Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tomato Onion Gojju

The best thing about the community we live in is the company Little M has here. Lots of kids around her age and no dearth of things to do in and around the place. A small community like ours also brings with it it's share of problems though. There is this one kid who is a year older than M and tends to bully her every chance she gets. I've spoken with the kid, talked to her mom, have tried to make M avoid her as much as possible, told her ways of dealing with her - everything I can think of. It is fine for a few days and the nasty persona is back. M is far more mature in handling the situation than I am, I think. It really does bother me a lot. Any suggestions on how to handle this? Any such experiences?



5-6 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green chili, chopped
1 tsp saaru powder (or any rasam powder) or to taste
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup water
salt to taste

1 tbsp oil
mustard seeds
methi seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 spring curry leaves

Tomato Onion Gojju

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Do the tadka.
Add green chili, chopped onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add chopped tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, saaru powder, sugar and salt. Cover and cook until soft & mushy, about 15-20 minutes.
Check and adjust seasonings.
Serve with rice or chappatis. Makes a nice spread for breads too.

Note: If the tomatoes are not of the sour variety, you can add a bit of tamarind for tartness.
The saaru powder can be substituted with sambar powder too.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Avarekalu Akki Tari Uppittu - Upma with Rice Rava and Flat Beans

Who knew school hunting was gonna cause sleepless nights and major stress from all the confusion and indecision?! Little M is going to start K2/UKG from the coming academic year (June 2011). Putting her in a school that she could continue onto grade school would make sense. But guess what? The admission process begins in Sep/Oct of the previous year and we had missed the boat entirely by the time we decided to move to BLR. Then there are various syllabi to choose from - state, CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE, IB, NOS etc. Plus there are different categories of schools - the regular mainstream schools, the academic oriented ones, the international schools, the new age schools, the good old Catholic schools, alternate schools - I'm exhausted just listing them out! Distance/commute time is another major factor. Each time I decide on something, I see/read about something else that makes me pause. I'm sure my parents never stressed out about our schooling. Chose the school close to our house that was reasonably good. We turned out alright (or so I believe!). Incidentally, my mom studied there too. And my her mom would have too, had it been open by then! I now see how good that school was, despite all it's shortcomings - giving importance to not just academics, but to arts and sports as well. I hope I find the right school for M. I hate for her to have to switch schools again next year but at least I know many smaller schools take admission throughout the year for UKG. I should decide something soon.

Update: So I finally made a decision on the school. Taking a chance with a brand new school, whose Principal is an academician with excellent track record. Fingers crossed that the school delivers on it's promising vision and principles.

Here's a traditional Mysore/K'taka recipe from my Mom's kitchen. Rava Upma/uppittu is the more common kind. Akki tari is rice rava or coarsely ground rice and is available in most Indian grocery stores.

Akki Tari Upma


Akkitari/Rice rave - 1 cup
Avarekalu/Surti papdi lilva/field beans - 1 cup (boiled and cooked in salted water)
Water - 2.5 cups
1 tbsp shredded coconut
Salt to taste

For the tadka:
1 tbsp oil
mustard seeds
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp black peppercorns
2-3 red chilies (or green chilies or both)
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
curry leaves


Pressure cook (or boil) avarekalu in salted water and keep aside.
Roast the akki tari for a minute and keep aside.
Coarsely crush the jeera and the black pepper.
In a thick bottomed pan, heat oil and do the tadka. Use only half of the crushed jeera/pepper in the tadka.
Add water and bring to a boil.
Add salt, the boiled beans and the remaining jeera/pepper.
Pour in the roasted akki tari.
Mix well. Cover and cook on low until all the water is absorbed.
Mix in the freshly grated coconut.
Serve with a dollop of ghee.