Fada Lapsi| Broken Wheat Pongal

Broken wheat (dalia) is commonly used in making savoury khichdi. However, did you know that it can also be used in the preparation of a delicious sweet dish? I’m talking about Fada Lapsi, a beautiful dessert hailing from the state of Gujarat, made with broken wheat (‘ghaun na fada‘ in local parlance) and jaggery.

Fada Lapsi is a traditional dish, considered to be highly auspicious in Gujarat. It is typically prepared to celebrate engagements, weddings and similar occasions, as well as festivals like Raksha Bandhan, Diwali and Janmashtami. I present the recipe for Fada Lapsi today, for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for the blog hop this week is #MeetheBandhan, wherein all of us are showcasing Raksha Bandhan-special dishes. When Archana of The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen suggested this theme, Fada Lapsi was the first thing that came to my mind – and here we are!

Different families have different ways of making Fada Lapsi, with the basic ingredients remaining more or less the same. I make it the way a Gujarati friend of mine taught me, years ago – making a jaggery syrup first, adding cooked broken wheat to it, and then cooking everything together again. This isn’t unlike the making of the Tamilnadu Sakkarai Pongal and, hence, it wouldn’t be wrong to call this Broken Wheat Pongal too.

The use of broken wheat (as opposed to rice or semolina) and jaggery renders this a relatively healthy dessert. I use a limited amount of ghee too, just enough to make the lapsi fragrant and inviting. The milk and dry fruits going in make sure the Fada Lapsi tastes rich and delectable. The broken wheat gives the dessert an interesting texture, too. What’s more, it’s an easy-peasy recipe that doesn’t need much expertise or effort. You have got to try this out!

Let’s now check out the recipe for Fada Lapsi or Broken Wheat Pongal. I’m also sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #288. The co-host this week is Antonia @ Zoale.com.

Ingredients (serves 5-6):

  1. 1 cup broken wheat aka dalia
  2. 1 cup full-fat milk
  3. 2-1/2 cups + 2 cups of water
  4. 2 cups jaggery
  5. 2 tablespoons ghee
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  7. 10 cashewnuts
  8. 10 almonds
  9. 1 tablespoon raisins

Method:

  1. Wash the broken wheat thoroughly under running water, a couple of times. Drain out all the excess water.
  2. Take the washed and drained broken wheat in a wide vessel, and add 2-1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of milk to it. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 4 whistles or till the broken wheat is well cooked. Let the pressure release naturally.
  3. Meanwhile, take the jaggery powder in another pan, and add in 2 cups of water. Place on high heat. Allow the jaggery to melt entirely in the water. Switch off the gas when the jaggery syrup comes to a boil. Do not bring the syrup to a string consistency – just allow it to come to a boil and then switch off the flame.
  4. When the pressure in the cooker has entirely gone down, place the pan with the jaggery syrup on medium flame. Remove the cooked broken wheat from the cooker, and add it to the jaggery syrup. Cook on medium flame till the mixture thickens, 3-4 minutes. Stir intermittently, to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Switch off gas when the Fada Lapsi is still quite runny – it thickens considerably on cooling.
  5. Chop the cashewnuts and almonds roughly. Keep aside.
  6. Heat the ghee in a small pan. Add in the raisins, cashewnuts and almonds. Wait till the raisins plump up and the cashewnuts and almonds brown slightly. Take care to ensure that the ingredients do not burn. Once done, pour the ghee with the raisins, cashewnuts and almonds onto the cooked Fada Lapsi. Add in the cardamom powder too. Mix well.
  7. Serve the Fada Lapsi piping hot, warm, at room temperature or chilled, as per personal taste preferences.

Did you like this dish? Do tell me, in your comments!

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Gujarati Steamed Carrot Muthia| Gajar Na Muthiya

Are you looking for a delicious snack that you can enjoy without too much of guilt? If your answer to this question is ‘Yes’, these Gajar Na Muthiya or Carrot Muthia I tried out recently would be right up your alley. I’ll also add here that this is a super simple snack, an easy-peasy thing to whip up. Perfect for everyday days and occasions!

Speaking of occasions, it was the husband’s birthday recently, and we had a quiet little family celebration at home. I sent him an online birthday card from Paperless Post at work to make the day all the more memorable, and he absolutely loved it. I have been having fun playing around with the huge variety of fun, quirky, classy, stylish online stationery that Paperless Post has on offer. There’s something for every occasion, something for everyone – birthday and anniversary cards, Christmas cards, party invites, fun cards and what not. Have you checked out the website yet? You definitely must!

Coming back to the Gajar Na Muthiya now. For the uninitiated, ‘Muthia‘ refers to a Gujarati snack that can be either fried or steamed. The fried one is commonly used in vegetable curries and other delicacies, while the steamed one is tempered and consumed as a snack in itself. The latter, steamed and tempered, version of muthia is what I am about to present to you today.

Steamed muthia can be made using a variety of flours and binding agents – wheat flour, gram flour, oats, millets and semolina, for instance. A number of permutations and combinations of these ingredients are possible – go as far as your imagination takes you! I’ve seen some really unusual flours being used in muthia so, really, only the sky is the limit. In these Gajar Na Muthiya, I have used the combination of ingredients most commonly used in Gujarati households – whole wheat flour, gram flour and semolina.

In Gujarat, muthia are traditionally flavoured using green chilli-ginger paste and coriander-cumin powder (dhana jeeru), sometimes a bit of garlic and/or garam masala. Jaggery or sugar is usually added in, as well as lemon juice or amchoor powder to give them a little tartness. A variety of vegetables can be added to make the muthiya more nutritious – bottle gourd (doodhi), fenugreek greens (methi), spinach (palak) and cabbage (kobi) are some of the most commonly used ones. I had some beautiful orange Ooty carrots lying in my fridge, and so that is what I used in my muthia. The Gajar Na Muthiya turned out absolutely, lip-smackingly delicious, if I may say so myself.

Let us now check out how to make the Carrot Muthia.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  1. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  2. 3/4 cup gram flour (besan)
  3. 1/4 cup fine sooji (rava aka semolina)
  4. 1-1/2 cup grated carrot
  5. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  6. 5-6 cloves of garlic
  7. 2-3 green chillies
  8. Salt to taste
  9. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  10. 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  11. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  12. 2 tablespoons jaggery powder or to taste
  13. 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  14. 1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
  15. 1/2 tablespoon cumin powder
  16. 1 tablespoon amchoor powder
  17. A little oil to grease the steaming vessel and your palms

For tempering:

  1. 1 tablespoon oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  4. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh grated coconut

Method:

1. Take the whole wheat flour, gram flour and sooji in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add in salt, asafoetida, sesame seeds, turmeric powder, jaggery powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and amchoor powder.

3. Peel the carrot and grate finely. Add the grated carrot to the mixing bowl.

4. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves and chop roughly. Chop the green chillies roughly. Grind the ginger, garlic cloves and green chillies together to a paste, adding a little water. Add this paste to the mixing bowl.

5. Adding water little by little, bind the ingredients in the mixing bowl to a soft dough. It should be a bit more squishy than roti dough.

6. Grease the bottom and sides of a colander with a little oil. We will use this greased colander to steam the Carrot Muthia. Keep it ready.

7. Using your greased hands, shape 3 logs from the dough. Keep aside.

8. Heat 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker base. Place a stand over the water, then place the greased colander on top of the stand, ensuring that no water enters it.

9. Place the dough logs you prepared earlier in the greased and heated colander, without overcrowding.

10. Close the pressure cooker. Don’t put the weight on. Steam the logs on high flame for 12-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of them comes out mostly clean.

11. Allow the logs to cool down for 10-15 minutes, then use a sharp knife to cut them into slices.

12. Now, we will do the tempering. Heat the oil for tempering in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to sputter. Add the sesame seeds and let them stay in for a couple of seconds. Now, reduce the heat to medium, then add the slices to the pan. Cook on medium heat, stirring gently, for about 10 minutes or till the slices get crisp on the outside. Switch off gas. Your Gajar Na Muthiya or Carrot Muthia are ready for serving.

13. Transfer the Carrot Muthia to serving plates. Serve hot, garnished with finely chopped coriander and fresh grated coconut.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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This post is in collaboration with Paperless Post. The views about the service expressed in the post are completely honest and entirely my own. I have whole-heartedly enjoyed using Paperless Post, and would love to take this opportunity to introduce the website to you guys too.

I’m also sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #282. The co-host this week is Antonia @ Zoale.com.

Mawa Gulab Jamun Recipe| How To Make Gulab Jamun With Khoya

As much as I love everyday stove-top cooking, the making of Indian sweets is one thing that scares me. My mom is famous in the family circuit for the beautiful 7-Cup Barfis, Badam Barfi,Β Coconut Barfi and Gajar Halwa that she turns out, among many other delectable desserts, but I have always shied away from these. The making of traditional, Indian sweet dishes is a task that daunts me to no end. On festival days or when we have guests over, I stick to making a simple fusion dessert or taking the safe way out with Sakkarai Pongal or Payasam. This is a barrier I had to break, and I did just that with this Mawa Gulab Jamun recipe, recently.

My little daughter is a big fan of gulab jamun, just as everyone else in my family is. After all, who wouldn’t love these balls of bliss, soaked to perfection in sugar syrup? After beginning to conquer my fears with regards to baking, it made sense to start doing the same with a traditional Indian sweet that the bub loved – Gulab Jamun. So, one fine day last week, Amma and I stood side by side in my kitchen making gulab jamuns from scratch with khoya, she pouring out her years of expertise on the subject, me soaking it all in, taking mental notes and making the dessert under her watchful eye. The results were spectacular, I must say, and the gulab jamun went on to be devoured the very same day. The eating proved that this particular pudding was done just right.

That said, I am amazed at how much of that fear was all in my head. Making gulab jamuns from scratch was not at all the hugely difficult task I had thought it would be. It needs patience, yes, but it is also one of the easiest of Indian sweets to conquer. The tricks here are to be gentle with the mixing and do the frying right, and the rest automatically falls into place. I’m so very glad I did this, and hope my lucky stretch continues with the other, tougher Indian desserts that I plan to try out soon.

There are a few different ways to make gulab jamun, one of them being with khoya or mawa. Khoya refers to the milk solids that are left over after cooking milk on the stovetop for a long, long time. Considering how much of a time-consuming process the making of khoya is, we resorted to a store-bought version. A mix of maida and fine sooji has been used here to bind the jamuns, and you can use either.

Come, let me show you how to make gulab jamun with khoya, a la Amma. Here’s presenting the Mawa Gulab Jamun recipe!

Ingredients (makes about 22 small pieces):

  1. 200 grams khoya aka mawa
  2. 2 tablespoons fine sooji aka semolina or rava
  3. 2 tablespoons maida
  4. 1 tablespoon warm milk or as needed
  5. Oil as needed for deep-frying
  6. 1-1/2 cups sugar
  7. 2 cups water
  8. 1/2 teaspoon rose essence (optional)
  9. 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

Method:

1. Take the khoya in a large mixing bowl. Crumble it gently, using your hands. Alternatively, you may grate it.

2. Add the sooji and the maida to the mixing bowl. Mix together gently.

3. Add just enough warm milk as needed to bring the mixture to a dough-like consistency.

4. Heat oil as needed for deep frying, in a pan. Meanwhile, keep the dough covered.

5. Simultaneously, take the water in another pan, add the sugar to it, and place on high flame. Allow the sugar to get completely dissolved in the water. Cook on medium heat till the sugar syrup attains half-thread consistency or till it thickens a little. Switch off gas. Add the rose essence (if using) and cardamom powder to the syrup. Mix well. The syrup for soaking the gulab jamuns is ready. Keep aside.

6. When the oil is nice and hot, reduce flame to medium. Greasing your palms with a little oil, make small balls out of the dough we prepared earlier. Deep fry these balls in the hot oil till brown on the outside, about four at a time, taking care not to burn them.

7. As soon as one batch of the balls are fried and ready, drop them into the sugar syrup. Let them sit undisturbed and soak in the syrup. Continue till all the balls are soaked in syrup.

8. Serve the gulab jamun hot or after allowing them to soak for a few hours. Store the unused ones at room temperature, in a clean, dry, air-tight box.

Notes:

1. Make sure the khoya is at room temperature when you begin to make the gulab jamun.

2. Use great-quality khoya from a known source, for best results. I used Milky Mist khoya, which is entirely made using milk solids, with no added flavouring agents or preservatives.

3. Make sure you prepare the ‘dough’ for the gulab jamun using very gentle hands. Gather the ingredients together, using gentle, light movements, rather than kneading them together. This is imperative for getting soft, melt-in-the-mouth gulab jamuns.

4. I have used a mix of fine sooji (aka semolina or rava) and maida in this Mawa Gulab Jamun recipe. You can skip either of these ingredients – just increase the quantity of the other ingredient you are using, in that case.

5. Make sure you fry the gulab jamuns at medium heat. This will help them get evenly cooked, on the inside and the outside. Cooking them on high heat will turn them brown on the outside, but keep them raw inside.

6. You can fry the gulab jamuns in ghee instead of oil. I have used ordinary refined oil here.

7. Do not crowd the pan, while frying the gulab jamun. Fry them in batches, a few at a time. Drop them in the sugar syrup immediately.

8. Make sure the gulab jamuns are not crowded while they are soaking in the syrup. Use a large pan to soak them.

9. Do not overcook the sugar syrup. Stop cooking when the syrup is slightly thick or has attained half-thread consistency.

10. You can skip using the rose essence in the syrup. Real rose petals can be added instead – make sure you use clean, organic, sweet-smelling flowers in that case.

11. Use warm – not hot – milk to bind the ingredients for the gulab jamun. Make sure you use just as much as needed. The dough should be just right to roll into balls and not too sticky or watery.

12. In case the dough gets a bit sticky, you can use a little more fine sooji or maida to adjust it.

13. Use only fine sooji in the Mawa Gulab Jamun recipe, if you are using it at all. Do not use the larger, grainier variety.

14. I have kept the gulab jamun small here, but you could make them bigger as well. Remember that they increase in size further on soaking.

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Foodie Monday Blog HopI’m sharing this recipe with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. Every Monday, a group of us food bloggers get together and share recipes based on a pre-determined theme. The theme this Monday is #EidWithFoodies, wherein we are all presenting dishes for the festival of Eid that is just around the corner. I thought this Mawa Gulab Jamun recipe was just perfect for the season.

I’m also sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #278.

Pasi Parippu Kosumalli|Simple South Indian Lentil Salad

Best wishes for Sri Rama Navami!

Today, I present to you the recipe for Pasi Parippu Kosumalli, a simple South Indian-style lentil salad. This mildly spiced salad is extremely delicious and healthy, and is a breeze to put together. A dish that is traditionally prepared in Tamilian households on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami, this cooling salad is just perfect to beat the summer heat that is soaring by the day.

Pasi Parippu Kosumalli is also quite commonly prepared in Karnataka. On the day of Rama Navami, you will come across make-shift stalls on the roadsides in Bangalore, handing out leaf bowls full of this kosumalli (‘kosambari‘ in Kannada) and disposable glasses of neer more (‘majjige‘ in the local language) and panagam (‘panaka‘ in Kannada).

I have fond memories of watching my grandmother preparing a big bowl full of this beautiful salad on Rama Navami, for the entire extended family. My mom continued the tradition after her, and she passed on the recipe to me too. All those memories came flooding back as I prepared a bowl of Pasi Parippu Kosumalli this morning. My little one munched on it delightfully, amidst tales of how ‘Rama Umachi‘s (God) birthday came to be. πŸ™‚

This is a gluten-free preparation that can be made vegan if you skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. If you skip the tempering altogether, this becomes a no-cook recipe, perfect for a raw food diet. The split moong daal that goes into it makes this salad full of protein, the carrot and cucumber adding to its nutritional value.

Let’s now check out the recipe for this Pasi Parippu Kosumalli.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 1/2 cup split moong daal (pasi parippu)
  2. 1 medium-sized carrot
  3. 1 medium-sized seedless cucumber (vellarikkai)
  4. 3-4 green chillies or as per taste (paccha milagai)
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste
  7. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  8. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut (thengai)
  9. 1 tablespoon oil (ennai)
  10. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (kadugu)
  11. 1 sprig curry leaves (karuveppilai)
  12. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida (perungayam)

Method:

  1. Wash the moong daal well under running water, a couple of times, draining out all the water each time. Then, add in enough fresh water to cover the daal, and let it soak for 1-2 hours.
  2. When the moong daal is done soaking, drain out all the water from it. Place the soaked moong daal in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Chop the cucumber finely. Add to the mixing bowl.
  4. Peel the carrot and grate it medium-thick. Add to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add the fresh grated coconut to the mixing bowl, along with the finely chopped coriander.
  6. Now, we will prepare the tempering for the salad. Slit the green chillies length-wise, and keep them ready. Heat the oil in a small pan. Add in the mustard, and allow it to sputter. Turn the flame to low. Add the asafoetida, curry leaves and slit green chillies – allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds. Ensure that the tempering does not burn. Add this tempering to the salad in the mixing bowl.
  7. Add in salt to taste and lemon juice to the salad. Mix well. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. 1-2 hours of soaking makes the moong daal soft and adds flavour to the salad. However, if you are in a hurry, about 30 minutes of soaking also works.
  2. Pomegranate arils and grated raw mango can also be added to the Pasi Parippu Kosumalli. I have kept it very basic, and skipped these two ingredients.
  3. Adjust the quantity of salt, lemon juice, green chillies and coconut as per personal taste preferences.
  4. Add the salt at the very end. The salad will start leaving water once you add salt, so do not let it sit for too long after salt is added.
  5. For best results, use ‘European’ or ‘English’ cucumbers that have very few seeds. These are also called ‘seedless cucumbers’.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #271. Ai @ Ai Made It For You is the co-host this week.

I’m also submitting this recipe to the 127th edition of My Legume Love Affair (MLLA), a monthly event that celebrates legumes. This event was started by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen and Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. This month, MLLA is being hosted by Amrita of Motions And Emotions.

Neer More With A Difference| Spiced Buttermilk Recipe

It is Sri Rama Navami this weekend, the birthday of God Rama. In Tamilian households, this occasion is marked by the preparation of Neer More (literally, ‘watered-down buttermilk’ in Tamil), Panakam (a mildly spiced beverage prepared with jaggery water), and Kosumalli (a salad made using split moong daal).

Each of these delicacies possesses cooling properties, just what our bodies need in the heat of summer. Sri Rama Navami falls bang in the midst of summer and, I am pretty sure, the special foods prepared for the occasion were inspired by the season. I am constantly awed by how our ancestors drew inspiration from the world around them!

Today, I present to you a recipe for Neer More that is different from the usual. This is not your regular South Indian-style spiced buttermilk, but one infused with kaffir lime and chilli. This version is just as delicious, just as cooling as the traditional one, and is equally simple to prepare. Do try out this new Spiced Buttermilk Recipe this summer!

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 3 cups slightly sour buttermilk
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 1 green chilly
  4. 7-8 medium-sized kaffir lime leaves

Method:

  1. Whisk the buttermilk well, ensuring that no lumps remain.
  2. Add salt to taste.
  3. Slit the green chilly length-wise and add it to the buttermilk.
  4. Tear the kaffir lime leaves roughly with your hands. Add them to the buttermilk.
  5. Mix up all the ingredients.
  6. Let the buttermilk sit, covered, for at least 15-20 minutes for all the flavours to get infused into it. After it has rested, you can serve it at room temperature or after chilling it a bit in the refrigerator.

Notes:

1. Mix 2 cups of runny curd with 1 cup of water to get the 3 cups of buttermilk needed for the above Spiced Buttermilk Recipe. Adjust the quantity of curd and water, depending upon personal taste preferences.

2. I have used home-made curd here, but you can use a store-bought version as well.

3. Use buttermilk that is slightly sour, but not overly so, for best results.

4. Let the prepared Neer More sit for at least 15-20 minutes before serving, for the flavours of the kaffir lime and chilli to get infused into the buttermilk. You can even chill the prepared Neer More in the refrigerator before serving. Alternatively, you can use chilled curd and water (or chilled buttermilk) to prepare the Neer More.

5. You may strain out the chilli and kaffir lime before serving the Neer More. I prefer letting them stay in.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #271. Ai @ Ai Made It For You is the co-host this week.

Postcards From The 75th Ayappan Festival, Tattamangalam, Kerala

Tattamangalam, a village near Palakkad in Kerala, is a small place if you compare it to the sprawling cities of today. However, it is quite big if you choose to compare it to the surrounding villages. It is the village where my mother-in-law was born and grew up, a cherished childhood and adolescence, judging from the several anecdotes she has narrated to us of the customs and traditions, the people and the lifestyle of her hometown. I have visited Tattamangalam a couple of times with her in the past and it is, indeed, a quiet and charming place, a world that is far, far away from the hustle and bustle of my own today. However, it is very recently, towards the fag end of 2018, that I got an opportunity to witness the Ayappan festival celebrations that are an annual affair in this village.

For the last 74 years, Tattamangalam has been conducting festivities to commemorate ‘Ayappan season’, the period between Diwali (October-November) till Pongal (January 14), which is when the maximum number of pilgrims visit the holy temple of Lord Ayappa at Sabarimala. These festivities in Tattamangalam, typically held towards the end of every December, are quite grand, I have always been told, including parades by elephants, performances by music artistes, large-scale community meals, frenzied beats of drums and cymbals, and the blowing of trumpets. In December 2018, Tattamangalam celebrated the 75th edition of the Ayappan Festival Celebrations, and my extended family and I figured it was time to pay a visit. I am glad we booked our tickets at the very last minute (we were lucky to even get them, indeed!) and visited, for the festival was bigger and better than ever.

Many families staying away from Tattamangalam had had the same thoughts as we did, I suppose, as we saw an influx of city-dwellers to witness the festivities. I was, naturally, thrilled to see the magnificence of it all, in a relatively less crowded setting at that, and went crazy clicking pictures with my camera. It was lovely meeting my mother-in-law’s old friends and acquaintances, and just walking around the clean village roads, breathing in the pure air. We even managed to do some shopping for the bub in the fair that came up in the village streets, on the occasion of the festival celebrations.

I leave you with some pictures from the celebrations, of the pretty stalls that came up all over, of our walks around Tattamangalam.

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The people of Tattamangalam, making rangolis at their doorsteps, in preparation for the ceremonial procession to pass through the village
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People lighting the lamps, at one of the many serene temples in Tattamangalam
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The ceremonial elephants, being readied for the procession around the village. Check out the anklets are being tied around their legs!
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A chariot being readied, for the ceremonial procession
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The ceremonial elephants, all decked up, being taken for a walk around the village
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Taking selfies, with the majestic tuskers in the background
The ceremonial elephants, saluting at one of the temples in Tattamangalam
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The celebrations are all set to begin, and the men with the drums, cymbals and trumpets pour in to the village
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… And the celebrations begin! Here are devotees dancing and performing pooja on the backs of the elephants.
The sounds of trumpets, cymbals and drums rent the air. I can’t put into words the frenzy and fervour that filled the atmosphere at this time.

 

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Stalls selling earrings, hair clips, toys, bangles, food and what not, lining the streets of Tattamangalam. Oh, my, the village wore a fair-like atmosphere!
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Goddess Bagavathiamman, making the rounds of the village, in her bedecked chariot
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The chariot for the procession, all decked up and ready. Here, women are preparing rangolis on the ground, in preparation for the chariot to make its customary rounds around the village.
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A close-up of the men making the music. You should check out the video on my Facebook page to understand just how magical this was!
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Scenes from the idyllic village life in Tattamangalam. Sigh! I would love to spend a couple of days more soaking in this serenity!
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Two stone elephants adorning someone’s doorstep, in Tattamangalam. They surely caught my fancy!
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The gorgeousness that was the village pond! My mother-in-law used to swim here, apparently, when she was a little girl.
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The famed Kerala nei payasam (kheer cooked in ghee) getting ready for the community meal
A musical performance in the village, to commemorate the Ayappan Festival
The elephants, their duties done, being fed before they were led to their holding places to take rest. This was, as per me, the most amazing thing.

Check out my Facebook album for more pictures from the celebration!

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Tips for travellers:

  1. The nearest railway station to Tattamangalam village is at Palakkad. From Palakkad, it is quite easy to find a cab that will take you to Tattamangalam. The roads are in excellent condition, and the on-road journey takes barely half an hour.
  2. The nearest airport is at Coimbatore. From Coimbatore, it is a roughly 1.5-hour journey on road to Palakkad, with the roads in excellent condition. Local trains also ply between Coimbatore and Palakkad.
  3. There are no great stay options in Tattamangalam, as far as I know, considering that it is but a small village. Your best bet would be to rent a hotel/stay in Palakkad, and hire a cab to reach Tattamangalam.
  4. Please do find out the exact dates and timings for the Ayappan festival timings in Tattamangalam from the presiding body, the Sri Dharma Sastha Utsavam Trust, if at all you plan to witness them.
  5. I am pretty sure there are several villages across Kerala that host similar festivities for the Ayappan festival. Tattamangalam’s celebrations are believed to be among the best, though. I don’t have any information about the festivals that might be conducted in other villages, but we do receive the schedule for Tattamangalam, as it is my mom-in-law’s ancestral place.

I hope you guys enjoyed the visuals! Please do let me know, in your comments!

 

Classic Sakkarai Pongal| Traditional Sweet Pongal Recipe

Hola, guys and girls!

Warm wishes from our family to you for Pongal, Lohri, Makar Sankranti and Magh Bihu! I hope all of you are enjoying the festivities in your part of the world.

We are getting ready to celebrate Pongal tomorrow, January 15. The bub has Pongal celebrations in her school today, and a holiday tomorrow. I’m all stocked up, with respect to special groceries, all set to make some Pongal-special dishes tomorrow. The husband will be working, but I hope we’ll be able to catch up on at least a bit of the festive fun!

I recently realised I have never posted a Classic Sakkarai Pongal recipe on my blog, the traditional sweet pongal that is a must-have on the festival day. We can’t have that happening, so I decided to share the recipe today for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. I made Sakkarai Pongal a few days back to shoot pics for the blog. We thoroughly enjoyed our Pongal-treat-a-little-ahead-of-Pongal! πŸ™‚

For the uninitiated, Sakkarai Pongal is a sweet dish made with rice and moong daal. Sweetened with jaggery, with loads of dry fruits and ghee added in, it surely is a lovely treat for kids and adults alike. We add some milk to the sweet pongal too, which makes it all the more rich and delectable. Typically, in our family, Sakkarai Pongal is served with Ezhu Thaan Kootu, a traditional Tamilnadu savoury preparation that uses at least seven types of vegetables.

The traditional Sakkarai Pongal, served with Ezhu Thaan Kootu

Sakkarai Pongal is not a very complicated dish to prepare. We make it in a pressure cooker, and not in a pan as is done traditionally, which ensures that it gets done in a jiffy and is still every bit just as delicious! Check out our family recipe below!

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

  1. 1 cup rice
  2. 1/2 cup moong daal
  3. 2 cups full-fat milk
  4. 3 cups jaggery powder
  5. 3-4 tablespoons ghee
  6. 10-15 cashewnuts
  7. 1 tablespoon raisins
  8. 2 generous pinches of cardamom powder

Method:

  1. Chop the cashewnuts roughly, into large-ish pieces. Keep aside.
  2. Wash the rice and moong daal together under running water, a couple of times. Drain out all the excess water.
  3. Pressure cook the rice and moong daal together with 2 cups of milk + 2-1/2 cups of water, for 4 whistles or till they are well-cooked. Let the pressure release naturally.
  4. When the pressure has gone down completely, mash the cooked rice and moong daal well, using a masher. Keep aside.
  5. Now, take the 3 cups of jaggery powder and 2 cups of water in a pan, and place it on high flame. Cook till the jaggery is completely dissolved in the water. Turn the flame down to medium when the jaggery syrup comes to a boil.
  6. At this stage, add the cooked rice and moong daal to the jaggery syrup. Cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes, or till all the ingredients are well integrated together. Stir intermittently, to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  7. While the sweet pongal is cooking, heat the ghee in another pan. Add in the raisins and the chopped cashewnuts. Wait for the cashewnuts to turn slightly brown and the raisins to plump up. Ensure that they do not burn. Switch off gas and transfer the fried cashewnuts and raisins to the sweet pongal cooking in the other pan.
  8. Add the cardamom powder to the sweet pongal. Mix well.
  9. Let the Classic Sakkarai Pongal cook on medium flame for a minute or two after adding the cardamom powder, cashewnuts and raisins. Keep stirring intermittently. That’s it!
  10. Serve the sweet pongal hot, warm or at room temperature.

Notes:

1. I use Nandini full-cream milk that has been boiled and cooled, in this recipe.

2. The quantity of jaggery you will need depends upon its quality and sweetness. For us, double the quantity of jaggery : (the quantity of rice + moong daal) works perfectly.

3. I have used Sona Masoori raw rice to make this Classic Sakkarai Pongal. You may use any other variety of rice you prefer, instead.

4. I have used organic jaggery powder here, which had a deep, brown colour. That accounts for the dark brown colour of the Classic Sakkarai Pongal. The colour of your sweet pongal will, naturally, depend upon the type of jaggery you use.

5. Adjust the quantity of ghee, cashewnuts and raisins you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.

6. The jaggery I use doesn’t have any impurities, so I haven’t filtered the jaggery syrup. However, you might want to filter in case you suspect the presence of impurities in the jaggery you have.

7. Make sure you cook the rice and moong daal till they are well done, and can be mashed well. For us, 4 whistles in the pressure cooker works perfectly.

8. If you are using a block of jaggery, pound it to make powder before proceeding to make this sweet pongal.

9. Edible camphor and/or clove powder are sometimes added to Sakkarai Pongal, to stop the sweetness from becoming overpowering. I haven’t used them here.

10. If you don’t want to use milk, use 4-1/2 cups of water to pressure cook the rice, in the above recipe. The rest of the steps remain exactly the same.

11. I have used a 5-litre pressure cooker to prepare this Sakkarai Pongal.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme this week is #HarvestHarmony, wherein the participants are cooking special dishes for the Indian harvest festivals of Pongal, Makar Sankranti and Lohri.

Check out the other (not-so-traditional) Sakkarai Pongal recipes on my blog:

Banana Sweet Pongal| Proso Millet Sweet Pongal

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I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #260. The co-hosts this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens.

Ezhu Thaan Kootu| Pongal Kootu| Thiruvathirai Kootu

Pongal is just around the corner!

I’m here with a Pongal-special recipe today – one for Ezhu Thaan Kootu or Pongal Kootu, a traditional recipe from Tamilnadu.

About the festival of Pongal

For the uninitiated, Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in South India, particularly in Tamilnadu. The festival falls in the Tamil month of Thai (typically in January as per the English calendar), which is why it is sometimes referred to as Thai Pongal. Pongal is celebrated on the day the sun enters the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn), which usually happens between January 13 and 15. January 15 has been declared as Pongal day, in 2019.

The tradition of celebrating Pongal is believed to be over 1000 years old. The festival corresponds to harvest festivals celebrated in different parts of the country – Lohri in Punjab, Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan in Gujarat, and Magh Bihu in Assam. In Tamilnadu, Pongal is a major affair, with the celebrations continuing for 3-4 days. Thanks are offered to the sun for a bountiful harvest, old belongings are disposed of and new ones are bought, and a variety of sweet and savoury dishes are prepared. (Check out this very informative blog post for details on the way Pongal is celebrated in Tamilnadu.)

The term ‘Pongal‘ also refers to ‘Sakkarai Pongal‘ or a rice dish cooked with milk and jaggery to celebrate this festival. Traditionally, the sakkarai pongal is cooked outside, on a wood fire, in a new earthenware pot. A piece of turmeric root is tied around the pot, which is decorated with turmeric (haldi) and vermilion (kumkum) paste. The rice cooking in the pot is allowed to overflow, indicating prosperity and abundance. Venn Pongal (a savoury version of the above rice dish), vada, payasam (kheer), and Pongal Kootu are some other dishes commonly prepared for the celebratory festival feast.

Ezhu Thaan Kootu or Pongal Kootu

Considering that Pongal is a celebration of bountiful harvest, Ezhu Thaan Kootu is an apt thing to prepare for the festival. Ezhu Thaan Kootu is Tamil for ‘a curry with seven vegetables’. This traditional Tamilnadu preparation uses at least seven local, seasonal vegetables – largely raw banana (vazhakkai), pumpkin (pushnikkai), cluster beans (kotthavarangai), potatoes (urulaikizhangu), elephant yam (senaikizhangu), sweet potato (sakkaravelikizhangu), broad beans (avarekkai) and the like. One can add in more than seven vegetables too, but using them in odd numbers (seven, nine or eleven vegetables) is the norm. In today’s times, people make this kootu using a mix of native vegetables and ‘English’ ones (carrots, green peas, French beans and the like).

The seven major elements of the Ezhu Thaan Kootu I made, a while ago

In Tamilnadu, this Ezhu Thaan Kootu is typically served on the day of Pongal, as an accompaniment to Sakkarai Pongal. The savoury Ezhu Thaan Kootu and the sweet Sakkarai Pongal are perfect complements to each other. For this reason, the kootu is often also referred to as Pongal Kootu. Since this vegetable dish is also prepared on another Tamilian festival, Thiruvathirai, it is also called Thiruvathirai Kootu.

This Ezhu Thaan Kootu is a thing of beauty. It is a blend of sweet, salty, tangy and spicy flavours, a great thing to prepare on festive occasions and ordinary days alike. It is a lovely way to clear up your refrigerator of all those bits and pieces of vegetables that have been lounging around. With sweet pongal or plain steamed rice, this kootu pairs up very well. I have it with rotis as well.

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Pongal Kootu aka Thiruvathirai Kootu or Ezhu Thaan Kootu

The Ezhu Thaan Kootu is traditionally prepared in a pan, which takes a bit of time to cook. My mother, however, uses a sort of short-cut method, doing some of the steps in a pressure cooker. I follow in my Amma‘s footsteps, in this regard. πŸ™‚

Now, without further ado, let’s check out the my family recipe for Pongal Kootu aka Ezhu Thaan Kootu, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  1. About 4-1/2 cups of mixed vegetables, chopped (I used red pumpkin, raw banana, cluster beans, carrot, broad beans, elephant yam, sweet potato, potato, French beans, fresh green chana and green peas)
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  4. 1/4 cup toor daal
  5. A small gooseberry-sized ball of tamarind
  6. 2 tablespoons jaggery powder or to taste

For the spice mix:

  1. 1 teaspoon oil
  2. 1-1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  3. 1-1/2 tablespoon chana daal
  4. 1/2 tablespoon urad daal
  5. 1/2 tablespoon raw rice
  6. 4 dry red chillies or as per taste
  7. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut

For the tempering:

  1. 1 tablespoon oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. 2-3 dry red chillies
  4. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida
  5. 1 sprig curry leaves

Method:

First up, we will make the necessary preparations to make the Ezhu Thaan Kootu.

  1. Make sure all the vegetables are chopped into bite-sized pieces. Remove strings from vegetables like French beans and cluster beans, and chop them into 1-inch pieces. Peel veggies like potato, sweet potato, raw banana, yam and red pumpkin and chop into cubes.
  2. Soak the tamarind in a little hot water for at least 10 minutes. Extract a thick paste out of it. Keep aside.
  3. Wash the toor daal in running water, a couple of times. Drain out all the excess water. Now, add in just enough fresh water to cover the toor daal, and pressure cook it for 4 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure release naturally.
  4. When the pressure comes down entirely, get the cooked toor daal out. Mash it well, using a masher. Keep aside.

Now, we will pressure cook the vegetables and simultaneously get the spice mix for the kootu ready.

  1. Take the chopped vegetables in a pressure cooker bottom. I have used a 5-litre pressure cooker here. Add in a little water, salt to taste and turmeric powder. Close the cooker and put the weight on. Pressure cook for 3 whistles on high flame or till the vegetables are cooked, but not overly mushy. Let the pressure come down naturally.
  2. Now, we will prepare the spice mix. Heat the oil for the spice mix in a pan. Turn heat to medium, and add in the coriander seeds, chana daal, urad daal, raw rice, coconut and dry red chillies. Fry on medium heat till the daals start turning brown. Make sure the ingredients do not burn. Switch off gas, transfer the fried ingredients to a plate and let them cool down fully.
  3. When the fried ingredients for the spice mix have cooled down completely, grind them together to a powder in a mixer. Keep aside.

Now, we will prepare the Ezhu Thaan Kootu.

  1. When the pressure has gone down completely, open the cooker with the cooked vegetables in it. Place it back on medium flame. Add the cooked and mashed toor daal to it, the jaggery powder, tamarind paste and the spice mix powder we prepared earlier. Mix well. Check and adjust seasonings as needed.
  2. Cook on medium heat till the mixture thickens, 2-3 minutes. Add a little water if needed. Ideally, this kootu should have a slightly runny consistency, slightly thicker than sambar. Switch off gas at this stage.

And now, we will do the final process – prepare the tempering for the kootu.

Lastly, we will prepare the tempering for the Ezhu Thaan Kootu. Heat the oil for the tempering, in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop. Now, add the curry leaves, dried red chillies and the asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of minutes. Switch off the gas, and add this tempering to the kootu. Mix well. Your Ezhu Thaan Kootu is ready to serve!

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #258. The co-host this week is Laurena @ Life Diet Health.

Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts

Happy, happy new year, people!

I hope all of you had a lovely New Year’s eve and a great start to 2019. We rang in the new year chilling out at home, with some good home-made food, reading, talking and playing with the bub. Note to self – must do more of this in the months to come. πŸ™‚

Just before New Year’s eve, I won an Instagram contest by Bhuira Jams, a brand I have come to trust and love. The good folks at Bhuira sent me a bottle of their Black Cherry Preserve, made with black cherries grown on their plant in Himachal Pradesh, with no artificial colouring or flavouring agents or preservatives. It tastes just awesome, I must say! I just had to use it immediately, and did so in these Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts.

Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts are super easy to make, taking bare minutes to get ready. They have a certain rustic charm to them, thumbprint and all. Use good-quality jam in them, and they become delectable little treats that you can serve for parties and get-togethers. I made the base for these tarts using Unibic’s new Oatmeal Daily Digestive Cookies, topping them with Bhuira’s Black Cherry Preserve, the dried coconut I added in complementing the other flavours perfectly. They turned out so delicious, they disappeared within minutes of the making!

Here’s how I made these Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts.

Ingredients (makes 10 pieces):

  1. 12 Unibic Oatmeal Daily Digestive Cookies
  2. 1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
  3. 4 tablespoons dry grated coconut + more for garnishing
  4. 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  5. Bhuira Black Cherry Jam as needed

    Method:

    1. Grind the digestive cookies in a mixer, along with the dry grated coconut and sugar. Make a fine powder.
    2. Transfer this powder to a mixing bowl. Add the butter. Gently mix the ingredients together till you get a sort of pliable consistency.
    3. Make 10 small balls out of the dough. Flatten each ball and make a ‘well’ in the centre, using your thumb. The ‘well’ should be good to hold a little quantity of jam.
    4. Let the tarts chill in the freezer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
    5. Now, drop a little jam in the ‘well’ of each tart. Garnish each tart with some dry grated coconut.
    6. Let the tarts chill, covered, in the refrigerator (not in the freezer) for at least half an hour. The jam will set in this time.
    7. Serve the tarts immediately after bringing them to room temperature.

Notes:

  1. I used Amul unsalted butter to make these Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts.
  2. Adjust the quantity of sugar you use in the tart bases, depending upon personal taste preferences. You can even avoid the sugar completely, if you so desire.
  3. Use only a little quantity of jam to top these mini tarts, otherwise they might turn out overwhelmingly sweet.
  4. You may use any other type of cookie to form the base of these tarts, and any other good-quality jam for the topping.
  5. You can make these tarts in advance before a party or get-together, and store them in the refrigerator. However, make sure you get them out at room temperature a couple of hours prior to serving.
  6. Making these Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts is a great way to make use of leftover cookies, jam and/or dry grated coconut powder. πŸ˜‰
  7. I received a sample of Unibic’s Oatmeal Daily Digestive Cookies, on a complimentary basis, to try out and review, on my Instagram feed. I quite liked them, and felt they would make a great base for tarts, hence this recipe happened. The opinions expressed about the cookies on my Instagram feed are entirely honest, entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.
  8. As I mentioned earlier in my post, I won the bottle of Bhuira Black Cherry Preserve in an Instagram contest. The opinions expressed herein about the preserve are entirely honest, entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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I’m also sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #257. The co-hosts this week are Suzanne @ Frugal Hausfraualupinthekitchen and Kat @ Kat’s 9 Lives.

Gongura Pulihora| Sorrel Green Rice

Hola guys! How has the end of the year been treating you? I hope you have been having fun this holiday season!

This year, I’m using Paperless Post, a USA-based website, to send out my holiday greetings. Paperless Post believes in making online communication so much fun that you don’t miss hand-written greeting cards, flyers, invitations and other notes. They have some really lovely designs by established artists, beautiful options to choose from for various types of communication needs. You can customise the design you opt for, for your cards, as well as the envelope front and backing and the message. I’ve been enjoying creating customised cards for my friends and family, and plan to use Paperless Posts for upcoming events as well. Do check out the website, folks!

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One of the New Year cards I made using Paperless Post

Moving on to food now, today, I present to you a recipe for Gongura Pulihora or Sorrel Rice. All of us at home love gongura – aka pulichakeerai, sorrel, roselle, kenaf or aambadi – the greens with a sour taste to them. Sadly, though, they are one of the least used greens in our household. We use them only occasionally to make Gongura Thokku, a spicy Andhra Pradesh-style pickle. Considering that these leaves are very rich in iron, folic acid, antioxidants and various vitamins, I wanted to use more of them in our daily diets. So, a Gongura Pulihora or sorrel-flavoured rice was made recently, which turned out to be much loved.

Gongura Pulihora aka Sorrel Rice

Let’s check out the recipe for this delicious Gongura Pulihora!

Ingredients (serves 4):

To roast and grind:

  1. 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon of oil
  2. 2 cups tightly packed gongura (sorrel) leaves, chopped
  3. 1-1/2 tablespoons chana daal
  4. 1-1/2 tablespoons urad daal
  5. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
  6. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
  7. 5-6 black peppercorns (kali mirch)
  8. 4-5 dry red chillies, or to taste
  9. 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds

For the tempering:

  1. 1/4 cup peanuts
  2. 2 tablespoons oil
  3. 3-4 dry red chillies
  4. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  5. 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)
  6. 1 sprig curry leaves

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 cup rice
  2. Salt, to taste
  3. 2 tablespoons jaggery powder, or to taste
  4. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  5. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
  6. Lemon juice to taste (optional)

Method:

  1. Wash the rice under running water a couple of times, draining out the excess water each time. Pressure cook the washed and drained rice with 2.5 cups of water, for 4 whistles. You may also 3 whistles, if you want grainier rice. Allow the pressure to come down naturally.
  2. In the meanwhile, wash the gongura leaves well under running water. Place in a colander, and allow the excess water to drain out. Then, chop the gongura leaves finely and keep aside.
  3. Heat a pan and add in the peanuts. Dry roast on low-medium flame till crisp. Ensure that they do not burn. Now, transfer to a plate and allow them to cool down fully.
  4. Now, we will roast the ingredients we need to grind. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Then, lower the flame to medium, and add in the urad daal, chana daal, coriander seeds, methi seeds, black peppercorns and dry red chillies (listed under the ingredients ‘to roast and grind’). Fry till the ingredients begin to change colour and emit a lovely fragrance. Take care to ensure that they do not burn, stirring constantly. Now, add the coconut and fry for a minute more. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.
  5. In the same pan, add another teaspoon of oil. Add in the drained and chopped gongura leaves. Roast on low-medium flame till the gongura wilts and changes colour, about 3 minutes. Then, switch off the gas and allow the gongura to cool down entirely.
  6. When the pressure from the cooker has gone down fully, open it. Set the rice under a fan to cool down completely. Then, fluff up the rice gently. The rice is now ready to use in the gongura pulihora. Keep aside.
  7. Transfer all the roasted and cooled ingredients from Step 4 above to a mixer jar. Add in the fried and cooled gongura leaves to the mixer jar too. Pulse a couple of times, without adding any water. Stop in between and scrape down the sides of the mixer jar with a spoon. You should get a coarse paste. Keep aside.
  8. Now, we will prepare the tempering for the gongura pulihora. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow to pop. Now, add the dry red chillies (listed under the ingredients ‘for tempering’), asafoetida and curry leaves. Allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds. Add in the turmeric powder and dry-roasted peanuts. Give everything a mix with a spoon. Switch off gas.
  9. Add the cooled rice to the pan, along with the spice mix we ground earlier. Add in salt to taste, red chilli powder (if using), and jaggery powder (if using). Use your hands to mix well, but gently. Add in lemon juice to taste, and mix well. That’s it! Your gongura pulihora is ready to be served – you can serve it either warmed up or at room temperature.

Notes:

  1. I have used Bullet Rice aka Wada Kollam Rice to make this Gongura Pulihora. You may use any other variety of rice instead, too.
  2. I have used 2.5 cups of water to cook 1 cup of rice here, which is less than what I usually use. Normally, I would use 3 cups of water per cup of rice, to make plain white rice. This is because I needed slightly grainy rice to make the pulihora, which is not overcooked or mushy. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon how grainy you want the rice to be.
  3. Gingelly oil tastes great in this Gongura Pulihora. If you don’t have it, though, you may use any other variety of oil.
  4. Adjust the quantity of dry red chillies you use, depending upon how spicy you want the dish to be. I have used Salem Gundu dry red chillies here.
  5. If you find the dish to be less spicy, you could add in a bit of red chilli powder, to taste. That is purely optional.
  6. Make sure the rice has fully cooled down before you fluff it up and use it in making the Gongura Pulihora. Otherwise, you will end up with a mushy, tasteless dish.
  7. Adjust the quantity of gongura aka sorrel leaves you use, depending upon how sour they are. The gongura I had wasn’t very sour, so I had to use more of it, and also add in some lemon juice. If your sorrel leaves are very sour, you can leave out the lemon juice entirely.
  8. You can skip the jaggery powder if you don’t like a hint of sweetness in your food. To us, it was the perfect addition.
  9. This Gongura Pulihora doesn’t really need any accompaniment, but some potato chips, papad or fryums would go beautifully with it.
  10. I was approached by Paperless Post to try out the experience of using some of their online stationery, on a complimentary basis, and I decided to give it a go. I write about it solely because I loved the stuff they have on board. The views expressed in this post are entirely honest, entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #256. The co-hosts this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons.