Hagalakai Melara / Bitter gourd Majjige Huli :

Bittergourd always comes under the Love or Hate category. People are fond of this veggie or hate it at the core. Bitter gourd is an acquired taste. All four of us in our family love it and Bitter gourd Melara is synonymous with the Chowthi celebration at our home. As a kid, I relished Chakli dunked in this Melara, and the custom continues with my daughters.

In Mangalore, we always use pale/white bitter gourd the most,taste-wise less bitter and loved by many.

Method:

Ingredient:

Bitter gourd – 1 big

Salt- as needed.

Green chillies – 2

tamarind – one gooseberry size (soak in 1 cup of water)

To grind: Fresh Coconut – 1 ½  cup

For Seasoning: Coconut oil- 1 tablespoon, mustard – 1tsp, red chilli – 1 (optional), curry leaves- 1 spring.

Method:

-Wash the bitter gourd, slice roundels, and if seeds are hard, remove seeds.

-Boil little water, add tamarind pulp, slit green chillies, salt, and Bitter gourd roundels and cook until it is soft and perfect.

-Now, grind the coconut into a fine paste, add the paste to the cooked veggie, adjust the consistency, and boil for 2 minutes.

-Add buttermilk or beaten curd, and switch off when it starts to boil.

-Prepare seasoning, heat oil, splutter mustard, add red chilli and curry leaves, fry and pour over Melara. Serve with Rice.

The best way to have this Melara is during festivals when Chakli is made. That too Chakli immersed in a pool of bitter gourd Melara. Try this if you have not tried it yet.

Sajjige idli/ Urad and Rava idli:

It is a no rice, fermented idli using ground urad dal and steamed rava. The outcome is pillowy soft idlies. We avoid rice before the main pooja, which is taboo in our customs. Hence, it is a default breakfast option in our family, especially in our community, on festival days or any auspicious day.

Here is the recipe, which we follow

Urad dal – 1 cup

Upma Rava / Bombay rava – 2 cups

Salt

Method:

-Wash urad dal and soak it for 3 to 4 hours.

-Grind soaked urad dal into fine paste by adding sufficient water.

-Now, take one cotton cloth, pour rava, and tie it like a potli/ packet.

-Take one idli steamer with water at the bottom. When water starts boiling, place the tied towel with rava and steam cook for 10 to 20 min in low heat.  

-After 20 min, remove the towel, loosen the knot, spread the rava and cool it.

-Add cooled rava and required salt to urad dal paste and make a batter by mixing and adding sufficient water.

-Batter needs to be like regular idli batter and allow it to ferment acc to your climate.

-next day, prepare idli like regular idli or by using banana leaf or steel tumblers etc.

-If you are following the procedure like me, use wilted banana leaf, pour the batter and steam for 30 minutes or more, according to the thickness.

-Serve with chutney, thovve,  sambar or menthe kodilu (methi sambar).

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.

Capsicum Upma/ Uppittu:

Uppittu/ Upma can be prepared in so many ways. Each recipe has its unique flavour and is an excellent option when you want to eat a quick, no-preparation meal. Upma works out well and fits the bill on any meal and time of the day, even as a tiffin box item.

My daughters, who love Upma in any form, have a particular fondness for Capsicum Uppittu, and that was why I want to share this much-loved recipe, under “beginners guide” in my blog. 

Ingredients:

Fine rava / Bombay rava / Uppittu  rava – 2 cups

Oil – 6 tablespoons

Mustard – 1tsp

Urad dal – ½ tsp

Chana dal – ½ tsp

Cumin – ½ tsp

Cashew nuts – 2 tablespoons

Curry leaves – 1 spring

Onion – 1 big (chopped)

Green chillies – 2 to 3

Small Tomato – 1 ( optional)

Capsicum – 1

Salt

Water – 5 cups

Coriander leaves – as much as needed

Grated Coconut – as much as needed

Method:

-Boil water in one vessel by adding the required amount of salt.

– Take one Kadai, add oil, splutter mustard, cumin, urad, chana dal, cashew nuts, curry leaves, green chillies, onion, and fry.

-If you are adding Tomato, add now and fry for a while.

-Next, add chopped capsicum and fry until it is soft.

-Now add Rava and fry till it is grainy. Add coriander leaves, and fry until it is crisp.

-Add water, and cook on a low flame by closing the lid.

Garnish with grated Coconut, close the lid, and leave it for resting.

-After 5 to 10 min, if you mix it, upma would turn perfect in texture and soft.

-Serve and enjoy.

 

 

Cauliflower and Broccoli curry:

This curry happened by accident. Yes! My daughter was craving creamy cauliflower and broccoli curry, as a side dish for one pot rice dish, like menthya bath/methi greens rice or jeera rice.

It was challenging for me to create creamy without using fresh cream or any considerable quantity of fat. The final verdict was to publish this curry in my blog so they could refer to the recipe and make it.

The result is here, which is vegan as well as creamy, super rich side dish with roti or rice.

Let us see the recipe part-

Ingredients:

Broccoli and cauliflower florets – 1 Bowl (cleaned and blanched)

For Masala Paste:

Oil – 1 tbl sp

Cumin – 1 tsp

Cinnamon – 1” piece

Bay leaf – 1

Clove – 2

Black peppercorns – 3 to 4 (optional)

Almond – 6

Cashew – 6

Garlic – 6 to 10 cloves

Onion – 1 (chopped)

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Green chillies – 1 to 2 (slit)

Tomato – 1 (chopped)

Salt and sugar – according to the taste

Coconut – ½ cup (freshly grated)

Paneer butter masala powder or any oriental curry powder – 1 spoon

Method:

-Wash cauliflower and broccoli florets, blanch in boiling water, drain the water and keep it aside.

-To prepare masala paste, heat oil, and add all the dry masalas from cumin to peppercorns, fry a little.

-Add cashew and almond, and fry until it turns light brown.

-Add chopped onion, green chillies, turmeric, and fry until it turns transparent and light brown.

-Next, add a little salt to chopped tomato to quicken the process. When it turns soft, add coconut and fry until it emits an aroma.

-Cool the content and make a smooth paste by adding water.

-Now, put this ground paste into the same Kadai in which masala has been roasted and adjust the consistency by adding water.

-Check the seasoning and adjust the salt and sugar according to the taste. Boil the content.

-When it starts to boil, add blanched broccoli and cauliflower and allow it to boil.

-Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with roti, peas pulav or menthya bath.

Thovve:

Our Thovve is nothing but dali thoye, a delicacy of the Konkani household. With Idli or buns,thovve is somewhat the most loved combo of my husband and his family. Over the years, even I have started to relish this combo as much as they do.

According to my father-in-law, tempering is the basis of any dish. Here, cooked toor dal is boiled and added with a liberal tempering. As we have now monsoon season, it is a most comforting and soothing meal option for us.

Ingredients:

Toor dal – 1 cup

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Green chillies – 2 (slit)

Salt

Hing – ¼ + ¼  tsp

Ghee or coconut oil – 1 tbl spoon

Mustard – 1 to 2 tsp

Red chillies – 1 or 2

Curry leaves

Method:

-I prefer to soak toor dal in advance to get a smooth texture. Wash the dal, add sufficient water, and collect and discard all the foamy froth which forms at the upper surface.

-Now, before closing the cooker lid, put turmeric, green chillies and a tsp of coconut oil or ghee and cook for 3 to 4 whistles with sufficient water.

-Mash the dal, and adjust the consistency by adding extra water. Add salt, ¼ tsp of hing and nicely boil.

-Now, do the tempering. Heat oil or ghee, crackle mustard, hing, red chillies, and curry leaves and pour over the boiled dal.

-Close the lid for some time and allow it to seep in all the flavours. Serve with Idli or buns.

NOTE:

-Soaking the dal and skimming (removing the foam) is optional. It does change the taste of the final product. Hence, I follow the process.

 

 

Huchellu Chutney :

If you are wondering what exactly it is? Wait! It has some more names, such as Gurellu in Kannada and Niger seed in English. They are used extensively in the North Karnataka region.

Niger seed or Huchellu is filled with many nutrients and is the best Omega 3 natural supplement for vegetarians.

I made Huchellu chutney with Ragi Rotti, considered the best combo in Bangalore.

Ingredients:

Chana dal – 1 tsp

Urad dal – 1tsp

Peanuts – ¼ cup

Hurigadale, roasted gram – 2 tbl spoons

Green chillies – 2 to 4

Garlic – 4 cloves

Curry leaves – 4 leaves

Coriander leaves – little

Salt and tamarind little

Roasted niger seeds or powder – 1 tbl spoon

Fresh coconut – 2 to 3 tbl spoons

Method:

-Heat little oil, roast chana dal, urad dal, and peanuts. Add roasted gram, green chillies, and garlic cloves and fry further.

-Switch off the gas, add curry leaves and coriander leaves, and toss a little to wilt the greens; cool.

-Grind the content to smooth paste by adding coconut, salt, and tamarind.

-I don’t add any seasoning. If you wish to add it, please go ahead and add it. Serve with Ragi rotti.

Ragi Rotti:

Ragi rotti, either you love it or hate it. It is one of the healthiest meals in the Mysore-Bangalore region. Unlike a dosa, where the fermented batter is poured and swirled, we pat the pliable batter by hand.

Even though it was a part of the rural part of Karnataka or in traditional cooking, it has now got its due credit by being considered “Superfood”, diabetic-friendly, calcium-rich, gluten-free, and what not!

Ragi rotti with peanut/Huchellu(Niger seeds) chutney is a healthy and authentic breakfast in Bangalore.

The Rotti and chutney, which I learnt from a couple of my friends, then adapted to make my version, according to my family requirement is here,

Ingredient:

Ragi/ finger millet flour – 2 to 3 cups

Cooked rice – ½ cup

Grated coconut – ¼ cup (optional)

Chopped onions – 2 to 3 (medium size)

Chopped green chillies – 2 to 3

Chopped coriander leaves – ½ cup

Chopped Curry leaves – 2 tbl sp

Chopped pudina – 2 tbl sp (optional)

Salt

Hot water – as needed.

Method:

-Take one wide steel bowl, dry mix everything from ragi flour, cooked rice, chopped green chillies, onions, coriander, curry leaves, pudina, coconut gratings and salt.

-Make a pliable dough by adding sufficient boiling hot water.Keep it aside for 5 to 10 minutes to absorb the seasoning and soak.

-When you want to make rotti, take one piece of banana leaf or butter paper.

-Take a little rotti dough in your moist hand, and start patting in a circular motion by wetting your hand in the water now and then.

-Make 3 or 4 holes here and there if you want the crispier version. Sprinkle one teaspoon of oil over this patted rotti and keep it ready.

-Heat iron skillet and cook oil sprinkled rotti by putting upside down on it. After 2 to 3 minutes, peel off a banana leaf or butter paper.

-Sprinkle little oil over it and flip. Cook and serve hot with peanut chutney or Huchellu chutney.

Note:

-Keep one bowl of water at a reachable distance to dip your hand in-between.

– wetting your hand will help avoid the dough sticking to your fingers while patting.

 

Overnight Poha flakes:

Overnight Poha flakes are our desi version of overnight oats with my personal touch to solve my daughter, who doesn’t like oats but stays in the hostel and prefers a quick breakfast option in busy mornings.

This recipe is forgiving and adaptable to however one wants to have it.

One can use available millet flakes, medium-thick rice flakes white or red or black and can be soaked in plain or vegan /plant-based milk, yoghurt, or mixture. Hence, according to one’s diet restriction, it can be made and consumed.

Let us see how I made them. It is ready to make a flaky overnight mixture as an instant mixture to replace plain oats.

Ingredients:

Medium-thick poha – 1 cup

Ragi poha / flakes – 1 cup

Jowar poha – 1 cup ( optional)

Puffed Amaranth – 1 cup ( optional)

Method:

-Dry grind Red poha ( what I have used) in a small mixer jar using “PULSE” mode.

-Pulsing the rice poha helps reduce the size, and it helps to match the size of other millet poha and puffed Amaranth.

-Now, take one dry bowl, mix everything properly and store it in an air-tight bottle.

As we all know how to make overnight oats, we use this poha flakes mix and proceed.

Take 2 to 4 tbl spoon of the above poha flakes in a glass bottle or bowl. Add chia seed, dry fruits etc

Pour cow’s milk or vegan plant-based milk. Close the lid and keep it overnight inside the fridge.

-Next morning, add chopped fruits and dates with/ without a prefered natural sweetener like honey, jaggery syrup or sugar.

 

Raw Mango Thokku:

Raw Mango, the name itself makes us drool. Summer is always the time to relish Mango, from tangy to sweetest form. Here, I have shared a super simple, quickest form of relish. Mango thokku is a perfect balance of hot and sour tastes and goes very well with every possible dish. It can be used as a chutney, spread or with curd rice or Indian dal.

Things which we have to keep in our mind are,

-Use thick bottomed steel or anodised cookware. (please don’t use aluminium or iron Kadai while cooking souring agents) 

-Usage of Mango: Thothapuri variety is ideal for this.

-The quantity of Oil: If you want to store the thokku for a longer duration, use more oil, and if it is for quick use, with a shorter shelf life, use less oil and keep it under refrigeration.

-To get an authentic taste, use cold-pressed sesame oil or Til oil. If you don’t like the overpowering taste of til, add half the amount of sesame oil and half the amount of Sunflower oil.

Ingredients:

Thothapuri Mango – 2

Oil – ½ cup ( ¼ cup of sesame + ¼ cup of sunflower oil)

Mustard – 1 tbl spoon

Broken red chillies – 2

Curry leaves – 2 springs

Salt – acc to your taste

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1 to 2 tbl spoons ( acc to the required hotness)

Roasted methi powder – ½ tsp

Method:

-Wash, peel and grate the mangoes.

-Heat Kadai, add oil and Do the process in low heat to avoid burning. Splutter mustard, fry red chilli and curry leaves.

-Add grated mangoes, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. When it starts wilting, add turmeric, red chilli powder, salt, and cook further.

When oil starts to ooze out at the sides, add roasted methi powder, cook some more time, and switch off.

-Cool the mixture, and store it in a dry glass bottle. Enjoy with hot rice, rotis or even toasted bread.