Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Unripe fig pakora/ raw fig podi/ Doddele Anjoora Bajji or fritters

Recently an article in one of whats app groups attracted me very much. It was about raw/ unripe fig pakora or bajji. I found it interesting as using raw fig in cooking wasn’t new to me. I made stir-fry & majjige huli (yogurt based gravy) already using them. Same evening we plucked 2 figs from our tree which were green & unripe. Made bajjis & we liked the taste. Only problem here is the white milk like sap released by the raw figs. Keeping figs for few hours after harvesting before using in cooking is a solution. One more point to note is, rinsing the cut fig pieces in water before making pakoras. It reduces the white sap to some extent.

Unripe fig pakora

To write little about these figs referred as elephant ear fig, it is a wonderful tree to grow for shade. Irrespective of what care one provides to this plant, a mature tree provides us lot of fruits. Out of them, only few ripe into delicious juicy fruits, rest falls off before even they mature. So it is ideal to use them in cooking in their unripe form. Here is one such recipe, Unripe fig bajji/ pakoda.

Fig tree

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 16-18 pakoras

 

Ingredients:

Unripe / raw figs (Elephant ear fig) - 2

Gram flour/ Kadle hittu – ¼ cup

Rice flour / corn flour – ¼ cup

Red Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon (adjust according to taste)

Salt – 1 spoon (to taste)

Ajwain/ Om kalu/ Carom seeds – ¼ teaspoon

Asafoetida – ¼ tsp

Oil – for deep frying, I use coconut oil

 

Method:

  • Clean the figs carefully to remove any bugs/ insects like ants & wash with clean running water. It is recommended to keep them aside for couple of hours to minimize the oozing of white sap (sticky milk) from the cut figs.
  • Scrape out the outer skin with a regular knife, wash once again. Cut into 2 halves lengthwise, then slice into about 4-5 pieces from each half. Put them into a vessel having water so that the fig slices are rinsed well to remove maximum amount of white sap. Same process we follow for raw banana.
  • Prepare a batter for bajji or fritter.
  • Take a wide vessel with 1 cup of water. Add hing/ asafoetida, salt, ajwain and chilli powder. Give a stir.
  • Add gram flour & rice/ corn flour, mix well to form a smooth batter adding enough water. This batter should not be too runny. Consistency should be such a way that, it should properly cover the jackfruit.
  • Now, take oil in a frying pan. Heat it up on medium flame.
  • When oil is ready, dip the cut figs one by one in the prepared flour batter to cover completely and drop carefully into hot oil. You can fry more number of bajjis in one batch depending on the oil in the pan.
  • Fry until done or golden brown flipping the pakora in oil frequently. The hissing noise will be stopped when it is done & bajjis turn golden color.
  • Now take the pakoda out of hot oil, draining oil completely and transfer to a plate with the tissue paper spread on it.
  • Finish off all the cut figs in above mentioned way.
  • Serve hot pakoda/ bajji with tomato sauce and a cup of tea/ coffee!

Notes:

  • This bajji can be made using only gram flour batter or only corn flour/ rice flour batter. I like the way mentioned in this post. That is 1:1 (equal measure) of rice & gram flour.  This quantity makes pakoras crispier.
  • This bajji tastes best when served hot.
  • Individuals allergic to latex or plant white sap are suggested to avoid eating such dishes. 

Doddele Anjoora Bajji or fritters

Friday, 26 March 2021

Garlic chutney/ Bellulli chutney for Ganji

Summer days in coastal Karnataka makes you ask for only light food. The temperature & humidity there makes one sweat anytime of the day. Boiled rice/ Kuchilakki anna & coconut based side dishes being staple of the place, boiled rice with the liquid starch becomes favorite of many family. Simple chutney of different flavor, pickles & curds is what anyone looks for the lunch. When I mentioned chutney, it will be generally coconut based with some added goodness of mango/ Banana flower/ mango ginger or even chutney made with basic spices like garlic or even urad dal. I am posting one such chutney recipe today – Garlic gatti chutney for Ganji!

Garlic chutney

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

Garlic cloves – 12-14

Freshly grated coconut – ½ cup

Tamarind – gooseberry sized

Dry red chillis – 4-5 , adjust to taste

Salt – 1 tsp, as per taste

Coconut oil – 3 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

 

Method:

Peel off cloves of garlic, keep them ready.

Heat a tadka pan, fry garlic & red chillis with few drops of oil. until garlics turn brown & chillis are dark red & fried well.

Take grated coconut in a mixer jar. Add fried chilli & garlics, salt, tamarind. Grind everything well with little water. Do not add too much of water. This chutney should not be runny. Grind to make smooth paste/ chutney.

Transfer to serving bowl. Prepare seasoning of mustard, minced red chilli (optional), curry leaves in coconut oil. On spluttering, add to the chutney.

Serve this chutney with hot kuchilakki ganji or kerala matta rice with starch and a dollop of ghee.

Bellulli chutney

Notes:

Garlic can be replaced by 2 tsp of Urad dal after frying till brown to make urad dal chutney.

If making raw mango chutney, add green chillis (not fried) instead of red chillis. In this case don’t add tamarind.

Ganji chutney

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Menthe kadubu Type 2/ Wheat flour dumpling & fenugreek leaves stirfry

Menthe kadubu is a traditional dish of North Karnataka which makes you to crave for more with its unique flavour of fenugreek leaves and very basic spices in any Indian kitchen. There are two types it can be made, majorly difference in the consistency! One is soupy & another is dry stir-fry type. Though both tastes great, my favourite is the dry one and I am sharing the recipe for the same in today’s post. Check out the recipe for gravy type of menthe kadubu here.

Recently I also learnt that, this dry version is generally made with jowar/ sorghum millet flour whereas the other one is with wheat flour. This tastes wonderful even if it is made with wheat flour & I am sharing the recipe using wheat flour today.

Wheat flour dumpling & fenugreek leaves stirfry

Preparation time: 20-30 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

For the stir-fry:

Menthe soppu/ Fenugreek leaves – 1 bunch

Onion – 1 (optional)

Garlic – 10-12 cloves

Red chilli powder – 1tsp

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

Salt to taste

Cooking Oil – 2-3 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Cumin seeds – ½ tsp

Kasuri methi – 1 tsp (optional), for  extra flavour

For the dumpling:

Wheat flour – ½ cup, can be replaced by jowar flour (in this case, hot water to be used)

Water – to make the dough

Salt – ½ tsp

Oil – 1.5 tsp

 

Method:

Dumpling:

  • Prepare dough of chapathi dough consistency using wheat flour, salt, water and little oil. Keep aside covered.
  • After 5-10 minutes, divide the dough into small gooseberry sized balls and press gently with fingers to make small discs. Smaller the size, better the look of menthe kadubu . It is easy to cook them if size is small.
  • Boil 3-4 cups of water in a separate vessel adding little salt and 1 tsp oil.
  • On boiling, add wheat flour dumplings prepared in the previous step to it. Boil them for 5-6 minutes. While the dumplings are boiling you can keep the greens ready & cooked following the method under stir-fry).
  • Now, Drain water completely from the wheat dumplings, set aside.

Stir-fry:

  • Clean, wash green leaves (menthe soppu). Remove hard stems & use only leaf & tender stems.
  • Chop methi/ menthe leaves finely. Keep aside.
  • Peel and chop onions fine.
  • Peel garlics & chop finely.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustard & cumin seeds in oil. On spluttering, add minced garlic, sauté for couple of minutes till they are done & turned to golden brown.
  • Add chopped onions (if using) and fry until translucent. It will be good even without onions.
  • Add chopped fenugreek leaves. Sprinkle turmeric powder and salt to taste. Add chilli powder too.
  • Let the leaves cook for a while.
  • Add the boiled & drained dumplings to the stir-fried fenugreek leaves.
  • Sauté well so that everything is combined well. Let it cook in the spiced greens so that it blends well with the masala.
  • Optionally sprinkle kasuri methi, switch off the stove. Serve hot as starter or as an lunch accomplishment.
Menthe kadubu dry

Notes:
  • Dumpling can be made with jowar flour instead wheat flour by adding hot water to knead the dough.
  • In the above case, allow water to boil and add the flour, salt and saute till water is absorbed. On cooling, grease palm with little oil & knead the dough. Then follow the procedure same as wheat flour dumpling.
Menthe kadubu recipe

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Halakodi tambuli /kodi tambuli/ Mixed wild greens tambuli

Halakodi literally translates to multiple tender greens & tambuli is basically chutney made with greens or spices mixed with buttermilk.  Tambuli is normally prepared without boiling (hence goes to raw food category) except few cases. Kodi = tender greens (English) or chiguru (Kannada). This specific recipe needs boiling in the traditional process, where as it can be made without boiling too which I am presenting here. This recipe is originated in the villages of coastal Karnataka where these medicinal wild greens available in abundance in the hilly areas covering every house. As per my understanding, it is seasonal when there are lot of tender leaves available. In particular, spring & monsoon seasons are best when there are new leaves growing.

Halakodi tambuli


It was in my to-do list since long time to document this recipe, but due to various reasons I could not do it so far. First reason for the delay was unavailability of the greens here in Bangalore! Main required greens are of

  • Kuntu nerale/ Kuntala,
  • Geru/ Cashew leaves,
  • Seebe/ perale/ guava leaves,
  • Wild ixora leaves,
  • Engira
  • Amla/ nellikai leaves
  • Nekkarika
  • Chere/ gere/Black varnish tree leaves (Care must be taken while using this as sap/ secreted fluid of this tree causes serious allergic reaction which result in dermatitis).

I will try to document them with pictures whenever I get a chance! Foraging / search of wild food resource plays major role in food security. It also improves one’s health as each naturally grown food article supplies major nutrients in best way that is; with no added chemicals & that way it benefits well-being of every individual (human/ animals). Provided an opportunity I will always prefer natural food over commercially produced articles.

This tambuli has very importance in postnatal care as these ingredients play major role in healing & nourishing oneself physically and mentally. I agree it may not be easy & accessible in all the cases due to urbanization and living far away from the nature. Even if it is available, people fail in recognizing the benefits in the present lifestyle.

My aim is to record such treasures from our culture and carry it forward to next generation! Here in the recipe I used edible greens available in my garden which included tender leaves  of Guava, Cashew, Nerale/ Jamun, Pomegranate, passion fruit, sandalwood , ivy gourd…

It used to be so much pleasure collecting these greens climbing up small hills near home with friends!

kodi tambuli

Preparation time: 10 minutes (if greens are available easily)

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Tender wild edible greens – 1 handful (mix of Guava, Cashew, Nerale/ Jamun, Pomegranate, passion fruit, sandalwood , ivy gourd leaves)

Freshly grated coconut – 4 tbsp

Fresh buttermilk – 1 cup

Salt – to taste

Cumin seeds – ½ tsp

Pepper corns – 6

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Dry red chilli – 1 (optional for seasoning)

Curry leaves  - 1 sprig

 

Method:

  • Collect greens & wash clean with running water.
  • Boil these greens with little water & cumin seeds.
  • Grind boiled greens & cumin, coconut, pepper to smooth paste with water as required.
  • Transfer to the bowl, add salt & buttermilk. Bring to quick boil which is optional. I did not boil here.
  • Prepare a seasoning/tadka of mustard, minced red chilly in coconut oil. On spluttering, add cleaned curry leaves & add it to the tambuli.
  • Serve this tambuli with hot steamed rice.

Mixed wild greens tambuli


Monday, 15 February 2021

Raw papaya dosa/ unripe papaya spicy dosa

Raw papaya is a wonderful vegetable which is packed with nutrients. They are good sources of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre & many more. Eating them has many health benefits including papaya improves eye health, it is immunity booster. Also it works as best cleanser as it is rich in fibre. It is believed to be useful in in case of intestinal worms. Hence it is good for any age group including kids to elders. Problem is feeding this kind of not so fancy vegetables to kids especially who are fussy eaters. Then comes this idea of hiding these veggies in the bread like dosa/ paratha…. This is not only delicious but also one cannot make out what it is made up of! The goodness is fed without any fuss.

Raw papaya dosa


Recipe goes similar to spicy cucumber dosa , which I have posted in this blog before.

Also check Unripe papaya paratha, green papaya salad recipes here.

Important note: It is not recommended to give raw papaya to pregnant women.

Preparation time: 5 hours

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 14-16 dosas

Ingredients:

Rice- 2.5 cups

Grated unripe papaya -1cup (or roughly chopped papaya)

Green chilli – 2

Ginger – 1 inch

Chopped Onions

Salt

Curry leaves/ coriander leaves

Grated fresh coconut- 3-4 tbsp (optional)

Ghee & Oil – for preparing dosa

 

Method:

  • Wash & soak rice for 4-5 hours. Peel off, remove skin and seeds of papaya.
  • Grate it and keep aside (You can also chop roughly & grind with rice. Grating or grinding works fine).
  • Wash the soaked rice once again and drain water.
  • In grinder/ mixer grind rice along with chillies, ginger, grated coconut and salt to smooth paste (Add chopped papaya if you don’t want to grate).
  • Consistency should be little thicker than neer dosa batter.
  • To this batter, add papaya gratings, chopped coriander leaves, chopped onions and mix well.
  • Heat a griddle on medium flame. Apply oil.
  • Spread 1- 1½ ladle of batter on the heated griddle and cook covered.
  • Apply ½ tsp of ghee and roast dosa inverted for few seconds.
  • Serve hot with green chutney or any coconut chutney.

Note: 

  • Prepare dosa with fresh batter, or refrigerate the batter if using it later. Do not ferment it.
unripe papaya spicy dosa

Friday, 12 February 2021

Ragi corn flour halwa/ quick ragi corn flour pudding/ Finger millet halwa

Hey dear Reader, I am posting after a while here. Valentine’s day is around the corner. Everyone will be planning to cook something good for loved one’s / family or friends, right? I always love sweets/ desserts can be made in less than 30 minutes. At the same time, if it has some nutritional benefits that is a brownie point!

Couple of days back my son, a fussy eater asked for homemade sweet! He never admires home cooked food so easily except few of my baking! I planned to make Ragi/ finger millet pudding which was in my to-do for some time now. We normally make Ragi halubai by extracting milk from ground ragi and cooking it with jaggery It tastes too good but it is bit a laborious task. As I was in hurry, my on the go pick was Ragi flour. To get the right consistency, added equal portion of corn flour. So there resulted gluten free version of delicious ragi corn sweet or pudding. Best part was my kids enjoyed it after their play time. I made it mildly sweet which can be adjusted to one’s taste bud.

Ragi corn flour halwa

Wheat flour halwa/ godhi burfi is another favourite at home including kids which is a quick to make sweet too. Now this ragi pudding is going to be a new addition!

 

Finger millet halwa in 30 minutes

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Ragi/ finger millet flour – ¾ cup

Corn flour/ corn starch – ¾ cup

Sugar – 1 ¼ cup, (for mild sweetness. If you like more sweet, then make it 1 ½ cups)

Milk – 1 cup

Water – 1 cup

Ghee – ¼ cup

Cashew chunks – 3-4 tsp

Method:

  • Heat a thick bottomed pan/ wok on medium flame Add 3-4 tbsp ghee.
  • Add finger millet / ragi flour and fry until you get nice aroma. It will take 5-10 minutes. Keep stirring, not to burn the flour.
  • Meanwhile, mix 1 cup water with 1 cup milk. Add corn flour flour & stir to dissolve it in milk & water. Keep ready.
  • When ragi flour is fried properly, add corn flour milk mix to it. Keep stirring to avoid any lump formation.
  • Keep stirring until the liquid evaporates completely & you will get a single mass.
  • Now it is the time to add sugar. Mix well, so that everything combines well.
  • Add remaining ghee& cashew bites. Keep stirring until the sweet leaves the sides of pan. Ghee should start oozing out of halwa like any other halwa.
  • Transfer to a pre-greased tray/ plate. Allow cooling before cutting to desired shape.
  • You can also store it in a vessel & serve in bowl like carrot halwa.

 

Finger millet cornflour pudding

Notes:

  • Sugar can be replaced by jaggery. If adding jaggery powder, add a little more than sugar.
  • This halwa can be served in bowl with spoon instead of spreading on plate & cutting.
  • This stays good for 2 days outside refrigerator.
  • Mixed dry fruits can be added instead of only cashews.
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder can be added while making this sweet to get that enhanced flavor.

quick ragi corn flour pudding

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Ennegai/ Stuffed brinjal/ Badane tumbugai

Stuffed brinjal curry/ badanekai ennegai is a must in north Karnataka lunch. The combination of it with jowar roti/ jolad rotti is made in heaven. Though making of jowar roti is bit tricky, making of stuffed brinjal is comparatively easy. The taste of this dish is incredible & which is one of the best dishes of eggplants.

Brinjal Ennegai/ Stuffed brinjal


I am sharing my version of ennegai recipe here which I have learnt from my friend Anuradha Kulkarni. Check the recipe of
tindora/ ivy gourd/ tondekai ennegai here.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Brinjal/ eggplant – 10-12 (small purple variety, suggested to pick smaller ones)

Peanuts – 2 tbsp (30 gms)

Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp (half the measure of peanuts)

* Sambar powder – 1tsp

Tamarind– ½ tsp/ small gooseberry sized

Jaggery – small lemon sized piece (1 tsp powder)

Grated coconut– 4 tsp (optional)

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Salt – to taste

Oil – 2-3 tbsp (30ml)

 

* Ingredients for Sambar powder, if you are not using readymade:

Coriander seeds – 1 tsp

Cumin – ½ tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 8-10

Dry red chillis – 2

Gram Dal – 1 tsp

Urad Dal – ½ tsp

Cinnamon – a small piece

Cloves - 2

 

Method:

  • Pick small & clean brinjals without worms. Wash brinjals clean and allow drying for few minutes. Slit them lengthwise (like a +) without cutting completely into pieces, check properly to avoid presence of worms & bugs. Try to keep the stalk intact.
  • Soak tamarind in ¼ cup of water or little lesser.

Stuffing preparation:

  • Take a pan, add peanuts and dry roast peanuts in a pan until they turn brownish and you get a nice aroma.
  • Keep aside to cool down. Remove the skin of peanuts as much as possible. Skin on few is fine.
  • Meanwhile, dry roast sesame seeds till they splutter or leaves nice aroma.
  • If not using ready-made sambar powder, fry all the ingredients for sambhar powder with few drops of oil until they turn color to light brown and you get a fried aroma.
  • In a dry mixer jar, mix all the roasted ingredients like peanuts, sesame, sambhar powder (or fried ingredients), coconut gratings, turmeric powder and dry grind to get the powder.
  • Mix salt to taste.
  • Now it is the process of stuffing the masala to brinjal. Take brinjals one by one, with the help of a spoon add (stuff) little masala inside each of them. Keep them in a large bowl, mixing little masala to all of the brinjals.
  • Place a thick bottomed pan/ kadai on stove, switch on the flame. Add 2 tbsp of oil. Add the stuffed brinjals to the heated oil and sauté for couple of minutes. Add tamarind extract (soaked tamarind), and jaggery to it.
  • Add the left over masala after stuffing. Cook until brinjals are soft and the masala combines well with them. Saute carefully, in between in order to avoid burning the curry.
  • You can sprinkle little water if required.
  • You can make it dry or with gravy by adding water as needed.
  • Serve hot with roti/ chapathi/ rice.
Badane tumbugai