Wednesday, August 03, 2016

10 Years of Blogging - Thank You!

Last week saw my blog as well as my daughter turning 10. It has always been easy for me to remember the blog anniversary as I started my blog and posted my first blog post a couple of days before my daughter was born.

Though my posts have decreased drastically this past year due to various reasons, I have kept Mysoorean more active on my Facebook page. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who have ever followed my blog - via Facebook, though various readers or directly on the blog. I so appreciate the love and support. Thank you to my Mother, my sister and my aunts, whose recipes I follow for traditional Mysore Brahmin style cooking.

Here's a look at my very first post, back on July 24th, 2006 :)
http://mysoorean.blogspot.in/2006/07/akki-rotti-my-first-post.html




Thursday, June 02, 2016

Padvalkayi SIhi Kootu - Snake Gourd Curry

Kootu is a mildly spiced, mildly seasoned dish made with dal and vegetables. I have posted recipes for cabbage kootu, sabsige soppina kootu/dill leaves kootu and the popular mixed vegetable kootu. You will notice slight variations in the masala ingredients or tadka in each. The Padvalkayi Sihi Kootu today (which literally stands for sweet snake gourd kootu) has a mildly sweet flavor to it, thanks to the addition of jaggery. Kootus are typically thicker than sambar and served with rice.


Ingredients:

2 cups, chopped snakegourd/padvalkayi
1 cup water
1 cup boiled toor or moong dal
1 tbsp jaggery
salt to taste

Masala:
2 tbsp coconut
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp raw rice
1 tsp jeera
5-6 peppercorns
3-4 dry red chillies

Tadka:
Cooking oil, mustard seeds and asafoetida
optional: peanuts (personal preference: I skip this)

Method:

In a pot, add chopped snakegourd and water. Cover and cook on low, until soft, about 12 mins.
In the meantime, lightly roast the dals, jeera and peppercorns. Add the dry red chilies and saute for a few seconds. Cool and grind them to a smooth paste, adding a few tablespoons of water, along with coconut and raw rice.
Add the paste to the pot with cooked snake gourd, along with cooked toor or moong dal.
Add jaggery and salt to taste and bring to a boil.
Make a tadka with the tadka ingredients and pour on top..
Serve with rice and a dollop of ghee.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Uchellu Chutney Pudi - Chutney Powder with Niger Seeds

North Karnataka cuisine has some delicious and nutritious chutney powders made with various seeds and nuts - flax seeds, peanut and niger seeds, being the more popular ones. Uchellu chutney pudi, made with Niger seeds (khuraasNi in Marathi) with ragi rotti is a great combination. The classic though, according to Ashwini, a reader from the region, is with jowar roti and Gadige mosaru (yogurt set in clay pots) and sliced onions. Growing up, we did not have this fare often but our cook, Madhuramma, was from North Karnataka and would occasionally make this uchellu chutney pudi, along with her amazing eggplant yennegai. This spice powder can be used as a stuffing for eggplants in curries as well. Now the recipe today comes from my sister, who is a wonderful cook and makes a variety of chutney pudis and gojjus. This delicious ripe mango gojju is from her too. She is also the one that inherited the sweet tooth and makes all sorts of complicated sweets on a whim!


Ingredients:

1 cup Uchellu/Niger seeds/khuraasni
1 tbsp peanuts
10--12 dried red chilies
8-10 large garlic pods, crushed
5-6 sprigs curry leaves
1 big marble sized tamarind
1 tbsp shredded jaggery
salt to taste

Method:

Roast the uchellu on very low flame until aromatic and the seeds start to pop. Kep aside.
Dry roast peanuts separately on low flame. Allow to cool and de=skin. Keep aside.
In a bit of oil, saute the garlic pods until lightly browned. Keep aside.
Lightly fry the red chilies, curry leaves and tamarind.
Grind all the roasted, fried and the remaining ingredients together in a mixer, to a slightly coarse powder.
Store in a cool, dry place.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Quinoa Spinach Cutlets

I am on a mission to totally revamp our (especially my) eating habits. Consciously including more raw vegetables, greens and fruits in my day, avoiding refined flours and grains, using more of the healthier grains (the baragu millet dosa was a part of it) etc. I've always had quinoa in salads and it was just one of those things that I did not dislike but nor did I particularly love either, But these days, I've been using quinoa in many dishes (including salads) and they have now become a staple, along with various millets, in our diet every week. I made Bisi Bele Bhath like this, but with quinoa instead of rice and it came out well too.

Turn anything to a cutlet/patty and you will find willing and happy eaters. The recipe today is power packed with quinoa, spinach and turmeric too. You can add veggies, spices, sprouts - it can take anything, really.


Ingredients:

½ cup cooked quinoa
1 medium potato, boiled and mashed
½ cup chopped spinach
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere or any cheese
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp corn meal
1 tsp chopped garlic
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
¼ cup panko or any bread crumbs, for dredging
i-2 tbsp oil for cooking

Method:
Mix all ingredients, except panko and oil, together.
Take a ping-pong ball sized mixture and form it into a patty. Make patties out of the remaining mixture.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Dredge the cutlets in panko and place them in the skillet. Let them cook until deeply browned, about 10 minutes.
Carefully flip and cook the other side until browned, adding more oil if needed.
Remove from skillet and serve.


Sunday, April 03, 2016

Baragu Dosa - Dosa with Proso Millets

This dosa is made with Proso Millets or Baragu in Kannada. It was my first time trying this particular millet and with attempting dosa with soaked millets. I loved the flavor and texture of the dosa, which I thought was great with just some ghee. The spouse liked them with chutney. And my kids, aged 9 and 6, who can be fussy when it comes to dosas, ate them without a murmur, asking for more - which to me, was the bigger win.


Ingredients:

1.5 cups baraagu/proso millets 
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup urad dal
1 tbsp methi seeds
1 tbsp avalakki/poha
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking

Method:

Soak the millets, rice, urad dal and methi seeds together for 3-4 hours. Soak the poha in water for 10 minutes before grinding.
Grind all the soaked ingredients, including poha, together until very smooth.
Add salt and mix together,
Allow the batter to ferment overnight (took about 10 hours for the batter to rise).
Heat a tawa/griddle and pour a ladle of the batter at the center and spread evenly in a circle. Pour oil around the dosa.
Cover and cook on medium-high until browned and crispy
Remove with a spatula and serve with chutney, chutney powder and/or ghee.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Original Maddur Vada [Not a Recipe Post]

Nestled mid way between Bangalore and Mysore is the small town of Maddur, made famous in the region by a humble, unassuming deep-fried snack called Maddur Vada. Though this snack is an offering on many restaurant menus throughout Karnataka, the original is found in Maddur at the train station and on the Bangalore-Mysore highway at a restaurant called Maddur Tiffany's. Story has it that in the early 1900s, a pakora vendor decided to switch things around to turn the round, ball shaped pakora to a flattened version that cooker faster. It was honed over the years and now his descendants, who own both the highway restaurant and the one at the train station, sell these amazing Maddur Vadas, along with a host of other South Indian "tiffin". Be sure to order the "special Maddur Vada" there, so you get the original.


This twice-fried vada is made of a combination of rava/semolina, maida/APF and rice flour and has onions (LOTS of it), curry leaves, hing/asafoetida and cashews. They are NOT thin and crunchy. Instead, they are thick, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are served with coconut chutney but they are great just as is.


Growing up, we kids always loved travelling by train to Bangalore. We looked forward to the train stopping at stations along the wway and vendors/hawkers on the platform selling interesting food and toys. There were cucumber slices topped with salt and cayenne at Srirangapatna, fruits at Mandya and ah, then came Maddur, the one stop we eagerly waited for! If it was breakfast time, there would be masala dosa, idli, uddin vade, masala vade and of course, the much-awaited Maddur Vade. We would have some right here and get a whole lot "parcelled" for later. These vadas have a longer shelf life and stay good for a few days. Even now, every time I travel from Bangalore to Mysore or vice-versa, I have to factor in a halt at Maddur for a quick snack of Maddur Vada and filter coffee. Hmmm..hmmm...good!

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Nugge Soppu Akki Rotti - Rice Flatbread with Drumstick (Moringa) Leaves

Wow, it has 6 months since I last posted anything here! I have a whole bunch of recipes, Mysorean fare or otherwise, waiting to see the light of the day on the blog. I hope to post regularly here on. I did manage to keep my Facebook Page somewhat active though.

Akki Rotti has always been a favorite dish of mine, since childhood. It's one of those versatile things that can take on anything and everything in it. Leftover vegetables, leftover palyas (dry sabzis), leftover dal, clean-up the fridge - all only make the rotti tastier! Or like this time, akki rotti can be planned with certain ingredients, like Nugge Soppu/drumstick leaves. Growing up, there was a drumstick tree right in our backyard and doing anything with the leaves of this plant involved walking a few steps to pluck them right off the tree. This time, my Mom had to specially request the vegetable vendor to get it for her. Though I have not seen in the small Indian grocery store in my town, I'm told drumstick leaves are available in frozen form here.


Ingredients
2 Cups Rice Flour
1.5-2 cups nugge soppu/drumstick leaves, washed and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 green chilies, finely chopped (more if you want it hotter)
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)
1/2 Tsp cumin seeds (optional)
1/4 cup grated coconut
1/4 cup yogurt
3/4-1 cup water
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking

Method:

Mix the above ingredients together to make a soft dough.( The dough should be almost like the consistency of chakkali dough, only softer). Let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes.
Grease an iron bandli (a round shaped, thick bottomed kadai) or a tawa. Take a small ball of dough and pat it evenly, slightly thin, on the bandlee/tawa, making a small hole in the center.
Pour 1 tsp of oil around the edges and in the center, cook on medium-high heat, keeping the bandlee/tawa covered with a lid.
After about 3-4 minutes, check with a spatula to see if the bottom of the rotti has become crisp. It can be made as crisp or as soft as one desires. There is no need to turn it over and cook on the other side.
Akki rotti is ready! Serve with a dollop of ghee and/or butter.
For the next rotti, turn the tawa/bandli upside down and hold under running tap water. It makes a rather scary sizzling noise then, but you'll have a cooled down tawa to pat the next rotti onto.
Alternately, you could use banana leaves or wax paper and pat the rottis on them, placing the leaf/paper dough-side down on a heated tawa. You will need to cook the other side too, if made this way.