Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aralu Sandige
Soaking Time - 6 hrs
Preparation Time - 20 mins
Makes - 25 sandige

Measurements & Ingredients:
Aralu (puffed paddy rice) - 200 gms
Tapioca (sabudana or sabakki) - 1 cup, soaked in water overnight
Green chillies - 3-4
Onion - 1 big
Coriander leaves - a few sprigs
Salt - to taste

 Wash and soak the aralu for 5-10 mins.
 Meanwhile grind onion, green chillies, coriander leaves into a coarse paste without adding water.  Drain out the water from the aralu by squeezing it.  To this add the coarse paste, tapioca and salt and mix well.
Scoop a little of this with the forefingers towards the edge of a container so that it forms into a flat lump and place it on a steel plate or plastic sheet and let it dry in hot sun for 3-4 days.
 Once the sandige is dried on one side, flip it upside down to dry the other side, for a couple of days. 
 Deep fry it in oil and serve it with Lunch or Dinner or just as a snack!

Or you could store it in an air tight container and fry them when needed.

1. You could grate ash gourd and add it to the mixture.  If ash gourd is added, you need not soak the aralu in water.  Directly mix the aralu with the ash gourd and the other mixture and let it sit for 5-7 mins.
2. Make sure to dry the sandige completely before storing, to avoid fungus formation.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mysore Pak
I learnt this sweet dish from my mother.  She does it great.  I have heard a lot of people telling me that the ghee I add is too much and that we can reduce the amount of ghee.  If you feel so, please do it, but you will not get the same great taste.  I say that if you are eating a rich sweet, then eat it rich!

Preparation Time - 5 mins
Cook Time - 30 mins
Makes - 20-25 pieces

Measurements and Ingredients:
  • Chick pea flour(Besan or kadale hittu) - 1 cup
  • Ghee(clarified butter) - 2 cups
  • Sugar - 2 cups
  • Water - 5-6 tsps
Seive the chick pea flour and keep it aside.  Smear a few drops of ghee to a steel plate which has flat edges like that of a cake pan. 

In a heavy bottom pan add the flour and dry fry it on a low medium heat until the raw smell of the flour goes away. But do not let the flour turn brown in color. Take out the flour in a plate.

In the same pan add the sugar and add a few tspns of water, just enough to wet the sugar. On medium heat stir the sugar until it is disolved in the little water.

Once the sugar granules are disolved add the chick pea flour 2 tbspns at a time and keep stirring so that lumps are not formed.

 Once you add all the flour in this way, add 1 cup of ghee and mix well. Keep stirring well on a medium heat.
You will notice that after some time all the ghee would have been absorbed. At this stage, the consistency will be liquid - like a thick paste.
Then add another half cup of ghee as you continue stirring. 
 Once the ghee is again absorbed, add the final half cup of ghee and keep stirring. Now, all the ghee may or may not be absorbed. This will be the last stage.

You will see that the paste is getting solidified and when you scoop the edges, it comes out like a thick solid which is well aerated. When you take a scoop full of the batter and put it back, it should fall as a lump and not flow like a paste. Then it is done. But do not wait until it gets solidified fully because it becomes too hard after cooling.

Also, the ghee starts floating on top or on the edges.

Pour this hot mixture on the plate smeared with ghee. 

Let it cool for 10-15 mins and when it is still warm, cut it into desired number of pieces. Wait for it to cool down fully and then take out the pieces.

Serving suggestion:
Since ghee gets solidified after it is cold, warm the mysore pak for a few seconds, just to melt the ghee inside it and then serve and this tastes awesome!!

1. Do not add too much water to the sugar like you do for sugar syrup in gulab jamoon.  You have to add a few tspns of water just to wet the sugar.
2. Do not wait until the sugar solution turns into a sugar syrup because we do not need a syrup here and it will make the mysore pak hard.
3. You have to keep stirring from the time you add the flour till it is done.  If you do not stir continuously, the mysore pak will not be good.  It needs to be aerated inside and this happens only by stirring continuously (yes it takes a lot of effort...)
4. The whole cooking is done on medium or a little lower than medium heat
5. You have to take it out of heat at the right time and this may happen at the first time you try this sweet or sometimes after you have tried it for a couple of times. If you take it out too early, it will be too soft and if you take it out a few seconds late, it will be hard.
This is an authentic dish from Karnataka.  Traditionally onion is not used in this dish.  However, I have seen people adding onion to it.  I have tasted both - with and without onion and I feel onion changes the entire taste by adding its unique flavor to the dish.  At our home we prepare bisibelebath without onion and I will continue to do so :)  Also, I used the home made bisibelebath powder and I will soon post the recipe for this.  However, MTR bisibelebath powder also is good except that it is not spicy and so you need to add the red chili.

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cook Time - 45 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:
Sona Masoori rice - 1.5 cups
Yellow split pigeon peas(Toor dal or togaribele) - 1.5 cups
Mixed vegetables - 2 cups (beans, carrot, green peas, chayote, german turnip all cut into medium sized pieces)
Peanuts - 1/4 cup
Tamarind paste - 2-3 tsps
Jaggery - as per taste
Salt - as per taste
MTR bisibelebath powder (or better if you have home made powder) - 4-5 tsps
For tempering:
Oil - 8 tbsps
Spicy red chili - 1-2, broken into 2 pieces
Mustard seeds (sasive) - 1 tsp
Black gram (urad dal) - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cashew nuts - 10
Asafoetida - a generous pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Green capsicum - 1, cut into medium size pieces
Tomato - 1, cut into medium size pieces


Cook rice and keep it aside. Cook the pigeon peas (toor dal) and mixed vegetables together (preferably in a pressure cooker).

Simultaneously in a heavy bottom pan heat 8 cups of water and add the MTR Bisibelebath powder, tamarind paste and salt and let it boil on a medium heat for 20 mins.

Once the pigeon peas and vegetables are cooked add this, the cooked rice and jaggery to the boiling water mixture and mix well.
If it is too thich add a little water as needed. The consistency should be a little watery because once it is cooled it solidifies. But make sure not to add too much water. The ideal consistency is a goldilocks state - not too solid not too liquid, just right. Turn the heat to low medium and let it cook for 10-15 mins. The important point here is to keep stirring else the rice and vegetables will get burnt at the bottom of the pan.

While this is getting cooked, in another pan heat the oil. Add mustard seeds, black gram, red chili, asafoetida (hing), curry leaves and cashew nuts. Then add green capsicum. Fry for a couple of mins and add the chopped tomatoes. Fry this mixture for 5 mins on medium heat. Do not cook the vegetables very soft, cook only until they are almost done. Add this tempering to the bisibelebath which is being cooked and switch off the heat.

Eat it warm with either boondi or raitha made out of cucumber and yogurt.

1. Carrot, beans and green peas are the compulsory vegetables according to me.  Chayote and german turnip are optional.  Green capsicum and tomato are nice additions as they give a fantastic flavor to the dish.
2. Cook the capsicum and tomato in the tempering and not with other vegetables, as that will make these two vegetables over cooked.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Bread Toast
Preparation Time - 7 mins
Cook Time - 5 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Whole wheat or All purpose flour bread - 6 slices
  • Fine semolina (chiroti rave or fine sooji) - 4 tbspn
  • Onion - 1 small, cut into small pieces
  • Carrot - 1 small, grated
  • Cilantro - a few sprigs
  • Red chili powder - 3/4 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Cumin powder (jeera powder) - 1/4 tsp
  • Yogurt (plain curd) - less than 1/2 cup or as needed to make a paste
  • Salt - to taste

Mix fine semolina (rave), onion, carrot, cilantro, red chili powder, salt, cumin powder and yogurt to make a thick batter.  Do not add water.

Smear this mixture on one side of a bread top.
 Heat the griddle, add a few drops of oil on the griddle and place the bread on the oil drops with the plain side of bread facing up. 
Let it toast on a low medium flame. 

Add a few drops of oil on the plain side of the bread and flip it to toast the plain side.

When both the sides are toasted, serve it as it is or with tomato ketchup or sauce. 

This is best when eaten warm.
Carrot-Onion Salad(Carrot Kosambari)
Preparation Time - 7 mins
Cook Time - 5 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:

  • Carrot - 1 big, grated
  • Onion(Optional) - 1 medium sized, cut into small pieces
  • Cilantro - a few sprigs, cut
  • Fresh grated (or frozen) coconut - 1/4 cup
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds(sasive) - 1/2 tsp
  • Split black gram(urad dal) - 1/2 tsp
  • Green chillies - 1-2, cut into pieces
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
In a bowl, mix carrot, onion and grated coconut.  

Heat oil in a small laddle.  To this add mustard seeds, black gram, green chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida.  Do not let the ingredients burn.  

Add this seasoning, lemon juice, salt and cilantro to the carrot mixture and mix.

Add salt when you are ready to serve.  If you add it before hand, the salt releases water.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Puffed Rice Upma/Kadalepuri Upit

Preparation Time:10 mins
Cook Time:10 mins

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Puffed Rice(Kadalepuri) - 6 cups
  • Green chillies - 4-5
  • Onion - 1 small, cut into small pieces
  • Carrot - 1 small, grated
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Cilantro - a few sprigs
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Oil - 5 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Bengal gram - 1 tsp
  • Black gram - 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Salt - to taste
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp
 Heat oil in a pan.  To this add mustard seeds, bengal gram, black gram, asafoetida, green chillies and curry leaves.  Do not let the ingredients burn.  Now add onion and carrot, fry them for 2 mins.  Add turmeric powder and salt.

Simultaneously, add the puffed rice to water and let it aside until the onion and carrot gets cooked.
 Squeeze out the water and add the puffed rice to the pan, add cilantro and mix.  Let it cook covered for 5 mins.
Finally add lemon juice and serve as a snack.