Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Festive sweet

When I was a child, my favourite kheer used to be appi payasa. It's a typical karnataka/ Mysore kheer but involved more work than the usual shavige/ vermicelli kheer or kadale bele ( chana dal) kheer so my mom used to make it less often. The combination of crunchy appi and the sweet, cardamom-laced payasa are heavenly, so for Navami this year I decided to make Appi payasa. Turned out it was simpler than I had figured and tasted great; reminded me of the Chandrahara that we hoggged during our Mysore vacation a couple of years ago. Ingredients 1 cup fine suji 1 tsp ghee 1/2 cup cold water 1/2 liter milk 1/2 cup sugar ( to taste) 2-3 strands of saffron soaked in 2 tsp warm milk 1 tsp cardamom powder Mix the ghee into the suji, then add the water ltitle by little to make a stiff dough. Keep aside for an hour or so. Then roll out into really thin puris, about 4-5 inches diameter and deep fry. Ensure that these puris do not puff up, so they need to be rolled out thin; you can also prick them with a fork before deep frying. Keep aside to cool. Meanwhile heat the milk and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Add the cardamom and saffron. Break the puris into one inch pieces and add to the kheer. Serve hot or cold - we love it cold, straight from the fridge.

Mysorean Feast

This dasara was really lowkey since I commute about an hour to work each way every day and the parents were away. With a push and shove from mom, I finally did a golu but it was a bare-bones half-baked effort and really quite a let down even to me. So finally, on Ashthami, I decided that we should at least make the effort to put together a proper traditional Dasara meal. With the parents away, I naturally took on the onus of making a full Mysorean feast with traditional items prepared during Dasara. Our menu: Battani-menthyada soppu anna ( Methi-matar rice/ Peas and fenugreek leaves rice) Saaru Sundal Beans palya Gasagase payasa Aambode Yeriyappa Carrot kosambri Sautekayi kosambri Took much less time than I thought and I had the satisfaction of sitting down to a meal that satisfied me in having made an adequate effort :) Recipes - Gasagase payasa Ingredients 1 tsp raw rice 1.5 tbsp poppy seeds 1 handful fresh grated coconut 2.5 cups water 1 cup jaggery ( may need more; depends on the sweetness of the jaggery) 1/2 cup milk 1/2 tsp cardamom powder Dry roast the poppy seeds and raw rice together. Grind fine. Then add coconut and grind again. Add 1 cup water to the mix and strain through a fine sieve. Repeat the process 2-3 more times with the rest of the water, and keep aside the ground mixture. To the sieved water, add the jaggery and boil until the jaggery melts completely. Add the coconut mixture and the milk and simmer for a few minutes on medium flame. Add the cardamom powder and garnish with fried cashews if desired. Serve hot or cold. Serves 4-5 Yeriyappa ( Sweet dumplings) Ingredients 1 cup raw rice, soaked in warm water for 2-3 hours 1 cup jaggery 1 cup fresh grated coconut 1 tsp cardamom powder half cup of semolina ( rave) optional Grind the rice together with jaggery and fresh coconut. Add water and thin it out until it resembles thick dosa batter. Deep fry ladleful by ladleful in a wok until toffee brown on both sides. Eat hot. Adding the semolina makes it more crunchy, so if you want the middle portion softer, skip it. Makes about 8 Aambode Ingredients 1 cup chana dal, soaked for 2 hours 1 cup fresh grated coconut 1 inch ginger Handful curry leaves Pinch of asafoetida (heeng) 2 green chillies 1 dried red chilly Salt to taste Coarsely grind all the ingredients together without any added water. Shape into 1.5 inch balls, flatten and deep-fry on a medium flame until brown. Serve hot; store in airtight container. You can serve it dropped into the saaru as well. It works fabulously as a snack/ appetizer too. Makes 10-12 (Pictures will follow)