Archive for September, 2007

I have been preparing aavakkai (or avakkai) every summer for the last 25 years. But I have never measured the ingredients. Everything is kannalavu( measured by eye). The measure of salt depends on the sourness of the mango. Here I am giving exact measures as told by my sister in law Padma. This is my entry for Sunita’s Think Spice, Think Mustard event.

How to pick mangoes for Aavakkai?

Selecting the mangoes for Aavakkai is as important as the preparation itself. Buy firm and sour mangoes. Orange sized mangoes would be ideal( though mangoes are not exacly round) for the pickle. Take a large plastic sheet or some old cloth to spread on the ground while the mango is being cut. Ensure the mangoes are washed and wiped dry before cutting. The inner shell should remain intact. All this will help you to make Aavakai that lasts long. Get the mangoes cut into 1 inch pieces.


Aavakkai with Oil on top for preserving. Oil riseson top after a couple of days. While serving oil should be drained.


  1. Raw mangoes – 1 kg
  2. Mustard seeds – 150 grams
  3. Red chilli powder – 150 grams(MTR is good)
  4. Salt – 150 grams
  5. Sesame oil – 250 grams
  6. Kabuli channa – 100 grams(optional)


  1. Purchase and get the mangoes cut as per instructions mentioned above.
  2. Spread the cut mangoes on a plate, wipe each piece with a clean white cloth.
  3. Grind mustard to a fine powder. Mix salt, chilli powder and mustard powder.
  4. In a dry Tupperware or glass container, place some mango pieces and spread some mixed powder, channa and pour some oil.
  5. Repeat this with remaining ingredients. Mix with a large laddle.
  6. In two days the oil will rise up. While serving drain the oil. The pickle should always have a layer of oil floating at the top .

Guntur chilli powder gives the exact flavour and taste. You can also get the chillies freshly ground in a mill if you are making large quantities.

You can increase the chilli powder as per taste.


Read Full Post »


Huli Anna

Hulianna for me is similar to puliyogere. There is a slight difference in preparation. Aaruni’s recipe goes like this.


  • Rice – 2 cups
  • Tamarind – 2 lemon sized balls
  • Coriander seeds – 1 table spoon
  • Channa dal – 1 table spoon
  • Urad dal – 2 teaspoons
  • Jeera/ Cumin – 1 teaspoon
  • Methiseeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Red chillies – 4 nos + 2 nos for seasoning
  • Groundnuts 2 tablespoons
  • Curry leaves – 2 twigs
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Sesame oil – 2 table spoons
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste

*cups= 225ml or 8oz.


  1. Wash and cook the rice with 4 cups water so the the grains are separate.
  2. Soak tamarind in warm water and squeeze adding required amout of water to make 1 and 1/2 cup thick pulp.
  3. In 1 teaspoon oil roast coriander seeds, channa dal, urad dal, jeera, hing, redchillies and methi seeds till golden.
  4. Grind the roasted ingredients to a fine powder.
  5. In a kadai heat 1 table spoon oil and add the mustard seeds.
  6. When it crackles add red chillies cut into small pieces.
  7. Once the redchillies is brown add curry leaves and fry for a minute.
  8. Add the tamarind pulp and cook for a few minutes on low flame till the oil rises up.Add salt and turmeric powder and cook for 1 more minute.
  9. Roast the ground nuts in the MW or in a kadai and remove the skin.
  10. In a shallow dish, spread the cooked rice and sprinkle the remaining oil. Add the powder, tamarind pulp and groundnuts and mix with a *thuduppu with out breaking the rice grains.
  11. Serve with sandige (papads/ vattals) or aloo chips. Good dish to take for travel and picnics.

* Thuduppu is a flat laddle used to turn dosas.

For Mysore Style puliyogere

If we use sesame seeds and dry coconut and leave out jeera/ cumin the same recipe will be Mysore Style puliyogere.

Asha was desperately waiting for this recipe! I hope this matches her expectations. This is my next entry for RCI Karnataka!


Read Full Post »

Jowar or Sorghum is widely grown in dry areas with scanty rainfall. It is used in many parts of India to make rotis or unleavened bread following different methods. I am posting the method followed by Kannadigas that Aaruni shared with me. Jolada Rotti or Jonna Rotte is a zero oil bread cooked extensively in Northern parts of Karnataka.

Niger seeds are called Uchellu in Kannada and are used to make a powder used as an accompaniment to all the breads.

Niger Seeds – Uchellu

Uralikaalu (huralikaalu) or Horse Gram is combined with Niger seeds to make the powder.
Uralikaalu or Horse Gram
This is my next entry for RCI Karnataka hoted by Asha of Foodie’s Hope.


Jolada Rotti/ Jowar Roti/ Sorghum Roti with Uchellu Podi (Niger Seeds Powder)

For the Uchellu podi (Huchellu Podi)



  1. Dry roast the urulikaalu (horse gram) on a low flame you smeall an aroma. Add jeera and roast for a minute more and take out on a plate.
  2. Roast the uchellu (niger seeds) on a low flame till it crackles. Take out on the same plate with roasted urulikaalu (horsegram).
  3. Roast the red chillies it it turns dark brown. Take out on the same plate.
  4. Wash and wipe the curry leaves and dry roast till dry.Tranfer to the plate.
  5. When all ingredients are cool, add salt and grind to a fine powder in a mixie.
  6. Store in an air tight container. Tastes good with all rotis and dosas.

Patting to form the Jolada Rotti/ Jowar Roti/ Sorghum Roti

For the Jolada rotti (Jowar Roti)


  • Jowar flour – 2 cups+ 2 tablespoons for rolling
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Water – 2 cups


  1. Bring water to boil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Add the salt and sprinkle the flour evenly . After a minute stir and mix well.
  3. Once the flour absorbs all the water take off the flame and knead to form a ball. Divide into 2 inch balls.
  4. On a plate sprinkle some flour, take a lemon sized ball and press to form a round. Start pressing with your palm moving the roti in a circular direction to form a thin round like chapathis. You could alternatively roll using a rolling pin.
  5. Remove excess flour on the rotti with a cloth and cook both sides on a medium flame in a tawa. An evenly made thin roti puffs up.
  6. Serve hot uchellu podi and avarekaalina (field beans) saaru (lentils gravy).

Read Full Post »

There are two ways of looking at Akki Rotti – you can think of Akki Rotti as unleavened bread made out of rice flour or as spicy pancakes.

Personally, I prefer “Sada” Akki Rotti (plain rice flour bread) to the many different the masala ones which have onions, grated vegetables, cumin and green chilly. Sada or Plain Akki Rotti is a zero oil bread much like the phulka and is super soft and fluffy like the Gujrathi rotlis. It is typically served with uchellu podi and ennegayi or gojju.

While one can find nifty workarounds for getting the masala ones, the sada ones aren’t that amenable to cheat sheets. The masala akki rotti has been a saviour once – when absent mindedly I made naan dough out of rice flour. Amma and I converted it into some kind of masala akki roti – dosa 🙂 – rich in milk and absolutely yummy.

Yet, nothing can beat the divine taste of plain akki rottis which I have been wanting to try for quite sometime. I faithfully followed Aaruni’s (introduced in the earlier post) recipe and method and I am glad to say the results have been fantastic for a beginner like me. I was quite delighted when the rotis puffed up. Yay, yay!!

Akki Rotti
Akki Rottis (Rice Flour Rotis) folded into a quarter

Akki Rotti
A Closer View

These are a wee bit thicker than they are supposed to be and though round, have tapered edges (booo hoo!!!).

Here’s Aaruni’s recipe that I faithfully followed:

Preparation Time: 5 minutes , Cooking Time: 30 minutes , Yield: 6 Rotis (these are slightly bigger than wheat flour rotis)


  • Rice Flour – 2 cups
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt – 1 tsp

*cups=225ml or 8 oz measures.


  1. Bring salt and water to boil in a heavy bottomed cooking pot on a medium flame.
  2. When the water starts bubbling, reduce flame to low and throw in the flour evenly. Do not stir. Keep on a low flame for a minute.
  3. With the back of the ladle whisk the contents into a smooth paste. Remove from stove and keep aside for cooling.
  4. Knead into a dough. The more you knead, the less you sweat while making the rotis. Divide into 6 parts and shape into balls.
  5. Keep aside a little rice flour for dusting. Wipe a flat board/ roti rolling surface with a clean wet cloth. Wipe your belan/ rolling pin with the wet cloth.
  6. Take one ball of dough and roll in the flour. Flatten the ball into a round. Roll into a round with the belan/ rolling pin (exert very little pressure), continuosly moving the roti in a circular direction. The roti should be rolled out thin. Dust off the flour and wipe the roti with a wet cloth.
  7. Heat a tawa. Slip the roti in the tawa. Cook on a medium flame. When you see about two or more air pockets bloat up, turn and cook the other side. The roti would have started puffing. Turn again and cook for a few seconds.
  8. Repeat for all the other balls of dough. Remember to clean the rolling board and belan/rolling pin and wet them with a cloth for each roti.

One pack of soft fluffy “a wee bit thick” Akki Rottis packed off to Asha for RCI-K.


You might want to check out few other versions of plain Rice flour breads:

Read Full Post »

Ragi mudde (Finger Millet Cakes) and Avarekaalina Saaru (Flat Beans) are 100% Karnataka recipes. I know Asha is excited to see these recipes. Do I need to say that I am sending this for RCI karnataka! 🙂


I am surrounded by many interesting and talented people – like this lady who makes and sells sandige(papads etc). She is also a good cook and does catering during monsoon and winter. Her name is Aaruni and she comes to my place to help me with some odd jobs and learn new recipes. She has learnt to make perfect mysoor pak and milk chocolate. When I told her about RCI karnataka, she was very excited and promised to help me in making some Authentic Karnataka recipes. Ragi mudde is one of them.

Aaruni lost her husband quite a while back and is not educated one bit. She brings both her children with the money that her culinary skills bring her. Having a recipe published in her name with pictures in the blog means a whole lot to her. After cooking she always asks “photo thegithiraa?” (Will you take a photo?). Some of my friends and I are helping her to get catering contracts so that she can educate her children. One of her daughter is doing BBA (Bachelors in Business Administration) and the other is doing + 1.

Here goes the recipe for Ragi mudde and Avarekaalina saaru which Aaruni made for my lunch today.


For Avarekaalina saaru


  • Avarekai – 1/2 cup(Tender seeds)
  • Potato – 1 medium size
  • Tomato – 1 small
  • Onion – 1 small
  • Sambhar powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Grated coconut – 1 table spoon
  • Tamarind – 1 inch
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Hing – 1 pinch
  • Oil – 1 table spoon
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut potato into small cubes. Wash avarekai and potato.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add the potato and avarekai.
  3. Add hing and turmeric and saute on a medium flame.
  4. Grind all other ingredients together in to a smooth paste. Add to the vegetables.
  5. Add 1/2 cup water and close and cook on a low flame till the vegetables are soft.

Tastes good with all kinds of rotis and chapathis also.


For ragi mudde


  • Ragi flour – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Salt – 1 pinch


  1. In a heavy bottomed pan boil water on a medium flame. Add salt and 1 teaspoon ragi flour.
  2. Allow to boil for a while and add remaining flour and leave for 1 minute on low flame. Do not stir.
  3. Now stir the contents with the back of a laddle and mix well and let it cook for a while. The mixture will look crumbled.
  4. Put off the flame and Knead to a ball when still hot. Serve hot with Avarekaalina saaru.

Read Full Post »

I am awful at Math, especially for someone whose parents eat mental arithmetic for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But as far as cooking is concerned, this is how my math works:

A series of chocolatey posts at Emily’s ROL blog + a double chocolate treat at Jugalbandi+ a follow on @ Arundhati’s Escapades + a Madrasi’s chocolate indulgence = “I need to cook some Chocolate before I go mad”.

Now the elements of my eco system have this compulsive need to conspire against me at the most unnecessary hour – the nearest store ran out of cooking chocolate stock and chose to remain closed the following day. Hmph!!! Dear conspiring elements, FYI, there is ancient recipe which makes it possible for me to make brownies without the cooking chocolate. I chose to make the eggless version, since I have developed strong disliking for the smell of egg after my failed attempts at making poached and boiled eggs a part of the breakfast menu.

I am yet to invest in a convection oven (Dont ask me why -My parents furnished my kitchen exactly a year ago), so I made these in the microwave. Microwave Brownies aren’t as crusty as the ones made in a convection oven, but make delightful pudding bases.

Preparation: 10 minutes, Baking: 5 minutes, Yield: lasts two gluttons 10-15 days.

Chocolate Cake for Brownies

Chocolate Cake for Brownies
The above photos are each a portion of batter cooked. I baked in two installments. If you plan to do this, please refridgerate the remaining batter.


  • All Purpose flour – 2 cups
  • Cocoa Powder – 1 cup (increase or decrease as desired)
  • Sugar – 1 1/2 cups
  • Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Milk Powder – 1 cup
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Curd – 1/2 cup
  • Nuts of your choice – as desired (I din’t add any)
  • Flavourings of your choice – 1 tsp (Vanilla, Instant Coffee, Almonds)

*cups= 225ml or 8oz

  1. Line an Oven Proof Dish with Wax Paper. (or spread 1 tsp oil over a normal white paper lined in). Note: Dont choose a deep dish, thick brownies may end up becoming very fluffy and more cake like in the microwave.
  2. Powder the Sugar. Mix all ingredients into a smooth batter.
  3. Pour batter into the Oven Proof Dish. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Check after the 4th minute for doneness by inserting the back of a spoon or fork through the cake. (Timings are for a 900 watts oven).
  4. Set aside for cooling. Invert into a flat plate and cut into pieces. Store in an air tight container.

Note: Overcooking or cutting while its still warm can make the cake very crumbly.

Is there a vegan version? No clue, though I dont see why one couldn’t try this with soymilk substitutes. Is this low fat? No idea, though I dont think 1/2 a cup of butter spread over 10-15 days of pure joy could be sinful. And if I cant burn that many calories, I must be a really lazy bum.

I like mine drenched in Apple Sauce and topped with some fresh cream.



  • Apples – 4
  • Bananas – 2
  • Honey – 1 tsp


  1. Slice Apples and Bananas.
  2. Microwave Apple on high for 2 minutes.
  3. Add in Bananas and Microwave on high for 1 minute. Mash lightly.
  4. Add Honey and Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Mash lightly and set aside to cool.
  5. Pulse to a puree in a blender.

Like Rava Idlis and Ghee Cookies, this is yet another recipe, my mom and I will cook up at any time of the day or night. Chocolate Indulgence in 15 minutes.

Read Full Post »

I like to think of Vazhakkai also known as Raw Banana or Green Plaintain as the unsweetened cousin of Banana. Plaintains and Kerala are almost synonomous thanks to the fanatical devotedness of people to munching on Kerala’s various plaintain delicacies. Yet this aint a recipe from Kerala but Tamil Nadu, the other state where Plaintains are cooked up and served in all kinds of forms.

Vazhakkai Podi

Vazhakkai Podi or a mix of grated raw banana/unripe plaintain with a powder and is typically served with Rice. Me thinks this will make a superb combination with More Kuzhambu. For a change I used them to make Parathas.

Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 20 minutes, Serves 3 – 4


For Vazhakkai Podi (Powder)

  • Raw Banana/ Green Plaintain * 1
  • Channa Dal 1 1/2 tbsp (Bengal Gram Dal)
  • Urad Dal 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Red Chillies 2
  • Hing/ Asafoetida – a small piece
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil

*Update: Vazhakkai are Plaintains that are unripe or Green in colour not the sweet Bananas that are not yet ripe. Raw Bananas is a colloquial reference used in Madras which also appears on the bill when you pick a bunch of these green plaintains. The term “Raw” is used to refer to the “paccha” or “raw” taste of these as compared to a normal Banana. Since there seems to be some kind of confusion, I have updated to avoid misinterpretation.
For Parathas

  • Whole wheat flour 2 cups
  • Water to Knead
  • Salt
  • Ghee


For Vazhakkai Podi
1. Wash and trim the ends of the Green Plaintain/ Vazhakkai. Cut into two and steam in a Microwave for 3 to 4 minutes along with the skin. The Green Plaintain/ Vazhakkai should be cooked about 3/4 and not very mushy. Remove and set aside for cooling.
2. Roast Channa Dal, Urad Dal and Red chillies with a drop of oil. Set aside for cooling. Make sure that you don’t add too much oil for roasting, when ground this must be dry.
3. When the parboiled Plaintain is cool, grate it finely along with the skin. Please don’t discard the skin, it is edible and very nutritious. Ensure that the banana is completely cool, else the gratings may be very mushy.
4. In a blender grind the roasted Channa Dal, Urad Dal and Red Chillies along with Hing and Salt to a fine powder.
5. Mix the grated Green Plaintain/ Vazhakkai with the ground powder. Transfer to a Bowl.

For Parathas
1. Knead the Wheat flour with water and salt into a firm elastic dough, add a drop of ghee towards the end to finish. Set aside for 20 minutes. Divide the dough into round balls. Set aside some flour to dust while rolling.
2. Roll out one ball into a round of 4 inch diameter using a belan or rolling pin using some flour to dust. Ensure that the center is thick while the sides are rolled out thin.
3. Fill in 1 1/2 tbsp of filling in the center, bring the sides together from 5 to 6 points. Press gently. This should give you a flat round with filling inside.
4. Dust both sides of this flat stuffed round with some flour and roll out into a round of 5 inch diameter.
5. Cook both sides on a tawa on medium heat until brown spots. This makes one paratha stuffed with the Raw Banana/ Vazhakkai Podi.
6. Proceed similarly with the rest of the dough.

Vazhakkai Podi Parathas

Parathas stuffed with Vazhakkai Podi for JFI: Banana hosted by Mandira from Ahaar.


Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »