Give any dish, any recipe to a person from north karnataka and he or she will make groundnuts go with it. I have many fond childhood memories of living in Hubli and Bidar and I attribute my soft corner for food that is groundnutty to this influence.
North Karnataka is a semi arid region with sparse rainfall during the monsoons. The region is largely uncovered by irrigation although a few border areas of Raichur have canals under the Tungabhadra Project. For a land so severely parched, in rural areas agriculture is the main occupation although in habitations close to the taluk one does find people engaged in quarries or factories. Crops grown include jowar, groundnuts and sunflower.
A couple of years back I spent a month travelling to many villages in north karnataka on an assignment that involved visits to several villages. Couple of random lines from one of my journals from that visit :
“The heat bites into the skin…vast areas of dry black land scattered around stony hillocks greet you as you enter this quarter. Slate houses dot the area where people spend a large part of their lives fetching water. Like most hinterland this area, formerly a part of the Nizam of Hyderabad’s province, witnesses its people fight a relentless battle against poverty everyday.Though stricken by poverty, people are remarkably hospitable. I of course been treated to the standard sugary chaya at every house that I stopped by. Managing the chaya here has been relatively easy so far, mostly because it pretty hot and my bladder has thankfully been nice. Coming as a student from Bombay seems to make the familiarity even more striking – most people migrate annually for a few months for contruction work and arrive only when its time to cultivate the next crop. ”
I am any day game for a lunch of Jolada Rotti with Gojju over a conversation in smattering Mumbaiya Hindi and Kannada.
You must have guessed that Green Tomato Spring Onion Chutney is a recipe from North Karnataka; Amma learnt this from her friend Nirmala Mallinath.
Rave Idli with Green Tomato Spring Onion Chutney makes a heavenly combination. Rave Idli is a classic Kannadiga dish which is served with a lot of love and generous amounts of Ghee at MTR, Lalbagh Road, Bangalore. My amma (Latha) tried multiple times to replicate the taste and texture of mouth watering Rave Idlis that one gets at MTR before achieving perfection in this recipe that both of us have cooked over a zillion times. You wake either of us in the middle of the night and ask us for Rava Idlis; we’ll get a plate ready in 10 minutes 🙂 . Rave Idlis aren’t just delicious but also sinfully simple – so simple that I’d hammer you on your head if you refused to attempt this recipe.
- Green Tomato – 1
- Onion – 1
- Spring Onions – 1/4 cup (finely chopped)
- Coriander – 2 twigs
- Curry Leaves – 4
- Green Chilly – 1
- Groundnuts – 2 tbsp
- Jeera – 1tsp
- Salt to taste
- Sesame Oil – 1/2 tsp
- Oil for cooking
- Roast the groundnuts for 15-20 seconds in the Microwave on high. Set aside to cool.
- Quarter the Onion and Green Tomato and saute in a pan with Curry Leaves and 1 tsp oil. Add roughly chopped coriander to this. Set aside to cool.
- Grind the roasted groundnuts and jeera in a blender to a fine powder. Add the sauted onion-green tomato with salt and grind to a fine paste. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil to the finely chopped spring onion and add this to the paste.
Note: Regional Cuisines of India is an online food event started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine. This month the event focusses on Karnataka. Head over to Asha’s to check out details for submission and deadline.