Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Morkuzambu Bonda - Fried Black Gram Dal Dumpling in Curd Gravy

MORKUZHAMBU BONDA
Whenever there is a lunch party at home I love to serve hot and spicy Bisibele Bath as the main dish. Tahir Vadai is another special dish - especially during Summer - which goes very well with the spicy Bisibele Bath. Today being a cold and rainy day I decided to substitute the cold Thair Vadais with a warm and spicy Morkuzhambu Bonda for our special guests who turned up for lunch. We could  only get the picture of the finished dish as the guests were expected any moment!


INGREDIENTS FOR THE BONDAS
Black gram dal - 1 cup
Fresh ginger - 1 inch piece
Salt - 1 pinch
Oil  - for frying
Thin butter milk with one pinch of salt for soaking 
TO PREPARE THE BONDAS
1. Soak the black gram dal for an hour.
2. Drain, and grind with ginger and salt adding water little by little into a thick, smooth and fluffy batter.
3. Keep the thin butter milk ready.
4. Heat oil in a kadai.
5. Beat the batter well and drop a small scoop of batter into the hot oil and fry till it turns golden brown in colour. A batch of 4 or 5 Bondas can be fried at a time.
6. Drain the Bondas well and immediately immerse them in the salted butter milk.
7. Remove the soaked Bondas into a bowl before immersing the second batch.
INGREDIENTS AND  
METHOD TO PREPARE  MORKUZHAMBU
Bengal gram dal - 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 pinch
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
1.(Soak all the above ingredients for at least half an hour till the dal becomes soft.)
Green chillies - 3
Fresh coconut gratings - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Rice flour - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
2.(Grind all the ingredients along with the soaked ingredients into a smooth paste and keep aside.)
Curds - 2 cups
3. Blend all the ground ingredients with curds.
FOR SEASONING
Sesame oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 pinch
Broken Red chillies - 2
Curry leaves - a few
4. Heat oil in a seasoning ladle and add mustard seeds.
5. When the mustard seeds splutter add fenugreek seeds and fry till they are golden brown.
6.Add the broken red chillies and fry till they are crisp.
7. Finally add the curry leaves and pour the seasoning into the curd mixture.
8. Cook the mixture till it starts foaming and switch off flame.
TO FINISH THE DISH
9. Pour the hot Morkuzhambu over the soaked Bondas and garnish with coriander leaves.


Morkuzhambu Bondas can be relished as snacks as they are.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Karida Kadubu / Somasi - Samosas with Dry Coconut and Sugar Filling

KARIDA KADUBU / SOMASI
The city is geared up to celebrate Ganesha Chaturti in full swing! Every home is busy preparing sweets and savouries to be offered to the Divine Charmer - Ganesha. Every year the Maha Ganapathi Temple at Malleswaram, Bangalore celebrates a ten day festival for Lord Ganesha during Ganesha Chaturti. Every day Ganesha is decked up in different alankaras. Decorations using fruits, dry fruits and vegetables are a grand feast for the eyes. Garlands strung with Vades, Kodubales, Chakkulis, Kajjayas and Karida Kadubu which adorn the Lord during pooja is later distributed to the devotees as prasadam.

Here is Ganesha's favourite Karida Kadubu / Somasi for Ganesha Chaturti.



INGREDIENTS FOR THE COVERING DOUGH
Fine semolina ( Peni Rave) - 1 cup
Salt - 1/2 a pinch
Ghee /  oil - 2 tbsps
TO PREPARE THE DOUGH
1. Mix fine semolina/peni rave with salt in a bowl.
2. Heat ghee / oil and pour it all over the semolina/rave.
3. Mix thoroughly.
4. Add very little water at a time and knead into a stiff pliable dough.
5. Cover and keep it aside for at least an hour. 
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING


Grated copra (dry coconut gratings) - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cardamom (Peeled) 2
TO MAKE THE FILLING
Blend all the ingredients together in a mixer.


TO MAKE THE KARIDA KADUBU/SOMASI
1. Once again knead the dough well.
2. Pinch out a ball of dough and roll it out into a thin palm size circle. Dusting with flour is not needed as the dough will be greasy enough to be easily rolled out.
3. Place a heaped table spoon of the filling on one side of the circle.
4. Fold the circle into half over the filling and press the edges firmly together, sealing the filling inside. 
5. Mark the pressed edge with striations using the back of a spoon or a blunt knife.


6. Heat oil in a kadai and slide a Kadubu / Somasi into it.
7. Decrease flame to medium and gently fry the Kadubu till it bloats up.
8. Flip it and fry till both sides turn into a golden brown colour.
9. Remove the Karida Kadubu / Somasi when it becomes crisp using a perforated ladle and drain on a paper towel.
10. Fry all Kadubus/Somasis similarly and allow to cool thoroughly before storing.


Offer the KARIDA KADUBU / SOMASI to Lord Ganesha and share the prasadam with one and all. 

       HAPPY GANESHA CHATURTI

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Kadlekai Unde - Peanut and Jaggery Balls

KADLEKAI UNDE 
That was the time in my life when I was totally engrossed in books regarding Mahatma Gandhi's life and the freedom movement of India. I often shared few mini Gandhi Thata stories with my two year old talkative daughter. After the story session I made it a point to make her answer a few questions to test her comprehension. When she was posed with a question as to what Gandhi Thata ate, pat came the reply: "Kadlekai!"  "Aattu Paal (goat's milk)!" she reverted with great enthusiasm even before I could finish my next question regarding his drink! She had to repeat her performance many times when the circle of audience started growing!  Kadlekai/Peanuts was my little tot's favourite snack especially when it was made into undes. Roasted or boiled Kadlekai/Peanuts (also known as Badavara Badami, meaning poor man's almonds) are nutritious snacks by themselves. It is also savoured in Sambars, Sundals and chutneys. Starting from Super Markets, the local grocery stores to the small Petti Angadis (Miscellaneous shops) the ubiquitous Kadlekai Unde (Peanut Laddus) are sold everywhere.
Kadlekai Unde is a healthy sweet which can be savoured as a snack or as a dessert or even in between meals!


INGREDIENTS
Peanuts/Kadlekai - 1 glass
Powdered jaggery - 1 glass
METHOD
1. Roast the peanuts in a heavy bottomed kadai on medium flame till the skins are loosened.
2. Allow to cool and rub the nuts in between your palms to separate the husk.


3. Clean the peanuts and break them into chunks using a mixer.


4. Dissolve jaggery in one cup of warm water and filter.
5. Boil the filtered jaggery water in a thick bottomed kadai till it becomes thick and sticky.

 

(Drop little of the syrup in cold water. If the drop does not disintegrate, and if you are able to roll it into a ball using your thumb and forefinger the syrup is ready.)


 6. Switch off flame and blend the prepared kadlekai/ peanuts into the syrup.


7. When it cools down a little and is comfortable to touch, it is ready to be shaped into undes/balls.
8. Grease your palms, scoop out a small portion of the mixture and shape it into an unde/ball.
9. Similarly shape more undes/balls using up the entire mixture. Place them apart till they are thoroughly cooled so that they do not stick together


10. The mixture might harden and lose stickiness towards the end. In that case heat the remaining mixture on low flame till the jaggery starts melting. Switch off flame and then shape the remaining undes/balls.


Allow the Kadlekai Undes / Peanut Balls to cool and then store them in a clean dry jar.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Pottu Kadalai Laddurundai - Roasted Gram Laddus - Sattu Laddus

POTTU KADALAI  LADDURUNDAI
Our family had the opportunity to enjoy the delicious Sattu Laddus from Kolkatta recently. When I took a bite of the sweet I realized that it was the very same Pottukadalai laddu/Maa Laadu, a traditional sweet prepared in South Indian homes.The beautifully packaged Sattu Laddus with Silver Vark makeover have now become one of my  family's favourite sweets.


Pottu Kadalai (Roasted Gram) known as Hurigadale or Putani in Kannada is a healthy snack by itself since it is rich in protein and dietary fiber. Those were the days when we siblings were a bunch of hyper active kids who loved to loot the garden or store room to find some nibbles all the time.We did not even spare the drums in which the Pottu Kadalai (Roasted Gram) husk was stocked for feeding our cows! We literally dived into the drums and foraged for the meager Pottu Kadalais which still stuck to some of the husks! We enjoyed munching the handful of  Pottu Kadalais thus collected as we played in the garden!
Pottu Kadalai Urundai can be prepared in two methods. Roasted gram can be mixed with sticky jaggery syrup and then shaped into delicious balls / laddus. The second method of making the Pottukadalai Laddurundai is by using the Pottu Kadalai in its flour form. This is also known as Maa or Maavu Laadoo (Flour Laddu) in Tamil. I have used organic jaggery powder for its blood purifying properties and its mineral content which in turn enhances the nutritional value of the Pottu Kadalai Laddurundai.
INGREDIENTS

Roasted Gram / Pottu Kadalai - 1 glass
Organic jaggery powder - 1 glass
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Edible camphor - 1/2 a pinch
Ghee or Olive oil - 1 cup
METHOD
1. Grind the roasted gram (Pottu Kadalai) into a fine and smooth powder.


2. Add cardamom, jaggery powder and edible camphor and blend them together once again.


3. Take the ground mixture in a bowl and add hot ghee/olive oil to it and mix thoroughly.


4.  Take a scoop of the warm mixture and shape it into a Laddurundai (laddu balls).
5. Make Laddus similarly using all the flour and jaggery mixture while still warm.


6. If the mixture cools down or does not hold the shape, mix in little more hot ghee or olive oil and continue shaping the laddus.


Enjoy the nutritious Pottu Kadalai Laddurundai as when you crave for a sweet!