Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Break in Coorg!...

I am 'just' back from my holiday in Coorg/Kodagu, Karnataka...

As suggested by my blogger friends I am glad to share a few pictures as a separate post.

The Resort where we stayed.


The Mangalorean style entrance of the resort.


The Beautiful valley of Coorg/Kodagu in Karnataka.


The pretty Madikeri town.Kodagu district.


The Coffee plant bearing the berries.


The coffee estate.We had to walk a little through this to reach ...


..The Abbey falls.We were warned not to go near as the monsoon water rush proved to be dangerous.


The well maintained Omkareshwar Temple of Lord Shiva, Madikeri.


The Temple tank.One can see the unique combo of the Persian Muslim dome with the Hindu Golden Flag atop!!..


The 'Raja's Seat' of Madikeri,Coorg.
King Vira Rajendra Wodayar ,the last king of Kodagu, is believed to have watched the sun setting behind the beautiful misty mountains, from here.The view from this point is the pic no 3, up!.

We also experienced the adventurous and the exciting,"White water rafting" of Dubare. If you ever get a chance to do this anywhere, please go ahead.Those who do not know swimming(like me) must surely try ;)..

The drive up to the source of the River Cauvery, Tala Cauvery, and a holy bath there, washed away all our sins..:D..

Asha has a handful of childhood memories associated with this lovely place...this is specially posted for RCI-Karnataka hosted by this lucky gal :).
By the way, this is definitely NOT a cruel intention to turn her homesick and nostalgic while busy doing her fabulous round up.. ;)..:D..

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Potato Bondas



How about hot potato bondas with a hot cup of tea for a rainy evening?..

I make this snack very frequently for the evening tea and never knew until from Sia who confirmed this to have originated from Karnataka.My special thanks to you Sia, who helped me realise about this.
Here we go with the recipe of the Mangalorean Aloo Bondas, I mastered from my ma-in- law, my second submission to RCI-Karnataka hosted by dearest Asha .:)


Yields 10-12 numbers.Preparation time-45 mintes.

You need:

For the filling;

2 Big potatoes cooked and mashed well
1/2 tsp each of Mustard Seeds and Urad Dal each
A fat pinch of jeera powder
4 Green chillies chopped finely
Ginger 1/2 inch chopped finely
A large Onion chopped finely
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 stalks cilantro, chopped finely
Salt-to taste
Lemon Juice extracted from a small sized lemon


For the Outer Layer/Dip;

3/4 cup Chikpea/Besan flour
1/4 cup Rice flour
(You can also use instant bajji mix instead of the besan and rice flours.)
A tsp of Red chilly powder
A fat pinch of Hing
A fat pinch of Baking soda
Refined Oil for deep frying

Method:


For the Filling;

Heat a tbsp of oil and temper with mustard seeds,urad dal, ginger and green chillies in that order and sauté for a little while.Add, chopped onion, jeera and turmeric powders.Sauté till the onions turn translucent.Add mashed potatoes, coriander leaves and lemon juice.Remove from fire.Add salt and mix well.At this stage the filling should be tough and firm but soft and not soggy or loose, so as to make into small lemon sized balls after it cools down.



For the Outer Cover;

Combine besan and rice flours.(Rice flour is added to make the outer cover crisp)Carefully add water to make a thick batter,(slightly thicker than idly batter) adding chilly powder, hing, salt and baking soda. Dip the balls for filling in the batter and slide one by one, 3 at a time, into the hot oil.Turn after a couple minutes at first and keep turning gently till it acquires a golden brown colour and the outer layer turns crisp.Serve these yummy and crispy hot aloo bondas with green/mint chutney and tomato sauce.Perfect with an evening cup of hot tea!.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Puliyogare/Tamarind Rice


Dear Asha, also known as the "Blogger Queen" is a lovable, likable person, who reaches out to all with her care, love and encouragement.Any objection? :)..

Well,I had been 'pestering' her lately with umpteen queries, pertaining the recipe, checking up whether it belonged to Kannada cuisine and with her gallons of patience answering to each and every one of my silliest questions saying,"I know it is really tough for someone to make a Kannada dish without much experience."


She was virtually "missed" by almost all the bloggers when she was away for her Lasik treatment...and now she is getting ready for the round up with her sharp vision, without the glasses!!..Yaaay!!..

Surprisingly I learnt from Wiki that I had been preparing Kannada food very frequently.Bisi bele bhath, vanghi bhath, aloo bonda, masala dosa, puliyogare and the simplest yoghurt rice/mosaranna..all fall under my usual menu!.


My queries about puliyogare sped to Roopa who sweetly replied,"well puliyogare comes as i know from iyengars mainly living in mysore and bangalore. it is common in tamil, telugu as well as kannada cuisine our cuisine has a more sweet/ ting than the others."

Ashaji has confirmed the name of the basic sauce as Hunise gojju, a very authentic B'lore iyengar recipe..:)

The Tamarind rice, the Pulyogare or Puliyodharai is my family's any time favourite and here we go with the recipe which involves three steps of making the sauce/gojju,the powder and mixing them together with cooked rice...


Ingredients for the Hunise Gojju/sauce:

A cup of Thick Tamarind Pulp extracted from a small orange sized ball of tamarind.
Salt-as needed
A small piece of Jaggery
Soak tamarind in warm water for half an hour.Extract pulp, as thick as possible.Keep aside.

For the powder

A tbsp of dessicated coconut
2 tsps coriander seeds
2 tsps peppercorns
A pinch of hing (asoefetida)
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
6-8 Red chillies
A tsp of white sesame seeds
A teaspoons urad dal /black gram dal
A teaspoon channa dal /bengal gram dal
A tsp cumin seeds

Dry roast the ingredients for the powder one by one.Trickle oil if necessary.Powder the roasted ingredients when cool.Set aside.

For Seasoning

5tbsps Gingelly oil
A tsp each of mustards,fenugreek seeds,urad dal and channa dal
2 teaspoons peanuts
4 red chillies each broken into 3 pieces
A fat pinch of turmeric powder
A sprig of curry leaves

Method to prepare the Gojju.

Heat oil and fry the peanuts;keep aside.OR, micro the peanuts for a minute, toss, micro again for a minute and keep aside.In the same oil season using mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, urad dal, channa dal, red chillies and curry leaves.

Add the tamarind pulp, jaggery,turmeric powder and salt.Mix well and let it boil.Add the powder and let it simmer for a few minutes mixing well to avoid any lumps.Add salt.

The oil starts separating and the mixture would have thickened by now giving off a wonderful aroma.


Cool the sauce and store in an airtight container.

How to prepare Puliyogare /Tamarind Rice

Mix hot rice with gojju, adding liberal amounts of gingelly/sesame seed oil.Check salt and the tanginess all over while mixing.Let the mixed rice be one step spicy and tangy so that it comes down after an hour or two as it penetrates the soft rice.So see to it that you prepare the tamarind rice at least 2 hours serving.
The gojju mixed with the powder stays well for a month if refrigerated.
Puliyogare is also a "perfect pack away lunch."

This goes to RCI-Karnataka hosted by dearest Asha :).

So..what's up next?...nothing else but packing away with my hubby and kids soon for a few days to the southern parts of Karnataka ; Mysore, Belur, Halebidu( a few temples in an around these lovely places) and Coorg !!.

Friday, September 14, 2007

My favourite Cook book and a few facts.



The Birth of the Cook book.

Fifteen young, enthusiastic men in a well known town in Tamil Nadu Join hands and form an association as a part of Round Table India(RTI).

Their Table gains recognition, popularity and compliments flow.The men indulged more in social activities and continued their hard work, again for the Table.In spite of much pressure,their young and active counterparts 'brilliantly' discouraged themselves from forming a Circle fearing they might lose the 'intimacy' among them.These non-political ladies, with varied cultural backgrounds, made it a point to gather once a month for their own Potluck Dinner.Their men and kids defenitely enjoyed the varied tastes cooked personally from each home every month and had a lighter time with all fun and laughter.

*One of the ladies came up with the brilliant idea of collecting the recipes of each of them and compile into a 'Cook book' and recieved an instantaneous applause by the Table.

Thus born,within a few weeks, the much awaited Potluck Specials.

Why I like this book.

This book is not restricted to any particular type of cuisine.The recipes are hometried and each dish has a personal touch of its maker!.Besides the continental cuisine, the book brings together the cuisines of North India, Kerala, Srilanka, parts of Tamil Nadu like Chettinad, Tuticorin,Trichy and Thirunelveli; representing each lady of the association!.



The proceeds from the sale of the book went to support RTI's long term project of Freedom Through Education.Every one who purchased thus supported the noble cause of Giving this vision a life.

*The leading person was none other than Renuka, whose team received a wonderful recognition for the stupendous effort!.



This is my submission to my sister's very first event (how can I resist?) of Show me your cook book. :D...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Mid name Meme..

This had been a pending post since I had been asked to do a 'Middle name Meme' by the cute Sirisha and the sweet Zlamushka!.Sorry to keep you waiting, girls.

Posting right away with not much of mental preparation or attatching the Meme with a recipe post.

Here are the rules:

* Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
* When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.
* At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.
* Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged.

I do not have a Middle name and I would like to choose SRI.The reason being this is the first part of my man's pet name and that the word denotes prosperity and wealth..:)

SSincere..I like to be a sincere person.Whether the task is light or not,I do it in a sincere way. Sweet-Love sweets and love to be sweet.Self Confidence-I lack this a little too much.Mainly when it comes to responsibilities and leadership, I move behind getting tensed up for the same ..in other word Procrastination!.

RRhythm,Raaga is all what rushes by.A Lover of Music, Eastern or Western.I start comparing the melodies associating them with raagas.Anandabhairavi, Hamsadhwani, Sahana, Sindhu bhairavi are my favourite few.Love Roses.

IInnocence- I love innocence..of a baby or even this sweet quality if resting in adults!!:)

Irritation- As anyone it is tough to stand this.My latest irritation was that when one of the ladies here who has the name of an Indian holy river passed a statement."Ooh!What's big issue about this food blogging!!.."I had been thinking lately to ask my husband (poor hen pecked fellow) to take one of the dishes I make everyday in our digital camera (she stresses the word everyday and adds that a digital camera can make the work easier!!) and upload the same in the web!...after all everything looks nice through the lens!"

I was aware of the fact that she lives with her husband and two sons, pampered by her own relatives, cares little about her aged parents-in-law(her husband is their only son) and poses she is occupied the whole day!..

I could speak nothing but smile and move away from the holy river, as a reaction..


And now, I am supposed to pass this to my blogger friends with names beginning S,R and I.

Shall I ask SRIvalli and SReelu to take up, please?:D...

Monday, September 3, 2007

GBP-Curry leaves powder-Preserve the Greens!..


Blame the scorching summer in Tamil Nadu!!..most of my plants started dying out.Feeling much disappointed I discouraged myself working more with the Kitchen garden patch, except for a few saplings of curry leaf plants.They demanded to be watered twice, daily, in the shadow of other shrubs, to be protected from the direct heat of the sun.

Forward 5 months..Viola!.. The greens survived !!..They are still small and I had to snap the stalks a few from each of the half a dozen plants to carry on with the Curry leaves powder or the Karuveppilai podi, wanting them to grow well!.


The curry leaves(Murraya Koenigi) are believed to have wonderful medicinal/curative properties and nutritional qualities.Learn more about them here and here.

Green Blog Project was started by Inji of Ginger and Mango. This is my contribution to Deepz of LETZ COOK who is hosting the Green Blog Project - Summer 2007(April-Oct) event.

Ingredients:

2 cups Curry leaves-de stalked,washed and dried
A tsp of Cumin/Jeera seeds
A tsp of Bengal gram Dal/Kadalai paruppu
A tsp of Broken urad dal
6 nos-more or less-Red chillies
A tbsp of Coriander seeds/Kothamalli
A few drops of oil-for frying chillies
A goose berry sized ball of Tamarind-Sundry to remove any water content.
A pinch of Hing/asafoetida
Salt to taste

Method:

1. Dry roast the ingredients one by one, separately(except tamarind) .
Curry leaves,Coriander seeds,the dals,Jeera and the chillies in that order.

2. Bengal gram and urad dal should acquire a deep red colour.

3. The Curry leaves should be roasted stirring continuously till crisp.Add Hing while doing so.

4. Trickle a few drops of oil while frying the chillies.

5. Keep the flame to medium while frying.Maintain constant temperature throughout.Roasting is the most important part as it decides the quality of the powder.

6. Cool the ingredients.Pulse the dals first, followed by the other spices and dry grind in a mixer. Add the curry leaves and lastly the tamarind.This order is to be followed as the moisture content in the tamarind hinders the uniform powdering of the spices. Let the powder be a little coarse and not too powdery.

7. Store the powder in an air tight container.Stays fresh if refrigerated for 6 months.


Mix the powder with hot rice and ghee to make the instant and healthy Karuveppilai sadam.