and then bid him and his mom goodbye!!That's our family's version of the story anyway!:)
Worshiping Ganesha supposed to bring us good luck and if you please him (he likes to eat a LOT!:D), he will make sure whatever obstacles you face in life are eased and make you successful. Ganesha is every Indian kid's favorite God to pray, specially before the academic exams!;D

Now, let me feed him a dessert first like last year just in case! Need his blessings to remove all our obstacles this year too you know!!;D
Badam Burfi (Almond Squares) for Ganesha:


To make easy Microwaved Badam Burfis:
1. Toast 1 cup peeled white Almonds slightly,cool and powder. Put it in a glass bowl,add 3/4 cup powdered white sugar,2 tsp melted Ghee or butter, 1/2 tsp cardamom pd,2 tbsp cream,few strands of Saffron,mix well.
2. Heat the bowl in the Microwave for 1 min on high,stir the mixture and heat again for another minute,stir. Now it's bubbly and thick enough to pat into shapes.If not,heat for 20 to 30 secs,repeat until thickish,DO NOT let it burn! Mixture too dry to shape? Add a tsp of cream and mix, can never go wrong with this sweet!
3. Drop the lump onto greased plate,pat into a square with a spatula,and cut into shapes. Enjoy!:))

This is my entry to "Ganesha Chaturthi special" which is being hosted by Latha from "The YUM blog". Thanks Latha!:)

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My Summer 2007 Garden:
Every year I make one post about my summer harvest and post a dish or two made with the veggies I grew.You can see my last year's "2006 Summer garden" post here. I must say that this year is ALMOST a fabulous success story with two failures(Ridge Gourd and Snake Gourd, totally my fault!!).It was indeed a very HOT Summer to say the least to help the process!

This post also goes to Deepz from "Letz Cook" blog who is hosting 2007 Summer event called Green Blog Project or "GBP", which is a brain child of Inji Pennu from "Ginger and Mango" blog.Thanks to both of you!:)

Enjoy my garden, click on any image to make it larger and have fun. I certainly did growing them!!

How it all started in the Spring of 2007!
From a empty patch of above ground veggie patch and in some pots, the beginning of Spring,they grew and took over my backyard. Plum Tomatoes, Okra, Eggplants and Peppers to begin with.


Red and White Radishes, early Spring harvest:

I threw some Radish seeds between the above plants.Radishes love slightly cold weather than hot Summer heat.I got my first little veggies of the year in the early Spring.



This year's special order of Indian Greens seeds from the Internet website, Purple,Stripy and Green Amaranth,glorious success!!



Bottle or Bird nest Gourd plant,do I need to say more? Don't hit me!! Hahaha!!



Peppers and more Peppers!! Hot Banana chillies, dark green Poblanos,red Cayenne and green Capsicums (Bell peppers)!!
Absolutely delicious!!


Eggplants Galore!! Green, White and Purple eggplants along with Seedless Cucumbers, Okra and Green beans:

No problems here. in fact, Okras and Tomatoes are thriving in intense August heat although everything has died it's natural death!


Tilwali Milijuli Subzi:

Mixed vegetables in spicy sesame seeds gravy,that's exactly what that means, don't get scared now!:D

Adapted from Nita Mehta's book with some of my own changes as always!



You need these ingredients:

4 tbsp sesame seeds,dry toasted until golden,1 tbsp Channa dal,toasted until reddish, 2 tbsp grated dry coconut and 4 tbsp yogurt to grind.

4 cups mixed vegetables,cubed (I used Eggplants, Banana peppers and green Capsicums you see above on the plants),1-2 Tomatoes.

1 tbsp oil plus 1/2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp cumin seeds, , 2 fresh chillies (optional) finely chopped, salt, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 large onion, finely chopped.

How to make it:

1. Grind coconut and sesame seeds with yogurt to a fine paste.Keep aside.

2. Heat oil and butter, add cumin seeds, then onions, and fry till golden.

3. Add turmeric, salt, chilli powder,green chilies if are using,,Tomatoes, stir for a minute, add ground coconut-til masala,fry until oil shows on top. Add all the vegetables, and fry for 3 minutes until wilted.

4. Add 1 cup or more water and sugar and cook on medium heat until veggies are soft,cooked and left with thick gravy.

5. Garnish with cilantro and serve with parathas ot any rotis.

Of course my Tomatoes plants! You must be tired of looking at these and the gourds in my blog by now; Plum, Pear and Cherry Tomatoes!:D


Tomato Kadhi:

Same as Yogurt Kadhi you make but replace the Yogurt with Tomato sauce (canned is okay too),that's all.You can add Pakodis or Teekha Sev Ganthia (spicy thick sev) to it or as it is with rice.



You need these:
4 cups tomato sauce (I used Plum Tomatoes,blanched,peeled and ground to puree), 3 tbsp chick pea flour or besan, 1/4 tsp turmeric, salt.

Roast and powder These:

1/2" cinnamon, 2 cloves,2 dry red chillies, 1/2tsp fennel seeds, 2tsp coriander seeds.

Seasoning:

1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds, 2tsp grated ginger.

To Make Tomato Kadhi:

1. Heat the oil in a pan, add all the seasoning ingredients, and fry till golden.Sprinkle 3 tbsp Besan,stir fry for 2 mins with chill pd to cook the flour.

2. Whisk tomato sauce, turmeric, salt with 1/2 cup of water and add to the pan,whisk again to mix well, simmer on low heat for 6-8 mins until the raw smell of tomatoes disappear, must heat on low to avoid splitting the tomato sauce.

3. Add powdered spices into the sauce and simmer for 10 more minutes. Then, add seasoning and mix well.
4. Serve with rice. You can make pakodas or Sev Ganthia and add to the kadhi just before serving.

Luxurious Balm Lemon (first from your left),Mustard leaves (Sarson da Saag!),Fenugreek leaves(Methi), Mint, Chives,fruitless Ridge gourd and Snake Gourd plants!!

For the first time in many yrs,I bought Snake and Ridge gourd seeds,planted them in shallow pots(last 3 pics) and put them on the deck! How stupid does that sound?! Although they grew very well and flowered,they didn't have enough space or the ground to spread their roots! I take the blame and next year,they will be growing on the ground with fence to climb on like my monstrous Bottle gourd did on the deck!:D


Mint, Chives , Methi and Balm Lemon Parathas with Nimbu(Lemon) masala!

Yellowish green Balm Lemon leaves are very aromatic and has this mixed flavor of Lemon and mint,great to chop and mix with dough to make Parathas,soups, smells divine! Serve the Parathas with tangy, spicy Nimbu masala.(Lemon cooked with thick gravy!)



To make them:

Mix 1 cup of Wheat flour, 1/2 cup of Plain flour, finely chopped 1/2 onion,3 tbsp each of Balm Lemon,Chives,Methi (Fenugreek leaves),2 tsp mint leaves,1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp chill pd, salt,1/2 tsp garam Masala,with little water to a stiff dough.Cover and let it rest for 30 mins.Divide in to balls, roll out to 1/4" thick big circles,cut with 4" cookie cutter and bake on a griddle both sides with little oil brushed on top.Serve with Nimbu Masala or with any Pickle!!

Am I sad this year to see all the vegetable plants die and 2007 Summer end?! NOT A BIT!! I am little sick of Gourds, Tomatoes and the unbearable heat now!!Looking forward to a cool weather and winter veggies!;D
See you all next week with non-veg and veg dishes form Karnataka, keep sending those entries, masala powders are a great idea to send too!!

Have a fun weekend!

September 05, 2007

MY KARNATAKA CUISINE; FIRST EDITION!

A note: I know some of you are waiting for the details of my experience of the LASIK eye surgery.Here is the LASIK post I promised you.Hope reading about my experience helps you in anyway to decide whether you should have one too!:)

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About Karnataka state:
(formerly known as "Mysore state" (NOT Prince! HaHa!!)

Below, a carved envelope opener made of Mysore Sandalwood in Mysore, ornate Horse and an Elephant made in India.

Karnataka, used to be called as Karu-nadu (a geographically elevated land or the land of the fragrant black soil)) in ancient times,also called as Kannada Nadu (Land of the Kannadigas). Situated in the South of India,one of the four southern Indian states, Karnataka's history and culture takes us back to pre-historic times. The earliest find of the stone age period in India was a hand axe at Lingasugur in Raichur district. The Ashoka's rock edicts found in the state indicate that major parts of Northern Karnataka were under the Maurya dynasty.
Kannada is the principal language of Karnataka. The earliest known classic literature is "Kaviraja Marga", which dates from the 9th century.Pampa, Ponna and Ranna - the three gems of Kannada literature, developed a mixed form of poetry and prose in their writings in the 10th to the 12th century.Krishna Deva Raya,the King (ruled from 1509-29 AD), himself was a poet and wrote in Sanskrit.
Dance and Music, is expressed through the popular song, dance and entertainment form called "Doddata" and "Yakshagana" in South Karnataka, open air folk theater or "Bayalaata" in other parts.
Art: Chalukya, Vijayanagara, Hoysala Dynasties made a great contribution to the enrichment of Karnataka in the form of development of architectural wonders building magnificent Temples and the Muslim influence on Karnataka's art and architecture is no less.



A majestic 58 feet digambara statue of "Gommateshwara"(Jain's Lord Bahubali) in Shravana Belagola ("Monk of the White pond") built in 980 AD, World's second largest dome the "Gol Gumbaz", fort at Gulbarga, Madrasah at Bidar,to name a few.Not to forget our own "Tiger of Mysore" Tipu Sultan, a muslim king, who fought for us against the British! After the decline of Tipu Sultan, a Hindu princely family took over Mysore state, they re Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore. Mysore is also famous intricate wood carving and intricate Ornaments sold all over the World!



Bengalooru, also called a "Garden city" which has green land of Cubbon Park and the enchanting botanical gardens with Glass-House of Lalbagh in the capital,is the capital of Karnataka. A fast growing software industry now it's been nicknamed as "India's Silicon Valley"!

Karnataka has a rich and distinctive variety of wildlife with Bannerghatta National Park. Famous wildlife sanctuaries are Bandipur, Nagarahole and Dandeli and the Ranganathittu Bird's Sanctuary and also a place for trees like Sandal(Sandalwood),Jalari which are exclusively grown in Karanataka.All these info obtained from various sites as a result of searching on the internet as I have linked. Karnataka cuisine, of course, I have talked about it in my previous post!:)


Now few of my own Karnataka dishes!

Crispy, crunchy and delicious Pakodas:
My maternal grandmother's plantation (Malnaadu) style Pakodas, not only they are excellent to eat fresh of the fryer with chutney, you can also store these for 3-4 days in glass jar to snack on later! Enjoy :)


1. In a wide pan, mix 1 cup EACH of Rice flour, plain flour and Besan/gram/Chickpea flour, salt, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds, 14 tsp crushed Fennel seeds,and 1/2 tsp of baking soda well.
2. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a little pan until very hot and pour this on flour mix.Rub in until it resembles bread crumbs.
3. Chop 1 onion very finely, 2-3 green chillies finely chopped, 2 tbsp Cilantro, few curry leaves,add to the flour and mix well.
4. Add a tbsp pf water at a time to make a very stiff dough(must not be soft and watery),just wet enough to make about 2" balls.
5. Heat oil, drop the small balls and deep fry until golden.drain on paper towels. Serve with coconut-mint chutney.

Kayi Masale` Chitranna:
This is one of favorite rice dish which I make sometimes on Sundays for lunch, my mother's recipe for coconut masala chitranna, which makes a ordinary Chitranna all dressed up and ready to parrtayy!!;p


You need:
2 cups rice, cooked and cooled in a pan, 1 cup frozen Greenpeas, 1 large Lime cut in to half, salt to taste.
To Grind until slightly coarse paste with very little water:
1 cup coconut, 3 garlic, 1" ginger, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 3 or more green chillies, few curry , mint leaves and coriander leaves/ cilantro, 4 cloves and 1" cinnamon.
Season: 3 tbsp oil, 2 large onions, thinly sliced.
To make it:
1. Heat oil, fry onions until the edges are slightly golden. Turn down the heat, squeeze in half the lime or Lemon juice, ground masala, green peas, salt.Mix well.
2. Let it simmer for 3 mins until you get a mass.DO NOT cook too much.
3. Add to cooled rice by ladlefuls and toss.Adjust the salt and lemon juice.
3. Serve with yogurt Raita and crisps.

Channige or Kadalebele Huli:
This my favorite huli/side dish of all to be devoured with hot Dosas! A wonderful tasty recipe is from my Mysore paternal grandmother's (actually they live in a (coconut and Sugarcane) farm around the town called Chamarajanagara, which is the birth place of our Mysore Maharaja Late.JayaChamarajendra Wodeyar)home, where dosas,Idlis are staple and coconut, poppy seeds masala is ground every single day to add to MOST side dishes with gravy!:D


you need:
3 cups Sorekai or any gourd or veg you like chopped,1/2 cup Channa dal(Kadalebele in kannada),cooked together but not too soft,dal should be still whole but cooked.Cook Chana dal separately if you can't keep the grains intact in the microwave.
To roast with little oil:
1 1/2 tbsp Coriander seeds,1/2 tsp Methi seeds/fenugreek seeds, 2-3 red dry chillies,1" cinnamon stick,2 cloves, until reddish,add to coconut masala and grind.
To grind to a smooth paste with little water:
1/4 cup fresh coconut, roasted spices, 2 tsp Poppy seeds (Gasagase) a slice of onion, 1 garlic, 1 tbsp roasted gram(Hurikadale), few sprigs of curry and coriander leaves,1 tsp tamarind juice.(A standard masala for Saaru or any other gravy dishes in my Mysore ajji's kitchen along with some Saaru powder!)
Season: 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tbsp ghee, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 2 dry red chillies,1-2 broken dry red chillies,1/2 small onion,few curry leaves. 1-2 Tomatoes (optional)
To Make it;
1. Heat oil and ghee,add seasoning ingredients, when reddish,add cooked veggies and Chana dal,salt,tomatoes. Simmer until oil shows on top slightly.Turn down the heat.
2. Add ground masala, and simmer on low heat for 10 mins until you get a good aroma.
3. Adjust the salt,heat and tanginess of tamarind and garnish with Cilantro.
4. Serve with rice or Dosas.

Mysore Maduve` Kajjaya!:D
Maduve is wedding in Kannada. When I was a young girl,I remember eating these yummy (homemade by women in the family kitchen for the crowd!) Kajjayas at every wedding we went to around Mysore villages like my older uncle's wedding. These days,I don't see these anymore but wedding sweets are usually Boondi Laddus ,often made by hired cooks outside under the huge canopy!! Sad, but true that these Kajjayas like many traditional sweets are almost extinct now.I tried to recreate these to the best of my abilities without knowing the exact proportions!

In fact, real Kajjayas are darker, larger and thicker circles than you see here in the picture, may be because of the dark colored homemade jaggery they used. I used golden Jaggery with makes these into Red heads than olden day brunettes!! Hahaha! They taste yummy though like real Kajjayas nevertheless with different look!:)
you Need:
1 cup Rice flour, 1/2 cup Wheat flour, 1/3 cup Jaggery powder ,1/3 cup dry or fresh grated Coconut, 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder,1/8 tsp baking soda, 3 tbsp Poppy seeds (Gasagase), 1 tbsp hot ghee, fresh oil to fry.

To make it:

1. Mix rice and wheat flour, add coconut, cardamoms pd, hot ghee, jaggery powder and mix well.
2. Add tbsp water at a time to make very thick batter like you do for Pakodas.Let it rest for 15mins. Heat the oil to fry to 350F. or moderately hot too fry Kajjayas slowly.
3. Take a mustard bottles with top sliced of to make bigger hole or a icing funnel without attachment.Fill in the thick batter.
4. Squeeze out circles into the oil with a big hole inside,fry until golden red both sides.DO NOT let it burn.
5. Drain and store. Very tasty to eat, almost like sweet Kodubales but should lot plumper!
Anybody knows the real authentic recipe for Kajjayas, please let me know! For darker Kajjayas ,you can add some dark molasses too. I forgot that I had it in the pantry!!;P

There they are, as authentic as I can get about Mysore and Malenadu dishes. I will post my summer Garden post for GBP next week. Have a great weekend while I cool my corneas!! ;D