Nuchina unde/ lentil dumplings

These are a delicacy from my home state of Karnataka. Nuchu in Kannada means broken. It could be either rice or lentils. Unde are balls. Nuchina unde is an extremely healthy dish as it is full of protein, no oil and is steam cooked . Fragrant with the greens and spices that are used and served with a preparation called Hasi majjige if served for breakfast or as an evening snack. It is invariably accompanied by a Majjige Huli when served for lunch. My heartfelt thanks to my friend dear Chaya Narahari Rao for her traditional recipe.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Toor dal/ split pigeon peas

1/2 cup Chana dal/ Bengal gram dal/ split chickpeas

1/2 cup Moong dal/ split Green gram

1 large onion finely chopped

5 tbsps grated coconut

9 green chillies

A small bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped

2 inch piece of ginger

3 sprigs mint leaves finely chopped

2 sprigs curry leaves finely chopped

15 pepper corns

1 tsp Cumin seeds

Salt

Method:

Wash and soak all the Dals for four hours. Drain thoroughly. Powder the pepper corns and cumin seeds. Drop in the green chillies, ginger and coconut and grind it to a coarse paste. Now add all the Dals a little at a time and grind to a semolina like consistency. Tip the mixture into a bowl. Add the finely chopped coriander leaves,onion, mint and curry leaves. Add salt and mix thoroughly. Oil your hands and make oblong shaped balls of the dough. Steam them for fifteen to twenty minutes in a steamer or in the idli vessel. A knife inserted at the end of twenty minutes should come clean. Serve hot with Hasi Majjige or Majjige Huli. Recipe links to both are shared below.

https://vinayasculinarydelights.com/hassi-majjige-curd-and-roasted-gram-dip/

https://vinayasculinarydelights.com/ashgourd-curry-majjige-huli-recipe/

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Beetroot saaru

Saaru is a watery preparation served over rice and can be made using ingredients of one’s choice. I have posted quite a few ‘Saaru’ in this website. Today posting the recipe of a Beetroot saaru which I learnt from my friend Aruna Kamath. It is a simple, easy to make but delicious preparation. Serve it over rice or as an appetizer.

Ingredients:

1 small beetroot, pressure cooked, peeled and chopped roughly

1 tbsp grated coconut

2 green chillies

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp cumin seeds

A large pinch of Hing/ Asafoetida

1 tsp tamarind paste

Salt

1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

For the tempering:

1 tbsp Ghee/ clarified butter

7 cloves of garlic crushed

Method:

Drop the chopped beetroot, grated coconut, green chillies, cumin seeds, Hing, tamarind paste and garlic cloves into a mixer jar and grind them to a fine paste. Tip this paste into a pan and add three glasses of water / 750 ml to it. Add salt and bring to a boil. Gently simmer for a couple of minutes. Heat the Ghee in a pan. Add the crushed garlic and roast it to a rich golden brown. Drop it into the saaru and simmer for a couple of minutes. Switch off and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

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Chigali/ Jigli/ Tamarind and jaggery candy

Chigali or Jigli is how this sweet, sour and slightly spicy tamarind and jaggery candy is known as in Uttar Karnataka. It is served along with Jollada Rotti, Badnekai Yennegai, Shenga chutney and freshly sliced onions and a green chilly. This is followed by a ball of Curd rice.

Ingredients:

An orange sized ball of tamarind

Jaggery the same size as that of the tamarind ball

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp Chilly powder

Salt

5 curry leaves

Method:

String and clean the tamarind . The fiber and any hard outer coating needs to be discarded. Grate the jaggery. Tip the cumin seeds,salt, chilly powder and curry leaves in a mortar and pestle and pound them. Drop in the jaggery and the tamarind and keep pounding till the entire mixture becomes a smooth paste which can be rolled into a ball and stuck on to an ice cream stick. This stays good outside for any length of time as there is no trace of water in it and salt and jaggery are natural preservatives.

Note: I have not pounded the mixture as it traditionally is, but resorted to using the small mixer jar. I made a one string syrup of the jaggery and used it to facilitate grinding.

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Strawberry yoghurt

Fruit yoghurts are relatively new to India. The traditional ones using saffron and mango are called Shrikhand and Amrakhand respectively. With the introduction of a variety of fruit yoghurts from the west, India is fast catching up on this concept and Indian companies are coming out with a number of these yoghurts. These can traditionally be made at home. The only requirement is thick curd or hung curd. Posting the recipe of a strawberry yoghurt today which my friend Jayashree T Rao shared with me.

Ingredients:

1 cup / 250 ml hung curd

5 strawberries chopped

2 tsps sugar

Method:

Spread a cheesecloth or a muslin cloth over a bowl. Tip in 300 ml or 1.5 cups of yoghurt into it and tie the ends of the cloth tightly. Allow the water in the yoghurt to run off into the bowl. After a couple of hours all the water would have drained and what is left behind is hung curd which is approximately around 250 ml. Tip this hung curd into a mixer along with the strawberries and sugar. Using the pulse mode, whip it up till the strawberries and yoghurt have blended well. Chill and serve.

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The popular Garlic Dal and Potato Tallasani combo.

This popular North Kanara Garlic Dal and Potato Tallasani combination is a must try for potato and garlic lovers. Hot dal is served over rice followed by a dollop of Ghee and accompanied by the potato Tallasani and papad. Sadhana Kiran my friend generously shared the recipes with me. The recipe link to both is shared below.

https://vinayasculinarydelights.com/garlic-seasoned-dal/

https://vinayasculinarydelights.com/potato-tallasani/

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Spicy Puffed rice

This snack is ideal for the weight watchers. Puffed rice roasted to a crisp, spiced with a few green chillies and Kashmiri chilly powder. Groundnuts too for that extra crunch , curry leaves and hing/ asafoetida for flavour. Add finely chopped onions, tomatoes ,coriander leaves and a little lemon juice and your Sookha Bhel is ready. , Thank-you so much dear Girija Vishnu Vardhan for the delicious, easy to make recipe.

Ingredients:

5 cups of Kurmura/ puffed rice

Salt

1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilly powder

For the tempering:

5 tsps oil

1 tsp mustard

5 tbsps Peanuts

A big pinch of Hing/ asafoetida

3 sprigs curry leaves

2 green chillies finely chopped

Method:

Heat oil in a pan. Drop in the mustard seeds and after they splutter, add the peanuts and toss for a minute. Drop in the green chillies, curry leaves and Hing. Toss and add the puffed rice, Kashmiri chilly powder and salt. Mix thoroughly and roast on a very gentle flame till crisp. Store in an airtight container after it’s thoroughly cooled.

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Moru Kachiyathu

This Kerala Style seasoned buttermilk curry is nothing but buttermilk seasoned with spices and garnished with coriander leaves. It is enjoyed with hot rice and needs no accompaniment other than a Papad. Do be careful not to boil this curry as it may split. I thank my friend Anil Kumar Ramdas ji who generously shared this recipe with me.

Ingredients:

250 ml/ one large cup of thick curds

100 ml water

2 shallots sliced

2 green chillies slit

1 inch piece of ginger chopped fine

3 cloves of garlic chopped fine

A large pinch of Haldi/ turmeric powder

Salt

2 tsps finely chopped coriander for garnishing.

For the tempering:

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

5 seeds of Fenugreek

1 dry red chilly

1 sprig of curry leaves

Method:

Whisk the curds well and add water to it. Mix well and keep aside. Heat the coconut oil. Add the mustard seeds, and after they splutter drop in the cumin seeds. Add the curry leaves, red chilly and the Fenugreek seeds. Toss and immediately tip in the sliced Shallots, chopped ginger, garlic and green chilly. Saute for a minute. Lower the flame totally and add the turmeric powder, salt the blended curds or buttermilk. Mix well. Garnish with freshly chopped Coriander leaves, switch off the stove and pour the curry to another bowl to avoid splitting of the curds. It is optional to squeeze a little lime juice to enhance the flavour. This curry is not to be boiled.

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Roasted Besan chillies

These chillies are not for the weak hearted. They provide the much needed punch to a meal of Dal rice or Curd rice. They also go well with a Jowar or a Bajra Roti. I would like to thank my friend Bharati Ughade who shared her recipe with me.

Ingredients:

25 spicy chillies slit but stem kept intact

2 tbsps Besan/ pea flour

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

1 tbsp Amchur/ dry mango powder

Salt

3 tbsps oil

Method:

Heat the oil in a pan. Tip in the slit chillies and salt. Roast till they change colour. Remove and keep aside. Drop in the Besan into the same oil and roast it till it gives its aroma and turns a nice deep golden brown. Add the coriander, cumin and dry mango powders. Mix thoroughly and saute for a minute or two. Switch off and allow to cool thoroughly before storing.

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Roasted FoxNuts/ Phool Makhana


These are nothing but puffed lotus seeds or fox nuts. They are the simplest snack to prepare when one is hungry. Highly nutritive and extremely delicious.

Why is it so easy to make?
Most of the hard work for this dish is done by the people collecting the lotus seeds in Bihar and some parts of Northern India. First is the laborious process of collection of seeds. Next they are cleaned and stored. Post this is gradation and getting the white puff at a certain temperature. That’s the reason for it being a little pricey.

Ingredients:

50 gms Phool Makhana

2 tbsps Ghee/ clarified butter

Pepper and salt as required

Method:

Heat the ghee in a pan Drop in the Phool Makhana and sprinkle the pepper and salt. Keep roasting on a very gentle flame till they are crisp. Takes just five minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container.

This portion serves three.

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Kashaya-2

This is the second immunity booster that I am posting in my website. Thanks to my friend Priyanka Agarwal who shared her recipe with me. Traditional kashaya read immunity boosters are making their presence felt during these Covid times. Turmeric is not just an anti oxidant but an anti inflammatory as well. So also cinnamon. Ginger and pepper are known for their healing properties and so also Tulsi or Holy basil . A concoction of them is prepared by boiling them together.

Ingredients:

2 small sprigs of Tulsi

A large pinch each of Cinnamon, turmeric and pepper powder

One inch piece of ginger grated

300 ml of water

Method:

Drop all the ingredients into a pan and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for a couple of minutes. Strain and sip hot.

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