Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Karida Avare / Fried Field Beans - A Savoury Snack

Karida Avare or Fried Beans is a popular winter savoury snack prepared during the Kaalu or Bean season.The indulgence of the people of Bengalooru is such that the prices of all other vegetables crash during the Avare Kaalu / Field Bean season. Avare Kaalu is used in almost all dishes as they are, or in the squeezed form through out the season.The  beans are soaked overnight.Then they are pinched or squeezed ( This process is called as Hitukodu in Kannada) one bean at a time enabling the bele / lentil to jump out of its skin. The bele / lentil thus obtained is known as Hituku Bele or Squeezed out lentil. Hituku Bele is now readily available in the market which saves a lot of time and labour for the connoisseur. This squeezed out lentil or Hituku Bele is used to prepare the savoury snack known as Karida Avare.

Hituku Bele / Squeezed Bean  - 1/2 Kg
Oil for frying
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Broken Red Chillies - 4
Curry leaves - a few
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Ghee or Coconut oil - 2 tsps
Sambar Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Salt - 1/2 tsp
1. Spread the Hituku Bele on a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
2. Heat oil in a kadai and fry one fistful of Bele at a time on medium flame.
3. Remove when the oil stops bubbling vigorously and till the lentils become crisp.
4. Drain the fried lentils on a paper towel. 
5. Spread the fried lentils on a shallow plate and add sambar powder, turmeric powder and salt on the top.
6. Heat ghee/coconut oil and add mustard seeds.
7. When the mustard seeds splutter add the broken red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
8. Pour the seasoning over the spice powders.
9. Mix in the seasoning with the fried Bele /lentil using a clean and dry hand.
Store in an air tight  container after the Karida Avare cools down. 
Enjoy the crunchy Karida Avare  any where, any time, with hot coffee!  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Spicy Peanut Butter Spread


Peanut Butter lavishly spread on multi grain bread toasts and berries! This was the breakfast we enjoyed the most during our stay with our son. Once we were back in India we switched over to our traditional Indian breakfast. The flavour and taste of the delicious Peanut Butter still lingers in my memory and some times I even find my taste buds crave for the delicious butter. I satisfied my craving by preparing  a spicy version of Peanut Butter Spread at home. I used Peanuts without husking them, and this gave a nutty flavour to the butter. Peanut Butter when  paired together with sesame oil gives out a heavenly flavour.
Peanuts/ Groundnuts - 2 cups
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Salt - 1/2 a pinch
Pepper powder (Optional) - 1/2 pinch
Chilly flakes - 1 pinch
1. Roast the Groundnuts in a heavy bottomed pan on a low flame till they crack.

2. Grind the nuts using a blender.

   3. Stop now and then to stir and push down the powder.

4. Keep blending till the groundnuts turn into a thick paste releasing oil.

5. Add sesame oil little by little till it reaches a smooth and spreadable consistency. Add more oil for a flowing consistency.
6. Add salt, pepper powder and chilly flakes and give it one last swish.
Pour into  a clean and dry jar and store in the refrigerator.
Enjoy the creamy, flavoursome and slightly sweet Peanut Butter Spread with bread toasts, rotis or even dosas.