Haalittu Payasa / Rice Noodle Kheer :

It is an age-old recipe and an almost extinct dessert in our region/ community. Haalittu, the name itself, suggests the softness of the rice noodles.

Here, freshly prepared rice noodles are cooked in boiling jaggery-laced water, enriched with coconut milk, and flavoured with freshly ground cardamom powder. 

The method is straightforward and not so complex.

Ingredients:

Dosa Rice – 1 small tumbler

Jaggery – ½ to ¾ tumbler or more

Salt- ½ tsp

Fresh Coconut – To extract milk or Coconut milk – 1 pack

Cardamom powder – 1 tsp (freshly ground)

Method:

-Wash and soak the rice for 3 to 4 hrs with sufficient water.

-Grind the soaked rice with salt into a smooth paste.

-Take one thick Kadai, pour the batter, heat on a low flame and cook until it forms a smooth pliable dough, with constant stirring.

-When the mixture cools down, take a chakli presser, fix a multi-hole plate, press the noodles and keep it ready.

-In another thick-bottomed vessel, take jaggery, and sufficient water or if you are using freshly extracted coconut milk, take 3 rd and 4th extract of thin coconut milk and boil until the raw smell of the jaggery vanishes.

– Now, drop the rice noodles and boil further. When noodles are well cooked, add thick extracted coconut milk or open the tetra pack, pour, and give one boil.

-Garnish with cardamom powder and serve hot. Here, we don’t use any ghee-fried dry fruits.

-if you wish to add, you can add and serve.

Menthya Baath: Fenugreek/ methi greens rice:

Menthya baath/bath is a quick, healthy, flavourful south Indian dish, made with methi greens and mixed veggies or plain. It is a one-pot nutritious meal and ideal for lunch boxes.

Here, we use fresh methi/ fenugreek leaves and green peas. The rice’s raw and earthy flavour of methi greens makes it unique. Hence, it is an added advantage to avoid the difficulty of including greens in kids’ diets. Each family has its recipe, and I will share how we like it. Typically eaten with raitha or just with some curds. But it tastes great with any mild vegetable curry, like gobhi and broccoli, which I shared earlier. 

Ingredients:

Rice – 2 cups (wash a couple of times, drain and keep aside)

Fresh Green peas – 1 small bowl (frozen would do)

Methi/fenugreek leaves – 1 small bowl ( cleaned, chopped)

Coriander leaves – ½ small bowl (washed, chopped)

Milk – 1 cup ( you can opt for any plant-based milk as well)

Onions – 2 ( medium) thinly sliced

Oil – 2 to 3 tablespoons (As required)

Whole masala: Cumin – 1 tsp, cinnamon – 1″, cloves, Marathi moggu, cardamoms and bay leaves ( 2 each)

To dry grind: Green chillies – 3 to 4, ginger – 1 inch, garlic – 6 to 8 cloves

Coriander powder – 1 ½ tsp

Salt ( as required)

Lemon – ½

Method:

-Take one cooker, heat oil, and put all the whole masalas such as cumin, two pieces each of cinnamon, cloves, Maratha moggu, cardamom, and bay leaves.

-Now, add sliced onion, and fry until it is transparent. Then, add green peas and continue to fry.

-Next, add dry and roughly ground ginger-garlic-green chilli paste. Fry until its raw smell vanishes.

-Next, add chopped methi greens, coriander greens, coriander powder, and salt and fry further.

-Add drained rice and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 3 cups of water and 1 cup of milk and allow to boil.

-Lastly, add the lemon juice. When water starts boiling, close the cooker lid. Cook until the first whistle.

-When pressure releases, serve with any preferred raita, plain curd or veg curry.

 

 

Rice flour Ubbu rotti / Ukkarisida akki rotti:

Rotti is an integral part of our breakfast menu. In Karnataka, every region has a different method to make Akki rotti/Rice rotti. Mangaloreans prefer to make Red boiled rice rotti by grinding the soaked rice, I have already shared the recipe, and the link is HERE.

After some exposure to Bangalore, I learned this shortcut method to make equally satisfying no preparation or soaking, an instant and quick method, which uses readily available rice flour.

One can use a Rotti press or coupe of wooden planks or roll like a chapati/ pulka.

Ingredients:

Rice flour – 2 cups

Water – 2 ½ cups

Salt – as needed

Oil – 1 tsp

Method:

-Boil water in a thick bottom vessel by adding salt and oil.

-When it starts boiling, switch off the gas, add rice flour mix everything, close the lid and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes.

-The build-up Steam would help you get a smooth, crack-free dough to make perfect rotti.

-After 10 minutes, Open the lid start kneading the dough. Take out the little dough, make the roundel and start making the flat disc.

-To make the disc, take two thick plastic or butter paper sheets. Use Roti press and keep the lemon-sized ball between two papers and press.

OR

-Roll like a chapati/ Pulka by dusting the dry flour.

-Cook on tawa, just like whole wheat pulka —Cook both sides by flipping. Then, place it on gas fire to puff.

-If you wish, you can apply coconut oil or ghee on top of the puffed rotti. Serve with Chutney of your choice of curry.

NOTE:

While kneading the dough, If you feel it is dry, breaking and not holding together, please add little hot water and adjust it until it turns out pliable.

-Each rice flour acts different, and the water absorption happens accordingly. 

 

 

 

Khara Pongal/ Ven Pongal :

Ahh..what to say about humble Pongal? It is one of the comfort food for any South Indian. It is most prevalent in Tamilnadu as a Ven Pongal and a Khara Pongal at Bangalore.

Be it breakfast or as popular Tiffin Item or Lunch or Dinner in a chilly winter season, with added healing properties of ginger, black pepper, hing and loads of ghee to soothe your soul.

It is one of the wholesome, one-pot meals. As the Makarasankranthi festival is around the corner, I would love to share the recipe I follow at home and loved by my family.

Ingredients:

Rice – 1 cup

Moong dal /green gram dal – 1 cup

Ghee – 2 tbl spoons

Cumin – 1 tsp

Hing – ¼ tsp

Green chillies- 2 (slit)

Ginger – 1′ ( julienne)

Curry leaves – 1 spring

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Milk – 1cup

Water – 7 cups

Salt

Fresh coconut gratings – ½ cup

Tempering: Ghee – 1 tbl sp, mustard, cumin- 1 tsp, black pepper – 1 tsp – 2 tsp, curry leaves – 1 spring, chopped cashew nuts – 1 to 2 tbl spoons.

Extra ghee – to serve ( optional)

Method:

-Dry roast yellow moong dal for 2 to 3 minutes. Cool it. Wash rice and dry roasted moong together and soak it for some time, or you can use it directly.

-Take a cooker, add 2 tbl sp ghee, add cumin, hing, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and turmeric and fry for 2 minutes.

-Now drain the rice and moong dal, add-in, mix everything and add water, milk and boil.

-When water starts boiling, add salt, coconut, close the lid, and cook for three whistles.

-Crush black pepper and cumin by putting them together in a mortar and pastel. Keep it ready.

-After opening the lid, make tempering by heating ghee, splutter mustard, add crushed pepper and cumin, curry leaves, cashew bits and fry until the cashew becomes light brown. Pour over the tempering on ready Pongal.

-Mix everything, serve with tamarind gojju, sambar, Raita or chutney.

NOTE: I usually use Broken rice, which is used explicitly for Pogal and available in all the local Rice traders here in Bangalore.

If it is not available, I would prefer to use Jeeraga samba rice/ small grain rice/ sannakki.

 

Kayi Ganji: Coconut Flavoured Rice porridge

It is my go-to recipe for a lazy, Simple, soulful meal on weekends or rainy/winter evenings. This recipe of Kayi Ganji is not our traditional recipe. My way of making a one-pot meal is by mixing my mom’s Theli saru, nothing but rice starch Rasam and rice.

 Amma used to make fantastic ginger flavoured Rasam by using drained rice starch of cooked rice. We sisters used to enjoy Hot white rice with Amma’s theli saaru and pickle a lot. Hence, I introduced those two aspects in a single one-pot meal, and the recipe is here.

Here, one can use freshly extracted coconut milk as well as instant coconut milk powder. Freshly extracted milk does taste out of this world, and for sure, there is no comparison in taste. When you are sick and have no mood to cook, it is a soothing and relaxing one-pot meal option.

The procedure is simple-

Ingredients:

Rice – 1 cup

Water – 4 cups

Salt

Green chillies – 1 or 2

Ginger – ½ inch (julienne)

Coconut milk or powder – according to the taste

Seasoning: Ghee/coconut oil, mustard, cumin and curry leaves.

Method:

-Wash rice, boil water in an open vessel or a cooker. Add rice, slit green chilli, ginger, salt and cook.

-Here, the rice should become mushy. If it is the cooker, switch it off after 3rd whistle.

-Open the lid, add coconut milk, adjust the consistency by adding more water.

-Boil for 2 minutes and switch off.

-Do seasoning by heating ghee or oil, splutter mustard, cumin, and curry leaves. Pour it over the rice and mix everything and serve. You can enjoy it with any side dish or plain pickle.

-You can garnish with chopped coriander as well as lemon juice (completely optional)

Note: I have added one pandan leaf to enhance the flavour. It is entirely optional.

 

 

 

How to cook Par Boiled Red Rice/ Matta Rice:

Often, I get a query regarding the cooking method of our traditional parboiled Rice, red Rice, matta rice. So, I thought of including the procedure in my blog to share the link whenever required.

Before discussing the method, we would see how we used to prepare Rice in our traditional kitchen-

We have come a long way in the cooking method as well. Earlier, people used to cook Rice in a huge open pot by using a wood fire. You can see in this picture, which I clicked in our ancestral home; they follow this method, even now.

Then, gradually cooking medium has changed from firewood to a kerosene stove or hot plate. Hence, the system changed, and a huge wooden box insulated with a layer of thermocol was the trend to keep/cook Rice.

Pic Courtesy: By Google

In the modern era, the scenario has changed; with the micro family system, our huge box has turned into a small stainless steel insulated pot, marketed in the name of “China pot”. It consists of an insulated outer container and a cooking vessel.

Let us see The procedure of Cooking: (Open Vessel Method) 

-Procedure is simple, Boil water in a vessel; when it starts bubbling, add washed Rice, boil further for 5 to 10 minutes, remove, and keep it in a china pot.

-After one hour or so, check the doneness. You can refer to the picture. If you prefer soft Rice like us, boil one more time and keep it inside the china pot once again.

Within an hour, it would be soft and well cooked. Strain water and use it like regular Rice with curry or have it as a Ganji by including gruel.

To experience the real taste of parboiled Rice and curry,  you need to separate starch from the Rice.

 

Vegetable and Soya Nuggets Biryani:

This recipe is for Soya Chunk/ nuggets lovers. Soya is known as vegetarian meat. A full-fledged protein source is a by-product of extracting soyabean oil and is relatively healthy, fibre-rich apart from the nutritional value.

Even though I’m not fond of the smell of Soya, My family love to have soya chunks in gravies or Biryani.

Let us see the Dum Biryani / which I make.

Ingredients:

Basmati Rice – 2 cups (standard cup)

Soya Nuggets – ½ packet ( 2 or 3 cups)

Cashew – 1 fistful ( you can take a  mixture of melon seed and Cashew as well)

Milk – to soak Cashew (vegans can use hot water as well)

Onions – 4 medium-sized ( 2 for frying, 2 for the gravy masala)

Veggies – 1 cup ( Beans, Carrot, green peas )

Garam masala or Biryani masala – 2 tbl spoons

Red chilli powder – 1 tsp

Oil- ½ cup ( to deep fry onion and further cooking process)

Rosewater – 1 tablespoon

Lemon – Juice of 1 lemon

Saffron – 7 to 8 strands soaked in 2 tbl spoon of milk (vegans can use any plant-based milk)

Coriander and pudina leaves – chopped (as needed)

For the Gravy Masala:

To Ground into a paste:

Dry ingredients: Coriander seeds – 1 tablespoon, Cinnamon – 1″, Bayleaf – 1, clove – 2, Star anise – 1, Cardamom – 2, Black cardamom – 1, Black peppercorn – 5 to 6, Red chillies – 3 ( Byadagi)

Ginger garlic paste – 1 ½ tablespoon

Coconut – 2 tablespoons

To Make Gravy:

Cumin or Shajeera – 1 tsp, Cardamom – 2, Star anise – 1, Cinnamon -1″, bay leaf – 2, Black cardamom – 1, Stone flower – 1 small chunk.

Method:

-Wash rice, soak for 10 minutes. Take one big pot, fill the water, add little salt, turmeric, 1 tsp of oil, one bay leaf, one cardamom, 1″ cinnamon. When it starts boiling, add soaked rice, cook only for 7 min (1/2 done), drain the water and keep aside.

-Soak Saffron in a two tbl spoon of hot milk and keep it aside.

-Soak Cashew and melon seeds in hot milk, keep it ready.

-Boil water in a saucepan, add a pinch of salt and give one boil for the soya chunks; drain and keep it aside.

-Slice 2 onions, drain the excess moisture and deep fry and keep it aside. I usually sprinkle little salt and garam masala to this and mix it delicately.

-Now onwards, use leftover oil from the deep-fried onions.

Let us move towards grinding masala:

-Take one Kadai, add little oil, add all the masalas from Coriander seeds, Cinnamon, Bayleaf, clove, Star anise, Cardamom,  Black cardamom, Black peppercorns, Red chillies fry well. Add chopped two onions, fry until it is transparent. Add ginger-garlic paste fry for 2 minutes. Add in coconut fry for 2 minutes. Cool the mixture, grind with soaked Cashew and make a fine /smooth paste.

Next step is making veggie and soya nuggets gravy: 

Take one Kadai, Add little oil, drop everything from shah jeera, cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, bay leaf, black cardamom, stone flower. After frying for 2 minutes, add in chopped veggies (beans, carrot, peas). Fry nicely by adding salt, a pinch of sugar, garam masala/biryani masala and red chilli powder. Add in ground masala, fry until oil oozes out. Adjust the consistency by adding water. When it starts boiling, add in drained soya chunks and give one boil. Switch off. Now, gravy is ready, and we are moving towards preparing dum by layering this with cooked rice and other elements.

To Make Dum:

We need to layer the veggie and soya nuggets gravy, cooked rice, chopped coriander and pudina, lemon water, rose water, saffron milk, deep-fried onions and leftover oil after deep frying onions. Hence, keep everything in your hands reach.

I use my pressure pan or big Kadai to assemble Dum.

-Apply ghee or oil to the surface of Kadai or pan. Roughly, take one-third of the soya gravy and spread it at the bottom of the vessel.

Next, take 1/3 of the rice, spread it over the soya gravy. Now, Sprinkle 1/3 of each rose water, saffron milk, lemon juice, fried onions, chopped pudina and coriander.

-Next, 2nd layer of gravy, rice and repeat the process.

-Next, 3rd layer of gravy, remaining rice, lemon water, saffron milk, Rosewater, chopped greens, fried onions.

Now, make a hole at the centre by using your forefinger, pour all the remaining onion fried oil to the bottom, close the lid, and keep it in a simmer for 7 to 10 minutes.

 

 

Passion fruit Gojju:

Passion fruits/Passiflora grows in hill stations of India or the colder region during the May -July months. It contains a hard outer shell and pulpy inner core with a lot of black seeds. As my daughters hate the texture, I love it and include it in my juice or lunch.

Passion fruit has a tart mixed sour taste. The fruit has many beneficial nutrients and a low glycemic index; hence, it is ideal for a diabetic condition. It is my way of indulging the sour fruit in its whole raw form. I followed our traditional charred brinjal gojju recipe and tried it. I loved the fresh fruit flavour, crunchy seeds in this gojju and enjoyed it with red parboiled rice.

Ingredients:

Fruit pulp – from 2 fruits

Green chillies -1 – 2

Jaggery – as per taste (grated)

Salt

Onion – 1 (chopped)

Seasoning: Coconut oil – 2 tsp, mustard – 1tsp, crushed garlic cloves – 6 -8, curry leaves – 1 string.

Method:

-Cut passion fruit in half, remove the pulp with those seeds. 

-Add salt, grated jaggery, crush green chilli by using your hand (it emits a lovely aroma to the gojju) and chopped onion. Adjust the consistency by adding little water.

-Season with coconut oil, mustard, crushed garlic. Fry until garlic is brown. Add curry leaves and pour the seasoning on the gojju.

-Enjoy with hot rice or with curd rice. If you like sweet and sour gojju, it is the perfect recipe.

Jowar/Sorghum Dosa:

My experiment turned out to a super hit, crispy dosa. As usual, I followed my regular dosa batter recipe by replacing dosa rice with Jowar grains.

Jowar or Sorghum is a gluten-free grain loaded with nutrients and fibre, great in taste. When it is high fibre, it becomes useful for anyone who follows a healthy diet. Being a complex carbohydrate, Jowar gets digested slowly, reduces appetite making it an ideal whole grain option for weight management.

If you are looking for ways to reduce the rice intake, this recipe for you – Enjoy in any form of dosa, like crisp or fluffy. Cone or masala filled, with chutney or sambar.

Ingredient:

Jowar grains -1 cup

Idly rice -1 cup

Urad dal – ½ cup

Bengal gram/Chana dal – 1 TBL sp

Fenugreek /methi seeds – 1 tsp.

Beaten rice – ¼ cup

  Method:

-Wash all these ingredients a couple of times. Soak this insufficient water for 3 to 4 hours.

-Drain water from the rice and keep it aside. This water should be used while grinding according to the requirement.

-Grind soaked rice –dal mixture by adding salt into a very fine /smooth batter using a wet grinder or mixer grinder.

-Now, Mix the batter, adjust the consistency, keep this ground batter for fermentation in a big vessel to allow room for puffed/fermented batter.

– It will take anywhere between 8 to 16 hours (according to the outside weather)

-Next morning, mix the batter, check the consistency, adjust and prepare dosas and enjoy.

Note: In Bangalore, I usually soak my lentils around morning, grinding happens around afternoon 2 to 3 pm, and until the following day, I keep the batter for fermentation.

 

Brown rice – Horse gram Laddu :

This Laddu happened by chance. I have heard “Keddasa” unique festival from our region. But, I never knew the details, how to celebrate and its significance until recently. My interest in digging and reading about it started after seeing my Instagram friend, Akshatha’s post regarding Keddasa – a unique practice of our Tulu Nadu.

Farmers of our region observe Keddasa or Keddaso to honour mother earth and obtain her blessings in the next harvest. They believed that the earth goddess would grant crops in abundance by following the tradition.

Keddasa is observed typically in February, the end of the winter and believed that the earth goddess becomes fertile for farming. Rituals spread in 3 days; those three days are considered a rest for any farming activity to provide rest to mother earth. In this duration, a different offering is also a part of the custom.

A unique dish, known as Kudu -Ari, is made other than the offering. The literal transition of kudu is horse gram, and Ari is Rice. Roasted, powdered horse gram – rice is seasoned with other roasted items; it varies from family to family, such as roasted coconut, peanuts, sesame, Jaggery. Sometimes, the whole moong as well. The perfect way to look after our bone health during the winter months n the name of tradition. How beautiful. To make this Brown rice – Horse gram laddu, I took the inspiration from another traditional unde, known as Thambittu unde, which I shared in my blog, and the recipe is HERE. It is indeed a perfect energy ball or mid-day snack in the winter months, and I loved it.

How I did – Took one small tumbler as a measurement cup.

Here Ready laddu mixture was around 277 grams, and I took 250 grams of Jaggery, and it turned out perfect for our preferred sweet level. You can take equal or a little less.

Ingredients:

Red boiled rice/ matta rice – 1 cup

Peanuts – ½ cup

Horse gram – ¼ cup

Coconut – 1 cup

Sesame seeds – 2 tablespoons

Cardamom powder – 1tsp

Powdered Jaggery – Equal quantity as laddu mixture or little less.

Ghee – 2 to 4 tablespoons

Method:

-Wash rice once or twice, drain the water, let it air dry until it is dry.

-Wash horse gram and let it air dry until it is dry.

-Heat one thick bottomed wok/vessel, add dried rice little by little and roast; it will pop a little and texture will become brittle and a little puffy. Do this procedure in 3 to 4 batches and cool it.

-Dry roast Horse gram as well. When it cools down, make powder in a mixer jar; Sieve this powder and keep it aside.

 

-Now dry roast, sesame seeds, peanuts,  grated coconut until it emits fragrance. Keep aside.

-I did crush the peanuts by using whip mode by using a mixer jar.

-Mix everything, measure the content. If it is 2 cups, take 2 cups of grated Jaggery or a little less than that. If you have a measuring scale, you can measure as well.

-Boil Jaggery put in one cup of water when it melts; sieve this solution to remove any impurities. (Pictorial guide is here)

-Take this liquid and boil further till it reaches one thread consistency. At this stage, you will hear “Tup” “Tup” bubbling sound, too (this is the clue which I have received from the elders)

-When it reaches one thread consistency, mix in the prepared content, ghee, and cardamom powder.

-Mix nicely. At this stage, the mixture will be too wet to handle. So, keep aside for 10 o 15 minutes till the mixture becomes a little dry and ready to handle. When you feel it is ready, take a small amount in hand, make Laddu, and keep it aside.

-When all the mixture gets over, and you have finished the process, store these laddus in an airtight container. This Laddu stays good for long, even at room temperature.