Wednesday, April 21, 2010
A wooden cupboard with wire mesh doors stood in the corner of our kitchen with its four legs planted firmly in four stone bowls containing water. We took turns and watered the bowls as and when they dried up due to the heat of summer. We were determined to keep away the formidable ants from entering our dear cupboard which served us as our wishing table! The cupboard was a store house of delicious goodies which we enjoyed any time, in between meals or even during our meals.With the dreadful exams over, we had a gala time playing the whole day and hovering around the cupboard now and then for a small treat. With four voracious children around, mother had a tough time replenishing the cupboard.
Father often visited Bangalore on business, and he always carried back the best eats on his return. Plum cakes from the Nilgiris, baskets of fresh grapes from the farms on the high way, crunchy cucumbers from Ramanagaram, luscious water melons grown on the river bed near Chennapatna, flavoursome Maddur vadais - the list was endless.We adored the Kharada Avalakki which he bought from the famous Gundappa hotel at Bangalore. It was spicy, crunchy and an addictive savoury. The roasted whole cashew nuts and the flavour of ghee added to its rich aroma.
Even after marriage brought me to live in Bangalore, father always remembered to drop a packet of Kharada avalakki for me during his visits to the city.
Thick beaten rice ( Avalakki) - 250 gms
Cashew nuts (whole) - 100 gms
Copra ( Naturally dried coconut) slivered - 1/4 piece
Roasted gram - 50 gms
Curry leaves - a few
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Broken red chillies - 2
Oil for frying
1. Heat oil in a kadai
2. In another wide vessel mix salt, chilly powder, turmeric powder and asafoetida and keep aside.
3. Dip a colander with a handle in hot oil and add a scoop of beaten rice into it. The beaten rice will immediately puff up.
4. Immediately lift up the colander from hot oil and allow the oil to drain into the kadai.
5. Add the fried beaten rice into the vessel containing the spice mixture.
6. Fry all the beaten rice, scoop by scoop and add it to the spice vessel.
7. Finally fry the cashew nuts, copra slivers, curry leaves and broken red chillies one by one and add to the fried beaten rice, and switch off flame.
8. Blend all ingredients by shaking the vessel so that the salt and spice coat the avalakki evenly.
9. Finally mix in the fried gram and cool the avalakki.
Store the spicy crunchy kharada avalakki in an air tight container and relish it with tea or coffee .
( If the flavour of fried copra is not desired, raw slivers of copra can be used. Fried peanuts can be substituted or added along with cashew nuts)