Monday, July 18, 2011

Hesaru KaaLu Saaru & Palya - Moong Rasam and Bhaji

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven's door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp--
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Bob, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, 'What's the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How'd all these sinners get up here?
God must've made a mistake.

'And why is everyone so quiet,
So somber - give me a clue.'
'Hush, child,' He said,
'they're all in shock.
No one thought they'd be seeing you.'

Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a FUTURE.

Beautiful, isn't it? (Thanks for sharing this poem, D!) Food for thought.

Even though we may not be overtly judgemental about people, so often we form opinions of people without even knowing them and without realizing it. I realized this recently after attending a course that made me take a deeper look at myself. When I first saw this person, I thought she was the happy-go-lucky types, a self assured woman who knows her mind and does not hesitate to say it. And with a great sense of humor too. It took me a while to realize that the tough, funny exterior hid a very sensitive person who'd been through a lot in her not-so-long life and still wanted/managed to make everyone else laugh. I have such admiration for this strong woman and am fortunate to have met her. So anyway, after this course, I'm trying to see if I can look at, say, a grumpy face, and not react to it negatively in my thoughts. I have a LONG way to go. Sigh.

Some food for the stomach now :) This recipe is along the same lines as Hurali Saaru and Palya which I posted back in 2007, but made here with fresh sprouted whole moong instead of horsegram.

Hesaru Kaalu Saaru


1 cup sprouted/ plain whole moong, pressure cooked in 4 cups of water, turmeric and 4 cloves of crushed garlic

For the saaru:
1/2 of the boiled moong
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
1 tbsp coconut scrapings
2 tsp saaru pudi/rasam powder
1 tsp chopped cilantro, for garnish
salt to taste
Hing, mustard seeds, curry leaves and oil

Grind the boiled moong, onion, crushed garlic, coconut and rasam powder into a smooth paste. Keep aside.
Heat oil. Do the tadka. Add the ground paste and sauté for a minute or so. Pour in the water that the moong dal was boiled in. Add more water, if needed, to make a thin broth.
Add salt. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Add chopped cilantro and serve with steaming hot rice and hurali palya (below).

Hesaru Kaalu Palya

For the Palya:
1/2 of the cooked moong dal
1 medium sized onion, chopped fine
1 small tomato, chopped fine
3-4 green chilies, slit
1 tbsp shredded coconut
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
cilantro for garnish
mustard seeds, hing and oil

In a pan, heat oil and do the tadka. Add green chilies and saute for a few seconds. Add the chopped onion and fry until transparent
Add tomato now and sauté for a few minutes until slightly soft.
Add the remaining moong and salt to taste. Mix well and let simmer for a few minutes.
Finish with mixing in coconut shreds and lemon juice. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Maavina Hannina Gojju (Ripe Mango Curry)

It is mango season here, as you'd have guessed from the outpouring of mango based recipes in the Indian food blogosphere. I'm amazed at the variety of mangoes out there. I knew only about Alphonso, Malgoa, Raspuri, Badami and Thotapuri varieties until I moved back and discovered a whole new world of mangoes. I'm enjoying them all! Click here to have a look at all the varieties grown in India. Quite amazing, this fruit. Use it in flavored rice, curries, chutneys or make kheer, ice creams and smoothies. A hit guaranteed!

My sister makes this amazing gojju (a spicy-tangy-sweet curry) with ripe mangoes. The mangoes are of a particular variety called shakkargutli or sakkar putani, which are very small, sweet and a bit more fibrous than the other varieties I mentioned. The raw mangoes in the picture are alphonso that look really big in comparison with the mangoes in the curry. Shakkargutlis are really that small. Here is her recipe with one kg of these mangoes. She is one who believes in doing it big and going all out! You should see the amount of dosa and idli batter she makes in one shot! :)

Ripe Mango Curry

Small mangoes (sakkar putani/sakkar gutli/sugar baby)1 kg (peeled and kept whole)
Hing - a big pinch
Chana Dal - 3 tablespoons
Urad Dal - 3 tbsp
Methi Seeds - 1 heaped tsp
Red Chilies - 10-12 regular or 20-25 Byadagi (broken into 1" pieces)
Tamarind - 1 orange sized ball soaked in water for an hour
Jaggery - 4-5 tbsp shredded
Oil - 2-3 tbsp
Coconut or copra shredded- 1/2
Mustard seeds and hing for tadka

Ripe Mango Curry


Heat 1 tsp of oil. Put in hing, methi seeds and chana dal and roast on a low flame. When the dal is partially done, add urad dal and roast well. When almost done add broken chillies and roast on low flame until it gives off its aroma. Once cooled, grind with copra/coconut with a small amount of water until a chutney is made. Keep aside.

Heat the remaining oil and add 1 tsp mustard and hing. After it splutters, add the ground masala and water. Stir and cook for 5 mins on low flame. Add tamarind juice and jaggery and salt to taste. Check for balance of flavors and adjust accordingly. Add enough water to make a watery gravy. Cook gravy for about 5 minutes. Now add the peeled mangoes and boil for 2 minutes. Keeps for a week if you use only copra and increase the quantity of oil.

Friday, July 01, 2011


Warning: A rant coming up! This is not a food related post. At all.

Dear Unhappy Migrant from Another Part of India,

Sorry to hear about your woes of being in Bangalore - traffic, pollution, different culture, the locals etc. I'm sure the xyz place you come from is far better and your life would be far happier there. Here's a thought - why not just move back there?! Easy solution, right? You are happier. The city certainly does not need you. Your moving out not just gives us more much-needed physical space, it also clears out the negative air you and your holier-than-thou attitude generates. And God knows, the air here needs some clearing! Go, find a job/school elsewhere. Pronto.

Or how about this. Yes, the traffic and pollution here sucks big time. Go ahead and complain but do your bit and reduce some carbon footprint. Different culture?! Here is one city where no one forces you to learn the local language and the locals are welcoming. This is a cosmopolitan city that has a bit of everything, from every culture within India. Yes, living in a Basavangudi or a Cubbon Pet may not work for you. Move to newer areas, where you will find Bangaloreans from all different states and cultures. Think of the experiences and the learning you will provide for your child growing up in a diverse environment. Not to mention the opportunity to broaden your mind and heart!

Moving to any new city/state/country is not easy. Give yourself time to adjust. All I'm saying is whatever your woes, have some gratitude for the land that is giving you your daily bread and shelter. And respect for the folks who live there and consider it their home. I understand that sometimes, things might get difficult and you may not like it at all. Then you owe it to yourself and to the place, to move elsewhere and everyone can be happier.

That is all. Thank you.

Dear readers, I did warn you it was a rant! :) I have to add though, that I encounter this kind of attitude very rarely nowadays. It was a lot more many years ago. We, as a people, have gotten more accepting and tolerant. And I'm very glad about it. As the world is heading towards being (if not already) a global village, let us embrace the opportunities for new experiences that life brings us and not for a moment forget to be grateful for all the things we do get from them, wherever in the world we are.