Friday, April 12, 2019

Parangikkai Poorana Poli/ Kumbalakayi Obbattu - Flatbread with Sweet Pumpkin Stuffing

Poli / Holige / Obbattu are the various names for the Flatbread with sweet stuffing and is a mandatory sweet prepared during very important occasions. A Mappilai Azhaippu Virundhu/Varapooje Oota (Reception dinner for a bridegroom during traditional weddings) is not complete without Kayee Obbattu (jaggery and coconut stuffed Flatbread) or Kadalai Paruppu Poli ( jaggery and chana dal stuffed Flatbread). 
Exciting varieties of  Poli / Holigae / Obbattu can be prepared using a variety of other sweet stuffings. 

Here is a Poli / Obbattu / Flatbread stuffed with Parangikkai Pooranam / Kumbalakayi Hoorana/ Pumpkin stuffing to celebrate a very happy Tamizh Putthaandu, Vishu and Nabobarsho.


Pumpkin ( Peeled and cubed) - 2 cups
Gram flour ( Besan) -    1 cup
Powdered jaggery    -     2 cups
Ghee or cooking oil -    3 tbsps
Cardamom powder  -     1 pinch
1. Blend the cubed pumpkin pieces in a mixer without adding water.

2. Add the Gram flour/Besan and blend once again sprinkling little water if necessary. The end product needs to be a thick lump.

3. Heat two tablespoons of ghee/oil in a thick bottomed kadai, add the ground pumpkin mixture and keep stirring till the raw smell disappears.

4. Add powdered jaggery and cook till it melts and blends with the pumpkin mixture.

5. Keep stirring till the Pooranam/ Hoorana / Sweet Stuffing comes together emanating a very pleasant aroma.
6. Stir in the remaining ghee/oil and cardamom powder and switch off flame.

Let the Parangikkai Pooranam / Kumbalakayi Hoorana /Pumpkin Stuffing cool thoroughly. This can be prepared well in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
1.Plain flour (Maida) or Wheat flour - 2 cups
2.Salt                      -  1 pinch
3.Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
4. Sesame oil          -  4 tbsps
1. Mix the flour, salt and turmeric powder together in a bowl.
2. Add 2 tbsps of sesame oil and mix well.
3. Knead into a soft and elastic dough adding water little by little.
4. When the dough comes together into a soft and smooth ball smear the remaining oil on top.
5. Cover and leave it aside to soak for at least one hour.
6. The more it soaks the more pliable it becomes.
1. Grease a piece of banana leaf or a butter paper with oil.
2. Take a lime size ball of dough, place it on the greased leaf / butter paper and pat it into a small disc.
3. Make a lime size ball of Pooranam/ Hoorana /Sweet Stuffing and place it on the patted disc.

4. Pull the edges of the disc over the stuffing and press the edges together to seal.
5. Invert the stuffed ball on the banana leaf/butter paper, grease your fingers and pat it into a thin Poli / Obbattu /Flatbread so that the stuffing spreads out evenly inside the dough cover.

6. Heat a greased tava, invert the banana leaf / butter paper over it and peel it away gently so that the Poli / Obbattu / Flatbread neatly rests on the tava.

7. Cook on low flame till the rawness on top disappears, flip and cook similarly on the other side.
8. Cook the Poli/ Obbattu /Flatbread till golden brown patches appear on both sides and remove it on to a plate.
Dribbling oil around is only optional as the dough is already soaking in oil.

9. Cook all the Polis/Obbattus/Flatbreads similarly.

Enjoy the Parangikkai Poorana Poli / Kumbalakayi Obbattu / Sweet Pumpkin Flatbread with a dollop of ghee or with plain hot milk. You can also enjoy it with the day's Payasam.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Vengaya Vadakkal and Vengaya Sadam - Spicy Sauteed Onion and Onion Rice

As we were chitchatting about food my sister and I went down memory lane and remembered Vengaya Sadam (Onion Rice) that we relished during our childhood. Though my mother never preferred to eat onion, she did not deny us the pleasure of enjoying the same. In fact she prepared onion sambar, onion gojju, onion bajjis and salads with onion to please our palates. Of all the other onion dishes prepared, we loved the Vengaya Vadakkal (Sauteed Onion) the most. Whenever Vengaya Vadakkal was prepared we converted it into our main course by mixing it with rice, and savoured it to our hearts' content without caring to even glance at the other vegetables on the table.

Onions - 4 (big)
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Sambar Powder - 3/4 tsp
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
1. Chop onions into thin slices.
2. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds.
3. When the mustard seeds splutter stir in the onion slices.
4. Add salt and sambar powder and mix well.

5. Cover and cook on low flame till the onions become soft.

6. Keep stirring till the oil comes out and the whole Vadakkal comes together and switch off flame.

A tasty Vengaya Vadakkal with the sweetness of onion is ready to be served.

1. Add two to three table spoons of the prepared Vengaya Vadakkal to a cup of cooked rice.

2. Squeeze the juice of half a lime (Optional) into it, and mix gently using a spatula till each grain of rice is coated with the spice.

Enjoy the Vegaya Sadam / Onion Rice with Raita or a cup of thick curd.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Aarka Cooker Hulianna - Tangy Tamarind Kodo Millet - Pressure Cooker Recipe

Kannada names of different Millets are suffixed with the word Akki meaning Rice in Kannada. For example Foxtail Millet is referred to as Navane Akki. Pearl Millets are known as Sajje Akki and so on. Millets which are healthy substitutes to rice can be cooked in the same way as rice is cooked.  Foxtail Millet/Navane Akki can be cooked into a tangy Lime 'Rice'.  Little Millet / Same Akki can be used to make Curd 'Rice'. Mixed Millets can be used to make a nourishing thirst quencher along the lines of TangalannaBisibele, Vangibath and many more 'Variety Rice' cooked with Millets taste delicious. Aarka Cooker Hulianna is a pressure cooker recipe using Kodo Millet / Aarka Rice.


Kodo Millet/ Aarka - 2 cups
Tamarind - a small lime size ball
Sambar Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Powdered jaggery - 2 tbsp
Sesame oil  - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Split Back gram dal - 1 tsp
Chana dal - 1 tsp
Pea nuts - 2 tbsp
Red chillies (broken) - 2
Curry leaves - a few
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
1. Wash and drain the millet and keep aside.

2. Soak tamarind and extract the juice by adding the required quantity of water to make 4 cups of juice.
3. Add salt, turmeric powder, jaggery and sambar powder to the tamarind juice.
4. Heat oil in a seasoning ladle and add mustard seeds.
5. When the mustard seeds splutter add the dals.
6. Add Pea nuts and fry till they crack.
7. Finally add the broken red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves.
8. Pour the seasoning into the prepared tamarind juice.

9. Pressure cook the Kodo Millet/ Aarka and the seasoned tamarind juice together until three whistles. 

10. Remove the cooked Millet after it cools down and fluff  up the  Aarka Cooker Hulianna using a fork.

Enjoy the Aarka Cooker Hulianna with  Papad and salad or with just a cup of thick curd.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Millet Masala Vada - Multi Millet fried Snack

'Millet Pe Charcha' was a unique event where two diverse fields of Cultural Heritage converged. The event was virtually a feast to Heritage enthusiasts. An introductory talk on the Inscription Stones of Bangalore was followed by a traditional lunch catered by Millet Corner at Kaulige Foods. The entire spread was cooked with Millets - the rediscovered heritage grains of our region. Impressed by the variety of millet products displayed on the shelf my sister and I picked up few of them while we returned home. My innovative sister tried out a Masala Vada using the Multi Millet Roti Mix!  This is how it turned out to be! Crisp, delicious and flavoursome!


Multi Millet Roti Mix - 4 cups
MTR Rava Idly Mix - 4 tbsps
Onions (finely sliced) - 2
Green chillies - 2
Fresh ginger - 1 big piece
Mint leaves - a fistful
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Oil - for deep frying

1. Grind ginger, green chillies, fennel seeds and mint leaves into a smooth paste.
2. Mix finely sliced onions, the ground paste and salt together without adding water.
3. Add minced onion, the ground paste, MTR Rava Idly Mix and cumin seeds to the Multi Millet Roti Mix and knead them together.

4.The water released by onion is enough to bind the flour into a stiff dough. 
5. Heat oil in a kadai.
6. Pour two or three tablespoons of hot oil all over the dough and mix thoroughly using a spoon. 
7. Take a lime size ball of dough, pat it into a thin Vada and deep fry in oil till it turns reddish brown in colour. The Vadas can be fried in a batch of four or five depending on the size of the kadai.

Enjoy the Millet Masala Vada while it is hot and crisp with Tomato Ketchup or coconut chutney.  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Parangikottai Curry - Baby Pumpkin Curry

Parangikkai/ Yellow Pumpkin is available in plenty during Sankranti/ Pongal season. It is one of the many farm produce which is thankfully offered to Sun God during the harvest festival. Cutting through the huge vegetable is quite a task due to its hard shell-like skin. My grandmother's cook used to hurl it down on the floor to break open the pumpkin since his knives failed to do the job! A pumpkin variety called  Parangikottai (Baby Pumpkins) are smaller and tender and they taste as delicious as the huge Parangikkais. Taste them in this delicious dry Curry and you are sure to be addicted to it!

Baby Pumpkin/Parangikottai - 1 ( roughly yields four cups of cubes when chopped.)
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split Black gram dal - 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 2 (Broken)
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Asafoetida -1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Fresh coconut gratings - 4 tbsps
Salt - 1/4 tsp or more depending on your taste ( It should be just enough to enhance the sweet taste of the Pumpkin)
1. Peel and chop the Parangikottai/ Baby pumpkin into small cubes.

2. Heat oil in a kadai and splutter mustard seeds.
3. Add the dals and fry till they turn slightly golden in colour.
4. Add broken red chillies and fry till they become crisp.
5. Stir in the curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder.

6. Add the chopped pumpkin pieces and salt and stir well.

7. Cover with a lid and cook on low flame stirring now and then.The vegetable will cook in its own juice. 
8. Check now and then so that it does not become mushy. 
9. When the curry is just done mix in the freshly grated coconut.
10. Keep stirring till the Curry emanates a pleasant aroma and then switch off flame.

Parangikottai Curry is a delicious side dish and goes very well with rice as well as rotis.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Ragi Uppittu / Ragi Upma

My family has been savouring Ragi dishes since a very long time. That was the only millet we were aware of till the other varieties started getting star status. My mother always served soft Ragi Muddaes along with delicious sambar at least once a week. One needs to cultivate the taste for Ragi to enjoy Ragi Muddae. But  Ragi dosaes and rottis are appealing to one and all. Ragi Uppittu/ Ragi Upma is another  tasty and nutritious breakfast recipe which can be easily prepared.

Ragi flour - 1 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Onion (Chopped finely) - 1/2 cup
Carrots (grated) - 1/2 cup
Green chillies (chopped) - 2 tsps
Ginger (grated) - 1 tbsp
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split black gram dal - 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Juice of one lime
Coriander leaves for garnishing
1. Dry roast Ragi flour till it gives out a pleasant aroma.
2. Add salt after it cools down and mix well.
3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of water all over the flour and mix till it becomes moist.

4. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the mustard seeds.
5. When the mustard seeds crackle add the dals and fry till they turn golden in colour.
6. Add asafoetida and chopped onion followed by green chillies, ginger and curry leaves.
7. When the onion turns translucent add the grated carrots and saute till done.

8. Now add the moistened Ragi flour to the seasoning and stir well.

9. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of water, mix thoroughly and cover and cook on low flame till the flour is cooked.
10. Remove the lid and keep stirring till it becomes crumbly.
11. Sprinkle more water if the Uppittu/Upma is too dry and cook till you get a soft but crumbly Uppittu/Upma.
12. Switch off flame and mix in the lime juice.

Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy the fresh Ragi Uppittu/Ragi Upma with tomato slices and a cup of curd.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Kabbina Haalu Halwa/ Karumbu Charu Halwa - Sugar Cane Juice Halwa

Wishing you a very Happy Makara Sankranti / Thai Pongal with a special sweet for the occasion. An unprocessed, unrefined version of the indispensable produce of the season is used to sweeten this Halwa. Kabbina Haalu in Kannada and Karumbu Charu in Tamil is nothing but Sugar Cane juice enjoyed during the season. Wheat flour, Sugar Cane juice and ghee combine together lending a soft, smooth and slippery texture to the 'melt in the mouth' Halwa. 


Sugar Cane juice - 5 cups
Wheat flour - 1 cup
Ghee - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Ghee fried raisins and cashew nuts - for garnishing
1. Boil the sugar cane juice in a sauce pan.
2. When the juice starts foaming a scum will start forming on top. Remove it using a spoon or ladle.

3. Let the juice continue to boil on low flame.
4. On the second burner heat 3/4s of the ghee in a thick bottomed vessel.
5. Add the wheat flour and fry till it turns reddish in colour emanating a very pleasant aroma. You will see ghee oozing out from the fried flour.

6. Now gently add the boiling Sugar Cane juice to the fried flour stirring all the time so that no lumps are formed.

7. Keep stirring to avoid lumps as the flour will cook and thicken very fast.
8. Cook till the Halwa comes together in a ball.

9. Add the remaining ghee and cardamom powder and stir well.
10. Pour the Halwa on to a greased plate.
11. Sprinkle the ghee fried raisins and cashew nuts on top and lightly press them on to the Halwa using a spatula. 

Enjoy the Kabbina Haalu Halwa/ Karumbu Charu Halwa while it is still warm and dripping with melted ghee. 

It can be refrigerated for two or three days. Microwave the Halwa every time you want to relish a piece or two.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Pasum Manjal Chutney - Fresh Turmeric Chutney

This is the time of the year when fresh turmeric rhizomes are available in the market. The antiviral and antibacterial properties of Fresh Turmeric help to fight cold, cough and fever which are common ailments that come with winter. Savouring fresh turmeric helps in boosting one's immunity. Fortify your immune system by including Turmeric in your diet before the ailment catches you! The tasty Pasum Manjal Chutney/Fresh Turmeric Chutney prepared by my sister 'Yosee' helped in soothing and healing my scratchy and irritating sore throat in a couple of days. I am happy to share her recipe of the delicious Pasum Manjal Chutney/Fresh Turmeric Chutney here.

Pasum Manjal/ Fresh Turmeric - 2 cups ( peeled and chopped finely)
Sesame oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split black gram dal - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 2 (broken)
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Tamarind - a grape size ball
Salt - 1 tsp
Fresh coriander leaves - 1/4 cup (chopped)
1. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.
2. Add split black gram dal and roast till it turns light brown in colour.
3. Add broken red chillies followed by asafoetida and fry till the chillies become crisp.
4. Stir in the finely chopped Pasum Manjal/Fresh Turmeric.
5. Sprinkle little water and cover and cook on low flame for about two minutes.
6. When the raw smell disappears add the coriander leaves and switch off flame.
7. Allow the sauteed turmeric to cool down.
8. Grind it with tamarind and salt into a thick and smooth chutney adding little water if required.

Enjoy the Pasum Manjal Chutney/ Fresh Turmeric Chutney with steaming hot rice.