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Archive for September, 2007

I invite all visitors to see the janmashtami round up. Just click on Balakrishna’s picture for that! To know about the event for Ganesh chaturthi Click on Ganesha.

Aantu unde or dryfruit laddoo is a famous sweet in karnataka! This nutritious laddoo is a must be in the diet of young mothers, three months after delivery. This surely helps new mothers to recover back to their original health.

I have tasted this unde many times but never bothered to prepare at home. But now I learnt the method for Asha’s RCI karnataka!Thanks Asha, I have learnt so many new authentic karnataka recipes because of you!

rci-karnataka.jpg

On thursday when all the people were shopping for Gowri, Ganesha festival, I went around searching for aantu or cooking gum used in this Laddoo. It is available in Granthike Aangadi in Sampige road, Malleshwaram.

All ingredients used in Aantu Unde

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Cooking gum or Aantu after dryroasting.

Ingredients

  • Cashew – 1 cup
  • Badam- – 1 cup
  • Dry grapes – 1cup
  • Dates – 1 cup
  • Dessicated coconut – 1 cup
  • Cooking gum (Aantu)- 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Ghee – 1 cup
  • Cardamom – 6 nos

Method

  1. Chop the badam, cashew nuts, dates and dry grapes to small pieces.
  2. Dry roast the cooking gum in a heavy bottomed pan, on a low flame till it puffs up as shown in picture. Crush a little when cool.
  3. Roast the badam and cashew with 1 table spoon ghee till light golden.
  4. Powder the dessicated coconut, sugar and cardamom.
  5. Melt the ghee and combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  6. *Make into 2 inch radius balls and store in an air tight container.

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The most difficult part is to make the undes. Chopping the dry grapes and dates to fine pieces helps in binding.

You can use sugar as per taste.

You can add any other dry fruit of your choice.

Can be stored for months.

Update: Since dry grapes (raisins) are indispendable for the making of these laddoos I am sending this to Swapna of Swad of India for AFAM – Grapes. “A Fruit a Month” (AFAM) is a monhtly event that rounds up recipes of a particular fruit.

grapes.jpg

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Maddur is a small town on the way to Mysore from Bangalore. Most passengers travelling by train or bus, will buy the vade sold here. I like the Maddur vade sold at MTR and Woodys in Karnataka.

I have the habit of talking to chefs at hotels and marriages to learn some useful tips. I got this recipe from one of the chefs when I attended a marriage.This is my next entry for RCI karnataka,hosted by Asha of foodieshope

rci-karnataka.jpg
Maddur vade

Ingredients

  • Rice flour – 1/2 cup
  • Rava – 1/2 cup
  • Maida – 1/2 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee 2 teaspoons
  • Hing – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Finely chopped curry leaves and coriander leaves – 2 tablespoons
  • Finely chopped Onion – 1/2 cup
  • Oil – 1 and 1/2 cup for frying

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients except oil in a bowl. Add enough water and mix to a stiff dough.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai on a medium flame.
  3. Divide the dough into 20 ball. flatten the balls on your palm to form thin circles (around 1/8 cm thickness)
  4. Check the temperature of oil by dropping a small piece of dough into the oil.If it rises immediately the oil is ready for frying
  5. Fry the vades in medium to low fire around 4 at a time.
  6. You can flatten all the vades and keep them on a plate before you start frying.
  7. Serve with sauce or coconut chutney. It can be stored for 3 days.

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Kozhukattais or Kadubu (in Kannada) or Modhaks (in Marathi) are rice flour wraps stuffed with a variety of fillings – they are steamed or there are other deep fried varieties and offered as prasadam to Lord Ganesha. I prepared a few kozhukattais to post the pictures before the festival which starts tomorrow – 15th of September.

Instead of steaming in the cooker, I steamed them in my tupperware microwave safe container for just 3 minutes!

Kozhukattais steamed in crystalwave Mw dish
Sweet Kozhukattais/ Modhaks steamed in the Microwave. Green container is perforated and the yellow is filled with 1/2 cup water

Maavu and Poornam
Kozhukattai/ Modhak Dough (Kozhukattai Maavu) and Jaggery filling (Poornam)

Four different kinds of Poornam (fillings) can be made. For all the kozhukattai recipes click here. I prepared sweet kozhukattais. Maharashtrains prepare a similar Modhak called Ukadiche Modhak that also has nuts and dry fruits like cashew and raisins and flavorings like khus khus or saffron.
How to steam kozhukattais in the Microwave?

1. Take two microwave safe containers. First container should be bigger and the second should be perforated (with holes in the bottom) and smaller. The second perforarted container should sit inside the first in such a way that the bottom of the second container is a few centimeters above the bottom of the first container. Refer to the first photograph above to get an idea.

2 . Fill the first container with water and put the second container inside it. Place Kozhukkattais in the second container. Make sure that the kozhukattais are not touching or submerged in the water.

3. Cover and microwave on high (for a 900 watts oven) for 3 minutes. Let kozhukattais sit in the container for a couple of minutes before taking them out.

Note: Over steaming can result in broken kozhukattais. Initially I set the microwave on high for 5 minutes but then in 3 minutes the kitchen was filled with the smell of jaggery – the filling I made. I switched it off and let it sit in the steam for a couple of minutes. Timings may vary depending on oven power – I use a 900 watts oven.

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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.

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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.

One pack of Rave Idli with Green Tomato Spring Onion Chutney for spirited Asha of Foodie’s Hope as my #2 entry for RCI-Karnataka.

rci-karnataka.jpg

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. Roast the groundnuts for 15-20 seconds in the Microwave on high. Set aside to cool.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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Lord Ganesha
Swarna Herambar – as rare picture of Lord Ganesha given by my spiritual guru

Celebrations for Ganesha Chaturthi – Event Details

Bhags from Crazy Curry and Sobila who writes at Tamil Menu have requested an event for Ganesh Chaturthi also. In fact the suggestion is that we pick up a festival each month and get people to blog about it.

We couldn’t agree more – festivals are not really so much for feasting and indulgence but more for socializing and devoting time to celebrate our culture. And how can there not be an online community celebration of the birthday of a God who has such a powerful and universal appeal? Ganesha – the elephant headed god with all his various forms and distinctive iconography will surely be delighted.

Here are some guidelines:

  1. Post something related to the festival of Ganesha – It can be about some story on Ganesha that appealed to you. It can be about how you celebrate the Ganesh or Vinayaga Chaturthi. It can be treasured memory of the festival Or it can be a special neivedyam or recipes you prepare for the Elephant God.
  2. Email me at naralatha@gmail.com following details on or before 20th September27th September.:
    1. title of your entry
    2. your name
    3. your blog name
    4. permalink of post
  3. In your post, please include a link back to this event post to complete the circle.
  4. The deadline for the entries is September20th 27th September 2007. You can send more than one entry also. Please send pictures where ever possible.

Ganesha Puja Procedure

Some visitors wanted to know the details of the Ganesh puja procedure. The Idol is installed in the Puja room or a special mantap decorated for the purpose. The puja begins with Invocation of Lord Ganesha( Avahanam). Ganapathi ashtotaram (108 names) is the usual mantra for the Archanai. Even 1008 names ( Sahasranaamam) can be chanted for the puja. Neivedyam or offerring is always a variety of Kozhukattais!

If you have come here looking for kozhukattai recipes click here.

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Prasadam literally means the benedictions or the blessings of the divine. The practice of offering to God before one eats – “prepare, serve and then eat”- is prevalent in different forms throughout India. My grandparents until a few years back adhered to this strictly – my Paatti would prepare our daily food and offer everything (Neiveidyam), while Thatha would do the Aradhanai (prayer offered to Saligramam – divine stone considered to be a manifestation of Lord Vishnu). This act of offering can be understood as “God eating before one does” at one level. The other level of understanding is that God’s blessing or love is transmuted through the food that has been offered and therefore becomes prasadam. “Bhogya” or the act of God consuming food is believed to purify food and transfer a boon.

Consumption of food in the form of Prasadam therefore becomes consumption in Saatvika Bhava – the purest mood with which one is supposed to engage in all activities.

One of the motivations for people undertaking pilgrimages even today is because they seek the prasadam – there are gods and some temples in India that are known specifically for granting some boons – like progeny or cure from mental illness.

In all 30 delicious prasadams (some of them are spreads!!) were sent in for Little Krishna. Each of these isnt just a recipe but a sharing of celebrations and stories of Krishna. While there isnt anything like virtual munching just as yet, do use your imagination and enjoy these treats.

arunshanbagkrishna
Arun Shanbag’s brilliant Photo Essay on Krishna that includes an extract from his upcoming book – Prarthana: A Book of Hindu Psalms. Take one look at the brilliant sandalwood sculpture and you’ll never want to take your eyes away. Arun writes on a whole lot of stuff from Indian arts and temples to globalization, health and street food.

Angooli Basundi-kajal
Kajal has sent in this awesome recipe for Angoori Basundi – a heavenly mix of Basundi with Rasgullas. Do check out some Gujju recipes also when you head over.

paal_payasam_pravs
Praveena has made some gorgeous looking Paal Payasam – the colour and texture are absolutely perfect.

Pineapple halwa_tbc
TBC who’s more than just a budding cook feeds Krishna Pineapple halwa – very apt for kids. Don’t forget to admire the lovely streaks of light on her halwa.

rajitha_ribbonpakoda
Head over to Rajitha’s hunger inducing blog for some tastyRibbon Pakodas.

vijispread
Viji from Vcuisine has sent in her impressive spread for Janmashtami – head here for the bunch of recipes.

gopalkala
Gopalkala is traditionally prepared in Maharashtrian homes for every Krishna Jayanthi. Archana, a very dear blogger friend, shares her recipe of Gopalkala.

thattaiappamsprema
Perfectly made Thattais and Appams from Prema. Thattai colour and texture are absolutely on the mark – this is how the dish is meant to look!!!

sobilakalakand
Drool over coral coloured Kalakand from Sobila who writes at Iniya Tamil Virunthu

sweetpedas
Sweet Pedas from Rachna (think Botswana, think Rachna) for Guruvayoorappan – rich in milk to please his palate.

raagachocochipbuns
Choco chip buns (name one kid who wouldn’t devour these) from Raaga – The Singing Chef.

madhavi-sevencupsweets
Seven cup cakes in cutesy little hearts is Madhavi’s contribution.

kopri mithai-madhuli
Coconut Barfi (Kopri Mithai) from Madhuli’s thali. Once you’re done with drooling over the thali, do check out Madhuli’s cute little kanha.

uppu_seedai_menutoday
Menu Today stacks up some Seedais on a Manga Thattu (Mango shaped plate) – both Uppu and Vella Seedai. MT – what’s your name?

semiyakheermanasi
Manasi who blogs at A Cook at Heart offers the ubiquitous Semiya Kheer

malpuamansi
Delicious Malpua with Rose Flavoured Rabdi is Mansi’s contribution

seedaichikki
Gokulashtami Seedais from Elle n Chikki who write at Lemon and Chillies blog. A visit to their blog will educate you on how Madras is not Chennai and sundals are to be served in a pottalam.

madhaviravakesari
Madhavi from Madhu’s Vantalu serves diamond shaped Rava Kesari cakes.

sihiavalakkisuma
Veggie Platter’s Suma Gandlur sends in Paalakaayalu, with gorgeous looking Mosaravalakki and Sihi Avalakki

bubbalilichakli
Perfectly shaped light brown wheelies orVellai Murukku – just one among the huge spread that BubbaLili cooked up for Srijayanthi.

manakombu
Easy Crafts from Simple Indian food has sent in Besan Rava Ladoo, Sugiyan, Manakombu, Thattai, Uppu Sheedai and Vella Sheedai.

ParupuPayasamsrivalli
A unique recipe of Payasam from Srivalli who has sent in Senega Pappu Payasam.

nipattumamatha
Rave Unde and Nipattu, snack items that any person in sniffing distance of a Kannadiga would know about, is Mamatha’s contribution to the celebrations.

Jayashree serves Uppu cheedai, Vella Cheedia and Neyyappam for her first love.

Emily from the awesome ROL blog sends in this lovely recipe of Cheese Straws.

CHEESE STRAWS

  • 2 cups butter, room temperature
  • 1 pound (1/2 kilo) extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated and at room
    temperature
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (hot) pepper

In a large bowl, cream the butter and Cheddar cheese. In a separate bowl,
combine the flour, salt, and pepper and gradually add to the cheese mixture.
Form into 1-inch balls, place on an ungreased baking sheet, and flatten with
a fork. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes.
Makes 12 dozen small straws.

Emily also writes, “Cheese Straws are a traditional snack in the American South. They’re
basically butter, cheese, flour, and hot pepper–very tasty. I hope you and
your readers can get Cheddar cheese. If not, any tasty hard cheese will work
just as well. And you can use ghee for the butter. Ghee will probably be
better than butter with milk solids.”

Prema Sridharan, a non blogger sends in this yummy Rabdi recipe.

RABRI (also called RABDI)

Ingredients:

  • 2 litres thick milk
  • 1 cup cream of milk removed from boiling milk and refrigerated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4-5 cardamom seeds powdered
  • a pinch of nutmeg, pistachio powder as per individual preference
  • little saffron soaked in milk any food colour of your choice(optional)
  • broken nuts – cashews, sarra paruppu and almonds of your choice

Preparation:

Bring the milk to boiling on low fire in a deep heavy pan. Add the sugar and cardamom seeds and leave to simmer over a low heat for 2 hours until all the milk is reduced to one quarter (as an alternative can do it in the microwave) Remove from heat and add the nuts (cashew and saraparuppu can be roasted in ghee and added or added fresh when milk is boiling), can add the saffron and nutmeg,pistachio powders also at this stage Serve hot or cold as per preference.

Renuka who writes at Piece of Cake shares Navaneetham and Banana Sheera.

Navaneetham

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 tbsps sugar
  • 1 tsp rock sugar (kalkandu)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 tablespoon curd

Boil milk, add sugar and kalkandu till dissolved. Stir in butter, ghee and cream on low heat. Once it comes to a boil, remove from flame, stir in curd.

Banana Sheera

  • Rava – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Milk – 1 ¼ cup
  • Banana – 2
  • Saffron – few
  • Cardamom powder – pinch
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts – few
  • Raisins – few

In a pot, pour milk, sugar, cardamom powder and saffron and stir till sugar has dissolved. Mash the bananas and set aside. Fry raisins and cashews in ghee and mix with the bananas in a bowl. In the same pan, fry rava till light brown. Pour in the milk mixture and keep stirring till mixture thickens. Stir in bananas, cashews and raisins and stir till mixture leaves the sides of the pan.

ashaseedai
Asha from Foodie’s Hope, who keeps everbody’s spirits in the food blogosphere high, was the first to send in Uppu Seedai for Little Krishna.

vellaseedaisharmi
Sharmi from Neivedyam
has prepared Uppu Seedai and Vellam Seedai. She has also posted beautiful pictures of Krishna. Sharmi, sorry to have missed out. Thanks for pinging in comments.

Poori Laadu
Poori Laadu with the standard Navaneetham, Uppu and Vella Seedais is what I (Lakshmi, Latha’s daughter – for those who’re still confused) made for Srijayanthi.

kodubale
You can take a look at Amma’s fabulous array of goodies – Kodubale, Paal Cake, Uppu Seedai, Vella Seedai, Navaneetham and Sukku Vellam (for digesting all of that 🙂 ).

I hope I haven’t left anybody out – do ping in comments. Thanks a Million for sharing all your fabulous celebrations.

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This nutritious oil free holige or poli is my 2nd entry for RCI Karnataka hosted by Asha of Foodie’s Hope.

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I learnt this from a dear friend Nirmala Mallinath. Thanks Nirmala!

Groundnut poli

Ingredients

For the filling

  • Groundnut – 1 cup
  • Sesame seeds or til – 1 table spoon
  • Jaggery – 3/4 cup
  • Cardamom – 2 nos

For the cover

  • Maida 1 cup + 1 table spoon for rolling
  • Ghee – 2 teaspoons

Method

  1. Dry roast the ground nut in the MW for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring after every minute for even cooking.
  2. Dry roast the til for 2 minutes in a kadai(In MW til will crackle and spread all over). Grind the roasted til to a fine powder.
  3. Skin the groundnut and grind coarsely. You can grind with skin also. Powder the jaggery well.
  4. Mix the powdered Til, Groundnut, jaggery and cardamom.
  5. Sprinkle a table spoon of water, mix well and keep aside. This is used as the filling.
  6. Make a soft dough with maida, adding ghee and required amount of water. It should be like chapathi dough.
  7. Make 8 balls out of the filling and 8 balls with maida dough.
  8. Roll out the dough, place the filling, cover and roll again to a thin poli, using the flour for easy rolling.
  9. Heat a tawa on a medium flame and cook both sides of the polis, Till brown spots appear.
  10. You can serve with or with out ghee.

Karnataka Kasuti Is a famous hand embroidery of North Karnataka. Work done on my saree by my close friend Maduri Dawane can be seen in the background.

Groundnut poli

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